Another Friday, another Corapi update — UPDATED

They come now like clockwork every Friday.

Over on his website, they’ve just posted an item from a canon lawyer  – a statement which continues Fr. Corapi’s practice of condemning the investigative process while, in passing, invoking (once again) the Dallas Charter.  You can read the item for yourself.

It is unclear how the person who wrote this — Rev. Michael Sullivan — can claim specific knowledge about the Corapi case, beyond what has been in the press, unless he is serving as Fr. Corapi’s lawyer.  (If so, he should say so.)  Also unclear is why, once again, Dallas is being mentioned, when it clearly has nothing to do with Fr. Corapi.   Corapi and his cohorts are the only ones who keep bringing it up (just as they are the ones who keep tossing out these Friday statements week after week.)

As for Rev. Sullivan: a Google search reveals that he has done some work for an organization called Justice for Priests and Deaconswhich, according to its website, exists “to educate Roman Catholic clergy and laity regarding their canonical rights especially with regards to due process for the proper support and protection of priests, religious, deacons, and laity.”

UPDATE: A member of the clergy dropped me a line to offer his take:  “This group that touts itself as canon lawyers in support of priests and deacons who are now involved in the Corapi thing came to the fore right after Dallas.  Their attitude is pretty much that a priest and deacon have all the rights and everyone else has none.  They’ve become, de facto, a kind of ‘law firm’ for priests in trouble.”

UPDATE II: There’s more.  A reader sent this: “Justice for Priests and Deacons…is headed by a recalcitrant former priest who was defrocked by the Holy See… There are good canonical advocacy groups; it’s hard to think this is one. I’m a canonist and I don’t recommend them.”

FINAL UPDATE: I’m closing comments here.   To understand why, just read the thread.  As I indicate in the comments, this is my last Corapi posting until this matter gets resolved.

Comments

  1. The new aspect of this is that it seems to be focused on arguing that EWTN and Santa Cruz Media are not bound by the administrative leave and therefore EWTN was wrong to remove Fr. Corapi’s past broadcasts whereas SCM is ok to continue selling his materials.

  2. The plot thickens. Or is it sickens?

  3. Brother Jeff says:

    “Corapi and his cohorts”? There’s objective reporting for you.

    The statement is significant and does add to the “story”, regardless of the Dallas Charter issue; it states that he was not provided a chance to tell his side of the story to his superior before he was put on leave. That is a new fact, one at least as significant as the EWTN letter you quoted from some time ago, which disclosed zero “new information” about the case.

    [Jeff ... Unless he's Fr. Corapi's lawyer, and privy to inside information, Rev. Sullivan knows about as much about the case as the rest of us, which isn't really much at all, and a lot of this is conjecture on his part. Dcn. G.]

  4. I just posted over at The Anchoress’s blog along the same lines–that her earlier observation (If It’s Friday, There Must Be an Anti-Dallas-Charter Posting Purporting to Be a Corapi Update On the Santa Cruz Website) is borne out yet again. As for the Minnesota-based Fr. Sullivan’s knowledge of who got told what by whom when, the operative word, once again, is conjecture. And while it’s technically correct that EWTN was not canonically required to remove Fr. Corapi’s programming, the point is that Fr. Corapi, who has had his faculties revoked, IS canonically required to desist from preaching in public, under pain of incurring canonical penalty. EWTN is doing Father a favor. And Santa Cruz may certainly continue to sell recorded materials, because they’re not going out over the airwaves purporting to be from a priest with active faculties. They have rightly suspended his weekly “homily” subscription, too–though since we’re hairsplitting the canons I think they might be on shaky ground with letting Fr. Corapi “bless” people over the Internet.

  5. Yawn . . . Let the investigation finish; please. Most likely, Santa Cruz Media is simply keeping the fire stoked in order to build up sales of Fr. Corapi’s materials.

  6. Someone has an interest in dividing the faithful on this issue.
    That in itself is worrisome. Causing a division w/in the Church faithful by pitting the “Dallas Charter, i.e. the USCCB against Fr. Corapi is creating a schism, since the USCCB is the hierarchy of the Church around which these cries of vitriol are aimed, as well as the Superiors of Fr. Corapi. And these cries are led seemingly by Fr. Corapi own comments against the authority of the Church.

    As a priest Fr. Corapi owes his obedience to the Bishops and as a religious (priest) he owes his obedience to his Superiors. Inherently there is something wrong w/this picture when Fr. Corapi has seemingly forgotten this truth.

  7. Daniel T says:

    Was the superior supposed to give the opportunity for a face-to-face by flying up to Father’s personal residence in Montana (a state that has no SOLT establishments); or was Father Corapi supposed to head down to Texas for a face-to-face? I’d think the latter. If he went down to Texas, is he suggesting that once he got there he was not allowed to meet with the superior prior to announcing his own suspension?

  8. brother jeff says:

    Sam with respect i think you are overstating things. Cardinal Dulles himself criticized the dallas charter, as well as many other bishops. It is unfair to suggest that father corapi is the source of the due process issue/problem at hand resulting from the abuse of minors usually by homosexually inclined and unchaste priests.

  9. Richard W Comerford says:

    Deacon:

    1. Your clergy correspondent wrote in part:

    “Their attitude is pretty much that a priest and deacon have all the rights and everyone else has none. They’ve become, de facto, a kind of ‘law firm’ for priests in trouble.”

    The evil organization’s mission statement reads in part:

    “To educate Roman Catholic clergy and laity regarding their canonical rights especially with regards to due process for the proper support and protection of priests, religious, deacons, and laity.”

    Perhaps your clergyman correspondent missed the word
    “laity” in the evil organization’s mission statement?

    2. Your cannonist correspondent wrote in part:

    “Justice for Priests and Deacons…is headed by a recalcitrant former priest who was defrocked by the Holy See”

    Perhaps I read it wrong but the evil organization appears to be headed by one:

    Rev. Msgr. Michael Higgins, M.A., S.T.D., J.C.D

    Perhaps your cannonist correspondent should alert that the Vatican to the fact that a defrocked priest is styling himself “Monseigneur?

