Monsignor Craig Harrison refuses to drop lawsuit in opposition to Diocese of Fresno regardless of threats of retaliation, attorneys say

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Monsignor Craig Harrison refuses to drop lawsuit against Diocese of Fresno despite threats of retaliation, attorneys say

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Monsignor Craig Harrison will not stand up to demands to drop his lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, despite threats of retaliation, his lawyers said in a press release Tuesday.

The embattled Harrison, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Bakersfield, was the subject of multiple investigations after allegations of sexual misconduct emerged against him in April 2019. The authorities declined to file criminal charges.

Harrison has since filed several defamation suits, including against the diocese. Bishop Joseph Brennan asked him to drop the suit.

Harrison’s lawyers say her client has no intention of doing this.

“Given the bishop’s explicit threats and escalating, unreasonable and impossible demands, Monsignor Harrison expects this decision to result in immediate and unjust punishment from Bishop Brennan,” the press release said. “We believe that Bishop Brennan has become so personally involved in this case that he will never voluntarily offer Monsignor Harrison fairness or due process.”

A date has not been set for the next hearing on the lawsuit, which was moved from Bakersfield to Fresno.

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