Corapi, the morning after — UPDATED

You don’t have to look far to find a lot of wide-ranging reaction to the Big News around the blogosphere.

First up, Max Lindenman, who says something a few people have wondered about in e-mails to me:

The man is deeply distraught — that much is obvious. I’ll also venture the guess that he’s either over-medicated or — perhaps worse — under-medicated. He strikes too many discordant notes, sends too many mixed signals. Corapi is a very polished and very experienced public speaker; in his right mind, he’d know the importance of consistency. Perhaps he was under some sort of pressure to put out this statement in a hurry. But even if he couldn’t recognize the bizarreness of his message, you’d think somebody close to him would step in and say, “Say, John, don’t you think we ought to tweak that?”

Makes me wonder whether he’s getting bad advice, or more likely, is getting good advice, but disregarding it.

Corapi’s a survivor. He said so in pretty much exactly those words, and that’s a good thing. But what terms is he going to survive on? He’s got a history of addiction and a gramdiose notion of himself — not a good combination. With his whole world caving in on him, I don’t think it takes a Jewish mother to wonder whether he’ll return to old habits. After all, he no longer has any superiors to answer to. He’s his own man, with exactly as much rope as he’ll need to hang himself.

Deacon Bill Ditewig is also suggesting the best prescription at this juncture may be prayer:

No matter where you fall on your opinion of this man, it is time now to pray for everyone concerned. In particular, we should be praying for the many people who placed so much faith in his ministry. They are finding all of this quite devastating.

Frank Weathers is unimpressed:

As for me and my house, we won’t be waiting for salvation via Pirate Radio broadcasts from Mr. John Corapi anytime soon. We’ve better things to do.

A few people saw this coming, including Lisa Graas and The Anchoress. And Mark Shea is unsparing in his criticism:

He protests his innocence, slimes his accuser and investigators, urges you to buy his stuff in celebration of his 20th Anniversary as a priest, while simultaneously abandoning his fatherly vows on Father’s day , covering himself in self-pity for his choice and ditching all the people who trusted him, all apparently to transmogrify himself into some sort of Talk Radio/Internet superhero called “The Black Sheepdog” so he can reincorporate, start bringing in the bucks again, and convince the suckers who follow him into his new incarnation as guru to blame the Church for his troubles.

Another person who is not impressed is Jimmy Akin:

Fr. Corapi—or “the Black SheepDog”—or whatever he wants to be called—chose not to stand firm in the face of what he claimed were false allegations.

Instead, he chose to defy authority and set up his own shop, claiming as a “sheep dog” to protect the flock whose leaders he is defying.

Unless something very improbable happens, he has thus abandoned his priesthood in a way that will from here on out bar him from serving as a Catholic priest.

By the way, I had no idea what the result of the investigation would be prior to this announcement, but in view of it, and in view of what was previously known, I am in no way surprised.

I wish I had been, but I’m not.

Dang.

I wish things had gone better.

Fr. Corapi has “lost it.”

And by “it” I mean any likely chance of working as a priest again.

It doesn’t matter if the charges against him were false. By refusing to cooperate with the Church’s process, and by announcing his intention to speak in defiance of that authority, he has rejected any chance of resolving the charges against him on the grounds that he is innocent.

And I have to throw out a few questions still waiting for answers:

How come we didn’t see him on that video? Conspiracy theorists are arguing in some comboxes, here and elsewhere, that it might not really be him and maybe the whole thing is a huge hoax. And, I gotta say: the imagery used on that tape was creepy to the point of being diabolical.

What does his order have to say about this? It would be helpful to get some confirmation from them.

Is he going to stay a Catholic? While it appears he is choosing to be laicized and released from his vows,  in Catholic theology, Corapi is “a priest forever.”  Is he going to encourage his faithful followers (“fans”) to stick with the Church, the institution that he fought for and which he has consistently proclaimed as the sole source of salvation?  Or does he have something else now in mind?

What about EWTN? They took an enormous amount of heat — and quite a few heat-seeking missiles — for taking him off the air when the investigation began.  Corapi’s fans have been merciless in condemning the channel for that (even though they had no choice, under the circumstances) and have blitzed the station’s management with petitions and phone calls.  I have no doubt a lot of people have stopped giving to the network over this debacle — and that may be one reason they are pleading for donations right now.  The fact remains: EWTN helped make Corapi the media star that he became; inadvertently, that may have contributed to his fall.  But he can’t deny that it was their support and encouragement that put him on the map.  They gave him the international platform from which he launched his media empire.  It would be gracious and generous for him to encourage his fans to keep watching the channel, and to continue to support the invaluable work of EWTN.  Somehow, though, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

UPDATE and Mea Culpa: I took out an earlier reference that I’d made to some speculation by a couple of priests.  It was gratuitous — and, as more than a few commenters have pointed out, both unfounded and uncharitable.  I’m better than that.  And Corapi deserves better than that, too.

