Catholic Priest suspended amid sexual abuse allegations
By Lauren Hensley
October 7, 2015
ALTOONA, Pa.-- Altoona-Johnstown Diocese confirms a Somerset County priest, Martin Cingle, has been suspended as they investigate allegations concerning sex abuse of a minor dating back to 2002.
According to the Diocese, Cingle has been an ordained priest since 1973. He has served at about a dozen parishes throughout central Pennsylvania.
Most recently father Cingle served as pastor at All Saints Parish in Boswell and Saint Anne Parish in Davidsville. Church officials have not released any more information regarding the allegations, causing victim service agencies to call for action.
вЂњWe are so sorry that a child has been hurt and we hope that they find healing. We would beg anyone with knowledge of these crimes any information to contact law enforcement,вЂќ Barbara Doris with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said.
SNAPвЂ™s web site said it is the world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. They have a strong message for the bishop of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese and are calling him to action.
вЂњWe feel that the bishop should get out from behind his desk and stop waiting for victims to one forward and force him to do something he should voluntarily go to every place the father worked and beg people to work with police and prosecutors to get to the truth in this matter,вЂќ said Doris.
A spokesperson with the diocese said Bishop Bartchak will arrange a visit to celebrate mass and speak with parishioners. In a statement the Bishop said: "Children are a precious gift from God, and we must always take the necessary steps to ensure their protection in the Catholic Church. I pray for the alleged victims in this case and for all children who have suffered sexual abuse in our society. May the Lord grant them healing, comfort, and peace."
6News spoke with state police in Somerset County and they said they were not aware of an investigation into Cingle.
6News also called attorney general's office and officials said they could not confirm or deny an investigation