    3. You wrote:

    “Unless he’s Fr. Corapi’s lawyer, and privy to inside information, Rev. Sullivan knows about as much about the case as the rest of us”

    Perhaps this Canon Lawyer knows nothing about the case at all and (according to my hero Mark Shea) Corapi, being the CEO of the company, just allowed some ignorant Canon Lawyer to post a statement on his company website concerning Corapi’s own Cannonical case?

    May I again respectfully beg you to take a neutral stance in this matter? God help us all if Corapi is actually innocent and his Bishop and SOLT are in fact acting in an unjust manner and in violation of Canon Law. It will further tear the already frayed the fabric pf our American Catholic Church.

    Thank you

    Richard W Comerford

  10. Richard W Comerford says:

    Mr. Sam:

    “since the USCCB is the hierarchy of the Church”

    The USCCB is not the hierarchy of the Church. It has no teaching or moral authority over the faithful. It has no basis in either Tradition or Scripture. It is merely an administrative body.(That has presided over the abuse by predatory priets of thousands of innocents.) At least that what some guy named Ratzinger once wrote.

    “And these cries are led seemingly by Fr. Corapi own comments against the authority of the Church.”

    Corapi’s camp seems to be complaining that our Church bureaucrats are acting illicitly in violation of Canon Law. If you can believe that.

    “As a priest Fr. Corapi owes his obedience to the Bishops and as a religious (priest) he owes his obedience to his Superiors.”

    A priest owes his obedience to his Ordinary not all bishops. The Bishop owes his priest justice.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  11. American Mongrel says:

    No, you keep “bringing it up” Deacon. You’re posting more about than Father Corapi and his so-called “cohorts” are. Read your language, man. Do you have some type of Grudge. I read Corapi’s posts daily and I see less from him on the matter of him defending himself than I see from you doing everything possible to plant the seeds of doubt. I do genuinely like your posts, but I think what you’re doing now is shameful and, quite frankly, beginning to stink. You are more popular in certain media circles than he is? Does that flatter you? Do you feel good tearing “Corapi and his Cohorts” down.

    If Father Corapi did what is alleged, then I’m no longer a fan of the man as a priest, and I will be quite heart-broken. Nevertheless his message to the laity is solid; so I agree that EWTN should have waited. However, I understand that the pressure from others who wanted him pulled must have been overwhelming. I hope he is cleared; but if he is not then I will pray for a man and a good priest gone sour. I will not cheer and I will not make my living off writing about him. I will be silent and I will pray.

    Anonymous Cincinnati Catholic

  12. Phil Brown says:

    Why not maintain a discrete silence on l’affaire Corapi until the investigation is complete? Most people would be blissfully ignorant of things appearing on Fr. Corapi’s website but for the efforts of bloggers to bring them to light. To what end I’m not sure….

  13. brother jeff says:

    Cardinal Ratzinger did say that yes. In 1985 in the ratzinger report he openly stated that national conferences of bishops ‘have no theological basis.’ The USCCB has no teaching authority in and of itself.

  14. I don’t know whether the organization providing this update is good, bad, or neutral. What I *do* know is that if the statement about what constitutes a “credible accusation” is true, it really disturbs me – for a variety of reasons.

    If all anyone needs to do to get a priest suspended is be able to identify where he served and when, then it’s of course unjust. I could, by this reasoning, get any priest I wanted suspended at any time, very easily.

    On a deeper level, this really troubles me as a man pursuing the priesthood. It’s the only thing on the radar screen that gives me serious pause. All of the other difficulties that come along with the sacred orders can be faced in large part because of the support of the Church. Now, it seems as though the Church will abandon any priest at any time.

  15. Rob Federle says:

    Sorry, Deacon, but it sounds like you have a pony in this race… I’m just wondering why. Who’s going to point out that you keep blogging about it at the same rate as Father Corapi’s website. Slow news week?

  16. Catherine says:

    Deacon Greg, thanks for the updates on this bizarre story.

  17. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    Richard et al …

    I think all involved need to take the comments and statements streaming from the Corapi camp with a grain of salt. A little healthy skepticism is a good thing.

    Since you brought it up: “Msgr.” Higgins is, in fact, misrepresenting himself on the website. Google his name and you’ll find the rest of his story: he was removed from the priesthood in 1999 for soliciting sex in a confessional (a charge which he denies.) This raises questions about the type of organization that Fr. Corapi is having endorse him.

    If people would let the process unfold, we’d all be better off. But no. Instead, every Friday, another “breaking news” statement pops up somewhere, and people start leaving comments on my blog, or sending me emails, urgently insisting that I give them attention and accusing me of being unfair if I don’t put them up. Okay. So I post this item, and check to see just who this Rev. Sullivan might be, and all sorts of red flags go up.

    I’m done. We can all see the fruits this is producing. The Corapi Desk is now closed. I’ll post another update when the case is resolved.

    Meantime, please pray for our priests.

    Dcn. G.

  18. Justice for Priests and Deacons
    Rev. Msgr. Michael Higgins, M.A., S.T.D., J.C.D

    Msgr. Michael Higgins, a former canon lawyer from the Diocese of San Diego who operates the group, Justice for Priests and Deacons.

    1) “In April of 1987 Higgins attempted to resume his career as priest in San Diego. He was prevented from doing so, however, by the Judicial Vicar of the San Diego Diocese, who on behalf of Bishop Maher asserted Higgins had been removed as a priest. ”

    http://www.lawlink.com/research/CaseLevel3/66351

    2) Higgins, Michael. San Diego diocese. Laicized. The late Bishop Leo Maher suspended Higgins in 1982 on grounds that he solicited sex from a boy in confession. His successor, Bishop Robert Brom, then acted to get the Vatican to dismiss him from the priesthood, which it did in 1999. Higgins denied the allegation and appealed his laicization to Pope John Paul II, noting that Bishop Brom himself had been accused of sexual misconduct. Brom said an investigation—not made public—had disproved the allegations against him.