UPDATE II: From my diaconal brother, Scott Dodge, quoting another deacon in his combox who is an expert on issues related to mental health:

In working with hundreds of men and women in the past 30 years in the areas of mental health and chemical dependency, his statement sounds very similar to what I have heard from other who are struggling with addictions or blows to their personalities.

I fear him, or what he could do now, to cause division in the Church.

I really hope he refrains from continuing to call himself, “The Black Sheep Dog.” It is ominous.

That deacon, Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota, concludes:

“From only reading the text of his statement it strikes me of a man who has a wounded pride. He seems to be lashing out, and seeing himself in some way now as the defender of truth in the world. He doesn’t actually say that, but it leaves that impression in my mind.”

And then there is this, from Pat Archbold:

The process may be grossly unfair, but it really has only begun. Throwing in the towel so quickly, unfair process or not, is not the only thing that stinks in Denmark.

Leaving the priesthood so that you can continue your (profit making?) ministry after three months says that he does not hold his priesthood in very high regard. How can a priest give up saying the Mass so easily?

There are priests in China who suffer much more than Corapi has in these last few months at the hands of a much more unjust system but would never consider giving up their legitimate priesthood. Never.

This quick decision to abandon the priesthood by Corapi cannot help leave one with the impression that the priesthood was only a means to an end. When the going got rough, he quickly dumped the priesthood to move on. This does not speak well of him.

Comments

  1. Fr. Deacon Daniel says:

    I think Deacon Bill has once again hit the proverbial nail on the head. Prayer for all involved or affected is the best route to go right now.

  2. “He launched a blog-site: http://www.TheBlackSheepDog.us to allow his fans to begin establishing a ‘home’ where they can be in touch with him, directly. A member from his media team shared “this is a very exciting move for John and his fans, as for the first time, in a long time, John will be directly in touch with this fan-base by way of social networks.””

    That’s all I needed to hear.

    What poor, distraught, falsely-accused, humble evangelist for the Lord talks about his fan-base?

  3. I never had heard of this man until his fall, but I think prayers are about all anyone should offer him now. He sounded so strange in the video and I agree the imagery was diabolical.

    Lord have mercy on his soul.

  4. “Wisdom enters through love, silence, and mortification. It is great wisdom to know how to be silent and to look at neither the remarks, nor the deeds, nor the lives of others.” – St. John of the Cross, Sayings of Light and Love, 61

  5. RE:

    “I have no doubt a lot of people have stopped giving to the network over this debacle — and that may be one reason they are pleading for donations right now.”

    Foe as long as I have been watching EWTN (maybe for 20 years – although selectively and not on a regular basis) they have been saying Mother Angelica’s catchy plea for donations:

    “Remember to keep us between your gas and electric bill.”

  6. Barbara Peters says:

    Lawyers have an old saying: When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When the law is on your side, argue the law. When you have neither, bang the table. There is a whole lot of table banging going on in this matter. That said, I find John Corapi’s table banging, and its fruits, especially troubling and disturbing.

  7. Bill Huber says:

    Corapi’s show was my least favorite on EWTN. While his message was good, his delivery was, for me, stilted and repetitive, and just a little bit patronizing. Just sayin’.

  8. My impression on hearing the tape was of Lucifer, the fallen angel.

  9. I think the lack of anything to do with God and the “it’s all me now” is a bit disconcerting. He sounded very troubled and ill and the lack of any word from him even before these accusations was little. He said he wanted to be a hermit, not preach, maybe he always disliked doing it. He had an audiance of older Catholics that obviously liked him, although sometimes seemed sleepy in the quick shots, I always wished he reached out to others, younger adults, did free talks at colleges, schools, not paid for mega talks.
    But my wishes are just that, and who cares? He has to do what he wants to do and the chips fall where they may.

  10. I still support EWTN, they bring a lot of nice shows, Fr. Groechel and his group are very good priests, brothers and nuns, and they give access to much information.

    Sure they will have a priest that isn’t “perfect” and might leave like Fr. Francis, but they have much more good than bad. I felt they always knew more than we did (as they should) and their decison was wise, the “fans” are scary, if he started a cult, how many would go? So much on one man who never did anything but give talks on EWTN and to groups for money…I don’t get it.

  11. Jo Langley says:

    Wow. These comments from the article are pretty hard hitting.
    Calling folks who have grown in faith/changed their ways ect.. by listening to Fr. Corapi “Fans”.

    It is what it is …and it cut my heart like a knife to witness this tragedy. But now we move on. What John Corapi does with his life is his and Gods business.

