After sex-abuse settlement, priest to leave ministry with payout from diocese.

Monterey County Weekly

By Sara Rubin

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Catholic priest removed from leading the Old Mission San Juan following allegations of sexual abuse is preparing to leave the priesthood for good. But he may walk away with enough money to live on for the rest of his life. 

Lawyers for Father Edward Fitz-Henry and the Diocese of Monterey are hashing out the terms of a settlement over a lawsuit Fitz-Henry filed, according to Tom Riordan, vicar for temporalities and administration at the diocese, and Fitz-Henry’s attorney, Daniel De Vries. 

The priest claims the diocese failed to protect him against a 2011 sexual-abuse lawsuit. In February 2011, a young man identified in court papers only as John RJ Doe alleged Fitz-Henry sexually abused him as a teen at Madonna del Sasso parish in Salinas. Fitz-Henry never admitted wrongdoing, and the diocese maintains that John Doe’s allegations were unfounded. 

Still, the diocese settled a case for $500,000 in exchange for John Doe dropping his lawsuit.

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