    3) Higgins describes himself as retired. But Callahan, vicar general of the San Diego Diocese, said Higgins was removed from the priesthood by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in March 1999 in a decision confirmed by Pope John Paul II after Higgins was accused of soliciting sex in a confessional.

    “This decision of the Holy See is not subject to recourse or appeal,” Callahan said.

    Higgins called the accusation false, saying it has nothing to do with his group’s work. “I’m still a monsignor, and I am still very active,” he said.

  19. Byrne, I wish that I could offer some hopeful thought. But what I see is that the bishops are in a purely reactive mode where they will sacrifice any person and any principle if they think that it will quiet whomever is shouting at them the loudest.

  20. To at least some degree, Father Corapi would be subject to obedience to a variety of bishops as he moves around. I don’t know to what extent conferences set up with him as the speaker are checked out for the permission of the local bishop, but I would think if a bishop refused permission he would be subject to that and not be able to go ahead and preach while holding himself out as a priest in good standing. If he had his faculties suspended without notifying several bishops about it, I could see how many bishops might approve a conference without being aware that his faculties were suspended. Not that Father Corapi would try to go around giving conferences without valid faculties, of course. I would be slightly surprised if I discovered that when booking a conference, Father insisted that he have verification that the local ordinary had approved his appearance, though perhaps he insists on that as well.

  21. Jesus said ‘whoever is not against us is for us.’ I have never heard or read a word from Fr. Corapi that was against Jesus’s teachings. If I use Jesus’s way of thinking, that would mean Fr. Corapi was for Jesus. Fr. Corapi will not lose his reward.

  22. I agree with Brother Jeff – Richard Comeford – American Mongrel and Rob Federle

    It’s time for the deacon to take his pony out of this race and stick to reporting the facts. I find his under tone to be oozing with self interest. I have not read one thing the Deacon has written that isn’t without slight of hand. Keep it fair and balanced or simply do not write about it.

  23. Bill Foley says:

    In regard to the Fr. Corapi situation, I would like to offer some historical facts regarding bishops so that the faithful Catholics that read this blog will keep their spiritual balance and understand that the actions or lack of action by bishops and/or priests will not affect their salvation. One is responsible only for oneself, and one should not commit spiritual suicide—leaving the Catholic Church—because of an Episcopal and/or priestly scandal.

    The Catholic News Agency published an article, “New Phase Begins in Canonization Cause of The First African-American Priest,” which was put on the news headlines of the EWTN website the on February 24, 2011. The following is from this source:

    “A priest in a German parish (in Quincy, Illinois) told him (Father Augustan Tolton, an African-American priest), in no uncertain terms, that he should restrict himself to blacks. He took this complaint to the local bishop—and was reprimanded. . . . . He was told that if he could not obey, it was best that he leave town.”

    This occurred at the end of the 19th century. This bishop’s action was not unusual for the time because most of the bishops in the United States were not confronting the cultural evil of segregation and ill-treatment of the Negro race.

    Pinchas Lapide, an Israeli diplomat, wrote Three Popes and The Jews, a book that gives detailed proof that Pope Pius XII was responsible for saving approximately 860,000 members of the Jewish race. Page 239 of this monograph reveals the following episcopal misdeeds.

    “Monsignor Groeber, the Archbishop of Freiburg, not only joined the Nazi Elite Corps of the SS in 1933 as a ‘promotive member,’ but in letter dated June 7, 1946, tried to justify his flagrant self-identification with Hitler’s regime to the International Tribunal of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial.”

    “In June 1936 Bishop Berning of Osnabrueck visited a number of concentration camps and reminded the inmates ‘of the duty of obedience and fidelity towards people and state, that was demanded by their religious faith.’ In a talk to the guards the Archbishop was reported in the press ‘to have praised their work in the camp and to have ended his visit with three ‘Siegheil!’ for Fuehrer and fatherland.”

    “When on October 1, 1938, German troops marched into the Sudetenland, the German Catholic Bishops’ Conference sent a telegram of appreciation to Hitler, ‘respectfully to tender congratulations and thanks, and to order a festive peal of bells on Sunday.’”

  24. Just Another Priest says:

    Byrne, I’m not going to put any spin on this. This is a very difficult – and sometimes scary – time to be a priest. In the priesthood and hierarchy, we now eat our own; but that is because we spent so many decades (centuries?) harboring our own when we knew they were guilty as hell. You will find that prelates are frequently ham-fisted in dealing with even a hint or rumor of trouble, though not always. Be smart and be prudent, then love your people, preach the Gospel, offer Sacrifice, forgive sins, and stay FAR away from the chancery and its drones. I promise, priesthood is still a good life. Even with my periodic sojourns to the chancery to get my chops busted, there’s nothing in the world I’d rather be than a Roman Catholic priest. Put yourself in Jesus and Mary’s hands, son, and move forward.

  25. Jesus also said: “Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:22-23.

  26. I hope Fr. Corapi is innocent. I hope everything goes back to normal. However, the postings that have showed up on Fr. Corapi’s Santa Cruz Media site–if read critically–seem to have the sole purpose of driving sales on the website. Each message that has been posted has an underlying theme: the faithful, who are being denied Fr. Corapi through various media outlets, can still access and purchase Fr. Corapi’s material on the site.

    Also, the site recently stressed that Fr. Corapi’s business has nothing to do with the Church, yet it seems as though the main page is being used inappropriately as a religiously political soapbox, not as a business website.

    As I said, I hope Fr. Corapi has not betrayed his vows and the trust he forged with all of us. I will be the first to tune him in again and listen to every word.

  27. sj – I’m willing to think the best of Fr. Corapi until facts can prove otherwise. You are free to think the worst of him until facts prove otherwise. If that’s the case, I’m sure it’s because you expect the very best from a priest at all times and it can be very disappointing indeed to learn otherwise. I hope that when Fr. Corapi meets his Maker, and when Fr. Corapi’s accuser meets her Maker, they both hear Him say “Well done, good and faithful servant”. It can happen.