  12. Certainly, Father Deacon, as you and Deacon Bill suggest, I will pray for Corapi and all those who have been attacted by his teaching.

    However, having thought about this last night and this morning, I have to wonder why I never saw him celebrate Mass when he made his appearances at EWTN. Ever.

    Every other priest who hosts, or has hosted, a show at EWTN – Father Mitch Pacwa, Father John Trigilio, Father Ken Brighenti, Father Andrew Apostoli, Father Frank Pavone, Father Tom Euteneur, Father Benedict Groeschel, to name a few – have always celebrated Mass as part of their appearance. Some no longer celebrate the televised Mass for various reasons (physical ailments, accusations of impropriety, too busy with parish work at home), but they at least did. Even the Eastern Rite priests who have hosted shows have at least concelebrated Mass. I never noticed Corapi celebrating Mass. Did I miss something?

  13. arck from noach is false religion

  14. Deb that “man who never did anything” just happend to bring many, like myself, to the faith. I hope you “get that.”

    Regardless of everything else, Father Corapi, in his ministry as a priest, taught rock solid orthdoxy, and more than anyone, explained the “whys” behind the catechism.

    At the very least, or worst case scenario, we should ALL be gravely concerned that he may have been seized by Satan, as he, more than anyone, was a bull’s eye target.

    As Mother Angelica used to say (paraphrased), “Satan never has to bother with the folks who already have one foot in hell, it’s the good ones he goes after with a vengance.”

    As I wrote earlier, this is absolutely, a “wait and see”, and we will know soon enough by how and what he preaches. In the meantime, there simply can’t be too many prayers for him!

  15. Remember Bishop Bonaventure?

  16. This situation is tragic on many levels; prayers offered for John Corapi and his audience. But I would find it a whole lot more devastating if it was “Father Joe” or “Father Del”; our local pastors who hear our confessions, get up in the middle of the night to anoint the dying, and say Mass every day (and four or more times on weekends). They’ve never been on EWTN, but they are there where the rubber meets the road. Since tomorrow is Father’s Day it would be an appropriate time to tell the priests who serve us on the local level how much we appreciate them being there for us.

  17. This unfortunate event should serve as a reminder that our faith should lie greatly in God and not on his instruments, no matter how good, polished and glib they are. The blessed Mother and the Saints always point toward God; Corapi’s arrows are on to himself.
    Jimmy Akins, Mark Shea, the Anchoress and other bloggers offer insights that are very helpful for us to make a balanced and decent judgment on this matter. I am so sorry for Corapi, but he himself admittedly say that he is “The Balck Sheep Dog”. Jimmy Akins has pointed out what this title means.
    It is a sad day to see that Jesus has lost one shepherd to another. I pray for Corapi, and most especially, for all those dedicated priests who are striving to remain faithful to their ministry, who try to live their lives sincerely as servants of God despite their weaknesses, for abandoning their personal and worldly ambitions, to bring about the glory of God! Thank you, dear Lord, for them.

  18. Deacon Wally Calabrese says:

    In today’s Office (Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time), St. Cyprian stated: “Was the sinless Lord praying for himself? No, he was praying and interceding on our behalf. He explained to Peter: Behold Satan demanded that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.” Let not our faith fail either, as my brother deacons have stated as well as some of you, prayer is what is needed. Pray for Wisdom, pray for peace, pray for all those involved.

  19. Thank you for you apology about the speculation from a couple of priests.

    Check out Fr Z for a charitable commentary.

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2011/06/about-fr-john-corapi-with-observations-about-our-times/

  20. Catholic Psychdoc says:

    I listened to Father Corapi’s statement. He sounded depressed and very, very sad. His addictive personality will probably not let him wait forever to get on with his life. Psychology and spiritually, he is NOT a Padre Pio or a Mother Teresa.

    Of course, the Kingdom of Heaven is made up of many different kinds of Saints. John was given a great gift, let us pray that he continues to use it for God’s honor and glory and not his own.

    Peace, Father Corapi.

  21. Klaire I didn’t mean anything bad, like he was worthless, just that he was a preacher, period. I listened back when he wore the robes and beard but as I came more into the church, he didn’t help me, others did. It just seemed “off”” but that is a personal thing. He read the catechism, told what the church preached, but it’s more to being a priest than that. As others stated, what about the joy of giving mass, the eucharist, serving the poor, going to people who don’t pay to come to you.
    Being on EWTN was nice but selling your DVD’s and books for very high prices and annoying emails (which I stopped) was not subtle. You have to teach but also preach without words. Many everyday priests do that without the fan letters, many work with the poor and own nothing, many go to other countries to help, many visit the sick and lonely, not just talk and tell others what to do, but be an example to them.
    I realize he helped many back as John Paul ll and Mother Angeilica and Fr. Groechel did for me, those souls I hope stay and grow, good is good, but that doesn’t mean he is doing the right thing then or now..his private life is compartmentalized from his preaching.

