BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — During a press briefing held by the Law Offices of Kyle J. Humphrey, who represent Monsignor Craig Harrison in multiple civil defamation lawsuits, lawyers representing the priest said they do not think Harrison will be reinstated.
Harrison, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church, has filed three defamation lawsuits relating to statements made about sexual abuse allegations against him. One of those suits was filed against The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno and the Diocese spokeswoman for defamation stemming from statements made against Harrison in a 2019 article in KQED.
"With this current bishop and the attitude that's been displayed, I would be shocked if there's any opportunity at all for him to ever return," Humphrey said.
Harrison's attorney said that since the filing of the lawsuit, Harrison has received threats from Bishop Joseph Brennan to drop his lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno. Humphrey said Brennan has ordered Harrison not to pray in public or with others and ordered him not to act in any capacity as a priest.
"I think by us releasing this information and telling the bishop publicly that we will not sit back while you bully and retaliate, the monsignor's suffering is at the greatest I've seen it," Humphrey said. "Because he knows that he has opened the door through his faith as a person to draconian, unjust and corrupt measures by the bishop."
Along with the lawsuit filed against the Fresno Diocese, Harrison has filed defamation lawsuits against a Catholic monk and against the organization Roman Catholic Faithful and its founder Stephen Brady.
Allegations against Harrison were investigated in Kern County, Merced County and Fresno County. No authorities have moved to file charges against the monsignor.