  28. This latest email I received from Fr. Corapi was very disappointing. I had hoped that were we to hear from him again it would be a message of peace & unity, asking his followers to continue to support his friends @ EWTN who have been so good to Fr. Corapi all these years.

    This latest post was nothing if not divisive; clearly critical of EWTN’s policy, which will only add fuel to his supporters ire against EWTN & those media outlets who are exercising discretion.

    Then I now learn by reading Deacon Greg’s blog that the person who wrote that statement is a laicized, dissenting priest no less. Clearly an indication of where this all is headed.

    Like Deacon Greg I’ve seen enough. I’m done with the whole mess, can put it behind me as I finish out my Lent. My heart is very heavy for Fr. Corapi and his followers and I will continue to remember them in my prayers.

    I would however ask the good Deacon to consider continuing to cover this story as difficult as that may be. Had it not been for Deacon Greg I would not have known the direction this was taking, the type of persons Fr. Corapi has surrounded himself with. I would have been clueless about Higgins.

    Christ’s peace to all

  29. Is this the gossip channel?

  30. Father Corapi’s responses from day one have seemed to me belligerent, defensive and hostile to those in authority over him, which means hostile to the Church.

    Fr. Corapi, however knowledgeable and powerful as a speaker, has always impressed me as lacking humility. He also has quite a reputation among those close to him as being highly motivated by money.

    Or…guess what? All that could be wrong and he could be a saint.

    It ought not matter if you are a faithful Catholic – you do not blame EWTN, SOLT superiors, the bishop or the Church by having a temper tantrum that you can’t watch your favorite TV star or that your adolescent infatuation with him cannot be gratified at this time.

    Corapi needs to shut up and respect the Church, even IF he (and his canon lawyers) believe those in authority are wrong. They are causing dissension, and that alone makes me wonder about his real motives as a priest.

  31. I’m sorry Mr. Greg Kandra but you lost me at
    “Corapi and his cohorts are the only ones who keep bringing it up”
    You are posting on it as well.

    That word “cohorts” is just amazing to me.
    Your a deacon? what is a deacon?
    Let me split your brothers with my words.

    I didn’t read more because I have read enough.
    I really am sorry for you when you wrote those words.

    He does (or his servents) do wrong, in regards to his public pronouncements, but what is up with your words.

    Why are so angry or unsettled?(don’t tell me your reporting this or that, what is up with that link you did so early on).
    choose your words wisely please.

    I believe Mr. Corapi is very agitated and sad but as an outsider looking in your words are very uncharitable.

    Whether he innocent or guilty of the accusations means nothing to me, only God.
    I like your other blog/articles Mr. Kandra don’t let this bring you down. (I will always read your God filled Word)

    I like reading your stuff. don’t let me think of this when I read the other things.
    Carlos

  32. Oops. Correction. The author of that letter was Fr. Sullivan, not the laicized priest.

  33. I wish all bloggers would just quit speculating and discussing the Fr. Corapi case. All these conjecturing is akin to what we would normally call the secular “media frenzy”. All these blogging noise won’t help his cause if he is innocent. Comments get heated up because they are tired of reading speculations and tidbit conjectures. It was enough to have covered it at its in initial phase. We should really just wait and see how the official investigation proceeds.

  34. John Flaherty says:

    I’ll be honest, I’m growing weary of challenging people to provide factual evidence for their conclusions, especially with regard to Fr Corapi’s situation. Last I checked, none of us have any better than the most circumspect of knowledge regarding Fr Corapi’s actions OR the character of the people who’re working with him.

    I hope people remember that an investigative process tends to involve lots of people. If someone has done something illegal, corrupt, immoral, whatever, I’m thinking that’ll likely come to public knowledge eventually.

    This latest statement doesn’t appear to me to offer anything beyond an update to the situation, something to clarify what’s going on a little.
    Fr Corapi has become known worldwide, so when people hear that he’s been suspended, they’re going to wonder why.
    This statement appears aimed at addressing this to some extent, keeping the rumor mill from going nuts.

    Honestly, considering that President of nations, CEOs of civil corporations, and even senior military leaders often have spokesmen making statements, I’m not following why anyone’s getting up in arms about this one.

  35. “Another Friday, another Corapi update

    “They come now like clockwork every Friday.”

    Deacon, perhaps I’ve become too cynical, but along with the Friday Corapi updates, come a “Fire Sale” for Santa Cruz Media products. Are prices being slashed before it becomes impossible to give the stuff away?

    The ring if truth is becoming harder to hear as time goes on.
    I’m getting suspicious.

  36. eneubauer says:

    We should continue to pray.

    Thanks for the updates.

  37. Richard W Comerford says:

    George

    “But Callahan, vicar general of the San Diego Diocese, said Higgins was removed from the priesthood by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in March 1999 in a decision confirmed by Pope John Paul II after Higgins was accused of soliciting sex in a confessional.”

    Should there not be a piece of paper or a memo from Rome stating that Msgr. is no longer a Msgr. or a priest? Should not this Roman piece of paper be available to the faithful?
    Do you have a link to it?

    Thank you.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  38. Dear Byrne, says:

    Near to the sword,
    I am near to God;
    In the company of wild beasts,
    I am in company with God.

    Only let all that happens be in the name of Jesus Christ,
    so that we may suffer with him,
    I can endure all things if he enables me.

    I am God’s wheat
    May I be ground by the teeth of the wild beasts,
    Until I become the fine white bread
    That belongs to Christ.