  22. Sorry but I found nothing insightful from the Anchoress, Jimmy Akin and most particulary nothing from Mark Shea, and even your comments Kandra that he is [I'll also venture the guess that he is either over or worse yet under-medicated.] The one person who does have some good insight is Fr. Z who reminds us what it is really about. Lot’s of people giving easy advice about how he should be humble and obedient, take it like Padre Pio. Well how would you act if faced with the same circumstances? The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. How many people heard about the priest in Boston who “died of a broken heart” after being falsely accused of abuse? I am not an apologist for Fr. Corapi only trying to point out that the only people who seem to be taking pleasure in this sad affair are the Devil and those who want to pile on Fr. Corapi. The most important thing to remember is, “In all things Charity.”

    Fr. Corapi in some ways reminds me of another fiery preacher, Savanorola, whom history has more or less acquitted. I for one will continue to pray for Fr. Corapi and hope that Our Lady will take care of him and all priests who are being severely attacked by the Devil.

    Fr. Z’s thoughts. http://wdtprs.com/blog/2011/06/about-fr-john-corapi-with-observations-about-our-times/

  23. It is interesting to note that he wrote and introduction to father Euteneuer,s book on exorcism. Both of them now disgraced. Satan’s revenge ?

    The fall from public grace of so many “star” Catholic priests is troubling to say the least.

  24. Certainly, this bizarre event will cause me to re-double my effort in prayer for our Church, our Holy Father, and especially all priests and religious. Most of all, I certainly won’t allow this bizarre event to distract or take precedence over the very greats things currently occurring in our Church such as World Youth Day in Spain and the very tangible fruits taking shape regarding Anglicanorum coetibus and the formation of new Anglican Ordinariates in Europe and North America.

  25. Gabrielle says:

    Maybe as some have stated, this is an agreement from everyone involved and he stepped down because it was the best thing for all involved and “maybe” less scandal if it all aired. I will not believe the bishops hated him or anything like that, they saw, they interviewed people involved I’m sure, if anyone said, “No, he didn’t do that, or No, I wasn’t involved” they wouldn’t ignore it. That’s evil in itself.

  26. naturgesetz says:

    re: George #2 — When you wrote, “A member from his media team shared ‘this is a very exciting move for John and his fans, as for the first time, in a long time, John will be directly in touch with this fan-base by way of social networks,’” I immediately thought of Charlie Sheen.

  27. Yesterday was one of those roller-coaster days, hitting a high in the morning as a new priest (the 4th in 6 years!) at our local parish came to accept his difficult pastoral assignment, and rose to the occasion, and found his calling to lead his flock according to the Church’s teachings. This battle for him was won through prayer and sacrifice for six months.

    The low, of course was Fr. Corapi’s announcement… we must pray my friends:
    http://nunspeak.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/prayer-and-the-priesthood/

  28. Deacon John M. Bresnahan says:

    Noone yet knows the whole story. Maybe we will never know the whole story. But we do not need the whole story to know we shouldn’t rush to judgement with regard to Father Corapi, his bishop, or his superiors.
    In fact, there are times it is best to not speculate, but simply to embrace the Cross, pray, and move on.

  29. Deacon Brian says:

    If I remember correctly, Fr. Corapi’s longest running “show” on EWTN was the series on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This was produced years ago, early in his priesthood, for the Diocese of Sacramento, when he was helping train their catechists. During these presentations, I sense a real humility and love for the faith and those he was training, in marked contrast to his work of later years. I am in no position to judge beyond that, other than to offer that observation. Better for me to pray for him and all our priests.

  30. @ Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    Much agreed! Heads bowed, hearts elevated, back to work!

  31. Mike K…yes he did concelebrate mass multiple times. I have only been watching for a year or two but that I am sure of.

    This is a devestation for those whom he helped bring into the church or bring back to the church. He has taught even self-considered good catholics a lot about what our church really stands for and what is required of us.

    I wont debate whether or not he now sets a good example of the above, but agree with some who say in the last few years the changes we have seen in him and now heard in him are somewhat troubling.

    We will never know what really took place or all the contributing factors involved, and we should focus on the affect this tragedy (in my opinion) may cause the church. Regardless of his final decision and whether it is obedient or not or regardless of whether he did have any guilt in the accusations or whether he is still trying to make a profit more than anything, it is all between him and God. My prayer is that he will have full self-awareness and continue to have a good relationship with God. We are all entitled to forgiveness and I hope he is doing all of this from the right place in his heart and soul.

