Father Edward Fitz-Henry
Diocese of Monterey
Removed from active ministry: 2011
- 1985-1986: Special Assignment (Monterey, CA)
- 1986-1988: Madonna Del Sasso (Salinas, CA)
- 1988-1990: Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo (Monterey, CA)
- 1988-1990: Annunciation (Monterey, CA)
- 1990-1993: San Carlos Borromeo Basilica (Carmel, CA)
- 1990-1993: Francis of the Redwoods (Big Sur, CA)
- 1990-1993; Blessed Sacrament (Carmel, CA)
- 1992-1992: Servants of the Paraclete (Jemez Springs, NM)
- 1993-1995: San Luis Obispo (Old Mission) (San Luis Obispo, CA)
- 1995-2005: San Juan Bautista (Old Mission (San Juan Batista, CA)
- 2005-2007: Madonna Del Sasso (Salinas, CA)
- 1996-2011: San Benito County Sheriff’s Dept. (San Benito, CA)
- 2007-2011: San Juan Bautista (Old Mission) (San Juan Batista, CA)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Edward Fitz-Henry:
In 1985, Fr. Edward Fitz-Henry was ordained in Ireland and then started building his assignment history in the United States. In 2010, Fitz-Henry was celebrated for having been a priest of the Diocese of Monterey for 25 years. Just a year later, Fitz-Henry was suspended for having two sexual abuse allegations against him.
One incident took place in 2005 when Fitz-Henry was at Madonna del Sasso Church in Salinas, California. Police were contacted immediately and there was a private investigator to do an internal investigation. The PI ended up finding evidence of an incident that took place about 20 years prior.
Altar Boy and Fitz-Henry
According to media reports, a former 14-year-old altar boy and choir member filed a lawsuit against a popular Catholic priest who served for almost two decades at churches in Salinas and San Juan Bautista, alleging the cleric molested him from 2004 to 2005. Fr. Edward Fitz-Henry denied all allegations against him but was still suspended.
To begin with, the encounter was described as the priest asking unsolicited questions about the boy’s sexual activity and preferences and then encouraged him to act on homosexual urges, according to the suit. Fr. Edward Fitz-Henry allegedly began hugging the teen, then touching him under his clothing. Lastly, according to the plaintiff, Fr. Edward Fitz-Henry cornered the boy in a church restroom and tried to force the boy to perform a sexual act. During the incident in the restroom, there was a struggle at one point and the boy was able to run away.
In 2012, there was a civil suit that resulted in a $500,000 settlement. Shockingly, Fitz-Henry sued the diocese afterward and settled as well.
In 1992, there was another allegation involving “a non-sexual boundary violation” against Fitz-Henry that took place at Carmel Mission in California. Allegedly, there was a settlement between the diocese and the victim’s family. According to the plaintiff’s attorney, the diocese knew about the allegation and Fitz-Henry’s propensity for child molestation, but they covered it up, leaving the new victim vulnerable to abuse.
As of 2011, Fitz-Henry has remained suspended and removed from ministry and has since been laicized. The former priest was last seen living in Hollister, Ireland. Fr. Fitz-Henry’s name appeared on the Diocese of Monterey’s 2019 List of Credibly Accused Clergy of Sexual Abuse.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Monterey in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in one of California’s Catholic dioceses, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Monterey now have legal options due to a voluntary compensation fund created by the Diocese of Monterey, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help.