Corapi's superior: "We wanted him to come back to the community…" — UPDATED

He offers new insight into the case, from a story that just moved at the National Catholic Register:

Father Gerard Sheehan, regional priest-servant of SOLT and Father Corapi’s religious superior in the U.S., confirmed June 19 that the order’s investigation faced complications created by a civil suit filed by Father Corapi against the former employee who had accused him of sexual misconduct.

“When she left the company, she signed a contract that she would not reveal anything that happened to her while she was at Santa Cruz Media. Father Corapi paid her for this. Father was suing her for a breach of contract,” said Father Sheehan, though he did not specify why Father Corapi had initiated the non-disclosure agreement.

The civil suit against the former employee created a problem for SOLT investigators.

“In canon law, there can’t be any pressure on witnesses; they have to be completely free to speak. The investigation was compromised because of the pressure on the witnesses. There were other witnesses that also had signed non-disclosure agreements,” said Father Sheehan.

“The canon lawyers were in a difficult situation, and Father does have his civil rights and he decided to follow his legal counsel, which he had a right to do,” he said. “We tried to continue the investigation without speaking to the principal witnesses.”

The investigation was halted after Father Corapi “sent us a letter resigning from active ministry and religious life. I have written him a letter asking him to confirm that decision. If so, we will help him with this process of leaving religious life,” said Father Sheehan.

He expressed disappointment that Father Corapi chose not to remain in SOLT and to refuse the order’s invitation for him to live in community, leaving his Montana home. Father Sheehan said he had tried to arrange a meeting with Father Corapi before any final decision was announced, but had not heard back from him. Father Sheehan said that SOLT would issue a statement shortly.

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

Read the rest.

UPDATE: EWTN has released a statement on its Facebook page:

EWTN was deeply saddened by the news that Father John Corapi has announced his decision to resign from active priestly ministry and religious life.  Unfortunately, his decision makes it impossible for the Network to return his programming to the airwaves. We urge our EWTN Family to continue to pray for him, for all priests and for the unity of the Church.

Comments

  1. Well this just keeps getting sadder and sadder.

  2. Yup. Exactly as many have suspected. Corapi’s actions are all about keeping the truth from coming out.

  3. My instincts have been validated and, believe me, I am not jumping for joy. I thought that I may have been off base in a previous post when I wrote:

    It would not surprise me to discover that in the process of the investigation over the past three months

    1. issues with respect to Fr. Corapi’s lifestyle came under the microscope
    2. his understanding of his vows as a religious were scrutinized

    He may not have liked that scrutiny and may not have wanted to change his way of doing things which seem to me to be very Lone Ranger-like for a member of a vowed religious community.

  4. And can we now stop holding up Corapi as a poster child for the injustices of the Dallas Charter?

    Considering:

    1) This of course was a situation with an adult woman and not a matter for the Dallas Charter

    and

    2) Corapi has clearly played the system – both civil and canonical – to his own advantage?

    Sheep. Get a clue.

  5. ajesquire says:

    Well, well, well. Mr. Corapi tried to use a, presumably boilerplate, non-disclosure agreement to punish his accuser from bringing the accusation (in a private letter to the local Bishop)?

    As an attorney, I’m confident that there’s a substantial chance that Mr. Corapi’s suit would not stand.

    Or was it just a boilerplate nondisclosure agreement, after all? Maybe not. To the extent that Mr. Corapi believes the agreement would’ve/should’ve precluded the accuser’s report to the Bishop, and presumably any testimony in the subsequent investigation of that report, it sounds more like good, old-fashioned hush-money.

    I, for one, am fairly ecstatic at the way this has played out. Cults of Personality are never a good thing. And, within the context of the Catholic Church, they’re down-right dangerous.

    I guess I’m supposed to feel sorry for the sheeple who bought into Corapi because he was gung-ho in attacking the liberal boogeymen that they disliked. But, frankly, I’d rather rejoice in the advent of a new, noteworthy cautionary tale against such “media-personality prelatures”.

    So long Mr. Corapi. Don’t let the confessional door hit your tanned ass on the way out of the Church you made a supposedly life-long vow to.

  6. Sad… absolute power corrupts absolutely time and time again.

  7. This is disturbing.

    You really are becoming quite the stalker here, aren’t you?

    LET IT GO. Out all sense of decency and charity, stop with this obsessive exercise in personal destruction (and Corapi has not been the only target).