    He was asked to go through the same pointless mockery of a trial that our Lord was put through and he chose not to stay around for the crucifixion. I can’t blame him because in my weakness I would have run too. I hope he sought the Lord’s advice in all of this, but admittedly it does feel like the evil one is at hand somehow. How many of us can say we have never been fooled or proceeded in a self-righteous way only to reflect later on and realized our motives were not pure or that we had been tricked by the father of lies.

    I just sincerely hope and pray that he is not mentally or physically ill or being led astray. I pray his greatest example of all is still forthcoming (but it doesn’t look hopeful) and most of all I pray that the good he did manage in his 20 years of priesthood and those he brought in and back to the church will remember all those wise teachings and inspiring words and remember the lessons that endeared him all to so many. As much as i have enjoyed his preaching, don’t go in for all of this non-denominational stuff. I hope he stays decidedly catholic.

    This situation is one of many late trials to our church. My bottom line is that while he may have been somewhat of a hero to some, the true hero was and remains Christ, whose example we are all called to follow even in the trials and aftermath. We are all to believe that the suffering brings everlasting rewards but none of us can condemn him for his decision. Only he and God know what truly took place. God has a plan for each of us, let us trust in God!

  32. THE DARK COMPANION…

    “Black dog” was the expression used by Winston Churchill to describe his bouts of depression.

    The first recorded use of black dog as a colloquial term for melancholy is by Samuel Johnson, the creator of the English dictionary, who suffered from what today would be termed clinical depression. Johnson called his melancholia ‘the black dog’ in conversations and correspondence with his friends.

    Writers Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson also made reference to the “black dog” in their lives.

    Black dogs are also a symbol in ancient religions of of death and afterlife.

    Cornelius Agrippa, a philosopher of the 1500s, was persecuted for non-conventional beliefs; his pet black dog was presented as evidence of his sorcery.

    Howling dogs are also seen as omens of death and illness.

    more about the black dog symbolism…

    http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/docs/Huet.pdf

  33. fiestamom says:

    Thanks for the link to Fr. Z’s comments. It was very thoughtful.

    I saw this comparison elsewhere, and it’s so true, Fr. Corapi is eerily similar to Dale Fushek, (founder of Lifeteen).

    Fushek released his book this year, during Lent!! It is entitled The Unexpected Life, and on the cover, Fushek, (a laicized, then excommunicated priest) is dressed in burgundy vestments with a large cumberbund. He was a Monsignor.

    Fushek left the Catholic church, and started his own Praise and Worship Center a couple of miles away from his old parish, St. Timothy. He’s taken a lot of souls with him, I believe around 300-400. Fushek also took with him his co priest- (now excommunicated also) to the Praise and Worship Center.

    Fushek was a local celebrity, I wonder how many souls Corapi will now take away from the Catholic Church?

  34. Fr. Corapi is tracking Savonarola more closely than Padre Pio now. I hope he reconsiders this decision.

  35. @Dcn Greg – I suspect we are not going to hear from the Diocese of Corpus Christi or from SOLT until they have received some concrete affirmation from him. They may be trying to reach him, and he may or may not respond. In any event, I don’t know that they can comment until they hear directly from him, in writing, fax, in person, by phone or whatever, that this is indeed him.

    I don’t know what the protocols are, but I would think that after seeing that video they would first want to touch base with him directly before putting out a statement.

    Pray fervently people. If you really want to help, go to an adoration chapel and put in some time before our Eucharistic Lord in reparation for fallout from this, and for the sanctification of the priesthood. I really don’t think we have been praying enough. (Matthew 9:16-29)

  36. brother jeff says:

    Pilgrim, the best dogs on earth are black: black labradors. Let’s not drag them down this rabbit hole please. When I first heard Blacksheepdog I thought of the Black Dog on Martha’s Vineyard. Then I’m thinking, is he going to an entirely new business?

  37. I don’t think the influence of satan can be dismissed. From the Anton LaVey – like makeover, to the malevolent imagery of the black dog logo it practically screams itself. It also explains the dichotomy of a priest who once inspired so many in the faith now acting so uncharacteristically. What better target for the evil one than to puff up a holy man with pride and then bring him down and lot’s of people with him.

    I think it is time for his supporters to pray for him and let him go. Don’t follow him as he is now. If satan does have a hold on him, better to ignore him and maybe satan will let go if Corapi becomes irrelevant. If it is only pride, then becoming irrelevant will give him a better opportunity to find humility and realize he is only the poor instrument.

  38. Michael Huzyak says:

    Fr. Corapi was falsely accused by his enemies, his good name libeled, and his public ministry ended by religious authorities. I know another priest who was falsely accused, libeled, and had his public ministry ended by the religious authorities of his day: Jesus Christ.

