After child sex abuse allegation, Catholic Diocese of Orlando removes priest


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Update: Rev. David Gillis has been cleared of the sexual abuse allegations that surfaced in August. The accusations stemmed from Gillis' time in Pennsylvania, where he served before coming to Central Florida in 2005.

The Rev. David Gillis, who served as parochial administrator for the Church of Our Saviour in Cocoa Beach, was removed from the ministry earlier this week, following accusations of child sex abuse in Pennsylvania against him.

In a statement, the Catholic Diocese of Orlando announced Orlando Bishop John Noonan removed Gillis from his post Tuesday pending the outcome of the investigation by civil authorities. The allegations stem from a state investigation in Pennsylvania, where, earlier this month, it was revealed that more than 300 priests preyed on more than 1,000 children in six Roman Catholic dioceses.

"The safety and well-being of our vulnerable population are very important to us," the Rev. John Giel, chancellor of canonical affairs for the Orlando Diocese, wrote in a letter Tuesday. "The Diocese of Orlando Safe Environment Policy reflects vital measures to safeguard the children of God. We pray for all victims and their families and for those involved in this situation."

Orlando Weekly could not immediately reach the Berks County district attorney's office for comment. However, previous reports have confirmed that the case is currently under investigation, and that Gillis has yet to be arrested or charged with any crimes.

According to Diocese of Orlando's letter, Gillis has been with the Orlando Diocese since 2005. In that time, he's served in roles at Resurrection Parish and Santa Fe Catholic High School in Lakeland, St. Ann Parish in DeBary; Father Lopez Catholic High School in Daytona Beach; and St. Faustina Parish in Clermont.

Read the full letter here.

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