    St Ignatius of Antioch martyred 107AD

  39. Jeff, RWC, et al:

    To suggest Deacon Greg is an interested party (“has a pony in this race”) is absurd. It is Corapi and Santa Cruz Media who are breaking the silence with periodic updates and website announcements. Catholic news sources and bloggers don’t have the right to report on those updates? Really? Or even to offer analysis? I hate to hear news of any priest’s being accused, but a media culture of transparency about it (especially various websites linking to others, keeping people updated, etc.) is actually healthy and for the best. That isn’t gossip or detraction or slander. That isn’t rushing to judgment. That isn’t abandoning the presumption of innocence. It’s just reporting the news that’s out there–almost all of it coming from Fr. Corapi’s own website, which is getting weirder and weirder. It seems that some people on this thread don’t want anything that’s being said over at SCM to get any reporting at all: and given what’s being said over there, I don’t blame them. Corapi may be innocent of the charges against him (which we all hope he is), but he’s guilty of the worst media instincts imaginable. Other sources may speak about and analyze this issue. Fr. Corapi is the one person above all who needs to remain silent right now. For his own good.

  40. Richard W Comerford says:

    Deacon:

    “I think all involved need to take the comments and statements streaming from the Corapi camp with a grain of salt. A little healthy skepticism is a good thing.”

    You have no idea how skeptical I am. After 50-years of our Church bureaucrats protecting predatory priests and sacrificing our innocents to the lusts of those same predatory priests I am very skeptical.

    “Since you brought it up: “Msgr.” Higgins is, in fact, misrepresenting himself on the website.”

    I imagine that there is a piece of paper floating around with Higgins’ name on it announcing he has been defrocked and returned to the lay state. Since he is clearly on the outs with his own bishop then I would also imagine that the Diocese would only be too happy to provide it. Perhaps you should link the this document? After all Higgni’s good name, like Corapi’s, is now on the line.

    “This raises questions about the type of organization that Fr. Corapi is having endorse him.”

    If this Higgins’ guy is actually innocent (as he claims) and he was denied simple justice and due process (as he claims) and he is still a Msgr. (as he claims) and if Corapi is innocent (as he claims) then Higgins and crew would be the perfect choice to represent Corapi. After all during the entire Scandal how many Canonists came forward, blew the whistle and said that the Bishops were protecting predatory priests? I cannot think of one in almost 50-years. As a group the Canon Lawyers have very much remained embedded in the Church bureaucracy.

    “If people would let the process unfold, we’d all be better”

    For almost 50-years now we have been sitting back “letting the process unfold”, trusting that our Church bureaucrats would protect the innocent (to include priests) and punish the guilty. We were wrong to sit back. Particularly my generation. We all bear guilt for what happened to those innocents (to include priests). Never again.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  41. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    Richard…

    Here are pertinent links that mention Higgins:

    http://www.boston.com/news/daily/26/priests_names.htm

    http://bishop-accountability.org/

    http://www.zalkin.com/documents/PDFs/BY_ZALKIN_OPEN_SECRET.pdf

    It’s clear Higgins is not now a monsignor, despite claiming so on his website. He’s been laicized and is no longer a priest. Details, from the Bishops Accountability site:

    Higgins, Michael. San Diego diocese. Laicized. The late Bishop Leo Maher suspended Higgins in 1982 on grounds that he solicited sex from a boy in confession. His successor, Bishop Robert Brom, then acted to get the Vatican to dismiss him from the priesthood, which it did in 1999. Higgins denied the allegation and appealed his laicization to Pope John Paul II, noting that Bishop Brom himself had been accused of sexual misconduct. Brom said an investigation—not made public—had disproved the allegations against him. (Lawyer: Be Fair to Priests, Riverside, Calif., Press Enterprise, July 30, 2004; Letter from Michael Higgins to Pope John Paul 11, April 22, 1998.)

    Dcn. G.

  42. Brendan McGrath says:

    Something I’ve been thinking about — before his conversion, Fr. Corapi committed all sorts of sins and crimes (crimes with regard to drugs, etc.). But the point is, he had a conversion, repented, accepted God’s forgiveness, etc. — just like St. Augustine, tons of saints, or any number of us on either a large or a small scale. Now, let’s say he’s sinned again — assuming this isn’t something involving sexual abuse of any kind, and assuming that he’ll repent, etc., why would he not be able to continue as a priest?

    I guess my basic question is: we say over and over again that we’re all sinners, we all fall and get back up again — so why is it that with priests, with public figures, etc., we don’t just acknowledge that?

    Here’s another way of phrasing my question: before his conversion, Fr. Corapi committed sins and crimes. But in spite of those sins and crimes, he was able to become a priest. Now, he may have committed more sins and crimes — assuming they don’t involve sexual abuse or something that could put people in harm’s way, why can he not repent and continue to be a priest?

    I wonder sometimes if, in American culture, our attitudes about scandals (again, I’m not referring to things like abuse where we need to prevent further victims) reflect a secularized version of certain Protestant views of justification. I.e., for some strands of Protestantism, once you’ve been justified, you cannot lose it; there isn’t really much of a distinction between justification and salvation, being “saved.” And for these strands of Protestantism, if you DO sin (or at least sin seriously, if any distinction is recognized), then that must mean you were never really justified (=saved) in the first place. So, I wonder if this theology affects American attitudes towards politics, etc. — i.e., if some politician has an affair or messes up in some way, then he or she is not one of the “saved,” and we get all hot and bothered because we feel we can’t be led by them — and we feel we have to have them resign, so we can put someone else in there who IS “justified/saved” and won’t mess up (I really don’t get the hysteria and palpitations over having politicians resign — the next one suffers from the consequences of original sin just as much). Under this sort of attitude, it would naturally make sense that if Fr. Corapi sinned after his conversion, then that would mean he was never “justified” (again, =saved) in the first place.

    In contrast, for Catholicism, the proper answer to “are you saved?” is “no, I’m not dead yet.” For Catholicism, we CAN lose justification by mortal sin; i.e., we can slip in and out of a state of grace. There is the distinction between justification and salvation. Catholicism acknowledges that we fall, we’re picked back up again by God (and we cooperate with that), we fall again, we’re picked back up again, etc. I feel like a Catholic attitude would say, “Oh, OK, so Governor So-and-So had an affair, or did whatever — let’s have him/her repent and move on. After all, there but for the grace of God go I.” Similarly, why can’t this be the case with Fr. Corapi? (Again, it’s different if falling again is going to put people at risk as with abuse, etc.)

