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SOLT Press Release on Father Corapi

The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity has put out an official press release on the FATHER CORAPI SCANDAL. Fr. Gerard Sheehan, the superior writes:

“While SOLT does not typically comment publicly on personnel matters, it recognizes that Fr. John Corapi, through his ministry, has inspired thousands of faithful Catholics, many of whom continue to express their support of him. SOLT also recognizes that Fr. Corapi is now misleading these individuals through his false statements and characterizations. It is for these Catholics that SOLT, by means of this announcement, seeks to set the record straight.”

While I can appreciate the need for a statement, I must admit that I am surprised at the bluntness and the depth of revelation. He remarks about the investigative process and what they discerned from emails, witnesses and other sources that has been going on during the time of the priest’s public ministry:

  • Fr. Corapi already handed in his resignation in early June.
  • He paid $100,000 to silence the woman making charges.
  • Other witnesses were similarly silenced and Fr. Corapi refused to release them for testimony to the investigative team.
  • He had violated his promise of poverty by holding legal title to over one million dollars in real estate, luxuary cars, boats, etc.
  • He cohabitated in two states with a known prostitute, recently began sexting one or two women and resorted to repeated drug and alcohol use.

I would not normally even post about such matters, but I can well appreciate the frustation of his superior.  Fr. Corapi is a powerful communicator and people love him.  If he is guilty of such things and is falsely placing the blame on the leadership of the Catholic Church, then public correction needs to be made.  Having said this, I think that the leadership in SOLT must be faulted for allowing this situation to grow so out of hand.  They should have reigned him in years ago.  Their passivity has now made for a far worse and more scandalous situation.  The press release continues:

“SOLT has contemporaneously with the issuance of this press release directed Fr. John Corapi, under obedience, to return home to the Society’s regional office and take up residence there. It has also ordered him, again under obedience, to dismiss the lawsuit he has filed against his accuser.”

A letter of resignation would not release him from his priestly promises and those made to SOLT. A good priest does as he is told. This is a bad situation all around. I wonder how Fr. Corapi will respond? I suppose die-hard fans will contend that the evidence is contrived and that the priest is innocent. And indeed, I would still argue that if he is innocent then he should make his case and work with the process. It is unfortunate that Fr. Corapi has forced this whole matter and scandal into the public forum. But souls are at stake and this delicate situation is about more than one man. If he is guilty, then he should demonstrate sorrow and contrition, placing his ministry and future into the hands of his lawful superiors. It would be a wonderful teaching moment and maybe the highpoint of his ministry.  Christ is speaking to him through his superiors.  That is how priestly obedience works. But will he listen? Will he fight for his priesthood?  This battle cannot be won with militant rhetoric or tactics of subterfuge.  He can only find victory by being a faithful son of the Church and a humble priest.  He must be courageous and forthright about any revelations exposed by the truth.  He must reckon himself as any confessor to be the first among sinners, “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.”  Things will never be the same but God may not be finished with him yet.  I pray that Fr. Corapi will make the right choice and work with God’s grace in this.

An element which really upsets me about this situation is how one segment of the Church is set against another. Father Corapi comes under investigation and the priest comes out with a statement that the bishop and his superior have a right to do what they do; but next he talks about the real enemies of the Church and we all know he is targeting those who put him on administrative leave. Then he claims obedience but his personal corporation makes a statement that they are under no one’s thumb and the ministry media business will continue as if nothing has happened. By the beginning of June he submits his resignation and tells his fans weeks later that the Church has forced him out. Bishop Michael Mulvey and his lawful superior, Fr. Gerard Sheehan, SOLT, seek to clarify matters but then there is the public intervention on his behalf of the founders of SOLT, Father Flanagan and the Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Bishop Rene Gracida. Critics and fans of the priest can now take their pick and decry the other side as wrong-headed or evil. The impression is given that the Church is fighting with herself. Despite the lament of Fr. Corapi that this is a plot of the liberals who are out to get him, the battleground that emerges is between very conservative or orthodox churchmen and laity. Liberal revisionists are no doubt having a delight in watching the so-called “religious right” of the Church rip itself apart over the media priest. This has all the makings of a new voyeuristic television program called THE BATTLING BISHOPS. Since the clarification released from SOLT, I notice now that Bishop Gracida seems to have shifted somewhat from supporting Fr. Corapi to attacking SOLT for allowing the situation to develop in the first place. However, it seems to me that the stage was set by those who initially allowed Fr. Corapi to set up his independent operations. In other words, there is blame enough to go around. It is troubling that Bishop Gracida took a public stand against a man’s lawful superiors even though he admits that he has not talked with the priest for years! Now Fr. Corapi is telling his fans on Twitter to look forward to an important announcement on Thursday.  Enough already!  I discern a manipulation of good men behind all these tensions that is due to evil human machination and/or to the intrusion of something devilish.

