Priests and Pedestals

The accusations against Fr John Corapi have unleashed a firestorm of comments from his devoted followers and those who are not impressed by him. Elizabeth Scalia sums up here with common sense and compassion.

I have nothing much to say about Fr Corapi himself, except that these things are complicated. Right now everyone should step back, take a deep breath, with hold judgment and wait to see what happens.

I have no opinions at all about Fr Corapi. All I know is that he is a Catholic media star, is supposed to be a holy man, a great preacher and evangelist. If he has fallen I’m sorry, but we should give him the benefit of the doubt.

I never met the man, but I do–in a roundabout way–have something to thank him for. It happened like this. I was visiting EWTN to do a show with Marcus Grodi and a couple rushed up in the airport and started saying how much they loved my preaching and my work. I was, of course, flattered to be ‘recognized’ and treated them with gracious condescension as I knew a ‘media celebrity’ should do to his adoring fans. I asked them politely which of my books they most enjoyed, and they looked confused, “What books? Aren’t you Father Corapi?”

“No. I’m Fr Longenecker.”

“Oh, we never heard of you. We thought you were Fr Corapi.” And off they stalked much disappointed.

So I must thank Fr Corapi for indirectly giving me a salutary insight into my own overwhelming vanity and pride, and for giving me much to think about afterward. The job of being a priest is hard enough without the minefield of psychological tricks the devil has in store for us. Think about it. Most priests have an awful lot of power. No one really tells us what to do. We can make up our own schedule. Many of us hold the check book for the parish and with a bit of ingenuity can spend money as we like. On top of all this we are surrounded by a group of people who really want to love us. They want to invest in us and want us to be the role model for them and their children. They are longing for someone to look up to, and we poor souls that we are and longing to be loved, fall for it hook, line and sinker.

Add to that any kind of a reputation as a writer, speaker or ‘Catholic celebrity’ and the minefield is suddenly doubled. They thought you were wonderful to start with, and now thousands hang on your every word. You start to attract all sorts of vulnerable and needy people. If your celebrity status grows you start enjoying ‘success’. Media people want to jump on your band wagon. Offers come you way. More money flows in. You can’t help it. That goes with success. Meanwhile, you’re probably getting lonely because, while thousands love the person they think you are, very few people really know you and love you for who you really are. If you are a celibate priest (unless you’ve developed for yourself a good support system) you’re stuck in that false world of celebrity with no one to turn to. If you don’t have the inner strength you may start believing in your false image yourself. It’s hard not to.

Why do some priests start believing the false image of themselves? I’m afraid to say that too many men who are drawn to the priesthood already have a poor self image. Often they lack real personal identity or they dislike the person they are. It’s very attractive, therefore, to have a job where you put on a uniform and assume a different persona–the persona of a hero, a good guy, a knight in shining armor. Priests aren’t the only ones who fall into this trap. Policemen and soldiers and nurses and others in the helping professions do the same.

So for the priest: every morning we put on the uniform. We’re God’s guys. We dress the part. We parade up and down in our long robes and we try our hardest to be saints.  Much of it is a part we have to play. The church even teaches us that we’re Christ personified. It’s a part we have to play, and also a part we have to grow into, but until we grow into it fully we have to act the part. It is, very often, a useful fiction, but if we fall into the trap of believing the fiction ourselves we’re really in trouble. The bubble gets bigger and bigger. We feed the adulation and those who adore us grow more fervent in their worship. Meanwhile the real friends–those who would criticize us and bring us down to earth–often simply walk away or worse–in our egomania–we drive them away, refusing to take criticism, we see them as ‘naysayers’ and we are glad to see the back of them.

Then too often the bubble bursts. The secret sins come out. The priest or pastor is disgraced. Why does this happen so often? I think it is almost like one of those ‘accidents’ that the shrinks tell us were somehow ‘deeply intended’. The priest can’t live with the lie he’s living and some deep and dark part of him makes it become public. It’s as if he has to have a public confession. I’ve seen it happen so often, and it’s always the ideal priest, the ‘perfect’ monk, the ‘most fantastic’ bishop or pastor with the most to lose.

What’s to learn from it? Simple lessons really. First of all, don’t believe what you see. Even the  best holy man has got a shadow side. The good ones admit it. Secondly, just because of this don’t drift into cynicism. You weren’t supposed to put your trust in those guys anyway. You were supposed to look through them to see Jesus. Thirdly, while you don’t believe what you see, still strive to think the best. Don’t idolize that priest, but don’t cast him away either. He’s a real man. He has faults and foibles and sins and secrets….just like you. Try to love him for that and not for how good you think he is at his job.  Most of all, look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

Putting your trust in a priest–not matter how wonderful he is–will always be a let down. Furthermore, it’s an immature thing to do. Too often instead of doing the hard work of becoming saints ourselves we idolize someone who has become a saint or who we think is a saint. That’s shallow and too easy. It’s like a religious form of those teenage girls who scream and cry and faint when they see their boy pop idol. They mistake their own immature high octane emotions for real love. Likewise, when religious people idolize their parish priest or some media star they often mistake their love and admiration for that person for real religious emotion and fervor.

