"Fr. Corapi, you are a priest forever…"

That’s just the beginning of this extraordinary taped message, posted by four men who say their lives were changed by him.

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I’ve written more about Corapi and his priesthood right here – wondering, among other things, why the sacraments were such an insignificant part of his vocation.  Could that have been part of the problem?

Comments

  1. How beautiful…I hope he sees it. Made me feel emotioinal listening, especially to the last man’s sincerity and love. I listened to some of Fr. Corapi’s old (youtube) videos on humility, obedience (even when you don’t agree) suffering, etc. I know, believe me I know, it’s much easier when it’s just talk, but you have to believe it and live it if you preach it.

    It seems from the letter he wrote his superiors this has been his goal for a while, a few years at least, and maybe that’s why a flimsy lawsuit, something, that if what he says is true, is so obvious, made him have the exit he needed, who knows?

    I

  2. fiestamom says:

    Father Corapi is fortunate to have friends like this. I was moved to tears when his old bodyguard said he still wants to be his spiritual bodyguard.

  3. Dcn. Greg,
    John Corapi didn’t say that the sacraments were an insignificant part of his ministry. Most of his time was spent in media evangelization. A priest who is also a college or seminary professor spends little time in pastoral work.
    No difference.
    God bless.

  4. I see your point, my daughter goes to a Catholic college, but the priest says mass, teaches classes, confessions, etc. maybe not everyday, but he does.

    Maybe with the world needing so many good priests, the eucharist being central, the “I don’t want too” seemed brash, even if he didn’t mean it that way.

  5. Deacon Norb says:

    Re; John #3

    “A priest who is also a college or seminary professor spends little time in pastoral work.. . . No difference.”

    Wrong answer. I served as a Nationally certified “Professional Catholic Campus Minister” for over 14 years and I know this statement is 100% in error.

  6. Would that we loved our own parish priests as so many strangers love Fr. Corapi.

  7. @Joseph, I do! But I don’t tell him often enough… thanks for the reminder.

  8. Something has happened to the video. It’s been taken down — any ideas?

  9. This video is awesome. This is the way that Corapi fans should be responding. Very inspiring.

    FYI, it has nothing to do with how much public sacramental ministry he does. I would assume that because he’s such a holy man he says Mass daily which he will no longer be able to do. That cannot be the wish of God….

  10. #6: Excellent point! Perhaps this crisis of Fr. Corapi’s might be a good reminder to pray for our own pastors.

  11. I found this video quite heartbreaking.

  12. Deacon Toby says:

    Deacon Norb
    Isn’t it a little presumptuous of John’s comment to be a “wrong answer,” not KNOWING what’s going on in Fr Corapi’s head? If more Catholics had a better foundation of the faith, maybe, just maybe they would appreciate the true faith more. And, perhaps there would be greater attendance at mass with more sincerity and respect for the sacraments.

    Equally Fr Corapi’s example of saying mass would also be a good one to follow…

  13. Without the blessings and grace bestowed by the sacrament of the Mass I am nothing. I am in formation for the permanent Diaconate and it is the thought of incardination which terrifies and calls me simultaneously.
    Surely as Catholics we are called by Christ and we receive our spiritual nourishment in the Mass. As a priest I would have thought that Father Corapi would have had an inner desire to celebrate the Mass daily.

  14. OK so am going to opine: Perhaps fame went to father Corapi’s head?

    Some odd things said by one of the man (and appreciate greatly their manly honesty):

    1. That Father Corapi claims the Virgin Mary appeared to him and there is a “site of the apparition”

    2. That Father Corapi had or has bodyguards (a monk with bodyguards?)

    3. A mentions to a situation of “mortal danger” or something like that.

    All of this makes this stranger by the minute. I also did not realize how much of a cult following Father had gathered. I liked him and liked his preaching, but his followers seem beyond the line of admiration to idolization, both in the sense of “super fans a la Elvis” or in the sense of worshiping the man in a misguided way.

