Michael A. Harris

Ordained: 1972

A principal at several Catholic high schools throughout the Diocese of Orange, Father Michael Harris abruptly left his position as the principal of Santa Margarita High School in 1994 after it was alleged that he sexually abused a former student. The former student encountered Harris when he was the principal of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, CA, in the 1980s. A few months after his departure from Santa Margarita, another former student from Mater Dei came forward to accuse Harris of sexual abuse. More survivors came forward and lawsuits continued over the following years. As of 2005, the Diocese of Orange had paid $17.62 million to settle lawsuits regarding abuse allegedly perpetrated by Harris. According to a list released by the Diocese of Orange in 2016, Harris has been laicized through canonical process.

Father Harris's Assignments

St. Polycarp1975..1975
St. CeciliaTustin, CA1976..1976
Mater Dei High SchoolSanta Ana, CA1977..1986
Santa Margarita High SchoolRancho Santa Margarita, CA1987..1994
Inactive Leave1995..2001