Craig Harrison settles lawsuit against Roman Catholic Bishop of Fresno

Bakersfield Californian (

July 18, 2022

Former monsignor Craig Harrison settled a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Bishop of Fresno and its former spokeswoman after accusing them of defamation. The case was dismissed Monday, according to the docket for the California 5th District Court of Appeal.

A Fresno County judge had first dismissed the lawsuit against the diocese and former spokeswoman Teresa Dominguez in May 2021 after Harrison claimed Dominguez’s comments during a May 2019 interview with KQED in which she talked about Harrison’s alleged victim of abuse were defamatory. Harrison then appealed the ruling, and the docket shows a notice of a settlement filed last month.

Harrison’s attorney filed a dismissal, and that request was granted Monday. The docket notes the case is “complete.”

Attorneys for both Harrison and the defendants did not return a request for comment Monday.

Harrison has denied any wrongdoing.

The diocese had argued Dominguez’s speech was protected by the First Amendment. Fresno Judge Kristi Culver Kapetan said the spokeswoman’s statements were opinion, according to The Californian’s previous reporting.

Dominguez said during the KQED interview she had expressed concern for Harrison’s alleged victim, apologized for his pain and vowed to support the person, according to The Californian’s previous reporting.

Harrison has filed two separate lawsuits also alleging defamation. The first is against his former mentee Ryan Dixon and the second is against Stephen Brady, the president for activist group Roman Catholic Faithful. Those lawsuits are ongoing, according to the 5th District Court of Appeal.

Harrison resigned as the pastor at St. Francis in February 2021.