  15. learning says:

    I’ve heard that Mother Teresa had body guards. Not out of pride but in her case she was so tiny and pretty old maybe they just kept her from getting inadvertently squashed by her admirers.

  16. Deacon Norb says:

    Re: Deacon Toby #12

    Am I missing something ?

    My comment was in reply to the last sentence of the posting of John’s (#3). He has a very grave misunderstanding of the pastoral role of a priest — or even a deacon — in a college/ university setting and I simply stated that fact.

  17. To bear with patience wrongs done to oneself is a mark of perfection,

    but to bear with patience wrongs done to someone else is a mark of imperfection and even of actual sin.

    -St. Thomas Aquinas

    Maybe you think Fr. Corapi isn’t patient enough, and that’s open for debate.

    But maybe you fit pretty well into the second category the Angelic Doctor rightfully speaks of. The first one, notice, Thomas does not relate to sin.

  18. Was the apparition his old bodyguard the ones he mentioned in his conversion story or another one? I would think with that closeness to Mary, he would not want to leave.

    I know you don’t have to believe them but if was blessed with that, even more bizarre are his actions.

  19. mrteachersir says:

    Deacon Norb,

    No, John was referring to a priest who is a professor at a college or seminary, not a chaplain. A priest who is a professor is getting paid to be a professor, to teach and essentially evangelize. While inherent in the priestly duties is a pastoral role for the souls he meets, his primary duty is teaching. Sure, students could go to said sacerdotal professor for pastoral guidance, but chances are, they are more likely to go to the “chaplain” for said guidance.

    Priests are people too: they have their specialties. Some are pastoral, some are excellent confessors, some are excellent teachers, some are very spiritual, some are intent on Holy Mass. The probability is great that a priest hired as a professor is an excellent teacher (or at least has teaching as his specialty), while the priest hired as a chaplain possesses good pastoral skills.

  20. He mentions at least 3 separate visitations by the woman he refers to as Our Lady of the Lilacs: when he was 7 years old in his grandmother’s backyard, when he was medicated with Thorazine and placed in restraints during his first, year-long commitment to the VA psychiatric ward, and as he was leaving St Peter’s on the day of his ordination. She was young, Middle Eastern looking, and each time smiled and whispered “Johnny.” Her visitations were accompanied by a mysterious scent of lilacs (the first one wasn’t mysterious, as he was standing by a lilac bush, but the rest were). The bodyguard in the video refers to a site most people aren’t aware of, so there may be other visitations he has shared only with close associates.

    For the last several years, he was accompanied in public by 3-5 burly, armed bodyguards. The need for this was variously attributed to death threats from: Satanist drug dealers and/or rock musicians he had known in his LA days; the doctors against whom he won a whistle blower suit claiming false diagnosis; the same people who murdered his friend Fr Al Kunz in WI in 1998; women who claimed he came out of their TV to rape them; abortionists; gay people; gay priests; assorted other priests and Church leaders who were jealous of him; extortionists; the forces of Barack Obama and other godless Socialists; Satan; or various unnamed mysterious entities. I suppose any or all of the above might constitute “a situation of mortal danger” to him and his associates.

  21. jkm:

    Will you please cite your source(s) of these apparitions?

    (Is it in his talks or in his writings?)

    Thanks.

  22. Has anyone seen Mark Shea’s latest post on his website? The one where he claims that John Corapi falsified his military record? Sad, if true. Very sad indeed.

  23. Just read about Father Alfred Kunz, murdered in 1998 and it’s truly disturbing and terrifying and compounded by the fact that the case has never been solved. Also point taken on Mother Theresa. So I admit father seems to be justified in having bodyguards. Still the whole affair seems to me more bizarre as more details come out; it’s almost out of a Malachi Martin book!

  24. He mentioned the apparitions in his conversion story, he alluded to seeing Mary or an angel or someone who smelled like lilacs and said his name “johnny”.
    I don’t know if the bodyguard was talking about the same ones or another one. I think you can hear the initial ones on youtube with his story.

