YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The Diocese of Youngstown has released its findings about a priest who was placed on administrative leave for inappropriate contact with a minor.
The diocese has appointed priest Father Marian Babjak from Christ Our Savior Parish in Struthers.
After an allegation of inappropriate physical contact of a minor, who is now of age, was made in November 2021, Father Babjak was immediately placed on administrative leave while an independent third-party investigation took place, according to a statement. Press.
The third-party investigation included interviews with those involved and briefing public authorities on the allegation.
The third-party investigation determined that the inappropriate physical contact was believable but was not sexual abuse, according to a statement from the diocese.
The review committee recommended that Father Babjak still be considered for future active ministry, after a period of evaluation.
Father Babjak has agreed to step down as pastor of Christ Our Savior Parish in Struthers effective July 6. He will also undergo an evaluation of his suitability for future ministry.
“I commend the person making the allegation for coming forward. It was a very difficult time
for so many people, including the person who made the allegation, Father Babjak, and faith
Struthers community… I am grateful to the Independent Review Committee for their important work and to the Diocesan staff for carefully following our policies and civil law. I pray for healing from everyone involved,” said Bishop David Bonnar of the Diocese of Youngstown.
Bishop Bonnar also announced that the Most Reverend Philip Rogers will be the new Pastor of Christ Our Savior Parish from Monday August 1.
The Diocese of Youngstown encourages anyone experiencing misconduct by a member of the clergy or church employee to contact public authorities or the Diocese directly through Dominic Colucy, Coordinator of the victim assistance at 330-744-8451, ext. 293, or via the diocesan confidential answer line: 330-718-1388.
Father Babjak has been a pastor at Christ Our Savior Parrish since August 2020 and was ordained in 1995.