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Vanceburg Priest Removed from Ministry Amid Allegations

A priest serving at Holy Redeemer Parish in the Lewis County city of Vanceburg was removed from ministry this week, the Diocese of Covington announced.

Father David Glockner, of Glenmary Home Missioners, was accused of inappropriately touching two high school students while working on a service project in Lewis County.

Glockner, 84, was recalled to the Fairfield, Oh.-based Glenmary Home Missioners.

In a news release, the Diocese of Covington stated that it had implemented its "Safe Environment" protocols and will provide for the pastoral needs of Holy Redeemer parishioners.

Father Dan Dorsey, president, Glenmary Home Missioners, notified Diocese of Covington Bishop Roger Foys that the manager of Emmaus Farms reported she had received an allegation Tuesday, August 6 that Father Glockner had “inappropriately touched two high school students, both minors, while working on a service project in Lewis County.” 

Emmaus Farms is a non-profit, volunteer, immersion service retreat organization located in Vanceburg. The organization is not under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Covington. 

Upon learning of the allegations, Father Dorsey recalled Father Glockner to the Glenmary headquarters, where he will be stationed while the matter is being investigated. 

“Upon receiving the allegations, I immediately recalled Father Glockner to headquarters and told him he would be staying here for an indefinite period of time,” Father Dorsey said. “In addition to contacting the Lewis County Sheriff and Bishop of Covington, I also reached out to the chaperone of the volunteer group to offer pastoral care of our Hope and Healing team to the two students. Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of anyone who is in contact with Glenmary.”

According to its website, Glenmary Home Missioners is a "Catholic society of priests and brothers who, along with coworkers, are dedicated to serving the spiritual and material needs of people living in mission counties throughout Appalachia and the South."

“I am grateful to Father Dorsey for his quick response to the allegations,” said Bishop Foys. “The diocese will offer any assistance needed during the investigation.” 

Removal from ministry is not substantiation of an allegation but is a part of safe environment protocols while the matter is investigated, a news release said. 

Per diocesan policy, the incident was reported to the Kentucky State Police on Thursday. 

Since 2012, Father Glockner has served at Holy Redeemer Parish as sacramental minister and parochial administrator. In those seven years, there have not been any allegations of inappropriate behavior against Father Glockner, a news release said. The Diocese has reached out to a representative of the teens’ families to offer pastoral assistance.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher

Photo: Father David Glockner (via Glenmary)