Update on Fr. Corapi

People write me from time to time and ask me what’s up with Fr. Corapi. There hasn’t been much news since the Blacksheep Dog scheme to grift his fanbase fell apart and he disappeared from sight. After that, no longer presenting a source of danger to the flock as his cult of personality waned, I haven’t paid any attention. But people still write me now and then wondering. The closest thing to news is this little thingie that popped up, but it’s not really anything substantiated or even all that interesting. Mostly what it tells you is not anything about Corapi that you wouldn’t already surmise from his silence, but it does tell you a lot about Folk Hero worshipping conservative Catholics, in the comments. These reveal that there remains a small nucleus of worshippers of the Corapi cult who imagine that he was the Only Man on Earth who spoke The TRVTH, that The TRVTH consisted of regurgitating a few Catholic-flavored GOP Red Meat Culture War Talking Points, that Michael Voris has now taken up this mantle and is Elisha to Corapi’s Elijah, and that the basic pattern of battening on some Folk Hero to save us and lead us to the Light instead of becoming mature Catholics who learn to think with the Church and pay attention to the Magisterium (commonly known cafeteria conservativess as “the damn Librul bishops and gay cabal who persecute Michael Voris and plotted to destroy Fr. Corapi”) is alive and well in discernment-free conservative Catholic circles.

Folk Heroes and demagogues are the unpaid bills of our episcopacy’s failures over the past few decades. Their popularity is a clear sign that Catholics flat do not trust their bishops and are looking for somebody to keep them safe. It’s the same dynamic that attracts fatherless young men into gangs headed by strong charismatic figures. And it will–and has–resulted in the same sort of chaos as cults of personality form around figures who make up for their lack of knowledge (Voris) or integrity (Corapi) with certitude and command. The Church’s traditional solution to the human urge to have a cult of personality around a hero is to say, “Knock yourself out. But just be sure the object of your cult is dead and canonized.” In America, however, Catholicism drinks deep of the cult of celebrity and confuses that with the cult of the saints. Result: we keep canonizing Living Saints before it has really been established that they are saints and then we circle the wagons to defend them from Forces of Evil that often just turn out to be people saying, “Your Idol has feet of clay.”

Moral: Grow up. Stop worshipping Folk Heros. Learn to listen to the Church. And let those who adored and trusted in the Folk Hero pray for the poor soul they burdened with trust and adoration that should only have been placed in Jesus Christ.

UPDATE:  Welcome, Pewsitter Flying Monkeys!  Since the anonymous cowards at Pewsitter have ordered a little code red on me again I just thought you should know that you are in for some especially stiff competition in the Gettin’ Catty for Holy Faith competition this time.  So far, my absolute favorite Flying Monkey combox entry comes from “Sister Mary Pantsuit”, who writes, “’Great Article Mark!!’ – Me, Fr. Effeminate, & Satan”. That cracks me up good. I doubt any of you Pewsitter guys can top that.

Because nothing says “manly courage resisting the feminization of the Church” like anonymously posting as a nun.

*Do* that Dana Carvey thang, you gutsy Real Catholic!

The Infallible Faithful Conservative Catholic Anti-Charism of Discernment Marches On!
From our "Consequentialism is Great When Cops Do It" File
The Faithful Conservative Catholic[TM] Anti-Charism of Discernment Marches On!
One of the More Grotesque Moments in our Hastily Forgotten History
  • http://www.facebook.com/sheila.dohertydepuydt Sheila Doherty DePuydt

    why do you have to be mean?

  • Patti

    You are so wrong. When Father Corapi was at his best, he spoke the truth, Something that many people would not do. In his own words, he didn’t give “a rat’s ass” what people thought. He was a rare commodity. I believe that people were thirsting for the truth which he was willing to profess.His teachings were sound. He was a highly educated man and helped in writing the Catechism. Later in his life he seemed to change. Dying his hair, buying things and traveling too much. His ego got to him. He asked for prayers because he knew he could fall and he did. You and I can do the same. Be careful of who you point the finger at. Don’t judge. He was never a folk hero. He had his life threatened many times. Pray for him. Don’t write things that are false. You got him all wrong.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      “He was a rare commodity.”