    Unlike Fr. Corapi (the “Black Sheep Dog”), Christ, the Good Sheppard “…was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth”, and was “…cut off from the land of the living”. Christ never quit. Neither did Mary, the Mother of God, whom Fr. Corapi credits for his conversion.

    Fr. Corapi has always preached about the theology of the cross, “No Cross, No Crown” is a favorite saying of his. I pray for his health, his well-being, and that he is not under duress. If he has freely made this choice with all his faculties, I pray now that he picks up his cross and follows Christ.

  39. One practical answer, I think, to one of Deacon Greg’s questions: He may not have appeared on the video, and the audio recording may have been of such poor quality that many people initially doubted it was him, because he no longer has the production services of his goddaughter and her husband, who produced all of his media from right after the Catechism series up until 2009 when they parted ways. (This is the goddaughter that he very carefully drew the line to identifying as the “accuser,” starting over a year ago with public descriptions of her character flaws and by warning audiences that they would soon hear false accusations against him. Remember, other than statements from him and his current office assistant, Bobbie Ruffatto, we do not know that the accusations he described were ever made, let alone that they were made by a disgruntled ex-employee who promised to destroy him.)

    Messages produced since 2009 not only show his radically changing appearance and voice quality, but reflect amateurish production values. His pre-Lent promo for the Catechism series http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrEp6g9Cd14, released just a couple of weeks before he announced the suspension, shows him ostensibly at a lectern in a church, but he is clearly being filmed in front of a “green screen”–the photo of the church in the background is strangely out of scale, and appears to be flopped, as the old-fashioned pulpit is on the wrong side of the sanctuary. The green-screen process was poorly done, with the cropping of his image so ragged that his ears are cut off and also appear to wiggle throughout.

    Whoever his new production team is–perhaps he’s even doing it himself, which would explain the audio-only–may also be responsible for the poorly conceived and executed graphic imagery of The Black SheepDog.

    Minor points, but part of the overall tapestry of weirdness.

    My take is mental illness, and my prescription is prayer.

  40. brother jeff… I feel pretty sure that the man is attempting to present his illness to people with his reference to “black dog”. If he is depressed, and it is manic, then this would explain his “darkness” and confused presentation. check out the signs and symptoms presented at this website:
    http://helpguide.org/mental/bipolar_disorder_symptoms_treatment.htm

  41. brother jeff says:

    On his mental health, i think a primary rule of psychiatry is that remote diagnoses can’t be credited. His statement did not strike me as coming from one who is mentally ill or delusional He expresses an awareness of his unworthiness to be a priest, which seems to be getting lost in the shuffle. he is probably just feeling very isolated and abandoned. Not to say his ego hasn’t been injured of course

  42. I really don’t know anything about Fr. Corapi except the news that has been talked about recently. I just think this whole thing should be a warning about priests and the “cult of personality”. Anytime a priest starts to think he is the story and not Jesus, there is a big problem.

  43. Beware celebrity

  44. CATHERINE says:

    The image of a large black dog with glowing eyes is often said to be associated with the Devil. The black sheepdog on John Corapi’s website depicts the left eye with a pack of wolves while the right eye has sheep. Beware!!! lest the wolf devours the sheep???
    Very bizarre!!!

  45. Fred Miller says:

    Thank you for sharing Fr Z’s thoughts. They were helpful and very different that what most others have said.

  46. brother jeff… are you a psychiatrist? Have you had any experience of dealing with bi-polar disorder? Do you know if Corapi is taking or not taking medication for depression? Feeling isolated and abandoned is one of the many common symptoms of bipolar disorder, as is the feeling of worthlessness. “In the manic phase of bipolar disorder, feelings of heightened energy, creativity, and euphoria are common. People experiencing a manic episode often talk a mile a minute, sleep very little, and are hyperactive. They may also feel like they’re all-powerful, invincible, or destined for greatness. But while mania feels good at first, it has a tendency to spiral out of control. People often behave recklessly during a manic episode: gambling away savings, engaging in inappropriate sexual activity, or making foolish business investments, for example. They may also become angry, irritable, and aggressive–picking fights, lashing out when others don’t go along with their plans, and blaming anyone who criticizes their behavior. Some people even become delusional or start hearing voices.
    http://helpguide.org/mental/bipolar_disorder_symptoms_treatment.htm

  47. brother jeff says:

    Pilgrim, my point is that no psychiatrist or psychologist worthy of the name makes remote diagnoses hundreds of miles away without ever meeting the given person. Given the vast new number of personality disorders listed in the DSM, which now seem to cover every conceivable human emotion, we could all now be labeled as having one “disorder” or another. But that’s another subject.

    I’d say leave the guy alone at this point. I highly doubt he is going to start some new “church.” I’m sure he just wants out from under this cloud and wants the freedom to write and speak as he used to. I would like to see some statement from his bishop as to what the story is though. It’s starting to sound like no one knows to which bishop he was incardinated.

