20190606-bc-pricecol (copy)

Monsignor Craig Harrison during a June interview.

Monsignor Craig Harrison filed a defamation lawsuit Thursday against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno and Teresa Dominguez, the chancellor/director of communications for the diocese.

According to a news release sent by Harrison’s attorneys, the lawsuit alleges Dominguez made defamatory statements on behalf of the Fresno Diocese in a May 2019 article on the website KQED.org. The lawsuit was filed in Kern County Superior Court.

Representatives of the diocese did not return messages seeking comment Thursday. 

The lawsuit states that in the May 19, 2019, article, Dominguez said she visited the house of one of Harrison’s alleged victims to apologize. According to the lawsuit, Dominguez said she personally expressed her concern for the alleged victim and told him that she believed him and apologized for the pain the alleged incident caused.

“I told him that I will support him and be an advocate for him in any way that I can,” Dominguez said, according to the lawsuit. 

The lawsuit says that because of the “aforementioned false, defamatory, libelous and slanderous statements, plaintiff Craig Harrison has sustained general and non-economic damages for past present and future emotional distress, anxiety, shame, humiliation, and mortification all to his general damage in an amount according to proof.”

"When an employee is falsely accused of being a child abuser and the employer says, 'I believe the accuser,' that’s defamatory under California law," said one of Harrison's attorneys, Craig Edmonston.

In April, Harrison was placed on administrative leave by the Fresno Diocese after it announced it had received a report of sexual misconduct that allegedly happened three decades ago. Following that announcement, the diocese received more allegations and the alleged victims were instructed to file police reports to the agency where the alleged abuse occurred.

The diocese also is undertaking its own investigation of Harrison, which has not yet been completed.

Harrison has denied all the allegations made against him. He fought back by filing two defamation lawsuits last year — one against Steven Brady, a Catholic activist, and another against Ryan Dixon, who worked alongside Harrison at St. Francis Church in Bakersfield.

Recommended for you

(28) comments




As a Mature Man newly returned to California after many years former parishioner of a Church in the Bay Area and now shopped around Bakersfield, I understand why more People under 30 are turning away from RELIGION Period. Ultimately, I see power struggles in Churches n Priests in Charge, and Wardens of Churches are nothing more than a Sinner like me. People need to cut the Power trip and realize,.. Not every new church seeker to your Church is a Thief or a Wrong doer..Accusations and insinuations are continuous, be you a Msgr, a new comer or an old timer .... Priests need to STOP and give new comers more attention to get to know them,.. Seems Satan is forever at work trying to Steal relationships that are new in Christs name[innocent] In this matter, be it known, The Courts are overwhelmed, but it is easier to get into heaven by God , than thru Petty Earthly Deceit. He sais, she said,.. It should be thru the PRIEST in Charge to Be Overly responsible and monitor anything about new comers . Watch detail,.. Witness anything done or said in reference to a new comer. TAKE TIME to get to know that new comer,.. Dont be TOO BUSY. This Legal Discussion should have never elevated this far. God sees everything and sees all.


If he's innocent, good for him. If he's not innocent....most narcissistic move ever. May justice prevail.


When in Rome...


As a graduate of Garces, we were taught to forgive and pray for wrongdoers and not seek-out revenge. How come Father Craig Harrison does not forgive the wrongdoers and pray for their soul and move on in life. Instead he is pursuing lawsuits and revenge. This goes against everything we were taught at Garces.


You were taught well. "If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints?.........But instead, one brother goes to law against another--and this in front of unbelievers! The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?" 1 Cor. 6:1,6-7.

Jerry Todd

You're making some powerful assumptions. That has certainly been done. Lawsuits are not necessarily revenge. He's a priest forever under the order of Melchizedek. He should have his faculties restored. Do you want him to be forced to move away from the priesthood over these accusations? Jesus said he was meek and humble of heart. Meekness means to act with restraint when you have the power to do otherwise. It is time he exercises power over his detractors. (I hate this as much as you do.)


Melchizedek? Really?


For what my minuscule view matters, exactly absolute zero, believe Catholic Priests should be permitted to marry. (Some men may want to others not). Women should also be permitted to serve as Catholic Priests. As to the law suit believe: Father Craig is innocent, and two innocence doesn’t mean people can’t say false things, e.g., honest false memories sometimes happen, And especially if one is a public figure like the most famous priest in Bakersfield, expect to be a target? Father Craig is Great/Amazing, as is the First Amendment. Case which, predict, be decided on SLAPP grounds, and then, if not, a settlement, and if not a traumatically tragic formalized claims and denials that twelve (flawed beings) will be required to rule on.

