DuBOIS — A DuBois priest has been ordered to refrain from public ministry after a civil harassment suit was resolved by both parties out of court.
A civil complaint had been filed against the Diocese of Erie and St. Joseph Parish and St. Michael the Archangel Parish in DuBois in U.S. District Court in May 2016, saying that Fr. Daniel Kresinski had sexually harassed an employee of the church.
The plaintiff, Kathleen A. Clement, 60, said in the suit that Kresinski repeatedly touched himself inappropriately in her presence and that his superiors did nothing to stop his behavior despite her complaints.
Kresinski had been serving St. Michael the Archangel Church and St. Joseph Church, both in DuBois, starting there in March 2013, about the same time as Clement.
Kresinski created “an offensive, sexually hostile work environment” from March 2013 until October 2013, when Clement resigned as a facilitator of religious programs for St. Joseph and two other parishes, according to the suit.
Clement claims she was forced to resign in October 2013 because the diocese and St. Joseph failed to “address or remedy” what she claims was the sexually hostile work environment, according to the suit.
Also, according to the suit, after Clement resigned, Bishop Lawrence T. Persico “told Clement that he did not want her to contact the press with her complaint and asked her to sign a nondisclosure agreement, which Clement declined to sign.”
Clement sued after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission favorably reviewed her complaint and gave her a “right-to-sue letter.”
The parties have reached a resolution to the case, but neither side can comment further because of a mutual confidentiality clause.
Online court documents do not provide details about what that settlement entailed.
The Catholic Diocese of Erie had placed a Kresinski on paid administrative leave in response to the federal suit.
“To provide the faithful clarity concerning the status of Father Daniel Kresinski, Bishop Lawrence Persico brought the matter to the Clergy Review Board for consideration,” a press release issued by the Erie Diocese Monday said.
“The bishop has accepted its recommendation that Father Kresinski refrain from public ministry until further notice for the good order of the church.”