  48. Whatever the truth, I think the Devil is laughing with glee. Either he set in motion an attack that has resulted here, or he is working throught Fr. Corapi or both. It is not a good day for the faithful.

    Prayer and lashing oneself to the mast of the barque of Peter is the only way through ANY storm!

  49. Ceile De says:

    Brother Jeff at #47 refers to the freedom to speak like he (Corapi) used to. But his authority to speak before was as a preist spreading the importance of obedience to the Magisterium. well, iths is going to be awkward…

  50. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    I would like to see some statement from his bishop as to what the story is though. It’s starting to sound like no one knows to which bishop he was incardinated.

    That raises an interesting question, Jeff. If you check stories that broke at the time the scandal began, Corpus Christi — the hq for SOLT — said that he wasn’t affiliated with them, and the Diocese of Helena, where he resides, said he wasn’t incardinated there, either.

    ???

    At the very least, his superiors at SOLT need to clarify what has happened (as they did in March).

    But let’s remember: from the beginning, the only account of all this has been John Corapi’s. He (or his mouthpiece at Santa Cruz Media) has railed against the system, defended his innocence, attacked the credibility of the woman who made the allegations, and now announced his departure from his religious vocation. His is the only side of the story we’ve heard.

    But there are at least two other sides to this — the Church’s, and the woman’s.

    Will we hear more? If the past is any guide, probably not. Corapi’s version could well end up being the only one out there.

    Dcn. G.

  51. David Wagner says:

    When a priest like Fr. Corapi’s is silenced, it’s certainly a victory for evil.

    Maybe he’s right — someone wanted him silenced and he knew he was going to be suspended indefinitely.

    This way, he will still have a voice, and the evil one is furious.

  52. Elaine Gilbert says:

    You guys are all clueless. Would do you all well to read Father Z’s post. Try going to confession for all the lack of charity. I have no doubt in my mind he is innocent and yes the devil wants to attack those who preach the truth. It is called spiritual warfare…it is a battle for souls. Corapi has been responsible for bringing so many people back to the faith- which the devil hates. I ask you to read Father Z’s post. Why don’t you cut and paste his perception on this?? Rather then only the negative…Corapi has so much love and devotion for the Eucharist and the Blessed Mother. God pulled him out of the ditch and brought him back to Holy Mother Church. You think for nothing? He has a plan for Corapi. Never did he ever teach anything in contradiction to the Catholic Faith. He has always spoken of how important it is to learn our faith. He loves the Catholic Church. How do you know that this is not what God wills for him at this time?? Not saying it is for sure, but I do believe he has been praying intensely about this since it happened. It is not about him and money. It’s about continuing to get the truth out to people in need of it.

  53. tim baugh,
    You are right about the fruits of his ministry. He will indeed reveal whether he is guiding himself, being led by the Holy Spirit, or by the evil one.

    Regarding his talk of persecution, don’t forget that he may have been grooming his followers the same way a pervert grooms his victims. Keep an open mind – to every possiblity.

  54. How sad that I am reading people who call themselves Catholic as well as even deacons and priests who are committing the sin of detraction in broad daylight. Accusing a fellow Christian of being “under-medicated”? Accusing him of being “grandiose” about himself? Predicting that he will revert to his previous life that he left over 30 years ago? What? Once an addict always an addict? May the Lord have mercy on ALL of you…no wonder the pagans laugh at us…we sound just as mean and uncharitable as them. Your brother in Christ Jesus, who is a NEW creation by the way, is in need of encouragement, solidarity, and prayers. Nothing else. I think a trip through the book of Proverbs on how the tongue can be a destructive force needs to be visited by most of you. You are better than this…

  55. Nice post Tim #52

    Can anyone tell me how Fr. Corapi’s decision to continue his ministry as a laicized priest, if that is what ultimately happens, is any different from the work that Scott Hahn, Jeff Cavins, et al are doing? So long as he doesn’t say anything contrary to the Faith, and there is no indication that he will, what is the problem. Suggesting that Fr. Corapi is like Dale Fushek is absurd and pre-mature at best. At worst it could be a sin of detraction or calumny.

    Would it be better if he had stayed a priest, even silenced? Quite possibly, and God may have drawn greater profit out of it. But that is not a decision for you or I to make. And the puerile comparisons to Padre Pio are ridiculous. To condemn a man for failing to act like Padre Pio or other saints is ludicrous and I would suggest those making them ought to get their own spiritual life in order. Not to mention all the amateur psycho-analysts out there trying to diagnose him with a mental illness or “he must be on drugs again.”