    He did suffer a breakdown at one point but no one can say what someone else feels or sees.

  25. Guess his mama’s combat boots weren’t enough to protect him after all and that he needed a security detail instead.

    He doesn’t mention lilacs here, but he certainly talks about his very special experiences with Mary revealing things to him in this letter:

    http://www.garabandal.org/News/Father_Corapi.shtml

    Even back in 1984, he was certain he had enemies due to his great love for the Church (remininiscent of the Great Maciel) and that he was specially called by Mary to bring back holiness to the Church.

    Wonder if he still cherishes those Garabandal pine needles?

    And when will faithful Catholics quit falling for this stuff??

  26. Good for the men in the video!

    It’s a sad day when Father Pfleger is a better priest than Father Corapi.

    Lots of prayers, and ask St. Therese for prayers. Her vocation on earth was to pray for priests, I’m sure she still prays for them in heaven!

  27. HMS, the three apparitions I described are mentioned in the hour-long audio version of his conversion story, which has been running at Classic Corapi Radio on his old website, frcorapi.com. To be fair, in that particular account he does not explicitly name her the Blessed Mother, but he has had a liturgical stole made for himself with an image of Mary surrounded by lilacs and the words Our Lady of the Lilacs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpu9w2qdts0. Lady of the Lilacs is also the title of a CD with one version of his conversion story available at his old website: http://www.fathercorapi.com/Blessed-Virgin-Mary-C36.aspx.

    The list of possible sources of death threats is derived from interviews with him and from reports of attendees at conferences.

  28. Just some thoughts from a guy who left the ministry years ago

    …Don’t leave the church.

  29. Great video and also hope Father sees this to help with the trashing he is taking from many here.

    And as to the sacraments, Father had more respect from them than many who have allowed the sacraments to be trashed through their spirit of vatican II clown masses and liturgical dance routines along with homemade bread not using proper materials. Father is a man and could have made mistakes, but his message was pure and it was one very much needed in this liberal driven mess we are in today with the homosexual priest abuse and coverup.

  30. Too bad these men just don’t get it! His ultra-conservative, black and white views were never part of his own life. “Do as I say, not as I do!” Many of us have had to clean up the mess his rigid views have created among the vulnerable faithful. I, for one, am glad that he has finally let the truth of his own being come out. The church is better served through his latest actions. Leave him alone and let the church be all tge more healthy by his departure!

  31. mrteachersir,
    Thank you for claifying my post. Excellent.

    Dcn. Norb.,
    I’m not going to get into my background, but I do know many priests in many disciplines. Fr. Corapi’s ministry is rather unique in that his concentration is in evangelization through media.

    Many priests concentrate on parish and retreat missions – they are still involved in the sacraments, but they devote the lion share of their time to talks and teaching.

    Do you now understand what I was trying to convey?

    Please, in the future, don’t under-estimate one’s qualifications.

    And may God bless you and your discipline.

  32. Mr. Kandra: That is a mighty high horse you’re saddling.

  33. The more I read about John Corapi, the more I think he is a fraud. Anyone that lies in little things, will lie in big things. We all know who said that.

  34. inhocsig says:

    “Deacon” Kandra you are an embarrassment to the Catholic Church. Muckraking is okay for a CBS journalist, but not an appropriate calling for a deacon. Go do prison ministry or help some widows.

    Father Corapi has already answered the question you pose on his website. He explains exactly what his mission was to be as given him by his superior.

    Additionally, on RealCathoilicTV, Michael Voris says exactly what so many of us think about you, Scalia, Shea, and the other professional catholic tools in his video – Corapi and the Blogs.