  43. WriteThe Hague Criminal Court Prosecutor by May 11 re Crimes Against Humanity by Pope (originally posted at http://cityofangels11.blogspot.com City of Angels Blog)
    .
    A prosecutor at The Hague International Criminal Court will soon decide whether to pursue criminal charges against Joseph Ratzinger (otherwise known as the “Pope”) as a German citizen who is complicit in crimes against humanity, especially in light of the epidemic of pedophilia by Catholic priests.

    Persons with evidence of crimes committed by the Catholic Church or The Vatican can now write directly to the prosecutor the International Criminal Court in charge of this case, Dr. Luis Moreno Ocampo, according to the two German Lawyers who are applying to prosecute Ratzinger, Christian Sailer and Gert Hetzel.

    “It is easy to have impact on the overall decision of The Hague prosecutor, as anyone can write directly with evidence of the crimes that this religious organization has committed,” according to an email from Axel Cooley axel@telegracia.com received this week by City of Angels Blog.

    “It is vital to do this well before his decision date, May 15, 2011, so that he can utilize this evidence to proceed,” writes Cooley.

    Send your story and evidence to:

    The Prosecutor
    The International Criminal Court
    Dr. Luis Moreno Ocampo
    Maanweg174 NL-2516 AB Den Haag
    The Hague,The Netherlands

    Cooley writes: “It is also important to enter your name in one of the websites of these websites demonstrating your approval:”

    http://www.popeaccountability.org/do-you-approve-/index.php (English)

    http://www.der-fall-des-papstes.com/finden-sie-das-gut/index.php (German)

    Soon, this website will be made available in Spanish, French and Italian.

    City of Angels Blog is ba-a-a-ack

  44. It is sad that so many so called Catholics have maligned Father John Corapi. The fact is that he is innocent till proven guilty. There is really nothing to talk about. The people who hate Father Corapi will continue to gossip and make innuendos, and will discredit anything that any Priest or Bishops says. The fact of matter is that he should have been informed prior to being suspended he was not.
    EWTN was wrong to remove his programs. I know that many so called Catholics will say, they are being obedient. When they interviewed a Heretic, who belonged to the SSPX, which I may add at the time SSPX was excommunicated from the Church and was not in communion with Rome, Were they obedient?? NO so I think it is hypocritical. THey have removed Father Corapi, JUST IN CASE! Well now they are paying for the consequences.

  45. Richard W Comerford says:

    Deacon:

    Thank you for the links but these are not primary documents but hearsay. Speaking as a broken down gumshoe something appears amiss. If, to use an old term, Higgins was defrocked then there should be in the age of of Mr. Google three Church documents available to the faithful so they can protect themselves from an alleged predators like Higgins:

    1. The 1982 suspension from the priesthood by his Ordinary.

    2. The 1999 Laicization by the Vatican

    3. The post 1999 denial of his appeal.

    It is 2011. If Higgins is a predatory monster and the above cited documents are not available to the faithful then our Church bureaucrats (as usual) are not doing their jobs. If on the other hand Higgins is (as he claims) innocent and a retired Msgr. then this is another travesty of justice. In either case it does not encourage confidence in our Church bureaucrats. What we need now more than ever are Saints, especially Saintly Bishops.

    I should not have to remind you that we have in the American Church as an adjunct to the Scandal a long history of priests and laity properly bringing to the attention of their bBshops allegations of misconduct by predatory priests. The whistle blowers then found themselves accused of misconduct by their own Bishops while the predatory priests got a walk. Some of the whistle blowers spent decades in limbo until their cases were resolved and they were the lucky ones. Others were only vindicated after they were buried.

    Again, the story here is not Corapi but our American Church bureaucracy which has betrayed innocents to the lusts of predatory priests for almost half a century now. I respectfully beg you, the Anchoress and my hero Mr. Shea to remain neutral in this matter.

    My fear now is that if Corapi is vindicated, and the Church bureaucrats shows to have treated him unjustly, then it will have serious repercussions within our already battered Church.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

    [Richard: according to the Bishop Accountability website, Higgins claims the Vatican reversed its decision to have him laicized, and that he is a retired priest. The Archdiocese of San Diego denies that, and says the pope reaffirmed Higgins' removal from ministry. Higgins' history with the Church is rather complicated, as you can tell from this news report. Dcn. G.]

  46. Richard W Comerford says:

    Ms. Ebeling:

    “A prosecutor at The Hague International Criminal Court will soon decide whether to pursue criminal charges against Joseph Ratzinger (otherwise known as the “Pope”) as a German citizen who is complicit in crimes against humanity, especially in light of the epidemic of pedophilia by Catholic priests.”

    Anyone with access to Mr. Google will soon learn that the Roman Catholic Church is the single most decentralized international entity on earth. The Universal (Catholic means Universal) Church is divided into local Churches headed by an Ordinary who is supreme in his own Diocese. The Bishop of Rome has no more direct supervisory authority over a priest than the President of the United States has over a beat cop.

    However the bureaucrats at the Hague have a reputation of being even less concerned with justice than our own American Church bureaucrats.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  47. Richard W Comerford says:

    Mr. John:

    “EWTN was wrong to remove his programs.”

    Corapi is I think the 8th EWTN priest – presenter who was removed from the line up after being accused of misconduct. In removing Corapi EWTN is just being compliant with its own internal policy and tradition. In view of its own broadcast standards and history EWTN would be taking the side of Corapi in this controversy if it continued to present hos videos.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  48. Brendan, for me the difference stems from the fact that the woman involved in this situation was an employee of Fr. Corapi’s. That puts this as an abuse of power as well as a sin of the flesh. Even in the secular world ( at least in the past) in the corporate world, affairs between superiors and those under them were not tolerated. If she had been someone he met on the street and gotten involved with, that would be a different situation. It would be difficult to label something as consensual when there is the boss/employee dynamic involved.

