Fr. Craig Harrison, in an emotional announcement, steps away from priesthood


February 18, 2021

By Robert Price

Monsignor Craig Harrison’s battle of almost two years with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno appears to have come to a close — at least in the most meaningful sense.

Harrison announced Thursday he is leaving the priesthood.

It was an emotional day for Harrison, both difficult and liberating. After almost two years of limbo — suspended by the Diocese over allegations of sexual impropriety and barred from even the appearance of performing priestly duties — Harrison, pastor of Bakersfield’s St. Francis of Assisi Church, surrounded by family and his team of attorneys — announced he was moving on.

It’s time, he said, to re-engage with the community, even if it’s without his clerical collar.

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