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Black Sheep Dog or BLACK WOLF?

SOLT PRESS RELEASE – July 5, 2011

HOW IT STARTED

Father Corapi made his first announecment in March 2011:

On Ash Wednesday I learned that a former employee sent a three-page letter to several bishops accusing me of everything from drug addiction to multiple sexual exploits with her and several other adult women. I have been placed on “administrative leave” as the result of this… All of the allegations in the complaint are false, and I ask you to pray for all concerned.

EWTN removed his programs from the cable network:

In EWTN’s thirty years of existence, the Network has never knowingly aired programming featuring any priest whose priestly faculties have been suspended. The Network has always responded consistently and immediately in such situations by removing such programs from the air. We are obliged to do so in obedience to the discipline of the Church. Father John has long been a friend of EWTN and many of us have worked closely with him throughout the years. He is a tremendously gifted preacher who has led many souls to Christ. We are doing exactly as he has asked and supporting him and everyone involved in the situation in the best way possible, through our prayers.

Many of us were unfamiliar with the nature of his SOLT religious community:

The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity is a community of disciples of Jesus and Mary composed of all vocations: priests, deacons, brothers, sisters and single and married laity. The Society was founded in 1958 and has been approved by Rome as a Society of Apostolic Life. ‎Ecclesial Teams are the basis of our community life as well as the means by which our missions are staffed. A complete Ecclesial Team is composed of at least one priest, religious and lay person or married couple. At the present, the International Headquarters of Our Lady’s Society is located in the United States, in the city of Robstown, Texas under the Diocesan jurisdiction of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas. In looking forward to when The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity achieves Pontifical Status within the Church, the International Offices will be transferred at that time to Rome, Italy.

There was a clarification from the lucrative company, Santa Cruz Media, over which Fr. Corapi was identified as the CEO:

Santa Cruz Media, Inc. is the owner of all of Fr. John Corapi’s intellectual property and the DVDs, CDs, and books that flow from it. We are a secular corporation and not affiliated with the Catholic Church in any way. As such, we are not under the jurisdiction of any bishop or other official in the Catholic Church, although we have the utmost respect for Church authority.

Here is my FACEBOOK comment from March 2011:

FATHER JOE: Priests are men under authority. Fr. Corapi, himself, says that they cannot play games with their promise of obedience and others should respect this. If Father Corapi’s faculties have been removed and his ministry suspended, then EWTN was morally required to take the action they did. Hopefully the matter will be resolved and he will be restored to his place on television and radio. Having said this, the sale of media (audio, video, web and print) would also fall under “ministry.” Given the situation, Fr. Corapi could certainly require Santa Cruz Media, Inc. (an extension of his ministry) to suspend sales and distribution of his materials. I suspect that the good priest is innocent, but there is much to which we are not privy. Prayer is our proper posture at this time, not ridicule of episcopal jurisdiction in the Catholic Church.

WHERE IT STANDS NOW

ON JUNE 17, 2011 AN ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE BY FATHER CORAPI THAT HE WOULD CONTINUE MINISTRY BUT NOT AS A PRIEST IN GOOD STANDING. IT IS A VERY SAD DAY.

FATHER JOE:

(June 2011)  I have not blogged about this matter until now and I am not comfortable about posting on it.  This issue has gone beyond Father Corapi and could harm the very souls for whom he has confessed concern.  Already on the social network sites, his fans are taking sides with him and attacking the Church. This has quickly become a very dangerous situation, another reason why cult worship of religious media personalities should be discouraged. Our faith is in Jesus and the Church, not in preachers with impressive rhetoric and militant attitudes.

This business has gone sour and Father Corapi, as much as I hate to say it, is duplicitous in saying (on one hand) that the bishops have a right to do what they are doing and then (on the other) to malign them for violating his rights and daring to impose discipline upon him. He is a priest and cannot pretend to be anything else, as with this pathetic “black sheep dog” foolishness. His failure to shut down his multimillion dollar business was an early sign that he would not obey the demand of the bishops to suspend public ministry. Now he is taking it to the next level. Faithful Catholics have no choice; in tears and anguish, we must leave Father Corapi. Pray for him but do not participate in his pretense of obedience while he is actually disobedient. True humility would have him submit and accept the Cross. His obstinancy insists that no one will tell him what to do– that was the trouble with his independence all along.  More grievous than any genuine or false indiscretion with a woman, the skirting or outright violation of obedience is the greatest possible failing for any priest.  Everything from his assignments to the moral life is covered in his fidelity to the Church and Christ.  He is to discern God’s will in his obedience to the bishop and his superiors.  Evidently, he has become a dissenter on the nature of priesthood and its obligations, as well as upon Catholic ecclesiology.   While on “administrative leave,” a suspended priest can neither preach nor teach religion; his intention to do so anyway would be a movement toward the Protestant camp, no matter what the message.

