ORLANDO, Fla. — 65-year-old priest, Reverend David Gillis, was removed from his duties at Church of Our Saviour Catholic Church in Cocoa Beach for an alleged incident that occurred almost 40 years ago. He had been accused of sexual abuse of a minor from the time he served as a priest in Pennsylvania; a time stemming from his ordination in 1979 until 2005, when he left to serve in Central Florida.
The sexual abuse allegations came to light in August from a report given by a father about his daughter. The Berk’s County District Attorney’s office in Pennsylvania did a thorough investigation and made the statement, “As a result of our thorough investigation, it has been determined the allegation of child sexual abuse against Reverend Gillis was false.”
Reverend Gillis was serving as the parochial administrator at Church of Our Saviour in Cocoa Beach, part of the Orlando Diocese, at the time of the allegations. Bishop John Noonan of the Orlando Diocese removed the Reverend David Gillis from his priestly ministry on Tuesday, according to a statement from the Orlando Diocese. At the same time, Allentown Bishop Alfred Schlert also removed Gillis’ priestly faculties.
This is all happening during the time of the recent Pennsylvania Grand Jury report that accuses 301 priests of sexually abusing more than 1,000 children over a period of decades.
At the conclusion of the Reverand Gillis was cleared of the allegations in Pennsylvania and the Orlando diocese says there are no reports of abuse in Central Florida against the priest.