Investigation Launched Following Allegation

Posted: 2/15/2012

For Immediate Release: Feb. 15, 2012

CINCINNATI—On Feb. 11, 2012, Father Chet Artysiewicz, president of Glenmary Home Missioners, learned of an allegation of sexual misconduct against Glenmary Father Bob Poandl. Father Poandl became aware of the allegation through a third party. Once notified, he immediately contacted Father Artysiewicz. The alleged abuse is said to have occurred nearly 30 years ago. Father Poandl, 70, has denied the allegation.

In the days since learning of the allegation, Father Artysiewicz has unsuccessfully attempted to contact the alleged victim. He has been advised that, at this time, the person wishes to remain anonymous.

Upon learning of the allegation, Father Artysiewicz immediately took appropriate actions as dictated by Glenmary's Policies for Maintaining Ethical Ministry With Minors. Father Poandl was relieved of his ministry assignment as pastor of Glenmary missions in Georgia (Claxton, Pembroke and Sand Hill) and asked to return to the Glenmary Residence in Cincinnati. He arrived in Cincinnati on Feb. 13 and has since been in residence. He is not allowed to publicly function as a Catholic priest during the investigation process.

Civil authorities have been notified of the anonymous allegation, as have bishops in the dioceses affected by the investigation, including the Diocese of Savannah where Father Poandl was serving. The chairperson of the Glenmary Review Board was notified on Feb. 11, and an internal investigation was subsequently launched to determine the credibility of the allegation.

"I am committed to maintaining accountability and transparency as this investigative process unfolds," Father Artysiewicz says. "Father Poandl and I have both pledged our full cooperation in this investigation, and I will do whatever I can to meet the pastoral needs of all those involved."

The Glenmary Review Board, established in 2004, is comprised primarily of laypeople charged to be a confidential consultative body for the Glenmary Executive Council. Current members include a clinical psychologist, a lawyer, three social workers, and a member of the Glenmary community.

In April 2010, Glenmary was reaccredited by Praesidium, a national leader in abuse risk management. This reaccreditation means Glenmary's policies and procedures meet the established criteria set forth by the Conference of Major Superiors of Men in the prevention of and response to sexual abuse of minors. Glenmary Home Missioners was first accredited in 2005.