Monterey Diocese Settles Lawsuit against Priest in Sex Abuse Case
February 17, 2012
SALINAS, Calif- The Diocese of Monterey says that it has settled a lawsuit against Fr. Edward Fitz-Henry. The Diocese paid $500,000 to settle the lawsuit but in the settlement they do not admit to any liability.
In the lawsuit the victim claims that he was the victim of Fitz-Henry between 2005 and 2007 when he was a parishioner at Madonna del Sasso parish. Because of the allegations, Bishop Garcia suspended Fr. Fitz-Henry from ministry and the church conducted an internal investigation.
While investigating the 2005 incident the church claims to have found out about an incident in 1992. In a statement the Diocese said that before the investigation it thought that the 1992 incident was just a "non-sexual boundary violation involving a minor."
After presenting some new evidence in the 1992 incident to the Diocesan Independent Review Board, the church decided that the 1992 incident was a credible violation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People."
Fr. Fitz-Henry is still suspended from ministry and the Diocese will send this case to Rome in a few weeks.
The Diocese also says that Fr. Edward Fitz-Henry has filed a cross claim against the Bishop of Monterey. "It is unfortunate that Fr. Fitz-Henry has decided to take this action in the civil courts. Civil courts do not have jurisdiction in internal Church governance. The Diocese will promptly move for a dismissal of this cross claim," released the Diocese in a statement.