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Pope Francis Orders Probe Into Sexual Harassment by US Bishop Michael Bransfield

© REUTERS / Max RossiPope Francis holds the Book of the Gospels as he meets Italian youth at the ancient Circo Massimo in Rome, Italy August 11, 2018
Pope Francis holds the Book of the Gospels as he meets Italian youth at the ancient Circo Massimo in Rome, Italy August 11, 2018 - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Pope Francis accepted on Thursday the resignation of Bishop Michael Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston and ordered an investigation into his sexual harassment charges, the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the prelate of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, said in a statement.

"Following his acceptance of the letter of resignation of Bishop Michael Bransfield, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, appointed Archbishop William E. Lori Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, while remaining Archbishop of Baltimore. The Holy Father further instructed Archbishop Lori to conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment of adults against Bishop Bransfield," the statement said.

Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi (Latin for ' to the city and to the world') Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017 - Sputnik International
Pope Convenes February Meeting for Bishops on Abuse Prevention in Vatican
Media reported, citing church officials and witlessness in court cases, that Bransfield was suspected of sexually harassing adults. The bishop, however, has denied the allegations.

In August, a grand jury report revealed a massive cover-up of child sexual abuse and rape of more than 1,000 children by at least 300 Roman Catholic priests in the US state of Pennsylvania.

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