It’s bubble gum religion, and if God takes away your idol, well then you might just turn your eyes to the one true God instead. And that would do you, and your priest a favor.

What should we priests learn from it all? To make it our first priority to be real. To do the hard work of becoming who we really are. To be ruthlessly honest with ourselves. Not to let ourselves off the hook. To have a good confessor and director. The task of becoming really ourselves is also the path to sanctity. That’s why, in a paradoxical way, I actually have more time for the priests who are not ‘shining stars’. Maybe we should all look again at Fr Grumpy and Fr Sarcastic and Fr Drinkalot and Fr Hissyfit and Fr Layabout. Maybe the ones who’s problems are ‘out there’ are actually more real–even if the reality hurts.

More on the Benedict Option
The Holy Trinity, Feminists and a Nice Cuppa Tea
What's Your Happiness Level?
Big Hearted Francis
  • Tina

    Very honest and real, Fr. Dwight. Thank you for sharing.

  • RichnHim

    As a Protestant, my heart is heavy for Fr. Corapi. I have enjoyed his evangelistic zeal for a few years now. But, due to the crash of so many of our Protestant "stars" I've prayed nothing like this would happen to an of the Catholic "stars." But it's enevitable. And it hurts the church. I can add nothing to what you have so eloquently said Fr. Longenecker. So with tears, I pray that God's will be done. I pray Fr. Corapi is innocent. I also pray he will be repentent if found guilty. I love him and admire the sacrifices priests make. May God's will be done..

  • shadowlands

    "Oh, we never heard of you. We thought you were Fr Corapi."classic dwightism, love it…..on a serious noteThe priest who prayed over my son for healing, when he was gravely ill, committed suicide nearly a year to the day afterwards. I nearly lost the plot completely. I started praying for priests due mainly to this tragic event.I no longer expect anyone to be perfect (even Fr z). I still love certain poor sinners though, priest or layman, more so, infact.

  • Jenny Z

    Sounds an awful lot like he's guilty until proven innocent here…

  • Andrea

    Not only do "media star" priests become isolated by their popularity, those with whom they are unpopular grow more hateful toward them. It really is an untenable position for any man. Especially a priest.

  • Bill Meyer

    I am sad for Fr. Corapi, whether guilty or unjustly accused.I am a catechumen, finally able to enter the Church, after first waiting almost 3 years for my annulment, and exactly 3 years for my wife's annulment. But yesterday, my DRE both disrespected my pastor, who happens to be away for a week, and also tried to undermine my confidence in his teachings. The DRE also tried to make me choose between family commitments and doing what pleases the RCIA team.What has been achieved is to leave me completely alienated from the RCIA people, and unable to reach my pastor for the next week.I do not consider that my pastor is without sin–far from it. He is a recovering alcoholic, and had to take a leave a couple of years ago to visit Lake Orion, to begin that recovery, about which he has been very frank.However, a pastor is shepherd to his flock, and while he has a few times helped me through my own crises, the same cannot be said about our DRE, who likes to live on the edge, handing out tracts from Catholic dissidents as though they were Church teachings.Perhaps it is my own failure, to be so affected by this latest issue. After all, I know that the parish is frighteningly liberal, but having lived through 4.5 years of that, I was entirely blindsided.I pray that Fr. Corapi is innocent of all charges. He has been a deep influence on me, and a source of deep insight to my wife, as we journey to the sacraments. I shall pray for him, and for his accuser.

  • Anthony Brett Dawe

    good the 'Ordinariate' has the true Anglican patrimony to refer to:ARTICLE 26 of 39 ARTICLES'of the wickedness of the clergy which hinders not the efficacy of the sacraments'To which I have appealed many times in my life, as the clerics who are destroying the church and souls -primarily but not limited to their own souls- will hopefully be exposed on all fronts and replaced by some attempting theosis.We are praying to St Eleud for Our Lady of the Rosary Church.A little leaven leaveneth the whole loaf.[not about wafers btw Ed]

  • shadowlands

    bill meyer said'The DRE also tried to make me choose between family commitments and doing what pleases the RCIA team.'relax. What is important is to please God, not man. God placed your Pastor over you as you journey hrough the faith and you won't be sinning by obeying him. He gives an account for you.Hebrews 13:17 Douay-Rheims Bible'Obey your prelates, and be subject to them. For they watch as being to render an account of your souls; that they may do this with joy, and not with grief. For this is not expedient for you.'