Phil Lawler at CATHOLIC CULTURE succinctly tells it as it is:

Like the late Father Marcial Maciel, the disgraced founder of the Legion of Christ, John Corapi has worked for years as a celebrity priest: encouraging a cult of personality, setting his own agenda, raising large sums of money that he spent at his own discretion, and—most dangerous of all—accountable to no one. It was a formula for disaster, and now the disaster has occurred. Again.

I would beg people to separate the truths Father taught from the possible failings of the messenger. All are tempted, but the devil delights in targeting priests; while he could not seduce the high priest Christ, he often settles for corrupting those men who participate in his priesthood. Pray for priests, pray for Father Corapi and pray for “the little ones” who might despair of their faith.

I am done with this topic, but will give Father Corapi the last word:

FINANCES…”From the earliest days (more than twenty years ago) the Founder of the Society of Our Lady, Fr. James Flanagan, encouraged me to support myself and the Church as well.”

IMPROPRIETY…”I have never had any promiscuous or even inappropriate relations with her.”

INVESTIGATION…”As standard practice, my legal counsel advised me not to cooperate with the investigation until I was able to determine that the Commission’s process was fair and I had adequate rights to defend myself.”

HUSH MONEY…”I never paid anybody off to remain silent.”

RESIGNATION…”I resigned because the process used by the Church is grossly unjust, and, hence, immoral. I resigned because I had no chance from the beginning of a fair and just hearing.  As I have indicated from the beginning of all this, I am not extinguished!”

CLICK HERE  to read the SOLT press release.

CLICK HERE  to read my post on this matter last month.

A good friend feels that this topic and the argumentation associated with it is not good for me. It is true that I find it very upsetting. I love the priesthood and the Church. I get defensive when they are threatened. I also worry deeply about the good of souls. It is true too that the plight of a brother priest is always felt very personally. Many of the comments, moderated and mostly not posted, are unreasoning and angry. So I am going to end it here.  Orignally I posted a video here that gave Father Corapi the last word, albeit with an advertisement tagged to it.  However, he has liquidated his business and removed all signs of his web presence.  He is gone from sight, but maybe not from our minds and hearts.  Keep him and the people he impacted in prayer.

20 Responses

  1. Dear Fr. Jenkins,

    I am sad to have read your comments about Fr. Corapi. Where Corapi’s quotes are respectful and poignant, your replies immediately below are sarcastic and unholy. You appear to have judged the man’s responses and intentions behind them – something only Fr. Corapi can hold in his heart with Our Blessed Lord. Did you ever speak in Christian charity with Fr. Corapi before lambasting him on the web? Is this not a violation of the 8th Commandment on your part? Calumnizing your brother priest, and detracting from his good reputation? How many converts to the faith – I mean REAL converts – can you claim? Nowhere have I heard the faith expressed so boldly; so succinctly; so precisely in a way to answer the deepest questions I have struggled with in my own spiritual life. I am sad to have to write this, Father, but who appointed you to ‘watch over’ Father’s disciples? Million dollar ‘business’? Really, Father? Does money ring louder than all the souls saved in your eyes? May God forgive you for affecting countless on the web with your own unqualified opinions.

    FATHER JOE:

    I beg to differ with you. My posting on the issue reflected a real concern that people not place their faith in a renegade priest who apparently broke his promises, deceived his audience and then disobeyed and disrespected his lawful superiors. All that he said and did was geared to manipulate good but gullible people like yourself. Fortunately, it appears that he realized his great scandal and he has removed himself from the public view. This is as it should be. I hope that he has returned to Mother Church and I would urge a monastic existence where he can pray and make positive reparation. I would suggest that you leave him to it.

    Father Corapi was a priest and as such he stands both under the judgment of God and the Church. The judgment made was not mine, but that of the Church. However, as a priest, I can make clear what is and is not appropriate behavior from a member of the clergy. Many who echoed his attack against the authorities seemed inordinately enamored with the man (almost a cult following) and/or suffered from a defective view of the priesthood. I suspect a few priests and bishops were also deceived (his message was often good and he was an effective speaker) but later events cost him these allies since they could not sustain their defense of the indefensible.

    I committed no calumny and intended no malice against the man. But a shepherd of souls, and I was one of many, had to speak up when there was a wolf running among the sheep. There was the very real danger that some would follow this man out of the Church.

    I am not a media priest and if there are any converts, they are made by God’s grace and not because of me. My work as a parish priest has included instructions in the faith, ministry to families and the sacraments. I am not ashamed to be a simple parish priest. Why would you castigate men who are faithful to their vocation for one who has abandoned his? You are still seriously in the wrong and I would urge you to seek a priest spiritual director to help you. Go to Confession regularly and keep participatng at the Holy Mass. This will help you discern what is and is not from God.

