Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Joseph Binzer, Cincinnati’s auxiliary bishop, who was accused in August of failing to act on allegations made against a priest.
A statement from the Holy See press office May 7 said the pope had accepted the 65-year-old bishop’s resignation but gave no reason for the decision.
In a statement released by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Archbishop Dennis Schnurr said the pope accepted Binzer’s resignation after conversations between the bishop and the Holy See.
The archdiocese also included a brief statement from Binzer in which he said he was “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.”
“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,” said Binzer. ”I believe this to be in the best interest of the archdiocese.”
Archbishop Schnurr said that although retired, Binzer will continue to serve in the archdiocese with 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 said. “In this difficult and unfortunate time, please keep Bishop Binzer and all the people of the archdiocese in your prayers.”
Archbishop Schnurr removed Binzer from his position as head of priest personnel in August, after CNA presented officials with its investigation into claims that Binzer failed to pass on reports that a priest had engaged in inappropriate behavior with teenage boys.
In August last year, Schnurr told CNA that “We obviously made serious mistakes in our handling of this matter, for which we are very sorry.”
While Schnurr’s public comments did not address Binzer’s role directly, senior sources in the archdiocese told CNA in August that Schnurr had “gone nuclear” when he discovered the situation.
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