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Wheeling, W.Va.

West Virginia governor's veto of abortion bill called 'bitter news'

Bishop Michael Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston said he was surprised at West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's veto of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would have prohibited nonmedical crisis abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization.

Tomblin vetoed the bill late Friday.

"I am very surprised by Gov. Tomblin's veto of the Pain-Capable Act," the bishop said. "For most West Virginians, this is bitter news, especially on the heels of the governor's use of his ability to veto budgeted items to cut benefits to poor children and families in West Virginia."

Prayers urged for victims affected by chemical spill in West Virginia

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Bishop Michael Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston asked the state's Catholics to join him in praying for the 300,000 people affected by the Jan. 9 chemical spill in the southern region of the state.

He asked for the prayers during the televised Mass he celebrated Saturday at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling, noting the many people who were still suffering in Charleston and the surrounding area who had not had access to clean water for days.

Fund offers matching grants to projects helping West Virginia's poor

A new matching grant fund established by the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston aims to help address "the grief and anguish of the poor among us," especially the children living in poverty, said Bishop Michael J. Bransfield.

Announcing the fund at a Nov. 29 news conference, he said it will provide matching grants for parishes, schools and agencies in the diocese that wish to implement local programs and outreach to address issues he identified in a pastoral letter he issued in early November.

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July 18-31, 2014

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