      I think that was the real problem- American Catholicism treated him like a commodity, and in the end, he sold it out.

  • dave239

    LOVE THE SINNER, NOT THE SIN. Corapi is just another man. I myself love his series on the Catechism. He was very in-tune with the church and the doctors of the church. He like the rest of us is living proof that people can fall away from the church And the better things in life.

    Hopefully, he like the vast majority of us may become another prodigal son. Don’t blame the church, nor the bishops for what this one human man has done.

    the act of repentance means to change. He needs to change, and fall in line with what the church has consistently taught for 2000 years.

    • Sr. Michaela Mary, OCarm

      …And what He taught for 2… I believe he will come around. No one who has ever loved Our Lady has been lost. He will be a living testament to what we preach all the time “Repent and believe the Gospel”. A modern Magdalen.

  • dave239

    I wanted to add that he is a truly gifted speaker. I think he led me to the church. I am very thankful for that. Perhaps I should pray for him more. I’d like to see him come home again, as he led me to do. If I knew where he lived, I’d go there and try to talk to him about that.
    Where ever you are Father know that God and many people love you and wish only the best for you. Please come home, we need you.

  • kingj1243

    Please be more charitable and kind, why do you feel the need to always go after your “enemies.” Satan brings disunity and Jesus teaches us to love our enemies. Look I went to Franciscan and read a book of yours and liked it, but the way you write sounds like a facebook post by a teenager girl who is trying to get back at their parents for being grounded. Embrace the fruit of the Spirit, kindness because you have great gifts but I feel you are starting to sound like Corapi after 2009. God Bless you but please read more Mother Teresa and try to take on her way of interacting even with those who disagreed with her and even hated her. That way it is not your ego people see (which they see in celebrity cults) but Jesus through you and then people will stop following you or Vortex or Corapi and start to follow Christ!

  • CatholicDad

    I never fail to be amused by someone who lectures me to grow up whilst in full tantrum…or to excoriate any/all cultural leaders/teachers in our faith…do his proscriptions apply to Bishop Sheen as well? This is the third or fourth time I have given this so-called Catholic editorial columnist a read and I have to say that this does not rise to the level of discourse, civility/charity or critical thinking that I would expect in such subject matter. Sadly, I think I have to dismiss this blogger as just another feckless, superficial, know-it-all with a private agenda. The more you read him the less he makes sense and the more he trips himself up in self-contradiction. My chief concern is that he might be read by either impressionable, poorly-catechized Catholics or non-Catholics considering crossing the Tiber. Meh…(Walk, fight & pray…mGrby)

    • TheodoreSeeber

      I don’t remember Bishop Sheen leaving his vocation to drive motor cycles and live like a millionaire.

  • hawk222 wolf

    Hot rod iron hiting the cold water ,thats all he was .

  • rose

    Cult? I think that type of terminology is a little extreme after-all thousands of people came back to the church, renewed their faith because of the boldness and transparency of this priest. I forgive whatever happened, I think you and everyone else should too !!!! Besides, people get jealous including priest and Lucifer, he’s always lurking around to bring (especially priest) down. As for me, I would like to hear Fr. Corapi witness again. What a dynamic evangelist!!!!!

  • bstan

    Yes, this is a pathetic article from someone who clearly has no compassion, less heart and very little consideration for those of us who knew Fr. Corapi’s strengths, weaknesses, miss him, and empathize with his trials. I suppose he could have stayed in the Priest hood and maybe molested some kids as many Priests did – sure. Talk about unpaid bills. I am not so sure he wasn’t forced out of the Priesthood by those in this country that would like to take the church down. So, while you are judging Mr. Shea, you may find yourself answering to someone above. If you were to find that someone else (say a terrorist) forced him into what he did, you wouldn’t feel so good about all of the slander.

    • Sr. Michaela Mary, OCarm

      No matter what his position in the community he was affiliated with, Fr. Corapi remains a “Priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek” and so needs serious prayer. Personally I think he needs to spend time in a monastic community – let’s say the Cistercians. Some serious penance and prayer along with a moderate diet and some good physical work has done wonders for many, many before him and will do so for many after.

