Cincinnati Archdiocese: We're Aghast, Embarrassed

( Cincinnati ) - Speaking on 700WLW on Friday afternoon, the Cincinnati Archdiocese Communications Director, Mike Schafer, says church leaders are both aghast and embarrassed after the series of events that's ultimately led to felony charges of rape being filed against a priest.

Father Geoff Drew this week pleaded not guilty to nine counts of rape dating back some 30 years. Fr Drew had been accused of "creepy"--though not criminal--behavior in 2013 and 2015. Despite Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Binzer knowing about that, he still supported Fr Drew's transfer to St Ignatius, which has a large student population. When word of the transfer got out, a man came forward to say he was raped as a child by Fr Drew. That led to a nine-count indictment in Hamilton County.

The local representative for SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) has called for the Vatican to remove both Auxiliary Bishop Binzer and Archbishop Schnurr. Schafer says Binzer is no longer in charge of priest assignments, telling our own Bill Cunningham "some people are great at part of their job and they're not great at another part of their job, and he's been removed from the part of his job that, apparently, he wasn't great at."

Schafer says if church leadership could go back, they would've removed Fr Drew following a second complaint about behavior in 2015. He says no one in the church knew about the rape allegations until Fr Drew was indicted and arrested. He's being held on $5 million.

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