Fresno Diocese issues statement regarding Craig Harrison resigning from the priesthood

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FRESNO, Calif. (KGET) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno released a statement Friday afternoon regarding Craig Harrison’s announcement he will be leaving the priesthood.

The statement comes a day after Harrison, who was the subject of criminal investigations into alleged sexual misconduct, and has sued the Diocese, among others, said he must resign because the Diocese has shown him no support, failed to allow him to present evidence of his innocence, and refused to allow him to perform any priestly duties and be of service to the community.

No charges were filed against Harrison following the investigations.

The release from the Diocese reads as follows:

“The Most Reverend Joseph V. Brennan, Bishop of the Diocese of Fresno received notice on
February 18, 2021 that Reverend Monsignor Craig Fr. Harrison has petitioned the Holy See for
dispensation from the obligations of the clerical state and resignation as Pastor of Saint
Francis of Assisi Church in Bakersfield, California.

“Msgr. Harrison’s petition and resignation have been accepted and the Diocese of Fresno will
begin the necessary canonical processes associated with these requests. The Diocese of
Fresno will not provide any further comment in an effort to preserve the privacy of all parties
concerned and because of the ongoing civil matter involving the parties.

“Laicization of a priest, whether requested by the cleric or by a bishop, is always a difficult and
even a sad moment in the Church. It is accompanied by a broad spectrum of emotions and
much prayerfulness on the part of all concerned. This is true not only before the process has
begun, but also long after its conclusion. God help us all.

“May the grace of Christ that abides within each baptized Christian accomplish the will of the
One who is the giver of all blessings.”

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