  • Just another mad Catholic

    As one aspiring to the Priesthood I thankyou Father for your comments. My dearest wish is simply to be an ole country priest with a little vinigar on my tounge but with a heart that is in the right place. To offer the Holy Sacrifice in the EF for the living and the dead, to teach, lead and sanctify the faithfull

  • Rob

    Great post Fr. praying for you and all the Priest,and Bishops

  • adele young

    Your blog has left me with a very negative impression…that in your back-handed way you have already condemned this priest…for he has this coming to him for allowing himself to be "celebratized" andputting himself on a pedestal. After listening to a wonderful homily this am given by Father JosepH Mary on judgment and forgiveness…I received an email from EWTN telling me that they also are putting Father Corapi's programming on "leave" until the matter is cleared. If all this isn't judgmental..and lacking in forgiveness than I am sorely insufficent in understanding whatyou all are trying to do, teach and say. What mixed messages we must be sending to the rest of the world….when right within the bosom of the Church such chaos and confusion reigns. Satan, the Great Deceptor, has many accomplices, both knowing and perhaps un-knowing.

  • Cheryl Dickow

    Excellent insight, Father!

  • Joseph


  • KateJohn

    Thanks Fr. for your honest evaluation of priests. My very dearest friend is a quite popular priest in my diocese – our family "adopted" him about 18 years ago. But what he loves is that he can be totally "himself" with us – with all his faults and foilbles – EVERY priest must have friends or family with whom there is no "play-acting". It used to occur within the Rectory or the Order, but now there has to be other venues for this freedom. They are all "bait" for ol' sparky, especially the good ones.

  • Clare

    "I have no opinions at all about Fr. Corapi." Really, Fr. Longenecker? It sounds like you have some very strong opinions.This article reveals more about you than anyone else. You have managed to insult Fr. Corapi, the priesthood in general, celibacy, the Saints, and the indeed whole Church in one fell swoop.I don't think our Blessed Mother would be happy with your attack on her sons. If I were a priest I would be extremely angered at your portrayals.P.S. Perhaps you should stop blogging, traveling around giving talks, and working with the popular Johnette Benkovic. You wouldn't want to be guilty of cultivating "followers".

  • DTFangrrrl

    This blog entry has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. On the one hand, I understand what you're saying – but, on the other hand, it sounds as if a guilty judgment has already been passed on Fr. Corapi…

  • Luis Fernando

    Sincerely, it´s time to pray that truth is revealed. God knows if Fr. Corapi is innocent or guilty. But until we all know the truth, if ever we know, whe should suspend our judgement.If Fr. Corapi is innocent, this is a cross he´s wearing. And since Our Lord´s cross, there´s always grace on our personal crosses.If Fr. Corapi is guilty, grace is enough for him to repent. Of course, in that case, he should give up preaching and living a public life. Bue even in that case, the good preaching he has preached last years will stand. The focus must always be on the good preaching and not on the prechaer. As Jesus said:All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not. For they say, and do not. Mat 23,2

  • Truism1000

    Methinks you protest too much. That's what Protestants do best after all. Your vitriolic comments about Fr. Corapi and about all Priests are just too much. You haven't been a Catholic long enough to even know this religion and yet you wear the false garb of a priest by your own admission. You are a Protestant married man who found a sweet retirment plan on the Catholic dime and yet you still choose to spit on it. I respect every Protestant in his own church but I don't want a Protestant pretending to be a Catholic in my Church. Your Protestant roots are showing and growing. Why don't you get a real job with real men if you think this job is so pathetic? The Priesthood is not a job. It's a vocation reserved for celibate men, but, of course, you wouldn't know that either. Why did you join such a pathetic group? Had the Protestants had enough of you? When I heard you speak in person, you said you joined the Church because you are against women's ordination. Not good enough. You should have said you came to believe in the Real Presence and in everything the Catholic Church teaches. When is the last time you said a Hail Mary out loud before your homily? Fr. Corapi does that and there is good reason for it – but, of course, you wouldn't know about that either. Why don't you leave this Church? You don't like to wear the collar anyway. You are opposed to women's ordination but you do want your little woman at home to listen to your every little whine. I hope you find yourself in some unknown chuch, with no wife, so that you can be Father Drink Too Much because right now you are Father Away From the Truth and no Catholic should support you and your family. Then you can rest assured you will not be recognized in any airport. I'll drink to that.

  • JoAnna

    Fr. Longenecker: Wise words, thank you.Truism1000:1 John 4:20, Proverbs 16:28

  • priest’s wife

    wow Father- so true! We must keep our faith in the LORD even when we are blessed to know holy priests

  • Mark P. Shea

    Padre:I solve the problem by being an abrasive jerk. Then nobody is disappointed when I screw up.