REMARKS ON HIS STATEMENT

FATHER CORAPI:  All things change, only God stays the same, so I have to tell you about a major change in my life. I am not going to be involved in public ministry as a priest any longer. There are certain persons in authority in the Church that want me gone, and I shall be gone. I have been guilty of many things in the course of my life, and could easily and justifiably be considered unfit to engage in public ministry as a priest.

FATHER JOE:  The problem is that priesthood is not merely a job we can change or a hat we can trade for another. Even if the priest is laicized, he is configured to Christ as a priest, forever. If he cannot engage in public ministry, then he cannot do so in any fashion, even if he drops his priestly title or goes under a pseudonym as in a superhero’s secret identity. [It is rarely permitted, but sometimes a laicized priest can give religious instructions with permission of the bishop if it is generally not known that he was a priest and no scandal would result.  Fr. Corapi is too well known for this exception ever to apply.]  The label “Black Sheep Dog” is a literary fiction without meaning. It says nothing that would grant him an escape from Church censure. He is a suspended priest who has no faculties for preaching or publicly teaching the faith. That means he cannot do it— even on the Internet or with books or with audio/visual media. If the Church authorities want him gone, and it is uncertain who he really means, then he should pursue his canonical rights in private. He has opted not to do this. Suspensions can take a year or more to resolve. He did not last three months! That is hardly the image of a tough former Special Forces military man. (But wait, we found that this part of his biography was a fabrication. We will let that fact check go given his more serious troubles.) Of course, he may acknowledge one important grain of truth; he may indeed be “unfit to engage in public ministry as a priest.” It should be said that all priests are unworthy.  The best of priests fall short.  If he were sincere then he should fight for his priesthood, no matter how much time it might take to be restored to ministry or good standing.  However, such must be done within the system and among the fraternity of his brother priests.  He should hold his tongue about how he feels about the process and treat the bishop, his superiors and the Church with trusting respect.  A priest who caricaturizes the Church as the enemy is burning his bridges.  These latest remarks have ignited a fiery inferno.  Fame and fortune should mean nothing to a good and humble priest.  He might argue that the Church has forced his hand, but every faithful priest knows this not true.  The laity may not clearly understand this situation.  Our lives and obligations are very different.  He may want to step away from his priesthood, but a priest he is, and that means that any public ministry without ecclesial approbation will be PROTESTANT ministry, not Catholic.

FATHER CORAPI:  I did not start this process, the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas ordered my superiors, against their will and better judgment, to do it. He in fact threatened to release a reprehensible and libelous letter to all of the bishops if they did not suspend me.

FATHER JOE:  Notice how quickly Fr. Corapi uses the word libelous. Would he resort to the civil courts to punish any in the hierarchy who would dare challenge him, his importance and his resources? He says that he loves the Church and so I am hoping that he will not.  Nevertheless, are the assets of his “for profit” company fully his or do they belong to the Church?  I suspect they are in his name.  We might see a fight about this yet.  In his own mind, he is the Church’s great defender. He is Superman, Batman and the Green Lantern all rolled up into one. His fans echo his own conviction— “Oh how will the Church survive without him?” In truth, the Church will fare perfectly well without him. But, if he decides to pursue this BLACK SHEEP DOG nonsense, it is possible that he could inflict great harm upon the Church and cost good people their salvation. As for the bishop’s actions, it confirms what I suspected, that SOLT was impotent in reigning in this isolated Lone Ranger priest who had made religion into his own personal big business.  Let me be fair, he may not have started out expecting this happen.  But the media can make celebrities of anyone, even religious leaders.  When fans tell you that you are wonderful, their praise can be seductive and the person can become addicted to adulation.  This is deadly for the minister of God.  Everything we have is gift.  Every priest should be the poor man– the sinner who seeks to bring God’s mercy to other sinners.  Fr. Corapi did some incredible work.  My fear is that everything might now be undone.