    Yes, Fr. Corapi did repent of his sins in the past and can do that as well today. If it turns out now, however, that he is guilty of what he is being accused, his denials and attacks on the hierarchy are going to vastly complicate the situation.

  49. naturgesetz says:

    Get real, Richard Comerford. Those sorts of documents have never been placed on websites to be generally available to the public. What happens is that a public announcement may be made at the time of laicization. Thereafter, people who are aware of it will repeat the facts. If you want to waste your time digging through the archives of the publications that would have carried the story originally, you can do so. Or you can call or write to the diocese and ask if he was laicized. I’m confident they’ll tell you. But to try to cast doubt on the stories based on nothing more than your willfull to disbelief of anything bad about anybody who seems to support Fr. Corapi just won’t cut it with reasonable people. Reasonable people have good grounds for believing that the laicization happened, if you doubt it, do your own research, rather than trying to make other people do it for you.

    Unless you come up with some proof that the reports of laicization are false, your pathetic attempt to cast doubt on them fails miserably.

  50. Bill Russell says:

    To Bill Foley:

    Please go to the authentic sources about the Church in German and do not accept as “facts” the propaganda which is as deceptive now as in the 1930’s. Never play Monday morning quarterback as an amateur historian. At the start of the Reich, like most Western democrats, many bishops hoped the Nazis would be a bulwark against Communism. Soon they declared otherwise.

    As for Grober: In his Lenten pastoral letter of 1933-02-10 Gröber exhorted the faithful of the diocese, each according to his abilities, to take care that lying and slander, demagogy and hate, acts of violence and murder not further besmirch the name of Germany. From 1935 on, Gröber fought against the Nazi regime, notably only within the framework provided by law and in particular the concordat. After the beginning of the organized killing of the mentally ill, termed euthanasia, he protested in a letter to the Baden Interior Minister Pflaumer, and was the first of the German bishops to do so in writing. His courageous New Year’s Eve sermons in the Freiburg Münster and his Lenten pastoral letters became especially effective with the public. In them he particularly lashed the Nazi regime’s enmity toward the Church and assailed euthanasia, which he described as murder, in the New Year’s Eve sermon of 1941. He also held a protective arm over the resistance fighter Gertrud Luckner, assigned by Caritas to support the so-called “Jewish Christians”.
    For the Nazi authorities he was the “most evil rabblerouser against the Third Reich”. The Baden Culture Minister Dr. Paul Schmitthenner described him in a file notation of 1940-08-08 as the greatest enemy of the NSDAP and the National Socialist State. Only his office as Archbishop had kept him, wrote Schmitthenner, from already sitting in jail for high treason.

    Moreover, Bishop Berning soon realized the nature of Nazism and was an outspoken foe of its policies. All must be understood in the contect of the times. Goring especially loathed Berning:
    Anfang 1934 änderte Berning seine Ansichten über das NS-Regime und äußerte sich in Predigten im Osnabrücker Dom zunehmend kritisch. Seitdem lehnte er Euthanasie und Rassismus ab. Von Mitte 1941 an prangerte der Bischof die Tötung und Knechtung von Menschen an. Die Silvesterpredigt am 31. Dezember 1941 brachte Berning in Konflikt mit Göring. Als Preußischer Staatsrat verhandelte Berning bis 1943 oft, jedoch meist ergebnislos mit der Reichsregierung, um Menschen zu helfen und Unrecht abzuwenden.

  51. Richard W Comerford says:

    Ms. Lauretta:

    “If it turns out now, however, that he is guilty of what he is being accused, his denials and attacks on the hierarchy are going to vastly complicate the situation.”

    Spot on.

    However I point out that any criticism by the Corapi camp of the USCCB is not an attack on teh teaching authority of the Church. the USCCB is not the hierarchy. It has no teaching authority. It is just a bureaucratic body. Corapi’s camp has also alleged that his Bishop has not proceeded in this matter IAW Canon Law. If this allegation is true then Corapi has every right to make it.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  52. John Shuster says:

    What do you think about the third TV priest to be involved in a public sexual scandal, Father Michael Manning, SVD?

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/42471881/ns/us_news-life/

    I would think that high profile TV priests like Euteneuer, Corapi and Manning would lead pure and simple lives outside the television studio that were exemplary to other priests and beyond reproach to the Faithful.

    Euteneuer was doing weird sexual things during his exorcisms, Corapi has a history of out of control sex and drugs that might be back in his life, and Manning has admitted to a long term sexual relationship with his cousin.

    What’s going on in the priesthood?

  53. Brendan, just to follow up on Lauretta’s comment. you maybe jumping the gun here. a priest is put on a leave of absence while the investigation is going. if there is criminal accusation then there are probably two investigations ( secular and ecclesial). it is at the end of the investigation when a course of action is laid out. If you remember the case of Fr Ritter the founder of Covenant house, he was put on a leave while both the DA and the church did their investigations. He was cleared of criminal accusations, but his community found the sexual accusations credible and demanded that he seek treatment before they would consider any return to ministry (this was 10 years before the Dallas charter). Fr Ritter refused to have any treatment so he never was able to return to ministry. But the point is there is a big difference between someone seeking forgiveness and conversion, and the separate issue if they are still able to function as public leader and teacher of the church. Look at the New Testament epistles and you will see that right from the start the church had real standards for all who were to serve in leadership and authority positions. No one has a “right” to ordained ministry, it is a call confirmed by the church. The only right one has is to fulfill his responsibilities to be faithful to the call and live his life with integrity and honesty.

  54. Mr. Comerford, I understand that the USCCB has no authority but I believe Fr. Corapi’s complaints have been directed toward his bishop and head of his order specifically. This, of course, has nothing to do with the teaching authority of the Church but with her disciplinary capacity. Not the same but still a very necessary component of ecclesiastical structure.