    I am a poor priest and make nothing from my web presence. But the Pope has encouraged priests to engage the new media and I do the best I can. Father Corapi made millions of dollars from his ministry. I struggle to keep a used car. But that means nothing to me. I did not become a priest for profit but to participate in the role of prophet that came to me first in baptism and then in my ordination to the priesthood. You wrong me, but I will pray for same. I consider the Father Corapi business closed. Unless he re-emerges, I think enough has been said. You should also know that he is among several priests for whom I pray each day.

  2. In all your commentary, you never once indicate by what means Corapi has or should have available to him in order to defend himself completely against the charges. By the way, how do you place an “expensive motorboat” on a body of water that bans even a small outboard?

    FATHER JOE: If I recall correctly, he was the one who forced the charges into the open. The matter should have been handled quietly. He had a right to canonical counsel, but even if vindicated, would have been obliged to obey his superiors. He shut down the process. The problem is that had there been no accusations, his statements make it clear that he would still have refused to live in his religious community and to accept whatever new assignment they opted to give him. The charges were bad but such things could have been forgiven. He walked away from his priesthood. It was not taken from him. What do you hear about him now? I think he may have realized his miscalculation. Many of his fans were Catholics first. He has largely lost his appeal now.

  3. Fr Joe, You liberals have been the tools of satan for years and I believe you qand others like you are going to have a ver rude awakening when you stand in front of Our Lord. Fr. Corapi is a decent and holy man of God who has helped millions overcome the temptations of satan through his teachings. Who have you saved for the Kingdom of God.

    FATHER JOE: Me, liberal? You must be kidding. I count myself as very traditional, probably far more so than Fr. Corapi. Fr. Corapi’s approach to his obedience and lifestyle would never have been tolerated in days gone by. I fault the priest not for speaking traditional jargon but for his liberal walk or arrogance. You are presumptuous about how I stand before God. All I can do is hope that the Lord will forgive my sins. I pray that he will do the same for Fr. Corapi and you. Satan would have critics attack his holy Church and defy his bishops. Beware that he does not snag you, even as you point the finger at priests who keep their promises. Despite your praise, and I would not deny the good he once did, neither he nor I have saved anyone. Here is precisely the problem with such hero worship. Christ is the only Savior and we are his instruments. You belittle my work but Fr. Corapi, himself, admitted that he only functioned as a priest 10% of the time. I am a pastor of souls and offer the Mass and sacraments to my people every day. I celebrate Mass, hear Confessions, baptize, marry and bury the dead. Why would you brush aside such work as insignificant? Such an attitude is precisely that of the devil; you should not give it utterance. The value of the Mass is infinite. The absolution which I give to sinners more frequently than Fr. Corapi, who mostly spoke to his cameras or microphones, literally steals souls from Satan and places their feet back on the path of the kingdom. You upset me because you slander every faithful priest who does his duty without fanfare or celebrity attention.

  4. Mr. Corapi was a con man from the beginning, conning even his own mother. Is he actually a priest? I require documented evidence before I believe this. This man was fortunate not to be beaten to a pulp by the real Green Berets. But they have a lot more class than he.

    FATHER JOE: No, I suspect his motives were initially quite good. I cannot speak as to what might have been missed in his evaluation as a candidate for priestly ministry. The pope ordained large classes of men in Rome, often with little or no first-hand knowledge about them. After ordination, they would return to study or go back to their dioceses or religious communities. I think Fr. Corapi came to exaggerate about his relationship with the late pope. I cannot imagine him being given a special mission. We know that statements about membership in the Green Berets were deceptive. In any case, he is a validly ordained priest even though he can no longer legally function as a priest in the Church.

    His alleged religious order gave him permission to form a for profit corporation. They need to be thoroughly investigated, including by secular authorities.

    FATHER JOE: His religious community is recognized but is now under closer scrutiny to enforce their rule of life. Yes, they allowed the situation to get out of hand and must accept responsibility for that.

    Yet, I don’t blame him. I saw this man in a local parish in 2001. What I saw was catholic women flocking around him as groupies do with a rock star. It was apparent to me at the time that there was a problem, and you know what? The flesh really is weak.

    FATHER JOE: I would not fault the sheep seeking to gather around a powerful shepherd, or to use his nomenclature, a sheepdog. But we should never forget that dogs are domesticated wolves.

    Why are you blogging Father?
    Blogging is very pop culture.
    The Catholic Church does not belong in the pop culture world.

    FATHER JOE: Blogging is another way to bring the message of the Gospel to others. Pope Benedict XVI encourages priests and faithful Catholics to be courageous in bringing the truth to these new forums. Do you know better than the pope? We should not be excluded from the public forum.

  5. Dear Father Joe:

    I wasn’t surprised about Father Corapi’s fall from grace.

    Having been in the seminary, I had the opportunity to meet and interact with many priests and bishops. Many of them were fine, albeit human, men who did their best to minister to their flock. A couple of them are friends of mine and they are the “real deal.”