    Is he your priest? Does he belong to your parish or diocese?

    No?? Then what business is it of yours? Let it go.

  8. ajesquire says:

    Bender, since I’m part of “the world”, and Johnny C. purports to be my BlackSheepDog, I suppose it is my business.

    If I’m reading the statement by Mr. Corapi’s former Superior correctly, the SOLT was in the process of bringing members who’d be grandfathered around things like vows of poverty into compliance with those vows.

    So this all seems like a very convenient way for Corapi to pull a “you can’t fire me, I quit!” move to keep his millions to himself. Which speaks of rank hypocrisy in light of some of the rhetorical witch-hunts that were his bread-and-butter.

  9. Bender:

    What?

    He didn’t write the NCRegister article.

    What are you talking about?

    Address the facts of the case as we know them – that’s what the Deacon is trying to do.

    This is important stuff. Corapi has cried “victim” and stepped out of active ministry because – he claimed – the process was unfair.

    When in fact he was the one stalling the process and now – having left ministry – he has stopped it completely.

  10. Sad that a priest had a “star-like” non disclosure agreement. I guess even when you see any sin, you keep your mouth shut just like the hired help at movie stars mansions. Except he isn’t a movie star…yet.

  11. I must add though, she didn’t gossip to the press, she went to the right channels, she might have said, after complaining about his behavior, she would tell and he fired her, the anger part never bothered me, people get angry, but I thought that she did it correctly.

    It’s too bad they all signed agreements, the suit isn’t what is true or not true, it’s that they broke that agreement, that is sad.

  12. Courtney says:

    I’m thankful to the SOLT superior and the NCR for revealing this information, and to bloggers for continuing to follow this story. I can’t understand how his supporters — even in their love for him — seem to think that the details of this situation shouldn’t be published or discussed by Catholics, online or off. Absolutely, we should make every effort to be compassionate and demonstrate charity, to be precise in what exactly we know and don’t know. But frankly, Corapi himself made this “our” business — “we” being the Catholic faithful whom he purports to teach and guide as both a Catholic priest and a very public figure within Catholic circles. He made it our business by accepting and promoting his role as a public preacher and Catholic defender of the Church, and doing so in a way that clearly placed himself in some prominence. This is not the only way of being a priest or performing a ministry for the Church — hardly. This is a very dangerous way of performing a ministry, as anyone in this country at ALL familiar with celebrity culture should know immediately. I’m not suggesting that we scrounge for every detail of what sin might have gone on in his life — of course not. But he himself publicized this incident, from the beginning. He claimed not only his innocence but put it in the context of the Church hierarchy mistreating him. This might all have been true — but if it comes to light that it was not in fact the whole truth or even part of the truth, of course we should keep track of the facts, so that we can discern carefully and prayerfully *who* we listen to and who we consent to be taught by — *especially* if that person is no longer a priest, or under any Church authority. It doesn’t matter about liberal Bishops or homosexuals or “pagan Jews” or “communists” or anyone else that is supposedly directing every move against him, as I’ve read in numerous places in other comments.

    I had nothing against Fr. Corapi before this incident this year, and I also knew almost thing about him, although I’d seen his conversion testimony and thought it was quite moving. I have no doubt that he helped many people in their faith, and I thank God for that. But as a former Protestant, I know that’s not reason to keep someone free from correction. I should think all Catholics would be rightly concerned that the *form of ministry,* the type of appeal, the type of authority, the type of personal life a person is leading remain in keeping with Catholic tradition re: the religious life, and in keeping with what is prudent and blameless. I will pray for Fr. Corapi and his family, and for the Church.

  13. Boy a lot of people jumping to “projected” conclusions here.

    It makes perfect sense to me why a non-disclosure would be necessary. Father Corapi is one of if not the biggest targets in America when it comes to Catholicsm. How much would it take to bribe an employee to submit a false accusation?

    Answer: Not hard at all, unless of course , there were consequences known in advance, such as serious legal fees and maybe even jail time. I would do the same thing if I was in a high profile position, for anything, not just Catholic.

    That one is a no brainer to me. Even more so, if you think it through, it was protection for the good of the church as well.

    Lastly, while I would never encouarge disobedience, which may or may not be the case here, I love the fact that a probable “false accuser” is not getting the usual “lie and destroy.” The civil trial could be a real ground breaker, and hopefully make the next false accuser, if that is the case, think long and hard before they try and bring down a good priest. Enough is enough!

