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!

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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)

  • 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!!!!!

  • Jane Jimenez

    Wow, “Thirsting.” Based on your post…you must still be thirsting…for Truth. I am clear that you are mad at Shea, and sincere debates between Christ-loving believers are inevitable. I am just not clear on the specific issue/question that prompted your post. Even Paul challenged Peter, but he did so regarding one issue (circumcision) and with reasons rather than invectives.

    It is good to Thirst for the Truth. But you must engage those who disagree with you…not shoot them and leave them for dead.