Everybody is writing me about Fr. John Corapi being put on administrative leave. What do we do? How do we respond? Won’t I join the Facebook page supporting him? Why is it our bishops are either sheep or wolves I am asked. Why would these “she devils” (yes I’ve seen people use the term) attack this godly champion of the Faith? How do we fight back against this satanic attack on this great man?
Ahem. I don’t know Fr. Corapi at all. I also don’t know his accusers. Nor do I know who has put him on administrative leave or why. I don’t, in fact, know the first thing about anything other than that Fr. Corapi protests his innocence.
Naturally, I presume innocence until guilt is proven. But come on: If it were any other priest and these charges were brought we would be *screaming* at the bishop or superior in charge of the priest to pull the guy out of action until an investigation could be made and screaming hysterically at the preferential treatment of priests over victims if they didn’t. So let’s show some consistency here, okay? Amy Welborn noted way back during the Long Lent that even when priests had *gobs* of evidence against them (as Fr. Corapi does not at this point), their congregations would rally to them and say, “Oh, not *my* beloved priest! Other priests are bad, but *my* beloved priest is being treated meanly by the Church”.
So we need to make up our minds. Are we going to demand rigorous investigations and accountability for clergy–except with Fr. Corapi because we happen to feel–on the basis of no actual knowledge of the man other than what we see on TV–that he is one of us? Or are we going to let the Church investigate, find out what’s going on and so forth. I mean, it’s all well and good to claim that some women we know absolutely nothing about are “she devils” because they are accusing a famous and b beloved priest. But here’s the thing: that’s *exactly*–exactly–what happened with accusers of the great and saintly and unquestionable Maciel. Turns out all the people who rallied to him without actually knowing a damn thing about him were disastrously and horribly wrong and his “evil, wicked” accusers were, in fact, his victims and were telling the truth.
Now I’m not saying I think Fr. Corapi is guilty of anything. I’m also not saying I think his accusers are guilty of anything. I’m saying that all the declarations of innocence and guilt by everybody on both sides of the issue are absolutely worthless and only serve to cloud the issue since we don’t know a damn thing about the merits of the case. Not. One. Damn. Thing. All we know is that Fr. Corapi has chosen to protest his innocence on his web site which, with five bucks, will get you a Starbuck’s but proves absolutely nothing about the facts of the case.
So what do we “do” about the question of Fr. Corapi vs. his accusers? I think the wisdom of Professer Digory Kirke should be our guiding light: How about if everybody minds their own business and lets the investigation proceed so that the facts, whatever they are, will be uncovered? By all means pray for him (and his accusers) that the light of Truth will shine on the situation with its disinfecting power. But don’t claim to know ahead of time what the Truth is till you are in possession of some actual facts: something none of us has at present.