  • PJ Drum

    Regardless of your feelings for Father Corapi, Mr. Shea’s article is tendentiously reported, with a radical left wing view… your political biases are thunderously apparent, and your venom for traditional American and Catholic values reveals that you have been sufficiently indoctrinated by the Utopians and statists…… Good luck to ya….

    • TheodoreSeeber

      Since when is abandoning the good fight to live in a gated community, take off the collar, and drive motorcycles “traditional Catholic values”? American values sure, but American values are twisted by either the mortal sin of lust or greed- and in Fr. Corapi’s version, looks like both.

  • Kelly

    We should all be praying for Father Corapi……”let he who is without sin cast the first stone”…..

    • Sr. Michaela Mary, OCarm

      Amen. Priests are ground zero as far as Satan is concerned and he must have let himself slip back into his pre-conversion character (so easily done by any of us) because of all the love he was getting from the audience who were obviously starving for someone to bravely and unapologetically state the facts of life and death for all human beings (even himself). He seems to have either been a victim of the demonic realm – or (and I shudder to think it) a member of the opposition all along. Either way he needs prayer, not condemnation by other sinners. Let God do the judging, He won’t make any mistakes.

    • JMR

      You nailed it! Thank you.

  • thebigdog

    Shea is still an arrogant clown.

  • Ralph Russo

    To your point Mark, the faithful remnant that reside within the Catholic Church ARE in need of someone they can trust. People are drawn to the Truth and recognize it when they hear it. That’s what Fr. Corapi offered to the masses. He spoke without apology or equivocation, something that has been missing from many of the Bishops who became more concerned about not offending the people in pews and sacrificed our catechesis in the process to the detriment of our souls and salvation. But when Fr. Corapi fell, as he apparantly has, it does not diminish the fact the people in pew who listened to him speak the Truth of the Catholic Faith, ARE members of the Church Militant and did not follow blindly in support of or admiration for Fr. Corapi. Why do you hate those who were drawn to the Truth? Fr. Corapi was not inpeccable but he sure was infallable when he spoke about the 2,000 year old Deposit of Faith! He labored to teach us about Jesus Christ and His Church and what he gave to the Apostles who handed it on to the Saints for our salvation! After all, there still remains a huge vacuum of solid Catholic Teaching eminating from most of the pulpits in this country since the proliferation of the misintrerpretation of the Second Vatican Council so frequently used by the “progressive left” to support their false claim that the Church is antiquated and “out of touch” with the times. Fr. Corapi may have fallen, but don’t blame the people for thirsting for the Truth. Fr. Corapi, at least for a short time, was the mouthpiece for the Lord, when nary a priest or Bishop had the guts to step up to the microphone and proclaim the Authentic Gospel.

    • chezami

      “Why do you hate those who were drawn to the Truth? ”

      I don’t. When did you stop beating your wife?

      • Ralph Russo

        Another example of a condescending and disrespectful attitude toward the faithful, of which I am part. I expected no different.

        • Francisco J Castellanos

          No Sir. He is merely pointing out that you used a logical fallacy known as “a loaded question.”

    • TheodoreSeeber

      Wait, didn’t you learn any of this from your parents?

      • Ralph Russo

        Learn what?

        • TheodoreSeeber

          Why do we need solid Catholic Teaching from the Pulpit? Are we really going to learn more from the pulpit, even a rock star like Corapi used to be, than we did from our parents?

          What we need is more solid Catholic Teaching in the home- to our own children. Don’t depend on the clergy- read the Pope’s encyclicals yourself, and teach your children.

          • Ralph Russo

            I have no problem with that. Even the Chuch states that parents are the primary teachers of our children. Unfortunately, most parents either abdicate that responsibility to others or fail at that responsibility completely because they really didn’t want their children from the beginning and don’t care. Good, solid parenting is essential in the moral upbringing and education of our children for sure; BUT, parents are NOT the Shephards. That is not their responsibility THAT responsibility rests solely on the shoulders of the Church, whose head is Jesus Christ, through which the Teaching comes from His VIcar, the Holy Father, as guardian and protector of the Deposit of Faith, then to the Bishops, chosen by him, then to the priests whom He calls and who stand in the pulpit on Sundays.THEY are tasked to teach us the Faith and when they don’t, the flock is left to scatter to find someone else to feed them. And we are now seeing the fruit of that in the lack of parental teaching today. Most parents don’t even know what the Catholic Faith teaches or why! How can they teach their children about it then? Yes, parents can teach us good, manners, play nice with others, don’t lie, cheat, fight, steal, etc.because the moral law is written into our hearts and we innately know right from wrong. But there is much more to be learned than that and that rests on the Church in matters of Faith and Morals.