  14. “It makes perfect sense to me why a non-disclosure would be necessary. Father Corapi is one of if not the biggest targets in America when it comes to Catholicsm.”

    No, he really isn’t. Save for the cult around him, he really is not much for most Catholics. But you know, I heard similar defenses being put around by the Legionaires of Christ for Fr Marcial Maciel.

  15. “The civil trial could be a real ground breaker, and hopefully make the next false accuser, if that is the case, think long and hard before they try and bring down a good priest. Enough is enough!”

    The civil trial is interfering with the investigation, and it HAS brought down a priest. Doesn’t sound like win to me.

  16. In the meantime there are the poor to be helped, the sick to be consoled, the hungry to be fed, the ignorant to be taught, the gospel to be preached, the wounded to be healed, own lives to be transformed and sin to be contended with. This is a huge distraction while thousands of priests carry out their ministry and work in obscurity and humility every day, along with thousands of deacons and millions of lay people.

    Dear deacon Kendra, it is perhaps time to move on from this item and not give it the publicity that is harming many people. Just a suggestion.

    Love in Christ

  17. Fr. Corapi could do much to let this story die.

    He could admit guilt, or at least grave impropriety. Making the accuser and several other witnesses sign NDA’s after their employment raises a lot of eyebrows. And he PAID them to do it. This was not your standard letter you sign when you leave a company not to speak about it to the media and the like. This was essentially a bribe for silence.

    Or he could just release them from the NDA and give them permission to speak. The fact that he is suing the accuser, not over character defmation, but an alleged breach of contract could also be instructive.

    We also know that his superior and his order apparently tried to bring this to a resolution quietly without ruining him, something he rejected. The entire situation was caused by Fr. Corapi, even if he is innocent (and it is becoming very hard to presume such innocence.) His actions compromised the canonical investigation and made it so that a judgement would be almost impossible to arrive at, and then he criticizes them for not acting speedily enough, playing on popular stereotypes of ecclesial incompetence.

  18. IANAL, but how could a nondisclosure agreement possibly be written in such a way as to legally bind a signer from disclosing illegal activity, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, or material relevant to a civil investigation?

    And how did a religious get permission to enforce a nondisclosure agreement on an employee that could possibly be interpreted as “you can’t tell the bishop what I do?”

  19. *soundofpuzzlepiecesclickingintoplace*

    Ah. This explains so much. Corapi has shown a penchant to be litigious toward former employees in the past, so this complicating factor should not have been a surprise. I am about 75% sure that the non-disclosure and lawsuit (and indeed, the whole Team Corapi spin on this) were designed not to cover up sins of the flesh, but to protect Corapi’s paranoid control over his empire and its profits. If he was able to get in a few shots at the US Catholic bishops in advance of a planned conference on “Corruption in the Church,” well, that’s media gravy. So, so sad.

    And while I agree that there is much work to be done to continue bringing Christ to the world, I want to make a strong case that Deacon Greg and Elizabeth Scalia and the Register and others who continue to raise questions and share information–often in the face of personal vilification–are doing that work by persisting in shedding light, not heat, on this story. Thank you. There is more light to be shed, and it will happen in God’s good time.

    Ancient Roman law had it right in this case, it seems. It was never about “Cherchez la femme,” but “Cui bono?”

  20. ajesquire says:

    “Lastly, while I would never encouarge disobedience, which may or may not be the case here, I love the fact that a probable “false accuser” is not getting the usual “lie and destroy.” The civil trial could be a real ground breaker, and hopefully make the next false accuser, if that is the case, think long and hard before they try and bring down a good priest. Enough is enough!”

    “probable false accuser” based on what, exactly?

    On the fact that Mr. Corapi tried to buy her silence? That doesn’t tend to weigh in favor of what she has to say being false.

    On the fact that Mr. Corapi claims he did not have sexual relations with that woman? Well, I think we’ve all heard that one before.

    On the fact that she’s busy promoting her media empire to fleece the sheeple of their money through their blind devotion to her cause? Oh wait, that’s Johhny C.

    And, as an attorney I can tell you that the civil trial would be well short of “ground-breaking”. The only issue would be whether the contractual Non-Disclosure Agreement terms were enforceable against the private report the accuser made to the Bishop. The TRUTH of the report is irrelevant in resolving that issue. It doesn’t sound like Corapi alleged defamation, in which case the truth of the allegations would be directly relevant as a defense.