  • Cathy A.

    Father Longdecker,please,for the Catholic Church,and respect for a Catholice Priest,who knows what true suffering is,discontinue ANY blogging OR comments about Father Corapi.Sounds to me this is really ALL ABOUT YOU.Go to confession,and let this topic go.Perhaps time spent in a Catholic Seminary in a long retreat would behouve you at this stage .May God forgive YOU,and bring you to true humbleness.Father Corapi needs your SINCERE prayers,not on line gossip.It doesn't look good on you.God Bless you,CATHY

  • Saint Michael Come To Our Defense

    Truism 1000,Stop it.Your attack is from Satan.Admonish is the word of the day.RichnHim,Remember that part of the Passion Movie where Satan carries around his little child?That's his Protestants. Christ founded the Holy Roman Catholic Church.Dear Padre Longenecker,Only a Catholic Priest can bring God down from Heaven.Only a Catholic Priest can absolve sins.Only a Priest has the authority to Bless.A Priest may even issue curses that are many more times more powerful than Satan and his legions can muster.Only a Catholic Priest can prepare souls at death's door.Now that is real power.With the assurances of my Holy Rosary prayers on your behalf as you toil in the vineyard of the Divine Master, I remain yours truly,pablo*

  • Fr Mannes OP

    Very insightful. Thank you for your "reality check". I think as priests we often feel we have to put on a pious persona, when in fact we may often have less faith and devotion than the people we serve. God works through our brokeness, we just have to realise we are merely instruments of the good Lord.

  • Lauretta

    Fr., your words are very profound and insightful. I have found them very helpful in trying to relate to our priests in a way that is healthy and good for the priests as well. It must be so difficult as a priest to have to put on that aura of perfection that we laity so often demand when struggling with sin as much or more than everyone else. Yours is a life of special challenges and difficulties and I will try to be more appreciative of that. Thank you for these wise words.

  • Patrick Madrid

    Father Dwight, this is the best, most insightful blog post you have yet written — and you've written many good ones.Bang on the bull's eye.(Someday, I must tell you my own "Scott Hahn" story that is quite similar to yours about Father C.)

  • stlucy

    I am truly fascinated and disheartened by the things I have read in comments to blog posts about this issue. It is amazing the things people will say when they can hide behind their username.Thank you, Father Longenecker, for your words and for following the Lord's call to the Roman Catholic Church.I met you briefly when you were in Pittsburgh last year and spoke at our seminary and was delighted to meet you and thoroughly enjoyed your talk. I don't know that you recall meeting me, but I am a young woman who is discerning and I think I was one of the last to speak with you while you were signing books. God-willing, I will be making an aspirancy with a cloistered community in early June. God bless.


    Thanks for the insight. You do look a bit like Fr. Corapi.Please don't consider my saying this idolatry, but I do think what you said makes sense. I fail to see how it is an attack on the Church or Fr.Corapi. If you'd put that ex-priest from Miami's name at the top, no one would have said a word.

  • Clare

    stlucy: I certainly am not "hiding" behind a username – unfortunately, it's the only way to communicate a message here, isn't it? I would happily have a discussion with Fr. Longenecker in person or over the phone if it were possible. Leaving a comment on a blog is not cowardly – being afraid to speak up for Truth is.I also think Fr. Longenecker is man enough to take criticism – it comes with the territory when you write a blog.

  • Steve

    Okay, I've got to chime in here. Dear Truism1000: I am one of those who usually doesn't have very warm feelings for Fr. L, seeing that what he writes is sometimes narrow-minded and too derisive. But man, I have to come to his defense this time. You're WAY over the top on this, about 35,000 feet over the top. You've essentially said you hope this man ends up without his spouse and becomes an alcoholic. Christian charity anywhere in your heart, friend? I understand that you hate Protestants; you hate Protestants, in fact, just about as much as I loathe Protestant-bashers. (And yeah, I am too Catholic. Good Catholics can respect Protestants.) Still, even when someone is inclined to be nutty, labeling Protestants Satan's spawn should get you laughed out of any house of worship–including any Catholic church worthy of its name.Yes indeed, you've won this year's More Catholic Than the Pope Award, Truism1000. With that accomplishment under your belt, feel free to climb back under your bridge. And don't forget to call your local vet and get this year's rabies shot, how about?(There, I've finally done it. I've come to Dwight Longenecker's defense. I can scratch that one off my list.)

  • stlucy

    @Clare – I was speaking in general terms, from this blog and many others I have read.Criticism, if justified and offered in humility, is one thing, though I don't necessarily see how just because one blogs means we can say what we want to them. Showing a blatant lack of charity (Fr. L in this case) toward a member of the clergy who stands in persona Christi is quite another.