          • jenny

            …parents….? when half of families are broken and 1 in 4 children are fatherless…..?

            • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

              All the more reason to support the PARENTS as the first teacher of a child, especially the role of fathers.

    • Steve Culy

      …you know something? I frequently hear about this ‘vacuum of solid teaching coming from our pulpits’ (to use your phrase) but I seldom, seldom have any problem listening to my Priests and Deacons as they preach. Maybe I’m in a lucky parish or diocese, but my guys are solid! (St. Clare Roseville, CA)

  • memyselfand32

    With all the lies, coming from the Pope, bishops and cardinals, these days. It’s hard to say if Corapi is guilty, or if he was setup. Just look at Kansas City, St Paul, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, over the last 2years.

    • HornOrSilk

      Lies coming from the Pope? What?!

      Seriously, the Corapi followers seem to be political ideologues, and that is why Corapi got a cult-like following with them: he knew how to play the political preacher. Sadly, his followers didn’t get a good teaching of Catholicism and the wide extent of thought found within the Church, and so they compare what Corapi said with the Pope and say stupid things like the above.

      • memyselfand32

        Do you honestly think Ratsinger was “uninformed” of all those child rapes, by that priest in Germany. The letter got to his desk, and the issue made the newspapers. But like Sgt Schultz he said “I know nothing”.

        • Jordan F. Mooney

          aaaaaand–Godwin’s Law

  • jenny

    On you tube there is a video posted in July 2013.

  • Mark T. Zak

    I loved Fr. Corapi, and I too believed him over his accusers…for a while, it’s just sad, broke my heart! Scars me too, w/my past I have the same potential for such behavior, just not on that level, not on my salary!

  • Donald Hensley

    I’m Baptist, sometimes, but enjoyed listening to Fr. Corapi when I got the chance. It is not for me to judge him, that’s Gods job. I did like his sermons.

  • D’Arcy Voorhees

    I haven’t read your stuff in awhile and I came back and kind of scanned through your posts and I have to say that I’m embarrassed that I ever donated to you. You seem to have no Christian compassion, coupled with a venomous tongue, and a rancid point of view that seems to have mutated over the years. I don’t remember this in the beginning of your writing or perhaps I was blinded by your appearances on EWTN. I just don’t get it, however, it doesn’t matter. I’m sure there are many that adore you.

  • jenny

    I talked once in person to Fr. Corapi, and his words touched me – he seems to be very approachable.

  • JMR

    I am no cultist. Just because you care about someone does not make you a cultist.
    All I wanted to know is how is John Corapi, the man, is doing. It is my hope and prayer that he comes back to the Lord again. Just as I hope and pray for former pastor Paul Sheppherd.

    Understand this. These men are under attack from satan more so than the average guy. Hell gets far more satisfaction taking out a witness for Jesus, rather than some unknown.

    This reminds me of when the news broke of Amy Grant divorcing her husband. I heard about it on Christian music radio station 990 WZZD. People were calling in stating they never wanted to hear another Amy Grant song on the station again. Others had other things to say.

    But Timmy D. (the DJ there), responded like this (paraphrasing): I don’t know what is going on in her life, I don’t know what is going on in her heart. A lot of people have a lot to say on this, but what I want to know is how many people said a prayer for her?

    Adrian Rogers once asked “Why is the Church the only army that shoots it’s own wounded?

    Remember the Saints are just the sinners who fall down and get up.

    Jesus did not allow a stone cast at the adulterous woman, rather He extended His mercy to her. Just as He will freely give to any who truly seeks to follow Him.

    Thank You Jesus. Praised be Your Holy Name.

