Ohio priest placed on leave, accused of "inappropriate contact" with a child

Fr. Marian Babjak was placed on administrative leave last week by the Diocese of Youngstown. The priest is accused of having "inappropriate physical contact" with a child. Fr. Babjak worked at Christ Our Savior Parish in Struthers, Ohio. According to the Mahoning Matters news outlet, the clergyman has been at the parish since at least August 2020.

While the Diocese encourages anyone who has been a victim of misconduct by a clergy member or church employee to contact its Victims Assistance Coordinator, we believe the best method of reporting such incidents is to contact law enforcement directly. Secular investigations are the way to deal with clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, which has been going on unabated for decades. More importantly, such reports are more likely to reach the public, which helps survivors heal and empowers victims, many of who are still sitting in silence, to come forward.

It is astonishing to us that Church officials routinely announce that a cleric’s placement on leave is not an admission of guilt. However, it would be more helpful if they would also inform the community of the priest's previous work assignments. This affirmative action would alert parishioners and the public. We know from statistics that those who harm children seldom have just one victim.

CONTACT: Michael McDonnell, Communication Manager (267-261-0578, [email protected]  Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected]), Judy Block Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate (314-974-5003, [email protected])

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

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