  • the owl of the remove

    Dwight! – Good words – let's just pray for priests – the attack of the "father of lies" (he doesn't deserve capital letters) is increasing daily – how many people are at least saying a daily 'Hail Mary' for their parish priest – whether they like him or not? Like every human being – a priest (in theory) is innocent until PROVEN guilty – let's hope that still works!

  • Clare

    stlucy: It is Fr. Longenecker who is being uncharitable to the clergy to the point of mocking them. Firstly he paints a picture of Mr. Celebrity Egomaniac Priest – intimating that this is the trap Fr. Corapi fell into. I know, I know, he doesn't explicity say it, but Fr. Corapi is the inspiration for this blog entry. Next up – Fr. L's own words: "So for the priest: every morning we put on the uniform. We're God's guys. We dress the part. We parade up and down in our long robes… Much of it is a part we have to play. The church even teaches us that we're Christ personified. It's a part we have to play, and also a part we have to grow into, but until we grow into it fully we have to act the part. It is, very often, a useful fiction…"and"Maybe we should all look again at Fr Grumpy and Fr Sarcastic and Fr Drinkalot and Fr Hissyfit and Fr Layabout."stlucy: if you become a nun, I hope you become a great one. Please remember that there is a battle raging within this Church. You must keep your eyes open and take a stand for what is right. I certainly hope you wouldn't label the saintly Mother Angelica as "uncharitable" because she went up against a lot of heretical priests such as Weakland and Mahoney. As for Fr. Longenecker, I hope he starts diving into some Abp. Sheen works. As Sheen once said, when you're a priest you have a choice – you're either Peter or Judas. The Roman Collar is not a uniform, the role of Christ personified is not a part to play, and it's certainly not a useful fiction…

  • scrambledmegzntoast

    I love our Church and I love being Catholic. What keeps me from losing my hope for our Church is, in large part, not reading comments on Catholic blogs. I read the comments here and remembered why I have that rule. I love our Lord and our Church. It's so many iternet Catholics that I have trouble loving.@Mr. Shea: Haha, well that did make me laugh though.

  • Truism1000

    Yo, Steve, I hope someday you learn how to read. Go back and read Longenecker's blog post. He's the one who disrespects every priest by calling them Fr. Drinkalot and Fr. Layabout etc. He's the one who claims most priests have a low self esteem and characterizes them as a group of various types of losers. Do read carefully. As to my post, I clearly stated I have no problem with Protestants in their own churches. They are free to believe anything they want within their own religion. My problem is that they are not welcome to invade God's Church and impose their Protestant ideas upon His Catholic Church. Why do you feel it a problem that Longenecker should believe in the True Presence and in the Blessed Mother and in the sanctity of the holy priesthood? You don't seem to be chuck full of charity. Obviously your shots didn't prevent you from being rabid.

  • Training by Liz

    The hierarchy is so consistently disappointing. Woe to all priests who are an accusation away from being ripped from their posts and publicly trumpeted by their superiors as being doubtful in character.

  • Kellee

    Good point. I find it all too easy to put on my own costume to face the real world in, I also find it easy to get caught up in the person I put on. Good thing for anybody to think about. Thanks.

  • Lynn

    I had no problem hearing the self-deprecation and humility in Fr. Longenecker's words, and I appreciate it very much. It's a messy situation for Fr. Corapi, and I think you addressed it graciously and with a lot of insight, Father. Thank you.

  • Annie

    After reading your most recent post, I scrolled here since I had missed this. After reading it, I can only say that I don't get the criticism of you. It seemed pretty clear to me. So all I can say is, "Write on, Fr. L."

  • Sue

    Dear Father whatever your name is,I stumbled upon this blog site through a link from NCR. I know nothing about you and after reading your blog and the comments I think I'll try to get back to that status. I find your comments very bitter and cruel. These men are "called" by Christ himself. I am glad I cannot be called because of my gender but if things were different I think I would respond to the call like Job. It must be terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. We all know that they are human men, sons and brothers, and imperfect. Listening to Father Corapi has changed my life. He has given me a strong clear foundation on which to build my faith. Can anyone say that about your body of work. It's not idol worship, it's just gratitude and appreciation.

  • Robert H

    For those who question Father L's devotion to the faith, I am new to his current parish, however every long time member of that parish I have spoken with, close to a dozen, is very grateful for his presence. While he may at times fall into false humility, he has nothing but the most respect for the priesthood, and priests in the particular. He may at times be critical of priests, or certain types at least, but as a long time catholic, Irish Catholic by birth, but not always very practicing, I have known some priests that made me wonder what they were thinking when they decided on a vocation, why they continued in it, and could only pray that they did not do more harm than good. For what it is worth I have also known a few priests that showed me what sanctity looks like. I agree that we should discuss the latter more often than we do, rather than dwell on the negative.