FATHER CORAPI:  My canon lawyer and my civil lawyers have concluded that I cannot receive a fair and just hearing under the Church’s present process. The Church will conclude that I am not cooperating with the process because I refuse to give up all of my civil and human rights in order to hold harmless anyone who chooses to say defamatory and actionable things against me with no downside to them. The case may be on hold indefinitely, but my life cannot be.

FATHER JOE:  And who are these canon and civil lawyers? Was there an appeal to the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome? No, I doubt it. My suspicion is that Fr. Corapi refused to cooperate with the process. Maybe he never understood what the Catholic priesthood was really about? His promise of obedience was not selective and he had indeed surrendered certain rights. He promised celibacy and gave up an important natural right to marry. His overall promise of obedience meant that he would speak for the Church and not for himself on matters of faith and morals. In a negative way, it also meant that he would not speak if the Church so deemed. His faculties to say Mass, to hear Confessions, to preach and to publicly teach, all fell under lawful authority. He was to function as an extension of the Church and his bishop. Now he is claiming that such a promise of obedience conflicts with his “civil and human rights.”  He should reflect more intensely upon the biblical scene where Jesus washed the feet of his apostles.  The first must be last.  He was called to be a servant, not the Master.  Demanding large audiences and tens of thousands of dollars for talks is not the way of humble priests.  The Pope could give him a lesson.  We call the Holy Father the “Servant of the Servants of God.”  This word “servant” can be translated as SLAVE.  In any case, I guess Fr. Corapi wants his own version of freedom, but he will pay a terrible price for his alienation from the true Church.

FATHER CORAPI:  I shall continue, black sheep that I am, to speak; and sheep dog that I am, to guard the sheep—this time around not just in the Church, but also in the entire world. I am, indeed, not ready to be extinguished. Under the name “The Black Sheep Dog,” I shall be with you through radio broadcasts and writing.

FATHER JOE:  The sheep dog has no occupation separated from the chief shepherd or bishop. A dog that runs after the sheep on its own is not a true sheep dog, but rather we use another name for that canine… we call him a wolf. If people leave the Church or attack our bishops over this scandal then I would suggest that Fr. Corapi change the name of his blog and new label to BLACK WOLF. 

FATHER CORAPI:  I hope you stay with us and follow us into our new domain and name of “The Black Sheep Dog.” Through writing and broadcasting we hope to continue to dispense truth and hope to a world so much in need of it.

FATHER JOE:  Those who collaborate, defend and buy his products will be offering material support to a suspended priest. In other words, he will be making his sin, their own.

Dear Fr. Corapi, reconsider what you are planning to do.  Speaking as a brother priest, (if I were in your shoes), before bringing spiritual harm to others and scandal to the Church, I would have preferred to “quietly lie down and die.”   But in actuality, the Church is not asking you to do this.  We want you to live and to offer oblations for God’s people.  You are a priest and your prayers to heaven have power even if they are said from a lonely monastic cell.  You do not have to shout from the housetops  to be a good priest.  I know my words are critical and I might sound harsh, but I am thinking both of you and of your followers.  We all make mistakes.  We are all sinners.  Sometimes we speak out of turn.  We become frustrated and afraid.  Old demons try to reclaim us under new guises.  Be strong!  Be a man!  Be a priest!  Be a faithful son of the Church, no matter what the personal cost.     

The complete statement by Father Corapi is available on THE BLACK SHEEP DOG site.

CALLING BLACK SHEEP DOG BACK HOME

UPDATE

Joan Frawley Desmond writes a masterful and eye-opening article for the National Catholic Register (June 19) on the Fr. John Corapi scandal.  Not only his fans, but his dear friend retired Bishop Rene Gracida were apparently duped by the famous media priest.  Incardinated into the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), Fr. Gerard Sheehan, his religious superior, revealed that the process and investigation into possible misconduct was complicated by Fr. Corapi, himself.  The priest had gone ahead and filed a civil suit against the former employee who accused him of sexual misconduct.