    Sad to say, I met plenty of other priests who were not fit to be in public ministry. Some of them sexually preyed on young men (ages 14-22) who were considering a vocation to the priesthood. One bishop I knew was famous for this. And while the sexual abuse crisis is in the forefront of the media’s examination on the Roman Catholic priesthood, their were plenty of non-sexual offenses that I saw priests commit – embezzlement, shop lifting, gambling, heroin and cocaine abuse, racism, misogynistic comments to female laity and religious, violent behavior and suicides, both attempted and completed. After I left the seminary, I was in the mental health profession for ten years and saw many such priests while they were inpatient in psychiatric hospitals; so my observations are not the fruit of some post-seminary angst. It happens and I saw it, both in the seminary and out.

    I believe the priesthood is a wonderful calling. And while I think celibacy is a “jewel,” I sometimes think it is a burden and forces many good men from considering priestly ministry. And that’s a problem since there’s such a shortage of priests.

    In my experience I’ve noticed that the priesthood attracts many damaged and broken men. The root of their brokenness often stems from childhood, and that’s not their fault. (I’ve always been amazed at how many priests and seminarians suffered from the loss of their mothers either though death, divorce or mental illness.) Having been raised in chaotic environments, whatever the reason, makes the security and order of religious life very attractive. It can also be a place to hide, from their issues and themselves.

    Many such priests seek and receive treatment and end up having fulfilling lives as priests. Yet many do not. And when they enter active ministry, dealing with the stresses of loneliness, struggling parishes, high expectations and always “being on” they start to act out. Some steal and buy shore homes, (Why are these so popular?) or condos well outside their dioceses. Other drink (common and fixable). And still others seek to soothe their anxieties by engaging in sexual behaviors that at best violate their vows and at worst violate civil law.

    The Church has a duty to identify such men in the formation stage and root them out. Psychological testing and interviews by independent third party clinicians would be a good first step. (I was interviewed by a priest psychologist and his findings were biased by his being a priest.) The Church should also seriously think about not letting men enter the seminary until they are much older. I’d say thirty. By that time, most psychological issues, many of which get contained or hidden in the formation process, would burst out into the open and applicants would be unable to lie about them because they’d have criminal histories, psychiatric commitments or would just obviously appear bent.

    A serious look at married men in the priesthood should be undertaken as well. While there will always be room for genuine men willing to embrace the gift of celibacy, let’s face it, God’s not handing that gift out to a lot of people. Married men are in relationships the Church advocates and celebrates, understand the stresses of their parishioners. But marriage itself would help screen out unfit applicants as well. If a man is having tremendous systemic problems
    in his marriage due to personality disorders or mental illness, that will be obvious in the application process. (Wives are a powerful source of information.) And while human sexuality is twisted and commercialized to the nth degree in modern culture, that’s not the primary reason men don’t want to be priests. They don’t want to be priests because they see the system as broken and that engaging in that career might be a recipe for disaster. I studied with a fine man who transferred into seminary from Bucknell. He stayed exactly a month. The reason he gave was that he couldn’t stand the “gay subculture” in the church.

    Now I don’t have a problem with people being gay. That’s at odds with Church teaching I know. Having seen many gay people in loving and committed relationships (even raising fine children), I cannot believe in good (and quite informed) conscience that these people are intrinsically disordered. But the Church does have it’s doctrines and, if you want to get into the game, you have to abide by it’s rules. I think gay celibate men make wonderful contributions to the priesthood. But there is a segment of the gay population in ministry that is sexually active. I’ve seen too many “close friendships” and “lavender rectories to delude myself that such things don’t happen. I think it’s in the Church’s best interests to say to such people, “This life is not for you.” But that subculture is not the only reason men avoid the priesthood. Many of them have seen priests with the issue’s I mentioned above crack up. Is it fair that a bad apple should spoil the bunch? No. But that’s reality.

    Father Corapi is another example of a psychologically broken individual who was let into the priesthood. The warning signs, however, were already there. His previous drug abuse should have been a major red flag. Yes, people beat drugs and that’s great, but most drug users are self-medicating themselves to cope with other, much larger, issues. Was he ever in treatment? And once Father Corapi got a taste of power, money and celebrity, he cracked. Having been down the celebrity path myself, I can tell you that only a person with a mature psychological makeup can survive it. I knew it was temporary and that I’d go back to my normal life, so I had a blast. And I’m no saint! Far from it. But it’s not unusual for high profile people to be mentally ill and have issues with substance abuse. If they weren’t that way to begin with, the lens of the camera and the echo chamber of syncopation can induce it.

    I am no longer a Roman Catholic. In large part because I don’t believe what it teaches regarding human sexuality, political life, contraception and was quickly turned off by what I see as it’s rigidity regarding academic freedom and investigation. But the culture of clerical secrecy was also a component. A priest I knew once has a dalliance with a married woman. He broke it off and recommitted himself to his vocation. But many of his brethren knew about it. So, when he came forward to complain about a sexual predator in the ranks, he was told his owns transgressions would be exposed if he did. And since this priest had no marketable skills, he didn’t leave the priesthood and the abuser kept on abusing until he was exposed by other means. That is insane!

