Community reacts to sexual harassment allegations against a local priest

East Lansing, Mich. - A community reacts to allegations of sexual harassment against a Catholic priest in East Lansing.

FOX 47 News' Cryss Walker went out to speak with members of the church who asked to remain anonymous.

Tuesday the Diocese of Lansing released a statement that shook the foundation of a local Catholic community.

“It definitely makes you question religion,” a woman said to Cryss Walker about the allegations against the Rev. Mark Inglot, pastor at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in East Lansing.

“I mean, I feel like in my adult life I've definitely questioned religion a lot, especially Catholicism.”

“We should withhold judgement at this stage,” another anonymous source said.

“All I know is that he's done tremendous things for our community and has been the source of great inspiration, wisdom and compassion.”

The Catholic organization says that Inglot was placed on administrative leave from the St. Thomas Aquinas Church and the St. John Student Center in East Lansing.

The statements says an adult co-worker accused the pastor of sexual harassment.

“I guess I'm quite surprised,” a St. Thomas Aquinas member stated.

“I know there's a lot going on with the church right now. Father Mark has always been a very kind, compassionate person and probably once all this is sorted out, they are going to find that it's not true.”

The local diocese said in a press release that the report was made last week and was followed by an immediate internal investigation.

“It would be premature for me to form an opinion at this stage,” said one member who says her life was changed by Inglot’s influence.

“He really deserves the benefit of the doubt until the facts can come to light.”

The Diocese of Lansing also wrote that the claim is believed to be credible.

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