“When she left the company, she signed a contract that she would not reveal anything that happened to her while she was at Santa Cruz Media. Fr. Corapi paid her for this. Father was suing her for a breach of contract.  In canon law, there can’t be any pressure on witnesses; they have to be completely free to speak. The investigation was compromised because of the pressure on the witnesses. There were other witnesses that also had signed non-disclosure agreements.  The canon lawyers were in a difficult situation, and Father does have his civil rights and he decided to follow his legal counsel, which he had a right to do.  We tried to continue the investigation without speaking to the principal witnesses.”

If innocent of wrongdoing, why did Fr. Corapi pay employees to sign a non-disclosure agreement?  About what were they not supposed to speak?  Evidently he did not like where things were going and so he sent SOLT in writing his resignation from “active ministry and religious life.”  This brought the investigation to an end.  This insures that no report will be published.  Fr. Sheehan noted that he sent him a letter in return asking for confirmation.

As I suspected, the society was offering him ways to save his priesthood and he decided not to do so.  He refused to leave Montana and live within a SOLT community.  He refused to meet or talk with his superior.  He refused to live according to their rule of life and the changes approved by the Holy Father.  It seems that his failure at obedience went far deeper than anyone could have imagined.  He maligned a Church that was very patient and fair with him.  He cast himself as the victim while orchestrating something entirely different behind the scenes.  It makes me want to weep and weep and weep.

His superior stated:

“We wanted him to come back to the community, and that would have meant leaving everything he has. It would have been a drastic change for him.  We will continue to move pastorally and charitably, taking steps to protect his good name.”

His autobiography, BLACK SHEEP DOG, was in the works for some time which indicates that this break from ministry as a priest was planned all along.

I mentioned earlier that this business brings into question the oversight or lack therefore over members by such societies.  Why was Fr. Corapi not living in conformity with SOLT’s 1994 constitution?  There is no good answer, except that the society looked the other way. Fr. Sheehan assures us that the rules will be enforced in the future:

 “The founder’s arrangement with Father Corapi was established before that time, when Father Flanagan believed that every mission should take care of its own needs.  Now, according to our constitution, a different way of life has been established for members. All the money we make is turned over to the society, which gives us an allowance.”

I also mentioned months ago on FACEBOOK that while his home and operations were in the Helena diocese, he had no faculties from the bishop to engage in ministry there.  This shows the depth of his free reign and lack of ecclesial supervision.  All the Church is insisting upon now is what should have been in place initially.  Despite what Fr. Corapi says against the bishop of Corpus Christi, the official diocesan news release stated “that SOLT authorities had initiated the action to temporarily remove him from active ministry.”

I suspect that Father (Mister?) Corapi will have a spin on these new revelations, with an appropriate marketing pitch for his media products and books.  This tragedy may make a cynic of me yet.  But I hope not, such is also not befitting a priest.

A PRAYER FOR FR. CORAPI

I have offered Mass and prayed for Father. There is a frenzy about this subject that I did not really anticipate and which makes me uncomfortable. We really need to love him. If he has disappointed us, we need to forgive him, too. Below is a prayer I will share with you. I sometimes compose my prayers and will be saying this regularly on his behalf. God bless you all!

Dear Heavenly Father,

We want to bring to you in prayer our beloved priest, Father John Corapi. It is hard to know what is going on and our trust has been sorely tried.

He has inspired us with his example of reform and instructed us with his sound Catholic teaching. He has proclaimed the Gospel without equivocation or apology. He quickly became a rock of truth in a world filled with compromise and deception. He defended the rights of the unborn when so many were silent. While the Church was rocked with scandals involving the clergy, here was a towering figure that seemed to epitomize both real manhood and priestly courage. We listened to him on the radio and watched him on television. While a few saw him in person, most of us came to know and to love him through the modern communications media. Millions had the opportunity to encounter him, and through him, the Christ whose kingdom is breaking into the world.

We desperately wanted him to be a saint and yet he himself reminded us again and again that like all the rest of us, he was a sinner. We all fall short of the glory of God. Today, however, he faces a serious personal trial and perilous choices. Many of his friends have abandoned him. Others deride him with no regard for his priestly dignity and all the good work he accomplished in your name. Still others seek to defend him by defaming the Church he has always loved.

