The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has removed a Johnstown priest from public ministry following “accusations of sexual misconduct involving minors,” according to a statement issued Saturday night by the diocese.
Bishop Mark Bartchak placed Rev. Matthew E. Misurda, the pastor of Saint Clare of Assisi Parish in the Woodvale section of the city, on leave following accusations involving alleged incidents that date back to the late 1970s and early 1980s, according to the statement.
Those accusations “have been reported to civil authorities,” according to the statement, “and the diocese urges anyone with information about child sexual abuse to report it to law enforcement.”
Misurda is not permitted to function publicly as a priest while he is on leave, according to the statement.
The 67-year-old priest, a native of Johnstown, was ordained in 1977 and has served at various parishes throughout the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown during his career, according to the statement. He was appointed the pastor of Saint Clare of Assisi Parish in 2012.