    His response to this situation seems to be quite different from many we now acknowledge as being exemplary Catholics–St. Pio, Fr. deLubac, various people who have been recipients of approved apparitions, etc.

  55. Richard W Comerford says:

    Mr. naturgesetz:

    “Get real, Richard Comerford. Those sorts of documents have never been placed on websites to be generally available to the public. ”

    And thsi is a real problem. See the Father Paul Shanley case.

    “What happens is that a public announcement may be made at the time of laicization.”

    No. Sadly not.

    “Thereafter, people who are aware of it will repeat the facts. ”

    If there is no public record then how can they “repeat the facts”?

    “If you want to waste your time digging through the archives of the publications that would have carried the story originally, you can do so.”

    “I and other gumshoes have tried that already. One of the reason there is a growing lack of confidence in our Church bureaucracy is the veil of secrecy which is drawn over these matters. ”

    “But to try to cast doubt on the stories based on nothing more than your willfull to disbelief of anything bad about anybody who seems to support Fr. Corapi just won’t cut it with reasonable people.”

    Stories are that stories. And it is not jsut me. There is this guy named Ratzinger who for about half a century now has been saying that the Church needs more Holy Spirit and less bureaucracy. BTW our American Church scandal has been going on now for about half a century.

    :Reasonable people have good grounds for believing that the laicization happened”

    Reasonable people believed that our Church bureaucracy was properly handling the Scandal too.

    “if you doubt it, do your own research, rather than trying to make other people do it for you.”

    The burden of proof is always on the accuser. Reasonable people know that. The accused in this case maintains his innocence and standing as a Msgr. and retired priest. It is for you to prove otherwise.

    “Unless you come up with some proof that the reports of laicization are false, your pathetic attempt to cast doubt on them fails miserably.”

    Then why did you bother to respond to my post? Then why have not the US Canon Lawyers publicly denounced Higgins as a fraud rather than allow him to solicit unsuspecting clients? Why has not his own Bishop and the Bishop in who’s diocese he is currently headquartered not advised and warned the faithful to stay away from thsi monster?

    Something smells here; and smells very badly. Either our Canon Lawyers and Church bureaucrats have failed in their duty to warn and protect the faithful or this Higgins guy is correct in his claims. If he is then he is the perfect Canon lawyer for Corapi.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  56. Richard W Comerford says:

    Ms. Lauretta

    “Mr. Comerford, I understand that the USCCB has no authority but I believe Fr. Corapi’s complaints have been directed toward his bishop and head of his order specifically. ”

    Corapi’s camp alleges that his Bishop has acted illictly in this matter. If true, then Corapi’s camp has every right to make said allegation. I am unaware that Corapi attacked the Head of SOLT.

    “This, of course, has nothing to do with the teaching authority of the Church but with her disciplinary capacity. Not the same but still a very necessary component of ecclesiastical structure.”

    Of course. And the Church allows Corapi to both defend himself and to allege that his Bishop has acted illicitly.

    “His response to this situation seems to be quite different from many we now acknowledge as being exemplary Catholics–St. Pio, Fr. deLubac, various people who have been recipients of approved apparitions”

    Corapi like St. Pio has complied with the order excluding him from the practice of his Sacred ministry. However Corapi like St Pio has also defended his innocence. Further St Pio lived before the age of Mr. Google and we did not then get a blow by blow account of the action via the good Deacon, the Anchoress and my hero Mr. Shea on the internet.

    Finally you may remember St Pio’s supporters went nuts when ST Pio was excluded in whole or part from his sacred ministry – just like some of Corapi’s fans.

    Human nature does not change.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  57. Benedict Newman says:

    The USCCB actually doesn’t really matter. I know a young priest and he said to me once, “I don’t listen to anything that comes from the USCCB.” That young priest is actually justified in saying that. He only has to listen to the Pope and the magisterium and his superior. If I’m correct, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz has openly rejected the Dallas Charter and its implementation. He actually is a great bishop, unlike the rest of the American bishops who are just a bunch of businessmen whose two greatest motivations are money and prestige.

    If everyone is interested in analyzing the problems within the American Church, let’s zero in on the bishops. I bet we would find more “issues” with them than we would find with anyone else.

  58. Mr. Comerford, You seem to comment on so many comments, but from reading your comments it seems you do want listen to what others are saying to you. You have your opinion which seems more and more like an agenda, and everything must fit into that. I guess the Deacon has his reasons to let his comment boxes to go this way, but i cannot see what real conversation or discussion is going on. Since i have posted on this in the past i did not want to just leave with no reason given, but i am out of here and wont be back for a long time. when comment boxes get taken over by someone’s soap box, it is time to get the heck out of dodge!

  59. Benedict Newman:

    “…the American bishops who are just a bunch of businessmen whose two greatest motivations are money and prestige.”

    Do you have facts to back up that statement or is it your opinion?

  60. Richard W Comerford says:

    Deacon:

    “[Richard: according to the Bishop Accountability website, Higgins claims the Vatican reversed its decision to have him laicized, and that he is a retired priest. The Archdiocese of San Diego denies that, and says the pope reaffirmed Higgins' removal from ministry. Higgins' history with the Church is rather complicated, as you can tell from this news report. Dcn. G.]”

    Thank you for your link. Thanks to one of your correspondents I was able to read the appellatte decision. The Court (I think correctly but what do I know?) correctly upheld a lower court’s decision not to get involved with internal church affairs.

    The sad thing is that in 2011 with Mr. Google at our fingertips we do not know who is telling the truth.

    If Higgins is a defrocked, predatory, scum bag then the Canon Lawyers and Bishops have a duty to tell us so and provide the documents. If not then they have an equal duty to explain his exact status to us as a priest and provide the documents.

    After a half century of lost innocence we can demand no less.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  61. brother jeff says:

    I like this site and La Popessa’s but this story has done them real harm. The language is so biased, so cruel, that i take the catholic blogosphere less seriously than i did before. America magazine wrote not one entry on this matter, something to consider. But maybe they and their cohorts will do a document ‘dump’ soon….


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