The facts are becoming clearer, but we do not know what is going though his heart and mind. If he is angry, please Lord— grant him the gift of a tranquil heart and the patience to endure all things for Christ Crucified. If he is fearful, please Lord— let him know that you are with him and that he need not be afraid. Many temptations face us all, but priests in particular face the worse assaults of the devil. If he has fallen, pick him up. If he remains standing, then give him the courage to embrace humility and truth in the coming storm. Even brave men sometimes need a greater share of courage. Do not allow him to run away from his high calling. He participates in the high priesthood of Christ; there is no more crucial vocation. Let him know that even if he should be reduced to poverty and have to minister alone in prayer or to the smallest congregation, that the oblations of such a priest still have infinite meaning and power.

Promises are made to be kept. Father often spoke about this in regard to the sanctity and dignity of the marriage covenant. He made promises as well— to be a servant of all by embracing a life of celibate love and of obedience to the voice of Jesus in the bishops and his superiors. Preserve him in your grace and defend him against the sins that afflict him, particularly that of pride and of despair. As long as there is the breath of life, there is hope. Let him embrace this hope and put on the mind and the heart of Christ in the Church.

When it seems that a great defender of the Church is suddenly in an adversarial relationship with her, it is easy to see that something has gone terribly wrong. It is our prayer that this beloved priest will surrender his life and his work, all that he is and all that he has done, into the loving arms of the Church over which the Blessed Mother gives the protection of her mantel of mercy. Dear Lord, we know you are not finished with him yet; but we also know that no service to you can be authentic and fruitful if there is a denial of his priestly office. Help him to see this and to know the graces that will testify to your truth and glory.

Amen.

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111 Responses

  1. […] reason that, actually in my search, seems to have identified itself. A “Father Joe”, commenting on the re-brand, wrote: A dog that runs after the sheep on its own is not a true sheep dog, but rather we use […]

  2. Father Sheehan said the order’s last communication with Father Corapi took the form of a 3 June letter from him “indicating that, because of the physical, emotional and spiritual distress he has endured over the past few years, he could no longer continue to function as a priest or a member of the SOLT.”

  3. I support Father Corapi. Father Joe, are you privy to all the conversations over the years, Father John’s discernment process with Father Flanagan, etc…? Have you followed what he has encountered all these years? His doctrinal preaching has been rock hard solid. He has spoken throughout the years about a segment within the church that wanted him silenced. These allegations against him, by everything that has come out in the last few days, seem ludicrous. How could they have even been taken as a serious accusation in the first place? They were supposedly deemed “creditable”. A few days of serious research would have proven them false. Mother Angelica also went through many trials establishing EWTN, trials by “liberal” bishops. I’m really not out to bash the bishops. Instead of silencing a great preacher why aren’t the bishops proclaiming traditional values for all to hear? NOtre Dame has gone by the wayside as far as Catholic values, outspoken Democratic politicians regularly receiving the Holy Eucharist, etc… Father Corapi has been outspoken against all the liberalism that has entered the Church here in the US. He has been warning us. No wonder so many people are so eager to soak up what he preaches! We have pro-choice priests right in our own diocese. We have a church here that sometimes uses crumbled bread for the Eucharist with bits and pieces falling to the ground and then walked on by other communicants. No one cares. WHere are the leaders for all of these abuses? My heart breaks by father’s decision. He has helped lead me back to the church-a super part of the reason I’m back. I think my story is probably echoed by thousands. I just pray he is being led by the Holy Spirit during these truly trying times in our church here in America (and the world) and that a greater good will come from this. God bless us all, especially his accuser.

    FATHER JOE:

    Father Flanagan is not currently his religious superior. The issue is his claiming a public ministry while there is disobedience and defection from the active priesthood. Men who leave the active priesthood forfeit their right to exercise such ministry. They cannot function as lay evangelists because they are still sacramental priests and always will be. Again, they are not judged as the laity would be by the Church. Clergy are held to a different standard.