  35. inhocsig, I agree with you on the tone being used by some on Father Corapi. It was posting on the first day and continuing despite not having the facts that kind of irked me. They I am sure if attacked in the same way would be at least as defensive as Father Corapi and would want to make sure they had a lawyer and protection granted them as their rights. Under the new laws adopted by the Church to protect Children from the mostly homosexual priest abuse scandal, the priest is supposed to surrender every right they have as a citizen and under canon law. I am glad a priest stood up to this and will wait judgement on the final outcome. I watched Michael Voris take on these attack blogs who are most happy when those who support actual church teaching are under assult.

    What really got me was when they posted the parody about Father Corapi and some then immediately closed off comments so that no one could call them on posting this dog parody..how brave..and how typical of the left.

  36. You got to be kidding me. The problem is the “tone?” We are talking Michael “let’s attack the bishops” Voris? We are talking about him complaining about tone?

    Seriously, Corapi is the one who has set the tone. And the inconsistency of his message and the way his people are hounding anyone who disagrees shows who has problems with tone.

  37. And Voris is one of those “professional Catholics.” As is Corapi.

    Talk about hypocrite.

  38. Some people were shocked when they learned about Fr. Corapi leaving because they were locked in the past, which TV/DVD’s give us on TV. We get an image and keep it.
    Whether Father is rich or poor, doesn’t change who he is but I was taken back to learn about homes, boats, fast cars, trips, etc because I was still back in the hermitage. : )
    I learned more reading parts of Coranary, the book on his law suit, and again, nothing points to guilty/innocent, but I think there was more than one thing going on. Many knew about him, others, just heard his talks, and finding out so much info at once makes you feel shell-shocked and say things quickly, the info comes so fast on the Internet.
    I also feel he is being, maybe delibarately vague right now, answering, but not fully answering questions and maybe he is being more careful than some of us.
    He said the church didn’t help him, I don’t know if that was in part because he was so autonomous. If he was running a company, making money, living apart from the community, maybe they felt he could handle some things himself and I didn’t hear their side, so I will withhold judgement.

    It’s very easy to preach things, living them is very hard, I myself have been challenged by things (and failed) that were so easy to do when just talking about it…I hope the future, even not as a priest (officially) will find he is living what he preached or the message starts to crumble. No one is perfect but the bigger you make yourself, the harder you fall.

  39. John Corapi has my respect for what he has accomplished and what he has overcome in his life.

    Fr. Corapi was never a monk, nor is his order monastic. I’m sure he had made mistakes and I’m sure he knows what those mistake are. We all have them.

    His calling was to be an priest evangelist. And like a great many before him circumstances change. Just look at the Church Fathers.

    He is a survivor.

    Like many of us, I have jumped to some conclusions only to find that I was wrong. Therefore, I will no longer be posting on Father Corapi’s situation.

    He has my support in whatever he and God work out for him.

    May God bless us, protect us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

  40. It must be amusing to the enemies of the Church to see how the Corapi affair has degenerated into name calling, bitterness, nastiness and bickering. It used to be in the early days of the Church that Christians were distinguished by how much the loved each other. Now we are distinguish by how much we hate each other and follow the model of the world by quarrels, arrogance, vindictiveness, backbiting and overall nastiness.

    Father Corpi, Deacon Kendra, even the pope are human beings with flaws and virtues. We can not put our eyes on them as paragons to set up in pedestals. We follow Christ, not Benedict or John or whoever else. Yes they are figures but they are not perfect saints nor inveterate devils.

    It is not man that we follow but Christ and the doctrines he has left us in the Catholic Church. This whole Corapi affair has become a scandal and has brought forth the worse of us all.

  41. Plenty of people see Mary, other saints, Jesus, etc. It’s not a particularly uncommon religious experience, and it doesn’t necessarily (or even commonly) mean you’re holy. (It sometimes means God’s gotten out his 2×4 to get your attention.) Kids very often have such experiences, especially those young enough not to know it’s worth mentioning.

    I don’t think anybody has suggested, for example, that the poet Blake as a kid didn’t really see an angel in a tree in his yard, or that it was some manifestation of evil. These things happen. And it’s not uncommon for Catholics to give their personal visitations a name, like St. Therese’s “the lady of the smile”.