  • shadowlands

    sue wassername said'Listening to Father Corapi has changed my life. He has given me a strong clear foundation on which to build my faith.'Can anyone say that about your body of work. It's not idol worship, it's just gratitude and appreciation.'careful sister, don't knock the Lord's anointed so easily(Ps 105:15).Fr's name is Dwight Longenecker and we all love him, but not in an idolatorousy sort of way ofcourse.

  • st_columba

    Truism1000: Fr. Dwight's words are not vitriol, but admonition, and it is not directed to Fr. Corapi, but to all of us.The things you cite are not statements that this is how Fr. Dwight sees priests "as they are." Rather, Fr. Dwight has said that these things describe what a priest can become if he is not careful.In 20 years as a priest, I have seen these dangers up close. We priests can get fan clubs that adore us and pamper us, and as a result we can get spoiled and then spiritually fall from grace. And even in our guilt, our fans rush to be our enablers toward denial, intead of challenging us to self-honesty and accountability.The proper response of the faithful is to 1) pray for Fr. Corapi and refrain from judging him 2) pray for the accuser, and refrain from judging her also 3) allow the Church to place Fr. Corapi on leave as is done in other professions so that the objectivity of the Church's investigation is not impeached 4) allow the Church to take whatever actions are needed and just, i.e. to either remove the priest from ministry or restore his good name without interference and outside campaigns meant to sway the conclusions according to popular opinion rather than justice.Fr. Dwight, although I disagree with the generalization about men going into the priesthood with esteem issues, I thank you for your reflection. I do not see it as anti-Corapi at all, but as a warning, like St. Paul's warning, "Wherefore he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall. Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human" (1 Cor. 10:12-13).

  • Mary Ann

    Father Dwight–A beautifully written post that celebrates the priesthood by distinguishing it from the noble and good but totally human men Our Lord has called to share that priesthood with Him. I concur completely with your words, which have renewed in me a true gratitude for the priesthood of Jesus Christ. I thank you for your quiet, intelligent eloquence. And I thank God for your quiet, intelligent eloquence, too, of course!

  • shadowlands

    truism1000 said'I hope you find yourself in some unknown chuch, with no wife, so that you can be Father Drink Too Much because right now you are Father Away From the Truth and no Catholic should support you and your family. Then you can rest assured you will not be recognized in any airport. I'll drink to that.'That's an outright curse on Fr. Dwight and his family and I rebuke it in the name of Jesus. Amen,Amen,Amen.If you said those words to a certain pastor in my local chrisian fellowship, he'd knock you clean out and I don't mean in the spirit, truism1000. I'd drink to that!

  • Paula

    Hey Everyone. Guess what? Priests are human. Even the one who wrote this blog. But all of them, every one of them who have been properly ordained, have Holy Hands. So when we feel the need to criticize we should at the very least bow our heads first and pray for Mary's intercession on their behalf. Alrighty then…. 'nuff said.

  • Ferrygull

    Jesus gives us grace and faith, not the parish priest. So, our eyes should always be on Jesus. Our priests are workers in the vinyard, just as we are. Their vocation is different, but no less important than yours or mine. One of my uncles was a priest (he passed away last year), so I grew up thinking that priests were ordinary men like my uncle called to a special line of work. All priests are sinners because they are human. However, in spite of their sinfulness, they are still capable of performing God's work – just like you and me. The vitriol expressed in the comments to this post and on other blogs is ridiculous and uncharitable, not to mention adolescent. One final point – to expect a human being to be sinless is to not know our faith. After all, there was only one human being born without sin.

  • Anthony Brett Dawe

    truism1000We Orthodox would be happy to have old-Padre-once-a-well-meaning Anglican before trading down to Rome in our err, cuz he's already got dosh and is Swiss and parsimonious anyhow, and i may assure you when he kindly let me do my studies during vacations in his Anglican curate's house attic it was FLIPPING COLD and one was rather EXPECTED to go to all services and after all this 'un' laxity was given beans on toast for supper.yo, call us voluptuous… NOTchill it and read before you blag

  • Patty Bonds

    I'm shocked by the emotional and critical responses to this post. You set up a hypothetical situation in order to expose a potential problem that any "Catholic celebrity" faces. I think it demonstrates how much dear Fr. Corapi has been elevated to the post of "anchor of people's faith." Folks, the only one who will not fail you is Jesus.

  • broken

    Fr. Longenecker has always evoked ambivalence and confusion in me but I try to stay with it and pray through it. I believe he himself is confused and growing like all of us. God bless him(hard)! The kicker is when my 10 yr old son says his night prayers and tells God how much he likes Fr. Longenecker and prays he becomes a saint someday. As I die inside because most of the time I can't stand him. God love you Fr. Longenecker your helping me to grow and it hurts!

