Abuse allegations against priest leave parishioners, Cocoa Beach residents stunned

Florida Today

August 30, 2018

By John McCarthy

Parishioners at the Church of Our Saviour and residents of Cocoa Beach were stunned to learn the church’s new pastor had been removed following allegations that he molested a minor in Pennsylvania sometime before 2005.

The Diocese of Orlando, which includes Brevard County, announced Wednesday that it had “removed the priestly faculties” of the Rev. David Gillis after it had received notice from church officials in Pennsylvania that Gillis had been accused of sexual abuse of a minor there. A letter from the diocese said the allegations had “at least the semblance of truth.”

The Diocese of Allentown said it had provided information to local law enforcement.

Gillis was named pastor of Our Saviour earlier this year.

Brooks Rampersad of Cocoa Beach is one of the church’s parishioners who was shocked by the accusations.

“A number of people I know have been praying regarding the cover-ups in the ministry. I feel the sudden action in this case, on something that has been hidden for over a decade, is a good sign that changes are happening and God is listening to our prayers.”

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