Former priest Jonathan Morris appears to remain a Fox News contributor.
According to The Messenger, Morris is not a defendant in what appears to be a negligence lawsuit against the Archdiocese of New York and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in the Bronx but is described as a “relevant non-party.”
I’ve never been a fan of Morris, but he never struck me as predatory. Nevertheless, the accusations are quite serious.
The sexual assault allegedly began when Morris arrived at the new apartment of a former parishioner, after having offered to bless it. After counseling the woman, she alleges this happened, in 2016, as per The Messenger:
At one point, Morris allegedly put his hand on the woman's thigh and said they should move to the couch, where he told her, "We can have kids," according to court papers.
The woman claims she was shocked and told him, "You are a priest," to which Morris allegedly responded that "people think I don’t know what women want, but I do, they want power just not too much power."
He then allegedly lightly pulled the woman's hair, kissed her on the mouth and laid down on top of her.
After asking for a condom, which the woman didn't have, "Father Morris then proceeded to have sexual intercourse with Plaintiff without her consent and to her great shock," according to court papers.
The woman reportedly alleged Morris had non-consensual sex with her five more times, in 2016 and 2017, not just in her apartment but in his apartment in the church rectory.
Morris left the priesthood in 2019. As we reported at the time, he issued a statement that said he had been struggling with “the commitments that the Catholic priesthood demands, especially not being able to marry and have a family.” He noted that his decision was “not about an existing relationship” but “peace and spiritual freedom.”
A year later, we learned he had married an ABC News producer.
(Morris image via screen grab)
At least it wasn’t little children, I guess.