All Star

I am so tired reading about this guy. Please go away.

Comment deleted.
Jerry Todd

Being credible is almost a sure thing when coached by attorneys in the business of suing institutions or their leaders. Is it possible any person close to children has temptations and even yields to them? Of course. Bad enough, but it comes down to he says she says. Not sufficient to destroy a priest or teacher or scout leader's life. A book just came out on Amazon that covers the subject well documented. Hope the Editor leaves this link in. https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Money-Allegations-Mirrored-Betrayal/dp/167739109X/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=Blood+Money+by+Tammylyne+Voelzke&qid=1582252280&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Jerry Todd

I've been a loyal Catholic all my life. My wife and I have been friends of Msgr Craig for over 25 years and have followed his amazing career. My late wife was nominated twice for Catholic School Principal of the Year nationally by our Diocese. I will remain a loyal Catholic in spite of its administrators and possibly the Bishop's fear of them.

It is my hope the Diocese would come to its senses and remember the mission Christ put her on. It's hard sometimes when the folks in charge of the day to day do more to stifle evangelization than encourage it.

We are in interesting times when priests and Presidents are vilified and drawn away from their service to God and Country, often by leaders and naysayers who claim to be Catholic.. "For lack of vision my people perish (parish)."


Ditto . . . !


Leave Presidents out of it. The current one raw dog's porn stars and pays hush money. Drawn away from God? He's never been anywhere near God. Boy you "Christians" cant sure overlook a lot when it suits your purposes.

Jerry Todd

The genius speaks again.You know he's never been anywhere near God? Is it possible a young, handsome multimillionaire with great charisma would never attract gold diggers and Jezebels? For the progressive (I use the term while choking), it is difficult because they have never sinned, never apologized, never had bad thoughts, never loved. Jesus said, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Gossipers are high on the list.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

Has your mommy given you access to her laptop again???



Masked 2020

living in the Age of Trump...a priest sues.........


" . . . it is difficult to argue with 'the stupid', since they tend to have so much more experience at being 'the stupid'."


Soooooo? When Bush was President a guy sued Microsoft because the fbi was still able to get incriminating evidence when he tried to delete it.

Jerry Todd

Don't know about Bush, but Obama weaponized the FBI against conservatives. Took a child molestation complaint against Huma Abedin, Hillary's Muslim Brotherhood Senior Advisor's husband's laptop to discover 18,000 missing emails.

In Mshr Craig's situation it's all based on hearsay, well funded by shyster law firms to get a piece of the Church's budget to serve the poor, need and in need of Christ.

St. Thomas Aquinas once said, "It takes two things to act righteously, a righteous heart and the means to act righteously." Means nothing to those who see deep pockets in this litigious society.


That's a lie about Obama. He has been criticized himself for not doing enough about Russian interference in the 2016 election. He did NOT want to politicize our intelligence agencies and so he stayed out of it.

Get your head out of Fox News for 5 minutes and learn some facts.


The only president who did less while in office than W Bush was Obama. I would include Carter, but he only did one term. Barry was a very good orator and did his best to stay away from controversies and tough decisions. He didn’t get the nickname no drama Obama because he was a go getter. Even the people that worked for them and were on good terms have said as much.

The new comment

Moardeeb, It is not a lie; you're lying to yourself.

Former Obama administration director of national intelligence James Clapper admitted that former president Barack Obama gave the order to Peter Strzok to kick off his Operation Crossfire Hurricane targeting of President Donald Trump.

Obama — who also gave a stand-down order on stopping alleged Russian hacking — was personally implicated in the plot according to Peter Strzok and Lisa Page’s texts. Clapper confirms the obvious.

This is James Clapper’s interview with Anderson Cooper, which confirms that Obama ordered Strzok to carry out an Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA), which became the basis for the entire Mueller probe.

“If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today, notably Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place,” Clapper said in his Anderson Cooper interview.

You should stop watching nothing but MSNBC; and if you do watch CNN, where this interview took place, maybe you should open your ears and pay better attention.


What a moronic diatribe.

Sheer garbled n putrid falsehoods.

None of what you wrote has even one iota of truth to it.

How ya like the fake news weapon now Smarty-pants. Lol

Gene Pool Chlorinator

I'm pretty sure priests have sued people before 2016...

Gene Pool Chlorinator

Mrknowitall- I actually used to enjoy reading your posts, but lately you've stooped to the kindergarten level of Dweeb. Raise the bar- you're better than that...



Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.