Struthers priest resigns following abuse investigation; could be reinstated

Catholic Diocese of Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN – The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown said Monday one of its priests will resign his position following an abuse investigation.

The diocese released the findings of an independent investigation concerning a 2021 allegation against the Rev. Marian Babjak. As a result, Babjak has agreed to resign as pastor of Christ Our Savior Parish in Struthers, effective July 6.

Babjak was accused of having inappropriate physical contact with a minor, who is now an adult.

Following an independent, third-party investigation, a Diocesan Review Board determined that the allegation is credible. However while there was a violation of the diocese’s Standards of Ministerial Excellence, it did not rise to the level of sexual abuse, according to the diocese.

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The board has recommended that Babjak be considered for future active ministry after a period of evaluation.

Babjak had served as pastor of Christ Our Savior Parish in Struthers since August 2020. He previously served as an associate pastor at St. Paul in North Canton and St. Charles Borromeo in Boardman, as well as pastoral assignments in Slovakia prior to 2016. He was ordained in 1995.

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In accordance with church policy, Babjak was immediately placed on administrative leave by Bishop David J. Bonnar pending the outcome of the independent investigation.

In addition to resigning, Babjak agreed to undergo an evaluation concerning his suitability for future ministry.

"I commend the person making the allegation for coming forward," Bonnar said in a prepared statement. "This has been a very challenging time for so many people, including the person who brought forth the allegation, Father Babjak, and the faith community in Struthers."

The Very Rev. Philip Rogers, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo in Boardman, has been appointed to pastor Christ Our Savior Parish in Struthers, effective Aug. 1. In the coming weeks, a new pastor will be named for St. Charles. Rogers will continue his responsibilities as Dean of Mahoning South Deanery.

The diocese 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, extension 293, or by email at, or the confidential diocesan response line at 330-718-1388.

This article originally appeared on The Repository: Rev. Marian Babjak resigns after abuse investigation