    What he has experienced over the years is inconsequential. Our married couples make promises to remain faithful to each other “for better or worse, richer or poorer,” until death do they part. Priesthood is more serious because their configuration to Christ even transcends the grave. Just as we implore our couples to keep their promises in marriage; we must insist that our priests keep the promises of their vocation. His letter of resignation from the priesthood is analogous to a couple seeking separation and divorce. Every priest functions “in the person of Christ,” and the Mass is a participation in the heavenly marriage banquet. The priest signifies Christ the bridegroom who offers up his life and the clean oblation of the Mass for his bride, the Church. Resignation from the priesthood means that he will never again offer the Mass as a priest in good standing or hear another Confession. While even lay catechists are supposed to receive certification to teach, a priest must have faculties for preaching or public teaching in the name of the Church. Why is it that his supporters find it so hard to appreciate the severity of all this? How could he talk about the infinite importance of the Eucharist and the forgiveness of sins when he gave up being a minister of such mysteries? How could he talk about marriage fidelity when he is a living billboard to broken promises? The investigative process on the charges against Father Corapi had hardly begun and yet there was obstruction and then he, himself, terminated it with his resignation. We will never know if there would have been a canonical trial or not. It is then that identities and the full nature of allegations are disclosed. (This process seeks to avoid intimidation, which may have happened anyway.) If the investigation showed no evidence of wrongdoing, he would have been restored to ministry, albeit in community and according to the needs discerned by lawful authority.

    Will Father Corapi be laicized? This process can be arduous and take years. The Church is not obliged to accept the resignation of a priest. Currently, he is still bound to his promise of celibacy. This goes to the Holy See for resolution. A priest applying for laicization today has to literally admit that he should never have been ordained. Can Father Corapi actually say this? Does he believe that his priesthood was a mistake?

    I still think he should retract the resignation, ask pardon of his superiors, ask that they restart the investigation and pursue his canonical rights.

    What segment of the Church wanted to silence him? The bishop of Corpus Christi is a faithful and good Catholic shepherd. His SOLT community is also orthodox. SOLT is running the investigation. These are his brothers. He might have his enemies, but I do not see them as part of this equation. They did what they had to do given that several women made serious charges. He may very well be innocent, but the Church has to treat all priests the same. Just because he is a celebrity does not mean that he is exempt from the canonical process. Yes, it is imperfect and the priest suffers through an administrative leave. But what is the alternative? Maybe the next guy charged would be guilty. As far as I can tell there was nothing criminal here. Such a situation is light weight compared to those priests investigated for purported improper contact with minors. People are angry with the Church and bishops for treating the priesthood like a protected boys’ club. Next they are angry when we give some regard for a purported victim and temporarily remove a priest from ministry. There is no good answer and the process will always be inherently difficult and painful. We will hopefully make it more just as we find our way. But we have to act. What alternative do we have?

    Neither you nor I know the facts and so how long the process might have taken is not for us to know. If the woman who made the initial allegations is the one being sued by Father Corapi for defamation and breech of the non-disclosure agreement (for which he paid her) then the SOLT investigators were barred by canon law from taking her testimony. Remember, such litigation is viewed by Church law as intimidation or pressure against witnesses.

    I would not compare Father Corapi to Mother Angelica. She was feisty for sure but always obedient to the laws of the Church and her promises as a religious. When she started her community, again, she did so within the Church and not as a “for profit” operation that would bring any personal aggrandizement. Everything from her view of the faith to her financial operations was always utterly transparent. Instead of abandoning the religious life, she embraced a more severe discipline. While we see glimpses of her today, due in part to health reasons, she has retreated to a largely cloistered discipleship. I do not see these characteristics in Father Corapi’s ministry. Yes, there were religious leaders who were sometimes upset with her but she always worked closely with the bishop of Birmingham. She never had to make apologies for her teachings, but she was humble enough to sometimes apologize for her tone. Like any good “mother” she wanted to correct but not to be hurtful.

    Father Corapi terminated the investigative process and seeks to scapegoat the Church for his defection from the active priesthood. You cite the Notre Dame incident as evidence of a double-standard. But this does not wash. Bishop John D’Arcy of Fort Wayne-South-Bend, refused to attend the university’s commencement ceremonies because of President Obama’s “long-stated unwillingness to hold human life as sacred.” He said: “I wish no disrespect to our president, I pray for him and wish him well. I have always revered the office of the presidency. But a bishop must teach the Catholic faith ‘in season and out of season,’ and he teaches not only by his words – but by his actions. My decision is not an attack on anyone, but is in defense of the truth about human life.” While you deride the Catholic bishops in defense of a single priest, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops ruled in 2004 that Catholic institutions should not give “awards, honors or platforms” to “those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles.”