    I will always have the utmost respect for the good and healthy priests who work in the trenches. I couldn’t be one of them. If I can’t play by the Church’s rules, I shouldn’t be in the Church either. I’d like to be, but I can’t. But I am sad that such scandals rock their ranks today.

    The problems with the priesthood are deep and systemic. A major overhaul is needed before the Church loses more and more of its faithful. John Paul once said (I’m paraphrasing here) that he’d hew to in Church doctrine even if it meant he’d be the only Catholic left.

    The scary thing is that could actually happen.

    Best and respectful wishes.

    Steve

    FATHER JOE: Thank you, Steve, for your comments. I am sorry you left the Church and I do not agree with everything you wrote, but I can well relate to many of your observations and concerns. Pray that all ministers of God will embrace joy and fidelity in their service. There is ever so much brokenness that needs healing. Honesty, humility, courage and grace will make it possible. God bless you!

  6. NORMA: Three months ago, no priest ran Fr. Corapi down.

    FATHER JOE: The criticism of Father Corapi is largely in response to what he has recently said and revelations about what he may have done. Prior to all this, there was no apparent reason for public rebuke or Church censure. A lot can change in a few months. Honestly, I rarely watched his programs. His style did not appeal to me. However, priests do not usually criticize one another for their general manner or techniques in preaching or teaching. If it is effective and factual, then it is all for the good. I do not, even now, hear criticism of his past messages. The problem is one of apparent deception and defection. Priests must be witnesses of the truth. Hypocrisy spoils everything we are about. That is why if the charges were false, he was duty-bound to fight them within the Church. No one was asking him to lie down and die. We are upset that he opted to cut out and run. The process had barely begun. He sought to reimage himself as the victim and sabotaged the canonical investigation. The scandal revealed how his independence set him up for temptation and/or false charges. Seeking to rectify the situation, his SOLT superior commanded that he comply with their constitution and live in community. He said no. A letter of resignation is hardly worth the paper it is written upon. The priesthood is not a job from which one can quit. His desire to retain autonomy and personal gain has led to what some call a career change. But this is not descriptive of the priesthood either. Father Corapi, like all priests, is configured to Christ. They are permanently marked by Christ upon their souls. That is what makes censure and laicization such terrible penalties for a priest. Without faculties, he cannot offer the Mass or give absolution in Confession. If he marries (without being released from his promises) then he is liable for excommunication. Until released from his promise of obedience, he was obliged to follow the directives of his superiors.

    NORMA: Now he is a Judas–a priest headed toward Martin Luther.

    FATHER JOE: You write, “Now he is a Judas – a priest headed toward Martin Luther.” I hope not. It is a real fear that charismatic leaders who defect might take others with them. I am praying that Father Corapi will be satisfied with separating fans from their wallets and leave their souls to God and their backsides to Catholic pews.

    NORMA: Priests. Bishops, etc are obviously sinners or I would never see the comments of destruction against Fr. Corapi that I am witnessing.

    FATHER JOE: You would castigate bishops and priests as sinners for challenging Father Corapi? Most of what I see is quite charitable, given that Father Corapi has militantly castigated those who seemingly oppose him (including his superiors and Bishop Mulvey). I would not condemn good men faithful to their promises and to their charges. A failure to act in the Father Corapi situation would have been a dereliction of their duty.

    NORMA: I have lost respect for the the priests, bishops, bloggers. so-called catholic media reporters, ewtn, solt etc. You are no example to me.

    FATHER JOE: Then you are what we most fear, a person so enamored by this one priest that you are ready to turn your back on the whole Church. Father Corapi in his last statement urged against this eventuality.

    NORMA: The history of the catholic church proves that “men” have sinned greviously against the sheep.

    FATHER JOE: I did not miss that you neither capitalized “Catholic” nor “Church.” You are right though; there are sinners in the Church. The whole point of the investigation of Father Corapi is to deal with possible “grievous” misconduct by one of our shepherds.

    NORMA: Fr. Corapi has been taken out of context. I’ve read and listened to what he said. I’ve seen the medias interpertation. Need I say more.

    FATHER JOE: Really, you need to say nothing and I do not have to say more either, except as correction to those who malign the Church. Father Corapi has said all that needs to be said. He does not want you to call him “Father,” anymore. He gave written resignation to his superiors. He terminated the investigation and told his superiors to go fly a kite— he was not going to obey them, promise or no promise. Judgment is brought upon the poor priest from his own words and actions. Our response should be one where there is clarity about the nature of priesthood and support for the holy faith established by Jesus Christ.

    NORMA: Where were you and solt months or years ago.

