Valley Catholic priest Monsignor Craig Harrison announces resignation

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Central Valley Catholic priest is resigning after two years of dealing with a defamation lawsuit.

"I am announcing that I am resigning as the pastor of Saint Francis parish. I submitted a letter to His Holiness, Pope Francis resigning as a Catholic priest," Monsignor Craig Harrison said in a statement on Thursday.

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The legal action he faced stemmed from statements made about sexual abuse allegations against him.

One of those suits was filed against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno. Allegations were also investigated in Kern and Merced counties.

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So far, authorities in Bakersfield, Fresno and Merced have declined to file any criminal charges against Harrison.
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