A few commenters are still upset that EWTN has pulled Fr. John Corapi’s programs. Shortly after the story broke, however, Relevant Radio — which also aired his work — issued a detailed press release, explaining their decision to remove his shows. I think it helps explain the reasoning behind that decision.
While the principle “innocent until proven guilty” still holds in canon law, it would be a mistake to hold that any cleric ever has a right to exercise the public ministry without his Bishop/Superior’s express permission, which can be withdrawn for prudential reasons.Canon 822 §3 addresses the special duty of those involved with the media in this regard:a. “All Christ’s faithful, especially those who in any way take part in the management or use of the media, are to be diligent in assisting pastoral action, so that the Church can more effectively exercise its office through these means.”“To assist in pastoral action” means to cooperate with the proper ecclesiastical authorities. In the case of Fr. Corapi, Catholic media outlets will assist the process by supporting the indications and intentions of his superiors with respect to his temporary suspension from the public ministry of teaching, sanctifying, and governing.
The current status of the case is as follows:Fr. John Corapi is on administrative leave. A preliminary investigation, which includes the initial review of any and all accusations of alleged improprieties made against him is actively underway. The decision to place Father Corapi on administrative leave is a prudential decision, similar to how other institutions conduct internal investigations. It is not a penal act but does signal the serious concern with which our religious society views allegations against a member, as well as our desire to assist in pastoral action with transparency, efficiency and in a manner which also serves as a protection for the accused and the alleged victim, and in service to all the faithful. At the conclusion of the preliminary investigation, the Society will provide further information.