YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Diocese of Youngstown has released its findings on a priest who was placed on administrative leave for inappropriate contact of a minor.
The Diocese named the priest as Father Marian Babjak of Christ Our Savior Parish in Struthers.
After an allegation of inappropriate physical contact with a minor, who is now an adult, was made in November of 2021, Father Babjak was immediately placed on administrative leave while an independent third-party investigation took place, according to a press release.
The third-party investigation included interviews with the people involved and informing public authorities about the allegation.
The third-party investigation determined the inappropriate physical contact was credible but was not sexual abuse, according to a release from the Diocese.
The Review Board recommended that Father Babjak still be considered for future active ministry, after a period of evaluation.
Father Babjak has agreed to resign as pastor of Christ Our Savior Parish in Struthers effective July 6. He will also undergo evaluation for his suitability for future ministry.
“I commend the person making the allegations for coming forward. This has been a challenging time for so many people, including the person who brought forth the allegations, Father Babjak, and the faith community in Struthers, said Bishop David Bonnar. “I am grateful to the independent Review board for their important work to the diocesan staff for carefully following our policies and civil law. I pray for healing on the part of all involved,”
Bishop Bonnar also announced the Very Rev. Philip Rogers will be the new pastor of Christ Our Savior Parish starting Monday, August 1.
The Diocese of Youngstown encourages anyone who has experienced misconduct by a clergy member or church employee to contact public authorities or the diocese directly through Dominic Colucy, Victims Assistance Coordinator at 330-744-8451, ext. 293, or via the confidential diocesan response line: 330-718-1388.
Father Babjak has been pastor at Christ Our Savior Parrish since August of 2020 and was ordained in 1995.