ORLANDO, Fla. -- A priest who served in our area and has since moved to Florida has been removed from his priestly duties.
The Diocese of Allentown and the Diocese of Orlando made the decision after becoming aware of sexual assault allegations against the priest.
The Rev. David Gillis served as a priest in Schuylkill County during the 1990s. Last week, allegations surfaced that he allegedly sexually abused a child in Berks County. He's since been relieved of his priestly duties in Pennsylvania, and in Orlando, Florida where he's served since 2005.
Gillis can be seen in a Newswatch 16 story that aired in 1990 when he was named pastor of St. Mauritius Church, which used to be in Ashland.
Gillis served as a priest in Schuylkill County and was still part of the Diocese of Allentown. Since 2005, he has served in Florida in the Diocese of Orlando.
According to a news release, an allegation was made to the Diocese of Allentown last week that Gillis had sexually abused a child. The diocese referred the case to the Berks County district attorney.
A time frame was not given, but the Bishop of Allentown removed Gillis from ministry. The Diocese or Orlando followed suit, pending the outcome of the investigation.
The Kane family has lived in Ashland for decades, where Gillis was their pastor.
"It's a disappointment. It's like that with a number of other ones, too. It's disappointing and it's a letdown," Edward Kane said.
"We became friends. I just thought he was an ordinary person like everybody else," Beverly Kane said.
Gillis was a principal at Cardinal Brennan High School for more than four years. Those who know him remember him as a quality educator.
"It's unbelievable because our kids went to school and he was their principal. He was one of their teachers and we put our trust in him," Beverly Kane added.
This investigation into Gillis is unrelated to the Pennsylvania grand jury report released earlier this month. We spoke with a woman who knows Gillis. She tells us she is absolutely heartbroken to hear about the accusations but still remains firm in her Catholic faith.