Archdiocese of Cincinnati Informed of Allegations against Drew 6 Years Ago, SNAP Reacts
For immediate release: August 5, 2019
It is good that church officials in Cincinnati are looking into the actions that a local auxiliary bishop took in response to hearing allegations that a priest “violated child protection rules.” It is critical that all allegations involving children are routed immediately to police, and so it is also a good thing that Catholic leaders are investigating a possible delay in the reporting of those allegations.
At the same time, we are dismayed that this investigation is happening now, six years after Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Binzer was first informed of inappropriate behavior by Fr. Geoff Drew. Church officials pledged in 2002 to treat all allegations of clergy abuse with zero tolerance, yet we constantly see and hear about situations where too much tolerance was given to priests accused of inappropriate contact with children. Vigilance is what keeps children and the vulnerable protected, and church officials in Cincinnati were anything but vigilant in this case.
We hope that this news encourages anyone who has seen, suspected, or suffered abuse at the hands of a priest, nun, brother, deacon or other church employee to immediately report to police, not to church officials. We also hope that the internal investigation into what went wrong in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati results in discipline for those who kept children in harm’s way.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)