    I see no evidence that Father Corapi’s current problems are a result of his attack upon “liberalism” in the Church. Many of us who are quite traditional are not happy with his response to the situation. You see this in the blogs and Catholic news outlets. A man can preach traditionalism but suffer from practical liberalism. The term “liberalism” is more applicable to politics than religion. I would prefer the term “progressive” and in the extreme, “heretical.” However, with this qualification, “liberals” dissent from the bishops. “Liberals” deride the authority of the bishops. “Liberals” break their promises and leave the active priesthood. Father Corapi tried to argue in one of his audio messages that 90% of his ministry was not priestly ministry as such. But that is silly. What made his teaching and preaching “priestly” was and is his identity. If he really thinks this then he should be eager to more directly engage in a more traditional priestly work. The voice of his superiors is the voice of Christ. This is a hallmark of the Catholic understanding toward the promise of priestly obedience. It is a mediated obedience, not directly to our Lord, but to a religious superior and/or bishop. Every priest knows he will be judged by Christ as to how he keeps this promise.

    There are shepherds and laity who care. Some priests are weak men but the Church is unapologetically pro-life. The failure of a few to stand up is no excuse for Father Corapi to now sit down and give up his life as a priest. Again, it was not taken away, he threw it aside. Turning to the next matter you mention, Church and liturgical law is very severe in regard to liturgical abuse of the Eucharist. If “you” see the Eucharistic presence denied then “you” stand up and “you” make your upset known to your local priest and bishop. Part of the obligation of any who would minister in the Church is to inspire and enable the obedient discipleship of the laity. We cannot excuse our own cowardice or passivity in the Church and in the world because a vocal priest was removed from ministry.

    Keep Father Corapi in your prayers and stay close to the Church. Thank God for the part he played in your return to the practice of your faith. As for the movement of the Holy Spirit, I cannot see how God would consecrate a man to priestly service to have him walk away and not fight for his high calling. I pray that the Holy Spirit will move him to reconsider his course and to bring him back to priestly fidelity. He has to trust that God’s providence will prevail if he only stays the course as a good and holy priest. Anything else is to despair of God’s will being fulfilled in the Church that Christ established.

  4. Fr. Joe, I am glad you are taking every piece of the statements made by Fr. Corapi and educating us Catholics. The problem with people following sometimes may be that they don’t know any better. I thought he could still be Catholic but as you pointed out he would be Protestant if he continues to minister (since the Catholic church has him under administrative leave). As much as I admired Fr. Corapi, I certainly don’t want to dwell in the Protestant community because of my lack of knowledge. Thanks for your teachings! I believe that’s what will help some Catholics, that are on his side, stay focused to Mother Church. I do pray for us Catholics and this turmoil that has been brought upon our Church.

  5. Father Joe — I just saw this and am even sadder than before. This whole things is pitting Catholics against Catholics. It is truly demonic.

    [link deleted]

    FATHER JOE: Thank you, Laura, I saw the video earlier today. I really do not want to advertise it so I have removed the link. People can find it well enough without my help. I am very conservative and orthodox but I do not believe the Church benefits from constant attacks against the bishops. I have sometimes watched the VORTEX and agree with many points, if not always the tone or style. The trouble here is that many traditional voices are also saying that something has gone seriously wrong with Fr. Corapi and with what he is doing. The criticism is not just from so-called “liberals” who would not have liked him anyway. We need to find a way to be critical without being offensive. I wrote a prayer for Fr. Corapi but I would also urge prayer and support for the good and holy bishop of Corpus Christi, Bishop Mulvey. He is not a “sheep dog,” but he is certainly a shepherd. “God bless you, dear bishop. Many of us are grateful for your strength and convictions during this difficult situation. You responded as you had to respond. You are no enemy of the Church (as recently maligned), but rather a faithful son of the Church and a friend to Christ. We need more good bishops like you.”

  6. Thank you, Father Joe, for a wise, theologically sound and courageous analysis of this tragic situation. God bless you and continue to keep you close to his Most Sacred Heart!