    Personally, I’d think there would be a pretty good public policy argument against Non-Disclosure Agreements being enforceable to protect allegations of wrong-doing. But it would depend on the jurisdiction.

    On the bigger issue, it’s remarkable to me that in the same month that we learned that a pervert who took up-skirt shots of little girls, hid girls’ panties in his flower-pots, and like to play “find the tootsie-roll in Father’s pants” was protected by his diocese with the Vicar’s and Bishop’s knowledge, that anyone can argue there’s a witch-hunt mentality at play amongst the hierarchy against pervert priests.

  21. ajesquire says:

    “IANAL, but how could a nondisclosure agreement possibly be written in such a way as to legally bind a signer from disclosing illegal activity, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, or material relevant to a civil investigation?

    And how did a religious get permission to enforce a nondisclosure agreement on an employee that could possibly be interpreted as “you can’t tell the bishop what I do?””

    I am a lawyer, although I don’t play one on TV.

    The general principle of contract law (under which the category of NDAs would fall) is that “the parties make their own law”. In other words, generally speaking, two parties can contractually agree to pretty much anything, as long as there’s a two-way exchange (i.e. “consideration”).

    However, there are numerous limitations to what sorts of contractual terms a court will actually enforce. For example, one of the contestants on an early season of Survivor sued the production company alleging unfair interference with the outcome of the show. I can’t recall how that turned out, but seem to recall that the NDA she signed with the company was upheld.

    I think your second question is the real issue, and gets to the heart of ALOT of the issues surrounding Mr. Corapi. Who is/was Corapi actually answerable to? It doesn’t sound like it was the local Bishop in Texas or in Montana. It appears that his SOLT Superior had authority to limit his faculties, but not enforce the current vows of the SOLT?

    Was Corapi allowed to operate outside the regular bounds of hiearchy, authority and obedience? And if so, was that because his ostensible hierachs agreed with his message? And if both of those things are true, isn’t that sort of a problem?

  22. For years Corapi nurtured a paranoid gestalt that placed any critics in the “They’re out to get the Soldier of Orthodoxy” camp.

    This was smart of him.. It would then render any and all attempts by religious authorities to regularize his situation as Liberal Enemies of Truth.

  23. John David says:

    The investigators did not have access to principle witnesses because of a “disclosure” agreement they had with Fr. Corapi and Fr. Corapi is now saying that the process is flawed and he is the victim of this flaw!!?? This was his superiors investigating, not the press. Added to this, it sounds as if the accuser was paid hush money by Fr. Corapi. It is beginning to sound quite messy, quite deceitful. And, as a poster pointed out, his accuser went to his superiors, not the media to file a complaint. I think that is significant.

    Yet, this still is not the full story. None-the-less, none of this speaks well for Fr. Corapi and it may be time to consider how maligned the accuser has been by Fr. Corapi’s supporters.

  24. @ajesquire,

    According to Fr. Sheehan, SOLT received a new constitution in 1994. Those who were part of SOLT before that constitution operated under their previous agreements. Under the new rules, Fr. Corapi would not have been able to live as he was.

    They believed that a previous good-faith agreement should remain in effect, but that all future priests should be under the current regulations. Something tells me in light of this that grandfathering in will be looked at, or ways of integrating those cases into the regular life of the community will be accelerated.

  25. ajesquire says:

    Kevin,

    I agree that the prior decision by SOLT to essentially “grandfather out” pre-’94 members from certain vows was, probably predictably, problematic.

    It created a tier of individuals who got to claim membership, and affect all the outer appearances of one who’d taken the vows the general lay person typically associates with Religious life.

    Reading between the lines of the SOLT Superior’s statement, I think the present timing of this move by Corapi is a way to avoid having to either submit to the current vows, or avoid having to officially refuse to submit to those vows.

    As it is, he gets to say that he’s leaving (with his millions of dollars) because he’s being persecuted, not because he’d prefer to keep his millions than to live the life his sworn brothers have all vowed to live.

  26. Corapi has done some powerful preaching and I did enjoy listening to him. But I got the feeling that I was witnessing a ‘cult of personality’ amongst his devoted followers. It never ends well when that starts to happen.

