Bishop Binzer Resigns From Archdiocese Of Cincinnati
Updated: 4:33 p.m.
Pope Francis accepted the resignation Thursday of the auxiliary bishop of the Cincinnati Archdiocese. Bishop Joseph Binzer offered his resignation last month after he failed to bring past concerns about Father Geoffrey Drew's conduct to Archbishop Dennis Schnurr.
Binzer had already been removed as the director of priests' personnel. He will remain a priest in the archdiocese.
Drew is accused of raping a male elementary school student around 30 years ago, and has pleaded not guilty to nine counts of rape.
"I am deeply sorry for my role in addressing the concerns raised about Father Drew, which has had a negative impact on the trust and faith of the people of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati," Binzer said in a statement. "In April, having studied this matter since last summer, the Holy See informed me that it agreed with this assessment. As a result, and after much prayer and reflection, I offered my resignation from the Office of Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. I believe this to be in the best interest of the archdiocese."
Binzer is a Cincinnati native. He was ordained a priest on June 4, 1994, and served as chancellor of the archdiocese for eight years before being ordained a bishop and installed as the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati on June 9, 2011, a release states.
WVXU news partner WCPO reports Binzer will now have the title of Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus. "What exactly that ministry will look like will be determined after discussions between Bishop Binzer, the Priest Personnel Board, and me," Schnurr told the station.
Meanwhile, the group Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, issued a statement calling Binzer's resignation a "half-measure."
"The simple fact is that Binzer remains employed by the archdiocese and is still a trusted confidant of Archbishop Dennis Schnurr," the statement reads. "...Essentially, this is more of the same from the church: a priest does wrong, has his hand slapped, and is moved around. If church officials really cared abut their promise to enforce 'zero tolerance,' then not only should Binzer's demotion be elevated to a full firing, but Archbishop Schnurr should be held to account as well. It is clear that there are systemic issues at play in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and this shuffling of personnel will do nothing to address this issue."