  • Walter

    Thank you Father, I love your posts.I am a strong supporter of Fr. Corapi. It is my own opinion (and that is all it can be; I have no supporting facts) that he is under-going the suffering of the Cross. I was not all surprised when I heard about this. My first thought? "His passion begins." That is not intended as adoration of the man. It is, as I said, merely my opinion.Why would I lean this direction? I suppose that would be because of my great devotion to St. Joan of Arc. She was condemned as a heretic and witch by no less than men in ecclesiastical robes (though they were corrupted by English political influence) and then burned at the stake. For a quarter of a century, she was known as heretic. Any pious, God-fearing Catholic in the years immediately following her execution would have NEVER dreamed of honoring her. Then, over two decades later, she was exonerated by the Church and declared a martyr. It then took almost 500 years to declare her a saint.We may never, in our lifetime, know the real story. God works on a very different relative time scale than do we.I love Fr Corapi and pray for him, no matter the actual outcome. A beautiful aspect to the saints is that we know for sure that they are worthy of our honor (dulia) and are now eternally crowned in glory.I don't have to worry about St. Joan "falling." He Who is the source of all goodness, through the heart of His holy Mother, has blessed me with this heavenly friendship.Though I have no need to worry about St. Joan, I do worry about my own situation… I know I am guilty. No need to speculate there.St. Joan of Arc, pray for us and for Fr. Corapi.

  • Fr Longenecker

    Dear Broken, your comment did me much Lenten good. It's beautiful and humbling to think that a 10 year old kid likes me, and good and humbling to know that his parent can't stand me.I don't deserve the former but I do the latter.Of course you are right. I am confused and growing like everyone else, and if there is anything specific that I have done to offend you I would be only too happy for you to send me an email so I can put it right.Blessings back to you!

  • Mike

    In the ‘The Pieta Prayer Book’ Our Lord states:Criticism of PriestsOur Lord revelations to Mutter Vogel“One should NEVER attack a priest, even when he’s in error. Rather, one should pray and do penance that I’ll grant him My grace again. He alone fully represents Me, even when he doesn’t live after My example!” (page 29, Mutter Vogel’s Worldwide Love, St. Grignion Publishing House, Altoting, South Germany, June 29, 1929)“When a priest falls, we should extend him a helping hand THROUGH PRAYER AND NOT THROUGH ATTACKS! I Myself will be his judge, NO ONE BUT I! Whoever voices judgment over a priest has voiced it over Me; child, never let a priest be attacked; take up his defense.” (Feast of Christ the King, 1937)“Child, never judge your confessor; rather, pray much for him and offer every Thursday, through the hands of My blessed Mother, Holy Communion (for him)” (June 6, 1939)“Never again accept an out-of-the-way word about a priest, and speak no unkind word (about them) EVEN IF IT WERE TRUE! Every priest is My Vicar and My Heart will be sicken and insulted because of it! If you hear a judgment (against a priest) pray a Hail Mary.” (June 28, 1939)“If you see a priest who celebrates the Holy Mass unworthily, then say nothing about him; rather, tell it to Me alone! I stand beside Him on the altar! Oh, pray much for my priests; that they’ll love purity above all; that they’ll celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with pure hands and heart. Certainly, the Holy Sacrifice is one and the same even when it’s celebrated by an unworthy priest, but the grace called down upon the people is not the same!” (Feb, 28, 1938)

  • Anthony Brett Dawe

    i forgive you for the pork and beans, since there weren't no pork in good Lenten trad[way strict... Ed]

  • joan

    Mike….All you wrote is good advice but it does not apply to the rape and abuse of children, women or men.

  • Deacon Paul

    What I find truly interesting is the wide range of opinion about this post from people who are apparently all serious Christians and interested in the Truth.On one end of the spectrum you have those who think this post is the most insightful thing that they have read. On the other end of the spectrum you have those who believe that you have already condemned Fr. Corapi. And of course, you have all of those in the middle."Truth. What is truth" – Pontius Pilate 33 AD

  • Anthony Brett Dawe

    good Deaconfor my part i was 'seriously'HUNGRY

  • Jerry

    I'm truly disappointed by the tone of this article. If anything, the author clearly has an opinion of Fr. Corapi despite his declaration to the contrary. Who's the phoney here?

  • vincort

    Sigh. It's apparent from the comments on this post that some of these "readers" cannot read. Well written, Fr Longenecker. I appreciate your objectivity, and of course, your self-deprecating style makes it an enjoyable read. We could all be a bit more careful about our choice of words, but as I have experienced in my life, regardless of how careful you are, some people will hear what they want to hear. That is their right *and* their responsibility. Blessings to you and your ministry!