  27. ‎”See that you all follow the Bishop, as Christ does the Father, and the presbyterium as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as a command of God. Let no one do anything connected with the Church without the Bishop. Let that be considered a certain eucharist which is under the leadership of the Bishop, or one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the Bishop appears, there let the multitude of the people be; just as where Christ Jesus is, there is the catholic church. It is not permitted with the Bishop either to baptize or to celebrate an agape;

    but whatever he shall approve of, that is well-pleasing also to God, so that everything that is done may be assured and certain.

    —St. Ignatius of Antioch, c. 111 AD, Letter to the Smyrneans 8

  28. Ajesquire,

    I think it was one of those ideas that “Sounded okay at the time.” There isn’t an appearance of impropriety on any of those other priests in similar arrangements. Many had lived like that for years before the order was “upgraded” to a fully functioning religious order with its (then) new constitution.

    Hindsight is 20/20 I suppose. The only question is what will happen now with how SOLT handles this stuff.

    As far as the in between reading, perhaps. It is clear Fr. Sheehan wanted him to come to the religious community, for the benefit of one of the priests under his charge, and for the good of the order they are both part of (since SOLT is going to have a huge black eye over this, whether or not it is deserved is irrelevant.)

    Fr. Corapi obviously didn’t want to do that. Fr Sheehan hinted that he would have to part with his considerable wealth (or at least access to it) if he did so, so what you say has credence.

    The idea of a priest owning a house I don’t see too much a problem with. (Sometimes it might be for the best.) Yet the idea of a priest owning a sports car, a Harley, and a boat, and affording a private personal trainer? It makes the Borgia’s seem austere.

  29. This just in: The Black Sheep Dog tweets.

    “Please love the Church. You follow the Church. I am not against the Church, I am still a priest, just not ministering publicly.”

    ~Twitter feed on The Black SheepDog webpage, just received by a couple of followers on their mobiles

  30. very sad. the message not getting out for the good is sad.
    the Church will survive. I hope that Fr.Corapi will continue with good works of the Lord. That is most important. as should we all I pray for him and you all

  31. Social workers know that abused children will often protect and cling to abusive parents out of loyalty. I see the same pattern continuing in Corapi’s situation. Here is a man whose arrogance and perhaps even his mental illness is becoming ever more apparent but those who refuse to think critically continue to defend him. Sad for him and sad for a church that refuses to hear the wisdom of many of her people.

  32. Why the need for the nitpicking? Are you guys all jealous that a Catholic Priest is also business savvy? It was never any secret that he was on his own, from spiritual oversight to financially. Also keep in mind the more he reached, the more souls he can/will/did potentially save. That just isn’t something that would have been likely to happen confined to a small religious order, despite the main point of SOLT being “APOSTOLIC.”

    Where is the crime in making money?

    Even more so, if I make it to heaven, it will largely be in part because of the teaching of Father Corapi. How much is that worth? Companies pay many CEO millions who in the end, contribute little to nothing, or at the most, nothing “eternal.”

    My question to all of you naysayers, how much is it worth to save one soul? When I listen or read all of the whining about a successful priest, I think, “When it comes to saving souls, there is no price any of us could put even on one”, subsequently, whatever profit he makes, it doesn’t even come close to realistic compensation. Like many priests, he did NOT need to, or took, a vow of poverty.

    So far, everything I have seen makes perfect business sense for a priest or anyone else who is running his/her own venture, regardless of what that might be.

  33. jkm

    Doesn’t jibe with his words at the end of his statement on June 17:

    “God bless you, God love you, and goodbye.

    John Corapi (once called “father,” now “The Black Sheep Dog”)”

    Perhaps, at that time he wasn’t aware of church laws about priests under suspension. But then, he said he had canon (and civil) lawyer consultants.

  34. ajesquire says:

    “20 He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.” 21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to (the) poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 22 At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.”

    Mark 10.

    Just sayin’.

  35. @Klaire,

    I will answer your question with another:

    Does the Church survive without Fr. Corapi out there preaching?

    Who is more important? The man, or the message? St. Ignatius of Loyola was asked how long he would distress if the Pope decided to suppress the Jesuits. His response? 5 minutes.

    Many times quiet obedience can reach more souls than a thousand words spoken. St. Therese spent most of her life cloistered. Certainly didn’t effect what she did.

  36. brother jeff says:

    Jkm, thanks for posting that. his tweet certainly does not sound like the ravings of a mentally ill narcissist…not saying you said that but others have had no hesitation.

  37. Deacon Tom Gotschall says:

    Certain of my previous posted questions are now answered.