    As to the question of “pride” I personally don’t see it. Nor again is it my place to. I have enough problems of my own on that front to than to worry about someone else. Nevertheless it has been a common struggle for preachers throughout history to battle against the sin of pride. Even Bishop Sheen was often accused of being proud, yet now he is on his way to becoming a saint. Point is, it is not our concern. It would be far better for all concerned if we spent a little more time in prayer for our priests then unleashing our venom against them when one of them fails. How many make a special point to pray each day for a priest(s)

  56. What’s up with the disappearing posts? Two of us have replied to Tim #52 which is no longer there.

  57. Deacon Greg:

    You’re a former newsman. There’s a person “jkm” over on The Anchoress’ thread on this who is posting some very interesting -and substantiated – information about Corapi’s career. I do think it would be helpful to gather this up into a single post.

    It’s all very slippery.

    [That's AWFULLY interesting stuff, Joe. A few people have wondered about Corapi's history. That sheds more light on it. And it seems legit. Dcn. G.]

  58. ThirstforTruth says:

    I agree that of all the blogs and comments I have read since Father John Corapi announced he would no longer answer to the title Father ( he is still a priest according to the order of Melchizedek ) the best and most charitible appears on Father
    Z’s blog….it is the kind of comment befitting the situation as a Christian. However one feels about John Corapi personally is beside the point. No one really knows the full facts in this case…But what really stands out is that the process by which these cases are resolved in the Church seems deeply flawed and in great need of revision so that matters of this sort are dealt with in a just and expedient manner and no priest is hung out to dry forever without a resolution. In this day and age it is not reasonable.

  59. . . . And it seems legit. Dcn. G

    Ahh like the good modern newsman. Not sure but let’s put it out there anyways, we’ll worry about facts later and by then it won’t matter, the insinuation will be out there and presumption of wrongdoing will stick regardless.

  60. Mr Flapatap says:

    Can we stop judging and PRAY???

  61. Personally I am heartsick for Fr. Corapi first. There is no doubt in my mind of his enormous love for the priesthood. He has shared with us his suffering for the injustices done to all priests in our culture. To deny Fr. Corapi the presumption of innocence and the right to be a priest in at least a limited way, is in my opinion tantamount to thrusting a knife into his heart.

    Further by not allowing Fr. Corapi and other priests the right to defend themselves, a right we give the evilest of criminals in this country, the Bishops are inadvertently cooperating in and rewarding the sin of those persons who might be false accusers. It’s beyond horrible to contemplate the damage to the eternal soul of one guilty of this kind of grave sin.

    Beyond all this, I am surprised and disillusioned at the responses of some of my favorite Catholic bloggers. I know we are all sinners but I trusted these people, felt one with them in Christ, and am truly sad.

    “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”

  62. MaggieLee says:

    “Corapi has so much love and devotion for the Eucharist and the Blessed Mother.” — Elaine Gilbert

    @Elaine — He sure used to, that’s true, but how many times in this video does Father mention the Eucharist *or* the Blessed Mother?

  63. Daniel T says:

    Deacon Greg:
    Have you ever read the book “Coronary”. I’ts focus is the malpractice case that Father Corapi was in the middle of, but he also provides a lot of frank information regarding his media companies and his relationship with SOLT. It mentions his other lawsuit against the Schirmers over the rights to his media content, which would seem to be Santa Cruz Media Inc. vs. Saint Joseph Holding Company. The bit you can find about that with a subscription to a legal service indicates that Santa Cruz Media in 2003 was trying to obtain documents that they had turned over to some clergy member (the bishop of Sacramento?) while they were trying to claim clergy-penitent privilege. The documents referred to then sound very similar to what is now supposedly a 3 page letter from just this past
    Ash Wednesday. There is no indication of sex having anything to do with those documents, though his superiors currently have only referred to conduct unbecoming of a priest.

  64. I thought the video was very odd. It doesn’t really sound like Corapi’s voice if you listen closely, nor does the imagery suit his former themes in public ministry. The site could be a hoax or perhaps Fr. Corapi is going through a spiritual attack by the evil one.

    If the site is real, it does seem extremely unjust with what he has been forced to go through. I could see such persecution (without knowing your accuser and people assuming you are guilty) causing one to suffer immensely to the point where they would want to ‘flee’. If Corapi did leave the Church, I would question his mental state. He has far too long defended the Faith and I can only imagine under great spiritual duress and force, he would abandon it.

    For some reason this whole thing reminds me of St. Joan of Arc. She felt entirely abandoned by the Church because the corrupt political representatives of England sentenced and condemned her. St. Joan remained faithful to the Church and appeared to be executed by the Church. In reality, it was only certain men who did not follow the Church, who killed her. Her heart must have been torn in her martyrdom and so I pray Fr. Corapi is able to find refuge within the Church from all his suffering. Ask for St. Joan of Arc’s help!


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X