  • Don

    Father Corapi was the only man of God I ever had any belief in. Please come back!

  • JohnCalla

    You sound like a real pompous ass.

    I can’t believe I ever gave a dime to Catholic Answers… but I won’t be making that mistake again.

    • chezami

      I don’t work for Catholic Answers.

      • Francisco J Castellanos

        (Shhh! He must be in the wrong com box). Hi John! if you don’t want to give money to Catholic Answers anymore, you may want to consider giving money to this guy named Shea. He wrote a great book on Catholic Prayer.

  • Virago

    I come occasionally to read your pieces. Enjoyed your books. But why do you hate what I am, what I have become, a conservative ? I think I will spend more time with the Anchoress.

    • chezami

      I don’t hate conservatives. I am one, by any reasonable definition of the word.

  • JPeterman

    I’m so sick of Father Corapi updates. When I was relearning my Catholic faith or shall I say learning for the first time I followed his show weekly and went to three of his events. Yeah, well who cares now, I was mistaken, live and learn.

    Corapi is human but I’m sick of hearing about people who can’t maintain their vows and scandalize the faithful. He made his own bed now he can lie in it. He still has until he dies to make a confession, repent and believe in the good news. He should never again be allowed to speak to an audience of Catholics, he should go and contemplate what he did and hopefully we never hear about him again except that he passed on to his reward after dying a holy death. For his sake I hope it happens.

    And Mark you do have to admit that the name “sister mary pantsuit” is Catholic blogging gold, I mean that is funny.

  • Jane Jimenez

    All of you, for and against Corapi, for and against Shea…I am with all of you…it just depends on the moment…and the mood.

    When the first news of Fr. Corapi broke in 2011, like everyone, I was shaken by emotions of every color: shock, disbelief, doubt, loyalty…all the while, I knew…time would tell.

    New to EWTN, I had been drawn to Fr. Corapi’s bold sounds, confident laughs and broad pronouncements. He was a good counterbalance to the quiet, meditative religious and to the jolly, joy-filled Mother – a three-legged stool of religious moods. I had converted from agnosticism after forty years as a prideful secularist, and I celebrated Fr. Corapi as a fellow escapee from “the world.”

    Every once in a while, though, a small, indistinct question would bubble to the surface. Why does Fr. Corapi live in the middle of a Montana forest, alone? (I know Montana.) Father asks us to pray for priests…his plea filled with great passion… what kind of prayers does he need? Why did he leave this drug-induced life he loves to talk about?

    Then one evening, Fr. Corapi entertaining his live audience, recounted a fast cops-and-Father car chase from his pre-Catholic days, racing down the highway in his hot sports car, accompanied by a beautiful blond and packing a live weapon hidden between their bucket seats. And it struck me. He seemed filled with more excitement telling of his crime spree than in telling of his deliverance by the grace of Christ. “Why?” I asked.

    It was the serious discordance that rattles us when we compare what we see against what we should see…when we compare this world against a life with Christ. I could never reconcile the image of Joseph Smith, Mormon prophet, in a shoot-out from his Missouri jail cell against the image of Christ standing silent before Pontius Pilate. And that night, on ETWN, I couldn’t reconcile Fr. Corapi celebrating his criminal joy- ride with the image of Christ’s agonizing climb to Calvary. The only thing I could tell myself was…time will tell.

    Time has passed. It tells much. But it doesn’t tell everything. Corapi’s Black Sheepdog venture was pathetic and selfish. And Corapi has rejected the call of his Order to return to his religious community life where healing and life is available.
    The comforts of modern life seem to have reeled him in…just as they once
    reeled me in.

    I check in on his welfare from time-to-time. But my day-to-day concern is for myself and the bait that dangles in front of me with the jerk of Satan on the other end of the line, hoping to reel me in. The one thing we all know is that time…and eternity…will tell. If we were “caught up” in the rock-star status of Fr. Corapi, we took our eyes off the One who truly matters.

    We may indulge in idle curiosity, checking up on Fr. Corapi. But most importantly, we are commanded to pray. Out of love and humility, we must pray without ceasing…both for Fr. Corapi’s salvation and…for our own.