  7. Father Joesph,I can understand the confusion now I wish there was peace in the world.do you think this is done or is it just the beginning. supposedly the seller on ebay is the disgruntled employee

    http://fratres.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/ebay-starting-bid-5000-accuser-selling-fr-john-corapis-rosary-blessed-by-john-paul-ii/comment-page-3/#comments

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&_trksid=p4340.l2557&nma=true&rt=nc&item=160588110925&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&si=55wRv%252Bv2ceI8dFxa4JpiUUWiDPE%253D&viewitem=&clk_rvr_id=242808324974&hash=item2563cc1c4d&afsrc=1#ht_906wt_1135

    FATHER JOE: It is the sin of simony. I have known some who have paid for blessed items, like relics, to return them to churches and take them away from irreverent and unworthy hands. Worse yet was the situation a year or so ago when sick people tried to auction off consecrated hosts. One poor man apologized, acknowledging that he was a non-Catholic and did not understand its significance. The bids for the host (consecrated by Pope John Paul?) reached thousands of dollars. The Knights of Columbus intervened and the man gave up the host without payment. A local church was given the host for proper disposition.

  8. This short bio was taken from the 2003 SOLT webpage:

    Fr. John Corapi, SOLT.
    His website is: http://www.fathercorapi.com

    Prior to ordination, Fr. John Corapi, Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity
    (SOLT), was a high school football star, blackbelt in Karate, Green Beret soldier,
    CPA, Las Vegas casino auditor, multimillionaire real estate businessman with a yacht, Ferrari, and home on the ocean. He eventually became a cocaine addict…destitute, homeless, and wandering the streets in Los Angeles.

    Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the prayers of his mother, his life began to change, and he felt a strong and unmistakable call to become a priest. Later, after graduating Summa Cum Laude with a doctorate in Sacred Theology, Fr. Corapi was ordained by Pope John Paul II, who later told him to ”Go back to America where I need you.” He is an authority on the New Catechism and his superiors have discerned that he has the gift of Apostolic Preaching, to teach the truths of the Faith with such authority and clarity that even the hardest hearts might be brought closer to God.

    Is this all true? The word I got was that he was not special forces but a clerk. I had heard Fr. Corapi on EWTN but knew little about his early personal life. Many priests are ordained by the Pope, did he actually get such a mission from the Holy Father. Such apostolic charges are usually placed in writing. It is quite an impressive claim and his story of personal reformation is very inspiring. I would like to give him the benefit of a doubt.

  9. Father, I glanced at his FB pages and thought his “fans” for lack of a better word were too crazy in love with him to see straight.
    I feel I am reading things and they read it and don’t see the same thing. They say he isn’t leaving the priesthood and he might not, but SOLT said they would help him leave and that he wrote them on June 3rd to say he had been unhappy physically, mentally and spiritually for years adn didn’t want to be a priest.. This was not a new thing. His behavior and absence was noticable the last few years also.
    excerpt from letter:
    In the midst of the investigation, the SOLT received a letter from Fr. Corapi, dated June 3, 2011, indicating that, because of the physical, emotional and spiritual distress he has endured over the past few years, he could no longer continue to function as a priest or a member of the SOLT. Although the investigation was in progress, the SOLT had not arrived at any conclusion as to the credibility of the allegations under investigation.

    Since this person he is complaining about has been around a long time, he has talked about her, etc. do you think it was just an impetus to move on?

  10. Thank you, Father, for your comments, both in the blog/article and on the comments/replies.I have been trying to figure this out, and have decided to leave it in prayer.

    Has Bishop Michael Mulvey spoken up about this after the first announcement? I know he does not to make a spectacle, a scene, but I was wondering if he has commented publicaly? He is a very spiritual soul, and has led many to Christ, even if he isn’t as well-known as (Father) Corapi. Thank you.

  11. Fr Joe, Mr Corapi learn a thing or two from your humility. Just so you know, I think you’ve reached far more than a few hundred people. Yesterday was my first time on your blog, but it’s since been bookmarked and will be visited regularly from now on. A breath of fresh air to read the words of a holy priest…thank you.

    Praying for Mr Corapi. I am so deeply saddened by his choices…

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