Hamilton Co. priest removed from parish due to behavior violations

Updated: Jul. 31, 2019 at 2:54 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A priest from St. Ignatius Loyola in Monfort Heights has been removed from the parish due to behavior that violated their Decree on Child Protection, according to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Father Geoff Drew was placed on administrative leave on Tuesday, July 23.

On Monday night, July 29, the church had an emergency meeting to notify the parishioners.

“We found out it was inappropriate texting to a male student here at St. Ignatius,” said Mike Hausfeld, who has been a lifelong member of the church.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati said he will not be returning to St. Ignatius Loyola.

“Father Drew will soon undergo a complete physical, psychological and spiritual assessment at an independent in-patient treatment facility. That assessment, along with the recommendations of the professionals treating Father Drew, will be provided to me as input for deciding the appropriate next steps,” Archbishop Dennis Schnurr said in a letter to the parish.

Some of the church members say they believe the allegations are being blown out of proportion. Yet, others tell us that they are concerned, especially since the priest may have a similar past.

“We found out that there were some allegations at St. Maximilian where he came from at that parish, so I feel there’s a little bit of solid ground here for what’s going on,” said Hausfeld.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati said they have received no allegation of criminal behavior, but are committed to investigating any allegations they receive.

Deacon Tim Helmick has been appointed as temporary administrator of St. Ignatius Loyola Parish.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is asking anyone that knows of, or learns of anything suspicious or criminal regarding Father Drew, to contact Mark Piepmeier at the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office at 513-946-3078.

Copyright 2019 WXIX. All rights reserved.