    There is, however, in each of the articles and columns I’ve read, a definite “jumping to conclusions”.

    We must be careful about this. I would hope too that after only a 3-month period that all sides (particularly Corapi) could have been patient concerning the truth of the matter.

    Patient however expedient. Lives and reputations are at stake. We have some understanding that there was “an invitation” for Corapi to “come back to the community” from which he affiliated. The extent of the invitation we do not know. Would he have to give up human, canonical and civil rights in order to do so?

    What we also do not know is whether investigations will continue. I hope that both the Church and civil investigation can continue. All this cost money, even the Church case of this nature. The tribunal wouldn’t be handling this one for the paltry sum that they do for most marriage cases. And who pays those expenses?

    Who also pays for the civil expenses regarding what is supposedly a law suit concerning a supposed “non-disclosure” agreement that has allegedly been breached.

    Having been lied to and about in courts of law I have great compassion for those truly involved in disputes.

    As to Corapi’s motivations, he’s not optimistic that he’d be restored to full faculty. That’s too bad. I hope that a fuller investigation as to the system inside the Church concerning disciplining of accused clergy be conducted. I’ve heard from clergy around the country who’ve been very frustrated by the process. Not knowing about it much myself, I cannot comment further. Some are scared they’d be accused next and in fact have a “plan B” for their livelihood should such accusations hit them “without warning”.

    Still too many unanswered questions. We’ll just have to pray and let God.

    Peace,

  38. Fr. Mike says:

    As a Canon Lawyer who has defended many falsely accused priests, I have been most critical in how the heirarchy has mishandled such cases. I want to thank Fr. Gerard Sheehan and his prompt response to set the record straight. Even though a full response is promised later, I have an understanding of all the canonical complexities he would have had to deal with, and it looks like he navigated through them all with this high profile case that for a change the Church has shown to the world that it can mirror the justice tempered with the mercy of God. I pray that such transparency may continue to make us proud once again of our Catholic Leadership showing us the way of Christ uniting us in the Holy Spirit.

  39. Klaire:

    “It was never any secret that he was on his own, from spiritual oversight to financially.

    How do you know that?

    In addition, on his website it says:

    “Father is a perpetually professed priest member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity.”
    http://www.fathercorapi.com/About-Father-Corapi-W4C25.aspx

    That has always meant for me that he has taken the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

    Yet, since S.O.L.T. (Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity), is a Society of Apostolic Life, its members do not take those vows.

    So what does he mean by saying that he is a perpetually professed priest?

  40. ajesquire says:

    I think the notion of those 3 vows (poverty, chastity and obedience), or as I once heard a Brother describe (tongue in cheek) “Got no money. Got no honey. And I got a boss”, are what most laypeople associate with consecrated Religious Life.

    Whether Mr. Corapi intentionally sought to mislead anyone, I can’t say. But I’m fairly sure that his lifestyle is not what most people think of when they think of consecrated, Religious life. Did he ever do anything to disabuse his “fans” of that notion?

    I would also be very curious as to the date his accuser left his employ, vis a vis his trademarking of his new ridiculous title.

    I know some have suggested this was merely associated with the writing of his autobiography (which I take it will appear in the “non-fiction” section, although perhaps it should not). But if all he was planning was a book, I don’t see the need to go through the process of obtaining the mark. If someone had leapt up and trademarked it themselves in the interim, he certainly could’ve tweaked the title enough to avoid any problems.

    Rather, it seems to me that he had a much bigger endeavour in mind that he wanted to associate with this new title. And if it followed shortly on the heels of his accuser’s departure and his payment of money for an NDA, it at least suggests that it was the beginnings of an exit strategy.

  41. Deacon Nathan Allen says:

    Ordination makes an ontological change: a priest is a priest for all eternity. His priesthood is the most important thing about him apart from his baptism. If I were a priest who believed I had been unfairly suspended because of a false accusation, I would quietly retire to my mother house (if a religious) and live a life of prayer — and continue all the while to exhaust all of my canonical options to defend my priesthood. Fr Corapi has only been suspended a divinis for three months, folks: he has punted away his priesthood without even the semblance of a fight. An involuntary laicization can take years, and laicization wasn’t even a remotely likely outcome. The canonical delicts he is alleged to have committed, while serious, would only result in a permanent loss of the clerical estate after repeated offenses (canon 1395 sec. 1).