    But a lot of spiritual director folks (like St. John of the Cross) think you shouldn’t dwell too much on these sorts of impressive experiences, or try to get them to happen again. They’re free gifts, like birds that fly in and out, and most of the good you get from them is at that moment it’s happening. You should be grateful and use the experience to keep going forward with God, not get obsessed with that particular moment. (Just in case this happens to somebody reading this.)

  42. Deacon Kendra,
    J.Corapi states in his letter,
    “My mission was discerned by my legitimate superior in the Church long before I was ordained. It was preaching. He, Fr. James Flanagan, told me this in 1987. I was ordained in 1991. He said it would be a huge mistake for me to ever be constrained by a parish or conventional way of life in one place. I did not take this upon myself. It was given to me by the Church and I was sent. Please don’t think I don’t value the sacraments. I do. However, the public administration of the sacraments was never what the Church told me to do. They sent me to preach. The two are not mutually exclusive. They are complimentary. Not all of the members of the Body of Christ are the same, but they are all necessary, noble, and holy.”
    I had to post this because your blog seemed to reveal that John Corapi was responsible for not administering the sacraments. As you can read it was discerned he was to preach as stated above.
    Thanks.
    mg

  43. Point taken, we ought to praying for ALL priests, deacons, bishops, and thanking every one of them for what they do. Over on Catholic Mom.com someone posted a Sacred Heart Novena for Priests; there is still time this month.

  44. richard kuebbing says:

    42:MG I agree.

    Besides, I have know a number of priests over the decades who should nver have been anything more than pastoral administrators. Others like John McCarthy, my pastor @ St Teresa’s in Houston, now retired bishop of Austin, could do everything very well.

    Dirty Harry said “a man’s got to know his limitations.” One aspect of humility is to accept them and learn to work around them. We are what God created us to be. The sooner we accept our faults and gifts, weaknesses and strengths and move on the sooner we make contribute to the building of the kingdom.

    I read the blacksheepdog blog. I hear a very excited anxious person who has a strong center and is moving on from an impasse in his ministry not of his making.

    We should pray for all in ministry for the strength to persevere.

  45. MG, Father has also stated he didn’t want to preach, didn’t like it, even in the “Coronary” book about his law suit. He was surprised at the repsonse, and that fed the later company but he was always uncomfortable. I saw that early on, but I didn’t see the nervousness later as much. He did have a gift, but not wanting to say mass and do other thngs as a priest is sad in a way. How much did he preach, months, years could go by, DVD’s sold from one talk. I think what turned some off (and this is a very personal thing) was that most priests, you kind of know what they are doing, whether a parish priest, community priest, college priest, missionary, but when he talked of homes, fast cars, guns, boats, trips, personal trainers, it not that he doesn’t deserve it, shouldn’t have it, but it doesn’t go with the humbleness, the talk of riches in the bible.
    I hoped as I saw him start to get back what he lost, which is why it was probably too hard for him to give up again, that it didn’t cause a wedge, so much of the “other life” a different man now, but “things” have a way of detracting from prayer. I hope he never lost that and will continue to keep close to God. He doesn’t really mention him and Mary now, maybe feels guilty, but I will pray for him, God isn’t done with any of us until we take our last breath.

  46. Br. Columcille says:

    Please remember that Fr. Corapi will ALWAYS be able to celebrate Mass privately, with the Communion of Saints. Because he IS a “priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek. Once ordained, a man is changed for all eternity, and there is no way to remove that grace once it has been bestowed.
    Mass is said privately by thousands of priests every day, in many different situations. Some teach, others work in hospitals, then there are the MANY monks and hermits who NEVER perform public ministry. The efficacy of the Sacrifice of the Mass does not change based on number of attendants.
    There is likely much that we do not know about this whole situation. I think that the best we can offer to all involved is prayer for calm and healing.

    Blessings to all,

    Br. Columcille

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