    FATHER JOE: I was fulfilling the demands of my own priesthood, months ago and today. No priest can do this for another priest. As for SOLT, I think that they should have enforced their rule of life without exception from the beginning.

    NORMA: Did you keep your jealously in reign until an opportunity presented itself through this woman?

    FATHER JOE: As for jealousy, what does he have that I want? I am content with my calling and happy in my priesthood.

    NORMA: I understand poverty, chastity and obedience. Do you?

    FATHER JOE: I must disagree with you. It is apparent that you do not understand these three values. Not all priests promise poverty, but all are called to live a poverty of spirit, making Christ the one true treasure. Chastity is a value for both the married and the celibate. It is to regard the beloved as a person and not as a thing. Celibate love is a single-hearted love. The natural right of marriage and family are set aside in a sacrifice to God for the good of the community. It assists in making the priest into an eschatological sign of the kingdom, a sign of contradiction. Obedience is modeled on Christ who prayed to his Father in the Garden, not my will but “thy” will be done. Christ is faithful to the Father unto the Cross. Similarly, obedience in priestly life makes the priest an extension of his bishop and/or religious community. He goes where he is sent. He does as he is told. The demands of lawful authority are viewed as opportunities to follow in the footsteps of Christ. Father Corapi was not asked by the bishop and/or his SOLT superiors to do anything wrong or immoral. The going got tough and the tough got going— in the wrong direction. Father Corapi loves touting military analogies. Well, in this case one of Christ’s soldiers in the Church Militant has gone AWOL.

    NORMA: Look to your own soul and stop trying to influence us unless you are preaching Christ’s word.

    FATHER JOE: I look into my soul every day. Jesus owns my soul, not Father Corapi. Other Christian bloggers and I are preaching the Word. But it is a word you do not want to hear.

    NORMA: Fr. Corapi preached the truth and was humble enough to expose his sins.

    FATHER JOE: It may be that he exposed some of his sins, but none of us are entitled to know everything. His SOLT superior felt that he had forced his hand and so the very troubling and detailed news release was posted. Sins can be forgiven. I did not post about this matter until the man walked away from his priesthood and fired salvos at the Church while doing so.

    NORMA: He is one of us–just like you are– the difference is that you don’t know it.

    FATHER JOE: You must not have read my remarks very clearly because I have admitted time and time again that we are all sinners. I have long hoped that he was innocent, but there can be no denial of his public statements and continued promotion of his media ministry after he was told to cease all ministries. Having said this, unless you are a priest, you are not like Father Corapi. The terms of our vocations are not entirely the same. Further, the disposition for our salvation is measured more severely given the responsibilities placed upon us. Of course, while elements of my priesthood resonate with his, another important difference is that I am still a priest in good standing and hope to be so until the day I die.

  7. “The only thing constant in this life is change.” Actually, the true constant is God, and he is also very much a part of this life, too. Our Lord is the anchor.

    “I want to continue to make the best of the talents that God has given me.” His greatest talent or power was his priesthood and the ability to offer the sacrifice of Calvary and to give absolution for sins. All his writing and talking pales in comparison to that great reality.

    He constantly speaks of “We” but what he means is “himself.” He is his media company.

    “Remember, you follow Jesus Christ and his Church, you don’t follow me.” He mentions “Church” several times but never denotes it as THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. This is a change from his past style. Another departure is his failure to mention the role of the Blessed Mother in his life. Maybe his Catholicism is too sectarian for his new and wider audience?

    Finally, his site has attached the required sales pitch, but now with urgency: “…the entire inventory of Fr. John Corapi material will be sold only until 5:00 PM Eastern time, July 25th, 2011.” After that, you will be forever out of luck! In other words, buy up before it is too late! “Everything in the inventory will be marked down 50%.”

  8. Lisa–

    You are not condemning SOLT alone but the juridical structure of the Catholic Church. You talk about Father Corapi like he were a layman. The rules are different for priests. It is unfortunate that the nature of the charges have been publicized. Many of us had hoped that it would never come to this. Three months was hardly any time at all in such an investigation. The press release shows that the investigative process was not going well for the priest. Justice can only be served by honesty and openness. Paying a woman $100,000 to keep her mouth closed is hardly that. Now that he has sued her for writing the bishop, does that mean that he can demand his money back in damages? This business is very sordid.

    Father Corapi was a good preacher, although his harsh style did not appeal to me. He has not been canonized a saint of the Church and I doubt he ever will be… at least not if he keeps moving in the current direction. As far as I can tell, Father Corapi has ditched the canon lawyer. He has no interest in returning to priestly ministry. What he does have is a local civil law firm. He will punish those who opposed him.

    He is feverishly pitching all his products in a LAST CHANCE CLEARANCE SALE! Instead of being apologetic or contrite, he is trying to grab as much of the bucks as possible before the last of his fans catch on. You will never see him on EWTN or on radio or in any Church sponsored event ever again. You should take your life’s savings and buy up all you can. This may be your last chance. If you have his books or DVDs or CDs, then you can get your Father Corapi fix whenever you want! Who knows, he may be trading in the religion gig for something else really soon. Hurry, before it is too late!

