CNA reported in August last year that Binzer was told in 2013 about allegations concerning a recently suspended priest, Fr. Geoff Drew, and failed to disclose them to Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis Schnurr and other archdiocesan officials.
While the archdiocesan victims’ assistance coordinator, who reported to Binzer, was aware of the allegation, the information was not made known to the diocesan priest personnel board or Archbishop Schnurr.
In 2015, similar allegations were again made against Drew. The matter was forwarded to Butler County officials, who determined that the activity was not criminal. Again, Binzer reported neither the complaints nor the investigation to the archbishop or informed the priest personnel board.
Sources in the archdiocesan chancery told CNA in August that Binzer met with Drew twice, was assured by him that he would reform his conduct, and considered this sufficient.
In early 2018, Drew applied for 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, 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 Drew, and the transfer was approved.
The allegations were also reportedly not recorded by Binzer in the priest’s personnel file that would have been available to the archdiocesan personnel board as part of the process.
A month after Drew’s arrival at St. Ignatius, a parishioner at Drew’s former parish resubmitted the 2015 complaints about the priest, but this time it was also brought to the attention of Archbishop Schnurr.
Also in 2018, Binzer received an additional complaint of similarly inappropriate contact by Drew, dating to his time as a high school music teacher, before his ordination as a priest.
Following a diocesan investigation, Drew was ordered to attend counselling with a psychologist.
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On July 23, Drew was removed from ministry, when it emerged that he had sent a series of inappropriate text messages to a 17-year-old.
Chancery sources told CNA in August that it was only after the recent incident at St. Ignatius that archdiocesan officials discovered that the otherwise undisclosed complaints about Drew had been made to Binzer, and that the auxiliary bishop had failed to report them to other diocesan officials, or raise them during the decision to approve his transfer in 2018.