Struthers priest on leave after an allegation of inappropriate physical contact with a minor

WFMJ-NBC/CW-21 [Youngstown OH]

November 15, 2021

By Ben Pagani

The Diocese of Youngstown has placed a reverend on administrative leave after they were made aware of an allegation regarding inappropriate physical contact with a minor on Wednesday. 

Father Marian Babjak was put on leave after the accusation was made. The diocese reported the case for investigation to the Mahoning County Children Services. The decision to put Babjak on leave falls in line with rules from the Diocesan Safe Environment Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.

Babjak remains a priest of the Diocese of Youngstown during this leave, with restricted faculties which prohibit him from celebrating the sacraments publicly, wearing clerical attire, or presenting himself as a priest in good standing. Babjak has served at Christ Our Savior Parish in Struthers since 2020.

“The placement on Administrative Leave does not presume guilt as the purpose of this leave is to conduct a thorough and objective investigation,” the diocese said in a statement.

A representative from the diocese would not comment on specific details regarding the location where the accused incident was reported to allegedly have taken place.

“Let us continue to pray for all those who are hurt in any way by the Church,” said Bishop Bonnar. “Know also of my continued prayers and support for all parishioners. Together, let us pray that all may be one.”

The Very Reverend Martin Celuch has been named administrator, Pro-Tem of Christ Our Savior Parish effective immediately.