Struthers priest on leave amid allegation of inappropriate contact with child
A priest with the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown is on administrative leave following allegations of inappropriate physical contact with a minor.
The allegation was received by the Diocese Wednesday, November 10, 2021.
Bishop David J. Bonnar placed Father Marian Babjak on leave the same day.
This is in accordance with the Diocesan Safe Environment Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.
Babjak has served at the Christ Our Savior Parish in Struthers since 2020.
The Diocese released Babjak's name in order to be transparent but emphasizes this does not presume guilt.
The leave of absence is to allow time for a thorough investigation.
The Diocese states Father Babjak's right to a good reputation will be maintained throughout the process and care will be taken to
protect the rights of all parties involved, particularly the person making the allegation.
"Immediately upon receiving the allegation Father Babajak was placed on administrative leave and the allegation was referred to
Mahoning Children Services. This is what our policy calls for and it allows for an objective, independent investigation without
presuming guilt or innocence," said Justin Huyck, Media Relations Coordinator for the Youngstown Catholic Diocese.
Children Services is a mandatory reporter and must also report allegations to law enforcement.
The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown will hire an outside party to conduct an investigation.
During his leave Father Babjak remains a priest of the Diocese, however, he is prohibited from celebrating the sacraments publicly, wearing clerical attire, or presenting himself as a priest in good standing.
The news release states the Diocese of Youngstown encourages anyone who has been a victim of misconduct by a clergy member or church
employee to contact Victim's Assistance Coordinator Dominic Colucy at 330-744-8451, extension 293, or by calling the diocesan response line at
330-718-1388. His email is [email protected]
Another option people have is to call law enforcement.