Bishop Binzer apparently forwarded information about Fr. Drew’s conduct to Butler County civil authorities, who determined that Fr. Drew’s behavior was not criminal.
Sources in the archdiocesan chancery told CNA in August 2019 that Bishop Binzer met with Fr. Drew twice, was assured by him that he would reform his conduct, and the bishop considered this sufficient.
Bishop Binzer reported neither the complaints nor the investigation to the archbishop or the priest personnel board, which he was leading at the time.
In 2018, Fr. Drew requested a transfer to St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish in Green Township, which is attached to the largest Catholic school in the archdiocese. As head of priest personnel, Bishop Binzer was in charge of the process that considers requests and proposals for reassignment, in conjunction with the priest personnel board.
Neither the board nor the archbishop were made aware of the multiple complaints against Fr. Drew, and the transfer was approved.
A month after Fr. Drew’s arrival at St. Ignatius, a parishioner his former parish resubmitted the 2015 complaints about the priest, and this time the complaint was also brought to the attention of Archbishop Schnurr.
Also in 2018, Bishop Binzer received an additional complaint of similarly inappropriate contact by Fr. Drew, dating to his time as a high school music teacher, before his ordination as a priest.
Archbishop Schnurr removed Bishop Binzer from his position as head of priest personnel in August 2019, after CNA reported that Bishop Binzer had failed to inform Archbishop Schnurr or the personnel board of Fr. Drew’s inappropriate behavior.
Bishop Binzer later resigned as a member of the U.S. bishops’ conference committee for the protection of children and young people.
In May 2020 the Holy See Press Office announced that Pope Francis had accepted the then-65-year-old bishop’s resignation as an auxiliary bishop of the Cincinnati archdiocese. The statement gave no reason for the decision.
On July 23, 2020, Fr. Drew was removed from ministry, when it emerged that he had sent a series of inappropriate text messages to a 17-year-old.
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Fr. Drew, who is now 59 years old, is scheduled to go to trial April 26 on 9 counts of rape or enter a plea. He has pleaded not guilty, but could face life in prison if he is convicted. He is accused of raping a 10-year-old student multiple times from 1988-1991 as a music minister at a Catholic school, before he became a priest.