Former Auxiliary Bishop who Mishandled Abuse Allegations Placed In Charge of Cincinnati Parish, SNAP Responds
In a tone-deaf move from Catholic officials in Cincinnati, a former auxiliary bishop who resigned his position after it was discovered he ignored allegations against an abusive priest for six years has now been reassigned to a local parish. We are outraged that a man who so failed in his duty to protect children from abuse has now been put in charge of a parish and we hope parents and parishioners will stand up against this appointment.
In May of 2020, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Binzer resigned his position within the Archdiocese of Cincinnati after mishandling the case of Fr. Geoff Drew. Bishop Binzer had been informed in 2013 of allegations that Fr. Drew was abusing children, yet he did nothing until 2019, giving the accused priest six more years of unfettered access to vulnerable children. Now, a year after he was slapped on the wrist for this flagrant violation of the Church’s “Dallas Charter,” he has been given control over St. John Neumann and Corpus Christi Parish in Cincinnati.
This is a shocking move that underscores how Archbishop Dennis Schnurr has failed to understand why Bishop Binzer’s actions were so wrong and also speaks to why the issue of abuse remains such a constant scandal within the Catholic Church. If men who enabled abuse were appropriately punished and removed from positions of power, then it would be harder for abuse to continue. Instead, punishments are few, far between, and minimal. In our opinion, Bishop Binzer should not be in a position of authority anywhere. He should have been reassigned to administrative tasks that remove him from leadership roles, not given a parish to lead 11 months after his resignation was accepted by Pope Francis.
Parents in Cincinnati deserve to have someone watch over their children who will be vigilant against cases of sexual abuse, not someone who has been proven to ignore them. We call on Archbishop Schnurr to rescind this appointment before it takes effect on July 1 and we hope that parents and parishioners in Cincinnati will join our call.
(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)