Jun. 18—Accused former priest Craig Harrison has been informed by his earlier boss on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno to close down his counseling enterprise and cease serving in a nonprofit that ministers to girls as a result of such actions may sow confusion and scandal, in line with a press release launched Friday by Harrison’s attorneys.
The assertion additionally mentioned his legal professionals have obtained phrase from the Catholic Church that Harrison won’t be named on a soon-to-be launched record of clergymen credibly accused of sexual improprieties.
The diocese’s chancellor declined to verify both assertion, concerning the record or any try and name off Harrison’s non secular consulting actions, and declined to deal with them. She mentioned the record of accused clergymen continues to be being finalized.
“I cannot make any remark about who’s on the record and who’s not on the record,” Chancellor Cheryl Sarkisian mentioned.
Harrison has repeatedly denied he has ever had inappropriate sexual contact with anybody.
The diocese positioned Harrison on paid administrative depart in April 2019 following a report he had inappropriate sexual contact with a minor. Then, after a sequence of additional accusations and counter-accusations, Harrison resigned in February of this yr as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Bakersfield, the place he labored since 1999. He now affords non secular counseling providers whereas additionally collaborating in a nonprofit known as Reflections for Ladies.
His attorneys acknowledged in Friday’s information launch that Harrison has a “elementary proper to freedom of faith and freedom of affiliation, and he’s entitled to pursue a dwelling.”
“He’ll proceed to wish brazenly with others, and to consolation and information the neighborhood members who look to him for help,” it continues. “He won’t abandon this neighborhood or his Christian religion.”
The discharge characterised the correspondence it attributed to Bishop Joseph V. Brennan as “one more threatening letter” from the diocese and asserted the bishop “seems to be threatening to publicly defame Father Craig, a personal citizen.”
It went on to say Harrison’s authorized workforce worries the bishop will “baselessly and retroactively” add Harrison to the record of credibly accused clergymen if the previous priest doesn’t adjust to Brennan’s calls for.
Additionally included within the launch is a press release of incredulity on the bishop’s implication that members of the area people may confuse Harrison with an ordained priest in good standing throughout the church.
“Our neighborhood is properly conscious that Father Craig very publicly resigned from his place as a Catholic priest in response to the bishop’s untenable prior calls for, together with the demand that Father Craig chorus from praying brazenly with others,” he mentioned.
Even so, it mentioned, his attorneys have suggested Harrison to publicly submit a disclaimer “to dispel any confusion Bishop Brennan has imagined.”
Earlier this month two unnamed plaintiffs filed lawsuits alleging Harrison sexually assaulted them as minors with the acquiescence of his former supervisors on the diocese. The accusations, in any other case barred from prison prosecution by statutes of limitations, are allowed underneath the phrases of a 2019 regulation giving survivors of alleged childhood sexual assault till the top of 2022 to pursue civil claims towards these they accuse.