Fr. Herbert Gloekler – Diocese of Erie

| Jan 9, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Herbert Gloekler

Diocese of Erie

Ordained: 1949

Death: 1985

Assigned as follows:

  • 1949 – 1967: Sacred Heart (Erie, PA)
  • 1967 – 1974: St. Bibiana (Galeton, PA)
  • 1974 – 1985: Mount Calvary (Erie, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Herbert Gloekler:

Fr. Herbert Gloekler was ordained a priest in 1949, who served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Erie. According to media reports, in 2002 the Erie Times published an article describing the abuse that occurred in the Catholic Church as told by a victim and former student of Sacred Heart who said she was abused in the 1950s. She also sent an email to Bishop Trautman in 2002 requesting he stop the abuse within the church and help those who have suffered sexual abuse due to the neglect of the Diocese.

After seeing the news article in early 2002, a second victim came forward to the Diocese of Erie to report her abuse by Gloekler. She was a classmate and friend of the first victim and her family. The second victim said that she volunteered to do some office work at the rectory, and that Gloekler abused her during that time.

A third victim came forward that same year to report that Gloekler once took her into his room in the rectory and raped her when she was a child.

In 2018, he was named publicly as accused in the PA Grand Jury report.

Also in 2002, a fourth victim wrote a letter addressed to Bishop Donald Trautman claiming that while sexually abused as a grammar school student at Sacred Heart.  As a thank you for her volunteer work at the rectory, Gloekler took her and other student volunteers (all girls) out to dinner. Before the meal, however, he stopped at his mother’s home with the female students where he pulled the girl into a private room and kissed her hard on the lips. A week later, when she reported to the rectory for volunteer work with other girls, Gloekler again pulled her into a private room where he “kissed her and molested her,” according to the grand jury report.

Not long after the Erie Times article, two seperate witnesses came forward to the Diocese to report what they knew about Gloekler’s abuse of girls at Sacred Heart. One of the witnesses was a nun at the time of her letter and a former classmate of the  victim identified in the news article. The witness confirmed that she often overheard the first victim, as well as other girls, complain about Gloekler’s sexual abuse during the time period of the abuse. The other witness claimed that while she was a student at Sacred Heart between 1957 – 1959, she helped fold church bulletins on Fridays and once witnessed Gloekler fondle young girls’ breasts directly in front of her.

In 2003, a former housekeeper at Mt. Calvary Church in Erie, Pennsylvania, also came forward to confirm her knowledge of Gloekler’s misdeeds. She worked for Gloekler in 1974, before Father Donald J. Cooper, another priest listed in the Grand Jury Report, took over Gloekler’s position and fired her. The housekeeper approached St. Mark’s Catholic Center in person to state she knew that both Gloekler and Cooper were involved in sexual misconduct. There was no specific mention of money; however, the housekeeper “inferred” that Gloekler promised her a pension at the time of her employment, and she had yet to receive it. The Diocese of Erie denied her request for a pension. There is no indication that the Diocese did any follow-up on the housekeeper’s allegations.

In 2018, he was first named publicly as accused in the PA Grand Jury report.

Father Herbert Gloekler died in 1985 as a priest in good standing with the Diocese of Erie.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Erie. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Erie may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so please do not delay in reaching out to us.

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.