The Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, which includes St. Stephen Catholic Church in McConnellsburg, Pa., has a policy that investigates all allegations against members of the clergy right away, said Sister Mary Parks, secretary for the diocese's communications office.
St. Stephen church referred all calls to the diocese.
Depending on the results of an investigation, an accused individual may be put on administrative leave from pastoral responsibilities and possibly removed from the priesthood if a more extensive evaluation turns up any wrongdoing.
"Beyond our own internal inquiry, we recognize that sexual misconduct can be criminal in nature and would cooperate fully with the public authorities in such cases," Bishop Joseph V. Adamec said in a March statement.
Sister Parks said the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese was open with the public about sex abuse allegations brought against one of its priests. In 1994, Francis Luddy admitted in a Blair County courtroom that he had molested young parishioners.
Sister Parks said the bishop suspended two other priests from active ministry between 1987 and 1990 after similar allegations were made.
"People need to be aware that we are doing, have done and will continue to do everything we can to make sure every child is safe," Sister Parks said. "The people are concerned about these issues. They need to be reassured."
Cosgrove said parishioners of Saint Peter's, which is the place of worship for 209 families, have come to him with concerns about the national sex abuse scandal, and Cosgrove has also mentioned it during his sermons. He said he plans to set up a meeting soon after Easter to give parishioners a chance to further discuss the scandal with him.
"I just want to give them a chance to explain what they're feeling," Cosgrove said.
So far the parishioners have been supportive of the Catholic Church, he said.
"They're very strong here," Cosgrove said. "People understand that we have such a wonderful faith."
Priests at a number of other Catholic churches in the Tri-State area were unavailable to comment or did not return phone calls.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.