    So you are saying that the person who made the allegations is a liar.

    You are saying that the other witnesses are liars.

    You are saying that email and file information is a deception.

    You are saying that Bishop of Corpus Christi is out to get him.

    You are saying that the SOLT superior is a liar and out to destroy his brother priest.

    Am I right? Is this what you are saying? And, given that the bishop and his superior are good and orthodox men, why would they do this?

  9. Bishop George Leo Thomas of Helena, Mont., the diocese in which Father Corapi lives, told CNS July 5 that he met with the priest only once, about five years ago, to discuss his work.

    “I told him I do not allow freelancing,” Bishop Thomas said. “I want any ministry to go through my office. He never did that.

    “He had a very low profile (in the diocese),” the bishop added. “To this day very little is known about him.”

  10. Thanks for that post which is very deep and helped me a lot. Why though do you expect obedience to superiors in someone whose moral life has succumbed to evil? IF he has fallen into his old addictions he is in their control and unless he gets up and fights them, every other moral truth of his life will go too – including obedience to his legitimate superiors – Satan wants him to feel they are against him. Remember that no matter how agressively he responds to this, if it is as SOLT says, Fr Corapi will currently be in the depths of despair, at least somewhere down in a little crack in his heart where the Truth still reigns.

  11. Could we call Fr. Corapi “Judas” or would that be judgmental?

  12. “Surrender is not an option” Father Corapi knows he is innocent. Father Corapi has been betrayed by SOLT. I don’t care how much evidence they say they have against Father Corapi. Father knows he has been framed. Everyone is innocent until PROVEN GUILTY. SOLT wrote this SWEET (lying) letter to us saying that Father was not guilty according to them (a few men) and when all along they believed Father was guilty. Why????
    Father Corapi was not going to lie Under the Bus and die. He got out from under that bus to have a fair trial—which he wasn’t getting. He has every right to get out of an abusive order and away from a superior that has given up on him with out any fair trial (AND PUBLICLY ALL OF A SUDDEN ADMITS IT). Many saints left there orders and were still with the Church. SOLT is basically trying to throw Father back under the bus. Father has a canon lawyer helping him. Father is still a priest and working with the Church AS BEST AS HE CAN. Those three men are not the entire Church (and Father has told us he will never leave the Church-his bride who is perfect like Jesus-and who has the mind of Jesus. We are to be obedient to the Magisterium and the Church teachings. Father has a right to do what he is doing to get a FAIR TRIAL. Surrender is not an option. You know that if your family (or superior) believed some false allegations against you that you would go to someone else in the Church for help . The only people that lied to us was SOLT who said that they were working with Father Corapi and would do everything to get him a fair trial, when truthfully as they have PUBLICLY stated they believe Father Corapi is guilty. Would you choose a lawyer to give you a fair trial who had already believed you were guilty. WOW!!! You would have to be pretty messed up.
    Father Corapi is innocent until PROVEN GUILTY. SOLT (a few men) ARE GRAVELY ABUSING THEIR AUTHORITY!!!!!!!!!! WE DO NOT HAVE TO BE OBEDIENT TO GRAVE ABUSES—-SURRENDER IS NOT AN OPTION!!!!!!

    Father Corapi, has told the truth and the truth is light. SOLT HAS LIED BECAUSE THE TRUTH IS THEIR OWN STATEMENTS DON’T MATCH UP.

    God love you
    Lisa

    FATHER JOE:

    Actually, when it comes to our posture before God, surrender is the only option. Our Lord surrendered himself to the will of his Father and was faithful to his mission, accepting the cup of our redemption. We wrestle with God over issues of sin and pride; we only win when we surrender to him all the joys and sorrows of our lives. Everything that we are and all the things we will ever accomplish must be handed over to the Lord. A priest does this by obedience to his promises, even if the authorities are unworthy of such loyalty. We are all sinners. We come into existence afflicted by original sin and are washed clean by baptism. However, we quickly find ourselves in tension with grace and struggling with iniquity. We must neither be presumptuous nor gullible about the presence of evil. Great and even good men can do terrible things. Neither you nor I can say with certainty what has transpired in Father Corapi’s life. But we must accept as faithful Catholics what legitimate authority judges to be the case in such situations, at least until proven otherwise. We do not judge the soul of this priest; that is for God alone. There is no criminal case against him. However, we can as Christians make determinations about what is morally right and wrong. Given the serious accusations against Father Corapi, Bishop Mulvey and Father Sheehan (his superior in SOLT) were duty-bound to act as they did. My personal concern is that his independent situation without oversight should never have been permitted in the first place. There may be a level of complicity in this priest’s fall. The press release is clear that he forced their hand by making what they interpreted to be false statements. Father Sheehan felt that the good of the Church required a response. Father Corapi shut down the very process which might have proven him innocent, if he were truly innocent. Is it possible that many have been deceived and that Father Corapi does have something he wants to hide? I wrote before, that if it were determined that he was guilty, the possibility of rehabilitation and a return to ministry would not be out of the question. The problem is apparently that he wanted to retain his current media business and ministry along with practical autonomy from ecclesial authority. Had no allegations been brought to the Church leadership, he might still have resigned from priestly ministry. It was no secret that he was not happy. His blog touts the word “independence” in a recent post about his future life and direction, and as usual with the almost mandatory military story. Priests are not independent. We do not get into public fights with our immediate superiors. We do not disrespect them or say and do things that would lead others to mock or ridicule them. We do as we are told. When Father Corapi says that “surrender is not an option,” he is really saying, “No one will tell me what to do!”