    One single, solitary private Mass offered by a suspended priest in the chapel of his mother house is infinitely more valuable for the salvation of the world than any number of books a man might write or radio broadcasts he might make. That a priest would kick away his priesthood rather than abandon his public activity should be profoundly troubling: he takes a thing of inestimable worth (his priesthood), and chucks it for mere celebrity.

  42. Deacon Tom Gotschall says:

    @ post #39 Kevin.

    I disagree. And I suspect more now that the truth will come out quicker with Corapi speaking the way he is.

    This is all very helpful.

    I suspect he wants to come back (though most think otherwise.)

  43. I have been called-down and judged by so many “friends” today because i have reposted this very information from the National Catholic Register’s article. This information does shed some light on the situation but again, does not answer any questions. Deacon’s entry today does not mention about how when he joined SOLT he was given special permission to manage his finances as he saw fit, but under revised standards, would have been expected to contribute more to his order (at least that was my understanding from the article). I love Fr. but feel there is a lot of influence from money in all of this…after all a civil suit is not just to repair your reputation, its also about money and that in many people’s opinion should have taken a back seat to allowing his order to investigate and give it a decent amount of time to do so. Some feel he should have jumped at the chance to live in the SOLT community in the face of all this circus. I can’t judge because there are still many facts that will never be known. I just pray that he has full integrity of mind, body and spirit. Judging from the latest announcement (today) from the blacksheepdog, it doesn’t sound like that is the case…there was a lot of bitter rehashing, contradictions and an uncomfortable focus on money. he himself acknowledges how unique his ministry has been. God bless him and let not his good work be undone.

  44. inhocsig says:

    If the author of this blog were any kind of real professional journalist he would have found these comments by the Bishop Eneritus of Corpus Christi:

    http://abyssum.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/a-few-thoughts-on-father-corapis-announcement-yesterday/comment-page-1/#comment-33

    [If the person who posted this were any kind of blog reader, he would have found this posting, which contained that statement:
    http://www.patheos.com/community/deaconsbench/2011/06/19/following-the-black-sheep-dog-down-the-rabbit-hole/
    Dcn. G.]

  45. @Deacon Gotschall

    You know something? I really hope you are right. Yet the blustering 100k “bet”, the tarring of his accuser as a mentally unstable alcoholic (she may be, but since her name is anon we can’t know for sure!), the statement the bishops “left me for dead” and his assertion that being an ordained priest in good standing really wasn’t that relevant to his work anyway….

    That doesn’t sound like the words of a man ready to “come back.” We just need to keep praying.

  46. Just heard the latest statement by Fr./Mr. Corapi.

    I smell a potential lawsuit against the blogger who posted that he might be reverting back to his cocaine addiction.

  47. brother jeff says:

    Yes lawsuits are clearly coming. The blogosphere should take heed. Maybe this will.curtail.and/or end the endless.defamation of the guy. But who knows, maybe he really.did jump through the tv and assault that woman.

  48. Charlotte says:

    This whole thing leaves me with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. [Now, Mr.] Corapi, not Father, has, by his angry tone, odd choice of a new title and scary logo (blacksheepdog), and lashing out in his statement, saddened me beyond words. How could he toss away his priesthood, the very precious gift that gave him, with his history, credibility? He countersued his accuser? He won’t abandon his money? He did not respond to his Superior, and declined his invitation to live with the community through this investigation? All this, with other facts about his lifestyle brought to light, do not indicate a sincere priest, it is painful to say. Our beloved Catholic Church is bleeding again.

    Accusations aside, his behavior is now bizarre and unholy. I thought he was a great preacher – and he was, but now it is clear that he did himself in. He must be suffering greatly and I pray for him and for our Church.

  49. It sounds by his words and actions that he wanted to leave for awhile. Being a priest in the way most are priests was never his calling. Just preaching, especially if you are good at it, is easy, tiring at times, but not the trenches are Priests, deacons and many sisters are in daily.
    He knew his audience but he now wants a larger one. I remember him saying something about all the grey hair in the audience, his older crowd that really didn’t need the talk, but he didn’t seem to reach out to the young, teens, colleges…did he do a youth day?

    I realize though a late vocation is hard and I think the trouble started when he realized the money he could make..he said, “why should they have it (the church) and he started his own company. His DVD’s flew off the shelves and in some ways, he was back in his old life without the cocaine. This time maybe he felt he would do it better.

