Victim Rights March08

Monsignor Craig Harrison delivers the invocation at the Liberty Bell downtown during a Victims Rights March.

Monsignor Craig Harrison made a statement Thursday through his representation regarding accusations of sexual misconduct during his career in Firebaugh, Merced and Bakersfield.

Here is Harrison's full statement:

"I will be returning to my home in Bakersfield shortly to assist my attorney in proving my innocence. I am innocent of all accusations.

It's been nearly a month since I was forced to leave my beloved parish and my Bakersfield home. Each day has been agonizing. I continue to be lifted up by the support from my community through your letters, phone calls, emails and most importantly your prayers.

Over the past four weeks I have been waiting to hear anything about the allegations against me from the Diocese and for the opportunity to share my side. The last contact I had with the Fresno Diocese was on April 24 when I was called to the Bishop's office and told there were allegations against me. That day my ability to share Mass with my parishioners was suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

It is with deep sadness that I have come to the realization that this is a battle that I am left to fight without support from the Diocese. Over the past month, while the Diocese investigated the accusations against me, they never once reached out to me for my side. In fact, neither Bishop Ochoa, Bishop Brennan nor any member of the Diocese has checked on my state of mind or welfare. I have not been invited to respond or provide evidence to the Diocese. Out of respect for the investigation, I have remained silent.

I feel compelled to address the latest in a series of false accusations. The claims of Ryan Dixon have been heartbreaking because they involve false, defamatory, and slanderous charges by a man who is supposedly a member of the religious. I have never done any of the things that he has said. When I first met him, he was in his twenties and seeking to become a Catholic. Like so many he came from a difficult background and broken relationships. He sought the solace of the faith and considered a vocation to the priesthood. He had been the focus of negative publicity and was seeking a new path. Throughout his time at the church, he drank socially and frequently, and I would caution him to remember he represented the church and he must get that behavior under control.

Things came to a head in our relationship on a pilgrimage to Rome. Two seminarians, two Sisters of Mercy, two friends of the seminarian's and I went to visit the Vatican. Ryan continued to drink excessively and embarrassed himself with his crude language and behavior. I reprimanded him and that day he left in anger. I have had little contact with him since, other than to encourage him in his faith path. He, like all other seminarians, priests, and religious are mandated reporters and are taught the rules of safe environment by the Diocese of Fresno. He was obligated to report any misconduct at the time and would have never suffered any consequence for following the rules. He did not report because nothing happened. Since the allegations were made by Ryan Dixon, I have received contacts by numerous people who wish to come forward and offer more information regarding Ryan Dixon's behavior. My attorney and team will continue to work diligently to prove the falsity of these accusations. My attorney has been contacted by numerous people who were told by Ryan Dixon to make sure to watch the news the night his allegations were made public. He called again after that to ask what they thought about how he did on the news. Whatever his motivations might be, his allegations are completely false. Thank you for your continued prayers."


(20) comments


There has to be a way to avoid putting your young teenage son in this position? Hmmm? Umm, DON'T JOIN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH! Naw, we'll roll the dice. How may times have we heard "Our Priest is the best! He would never!" I have a close relative who is a paying member (you know, they EXPECT you to give a part of your paycheck when the money could be going toward your children's college fund but instead it's going to the Church's lawyers or for a new house when they transfer the latest pedafile). "You'll like this one Monsingor, it has a lockable basement just as requested."He was actually married by this guy. Seemed nice but of course at the time of the marriage I think I was out of preferred age range. Join the religion with the magic underwear or the one the forces your daughter to have an abortion. You must say, today's religion (well, I guess religion since the idea was invented) gives us some great choices.

Fram Smith

Some comments on this article are made by people who do not live here and are payed to say nonsense. RUMUDA, by his own admission, is one such individual. BE ADVISED!
But for us folks who actually live here, ( as opposed to those like RUMUDA who lives in St. Petersburg, attends universitiy there, and have a part- time I.R.A. for crappy wages),
Father Craig has every right to defend himself. But it really doesn't matter in this community where it would appear that nearly everyone has made up their mind , and simply can not be bothered to wait for the results of a professional law enforcement investigation. To all of who have made a determination of this man's guilt or innocence, may Linda Blair projectile vomit, all over you.


noun: scandal-monger
a person who stirs up public outrage toward someone or their actions by spreading rumors or malicious gossip.
synonyms: gossip, muckraker, tattler; rare >> quidnunc, calumniator
You below . . . (and above) . . . you know who you are . . .


This isn’t malicious gossip it’s multiple allegations from numerous people. Lots of smoke...

Concerned Citizen of Bakersfield

Hahahahahaha....a mentally ill apologist for the fake priest pedo! This town is full of them


Craig painting himself as a victim is very interesting, The article to me and his words reek of guilt. FC- slamming his bosses and subtly calling the monk an alcoholic is classic deflection. I have a feeling that a lot of people are going to be disappointed when this abuse of power story comes to a conclusion. Prayers to all of the victims in this case.


The best defense is a good offense, you can become President that way


Fr. Craig certainly went on the offensive here. He scorched not only Brother Gilligan, but his hierarchs as well. Interesting strategy on his part...


Who told him to leave town? Didn’t a few Monsignors come to his defense in print, but no one has checked up on him? Who hired two criminal attorneys in a heartbeat and skipped town?


So just because someone has accusations against them they're instantly guilty? The diocese is too busy handing out checks to the accusers rather than stand behind their clergy. Innocent until proven otherwise. That's how it's supposed to work folks.

Muhammad Fatwa al Jihad

Father Craig is ready to run for President with a defense like that.


"I am not a crook" - RN
"Mission Accomplished" - GB
"Trade wars are easy" - Village idiot (DJT)



Susan S

Why is TBC publishing this?

Gene Pool Chlorinator

So, the TBC should only publish accusations? How about the fact that an accused person has the right to be heard as well?

Susan S

Since when does an accused person get to write their own column explaining how they’re getting the shaft?

Gene Pool Chlorinator

Making a statement, which is then picked up by all local media and published on their own platforms, is not the same as writing your own column. I don't remember seeing Harrison listed as a staffer for TBC. Nice try!


Richard Beene is “ talking about Harrison “ on Fridays show tomorrow. What’s the likelihood he will be there in person to save himself!!!! He’s not coming to town to help his lawyers, he’s coming to appear on a show, just saying. And I agree, No One gets their own article except Craig Harrison!!


I will continue to pray for justice. If there is no justice in this life, I am content to know that there will certainly be justice in the next.


Very strange from defense lawyer: There is a cabal out to frame Harrison. Dude. Cabal? Ok I can see a money grab attempt by a rogue or even two. But a cabal? Good gravy! Yeah. Like cabals just coalesce magically out of thin air and plot to frame an innocent pillar of the community Kyle Humphrey S.T.O.P. It. That’s just plain silly. Stick to other defense strategies n tactics. This one is killing me bro.

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