    There never was a trial, only the investigative process. The investigators were authorized by his friends in SOLT. They were on his side. They sought the truth. You are mouthing his words. There was no bus. No one wanted him to die. Be careful that you are not manipulated. Check out the book ELMER GANTRY by Sinclair Lewis. It is a good education in such matters.

  13. Rudy: Corapi was Euteneuer’s spiritual director, told him to burn the diary written by E’s accuser. http://tinyurl.com/3znafnl

  14. “[O]r to the intrusion of something devilish”. It is curious that Father Corapi wrote an introduction to a book on exorcism by Father Euteneuer, also tainted by scandal. Seems that indeed something unholy is lurking behind all of this.

  15. Can there really be any surprise about Thursday? Corapi has made a bundle on selling himself. The truths he teaches come straight out of any old Catholic primer. He spices it up with militant themes and his deep manly voice, but in the end it was the messenger he was promoting, not the message. That is why his reputation is so important. He sued the girl who exposed him to the bishop and his superiors. She never went public or to the press. He threatened her and the other witnesses, not for going public, but for talking to the bishop. He was the one who tried to force the Church’s hand, thinking no doubt that the fear of scandal would further silence them. All along his real fight was with the bishop of Corpus Christi and his religious community. I suspect that he will now raise the stakes a notch. You can bet your bottom dollar that he will charge the whole boat load of them with harming his name and reputation. Wait and you will see that I am right. He is going to take them all to court. He has been lucky before and sometimes lightning does strike twice. What are the assets of Corpus Christi and SOLT? The next stage will be an ultimatum, “Retract all that you have said about me or I will be forced to litigate!” I wonder if Court TV will carry the case? Who do you think will be the more impressive speaker, Corapi or Fr. Sheehan? The SOLT announcement was a serious miscalculation. It will cost them dearly.

    FATHER JOE: I really hope not.

  16. Fr. Joe,

    My initial thoughts about SOLT were along the lines of yours, and I really hope they’re doing some serious soul searching. But if, and it’s a big if, he’s telling the truth about his relationship with the SOLT founder, it may have presented unique challenges in dealing with him. If Fr.(?) Corapi is telling the truth, Fr. Flanagan filled his head with all sorts of flattery about how immense his preaching talent was, how special his ministry was going to be, and then sent him off to do his own thing his own way. If this is true, it was a real disservice to a recently converted addict.

    He’s twittering his “fans” to expect a big announcement on Thursday. Not a good sign. This is incredibly sad.

  17. As he always requested, pray for him that he may not be found dead in a crack house.

  18. […] people may want to prepare for perhaps more revelations, and pray for holiness in our present day. “God may not be finished with him yet” is the hopeful message from Fr. Joseph Jenkins.And Elizabeth Scalia concludes, “The author of […]

  19. […] Gerard Nadal Jimmy Akin Frank Weathers Fr. Dwight Longenecker (breaking) Creative Minority Report Blogger Priest Scott DodgePosted in Uncategorized | Tagged Anxiety, Catholic, Corapi, Human Dignity, Jesus Christ, […]

  20. Dear Fr Joe,

    It seems to me that, yet again, those thrusted with the care and disclipine of the Church have failed to do what was necessary to protect the frailities of the faithful from the wolves that hide within.
    For too many years the sexual abusers have hidden within the Church whilst inertia, inaction and iheffective control have allowed terrible damage to be done.

    And yet again, those same qualities have allowed a truely awful state of affairs where a man, possibly a priest, has become a Judas. Jesus allowed the real Judas Iscarriot to act out his betrayal to fulfill scripture, and the man then hanged himself. Why did not the trusted servants of Mother Church simply make a whip and drive this terrible man out. It seems to me that he was simply allowed to walk away, with justification for his actions and a trail of broken hearts and promises and a mass of confusion.

    Just when will the leaders of The Catholic Church finally show the courage and determination to drive the corruption from within before more and more damage is done?

    With distant interest,
    Paul

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