  50. Deacon Nathan Allen #42

    Thank you for your insight and clear thinking on this matter. I also would hope that I would follow that same path if in a similar circumstance. We all need to pray more and recognize we all are effected with a fallen human nature. Corapi himself often asked us to pray for him as he knew that he himself could fall into sin at any time. How many of us actually prayed for him while he was in active ministry for the Church?

    Also to ajesquire; thank you for your legal insights and yes you are right Mark 10 says it all. God bless.

  51. Edward J Baker says:

    Most of the criticism of Corapi demonstrates that for which they accuse him, eighth commandment defying presumption. It would be nice if sufficient fairness were extended to wait and see if Corapi can prove his charges about ecclesial authorities wanting this priest, who repeatedly dared to invoke the word sin, anathema to progressive Catholics, removed from ministry altogether.

    He has spoken openly for years about this sort of threat from ecclesial authorities. And he has been accused previously along the same lines of sexual misconduct. When he refused to capitulate to a legal settlement, the charges were dropped.

    If Corapi is right and can prove it, then all of this vitriolic hatred of him is wrong.

  52. John David says:

    There are so many issues raised by Fr. Corapi, especially on this second audio, that don’t stand up to a closer look. One being his constantly blaming the Church about being “guilty till proven innocent”. All that I have read by any representative of The Church since he was suspended has been very clear that his suspension was in no way to be seen as any kind of guilt. In most other professions, one is suspended during an investigation (Police, Doctors, etc.). He is acting as if it is not standard procedure, but it is.

    His counter lawsuit has effectively impaired any investigation, as the message he has sent to any witnesses, who has also signed a non-disclosure agreement, is that if they answer any question put to them by any investigator, then he will sue them for breaking the agreement.

    He says that he is not bitter, yet the entire message drips with bitterness.

    I am not a lawyer, but to think he can sue a blogger who speculates about the cause of this very strange behavior seems a bit over the top, not to mention bullying. And to be willing to, possible bankrupt someone if proven wrong is not the charity I would expect from a follower of the Prince of Peace.

    His lack of charity towards his accuser is so outside the principles of the teachings of Jesus and his repeating these accusations seems excessively defensive.

    I have always sensed too narrow of a focus, too much sureness of the wrongness of those who thought otherwise and more than a large dose of vanity with Fr. Corapi, which is why I was never able to become one of his followers. But I never thought I would fear that he may go the route that he seems to be going.

    It does not appear that he will be preaching a religion based on love and forgiveness, which is what, I believe, Christianity is. I think he has lost his spiritual balance. I will pray for him.

  53. Mathew 7:1-51 “Judge not, that you be not judged.”

  54. The stress and strain the Fr. Corapi is going through must be tremendous… certainly whenever anyone faces these kind of allegations suffering increases. But like Padre Pio it would be far more saintly to take on this pain and suffering than to renounce the religious vows one made to God. Leaving the priesthood is bad enough. Leaving religious vows is worse… those are vows made to God directly.

  55. Let’s take a look at this, it is not only important but a comandment from God to find charity for Fr. Corapi, we also should remember that his message was God’s message and just because the man fell, doesn’t mean the message was tainted all these years.

    Thank the Lord for EWTN for bringing God’s message to us through all kinds of humanly vessels. All of them broken in one way or another.

    Let’s keep him and EWTN in our prayers.

  56. John David says:

    I really don’t know if these accusations are true or not. At this point we only have a he said/she said. Yet, some of his behavior, although not conclusive, does not speak well for him. And, yes, regardless of what is the truth, the stress and strain must be tremendous. I knew of one high profile priest, who was in a situation where he was suspended. He, actually, embraced the suspension and found that it became a welcomed time out of the spotlight, out of the ministry. It was something he realized he much needed. I wish Fr. Corapi was willing to give it more than 2 1/2 months (he sent his letter of intention to leave the ministry on June 11). He might have discovered that it could have been a time of renewal for him; truly a time of letting go and trusting God.

  57. I suppose my first thought is why would a Priest need a non-disclosure agreement?

    At any rate, this is another dead horse that is being beaten. And where is the love of Christ and the Mercy of Christ. Does anyone remember the scripture? You will receive the same Mercy to give to another (my paraphrase). Believe me, I know I need the mercy of God on a daily basis. I can’t afford not to give it to another.

    I am sorry for the way Mr. Corapi is handling this situation, but it isn’t my place to make a judgement call on it.

Leave a Comment


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X