  • Jerry

    Dear Vincort…you need to be able to read between the lines. This article is weak at best even if it left out the backhanded slap at Fr. Corapi. I recommend you read the life of Fulton Sheen. He was also accused of falling in love with himself as a "Catholic Media Star". His cause for beatification and canonization tells us quite the contrary is true. Blessings to you.

  • vincort

    Jerry, First you say that Fr Longenecker 'clearly' has an opinion on Fr Corapi. Then, you state that I 'need to be able to read between the lines'. Since you obviously find me incapable of your wide range of talents, could you please reference the places where Fr Longenecker expresses his opinion on Fr Corapi. Thanks.

  • Kenneth

    It's too bad that Father Dwight and Elizabeth Scalia haven't taken the time or made the effort to get to know more about Father John Corapi before presenting such glib commentary based around the issue concerning him.I hope Father Dwight's advice — "putting your trust in a priest –no matter how wonderful he is–will always be a let down… it's an immature thing to do" — is mainly directed to the faithful followers of his blog. I think it safe to say that the overwhelmingly large majority of Father Corapi's supporters who appreciate his teaching, do so because they find his adherence to the teachings of the Catholic Church, which he presents to them in a clear and faithful manner, extremely helpful to the proper formation of their Catholic faith, and refreshingly lacking the usual preponderance of psychobabble that we find in far too many of our priests' teaching and homilies these days. I'm not sure just what Elizabeth's or Fr. Dwight's blog entries on around this topic have accomplished, but to present several paragraphs of the above-mentioned psychobabble and speculation on the motives of others. Not really very inspiring, to say the least, and certainly nothing an arm-chair psychologist couldn't have related.I hope that Father D and Elizabeth might take the time and make the effort to listen closely to what Father Corapi has been teaching for so many years and to find out a lot more about his character in that way. Then perhaps they may find, as do so many who appreciate Father John's gifts and his priestly presence, not an idol to be put on a pedestal, but rather a good example and Father to the Catholic faithful. All the psychobabble is not much of an example for Christians. More palatable, I would think, to those who have a penchant for things like gossip and subtle innuendo. Very disappointing, to say the least, for those who hunger and thirst for the Truth.Father Corapi is a good example and a good Father to many Catholics. And if your father is accused of indecent behavior, it is only natural for the children who love him to be upset. Yes, even the adult, mature children of that father. Most will try to keep a cool head, and do what is necessary to support and help their father in such circumstances. That's not ipso facto proof of "idolizing", but rather, I would think, a very touching and moving display of filial love and respect. Virtues that psychobabble, speculation, and innuendo do not engender.I hope Father Dwight and Elizabeth might take the time to examine the example of Father Corapi. This type of psychobabble would hopefully, after time, disappear from their writings. In Jesus through Mary,Ken Gallagher

  • Anne

    No Priest is perfect, they are all sinners as we are. But I would like to see more of a witness to the vow of poverty and greater trust in Gods providence in the Church…

  • vincort

    Forgive my ignorance Ken, but I am unfamiliar with the definition of 'psychobabble'. Could you please provide me with one as well as some examples from Fr Longenecker's post?Thanks.

  • Jerry

    Thank you Kenneth for taking the time exposing the lack of charity and care in the article. I think your opening paragraph explains what's so disturbing, i.e., writers carelessly tossing around the name of someone of great integrity, without knowing really anything about him. Better you say nothing than provide fodder for the Oprah Show or The View.

  • vincort

    Jerry,Glad you're still there. I thought you'd left. Any chance you could answer my question? It would mean a lot to me.Thanks!

  • MicHand

    Father Dwight, Thank you for the wise words. I agree, we tend to worship and idolize our Priests rather than loving them. When we love someone, we see them for who they are, fully human. Being fully human, every Priest including Father Corapi is vulnerable to weakness and sin. Which in no way means that he is guilty of these accusations. Father Corapi has certainly given us many gifts of selfless service, but we mustn't idolize him or any other Priest, or we will always be let down!

  • Fr Longenecker

    Kenneth Gallagher, Please listen carefully:1. Because I don't know Fr Corapi I can make no judgments about him2. All I have heard about him is excellent and I believe him to be a good priest and faithful teacher of Catholic truth. I hope he is innocent and will believe that he is until proven otherwise.3. I sympathize with Fr Corapi because I am also a priest and I have done some media and speaking work. Because of this I have experienced some of the pitfalls of this ministry.4. These are problems and complications that most priests experience in one way or another.5. My post was written in sympathy with our priests and people and for the love of Christ and his Church6. The foibles and failings of the priests I spoke to I see most clearly when I look in the mirror.Could I suggest that you re read my post with these things in mind and see if you might be able to view it from the perspective from which it was intended?

  • shadowlands

    Ken said'And if your father is accused of indecent behavior, it is only natural for the children who love him to be upset……That's not ipso facto proof of "idolizing", but rather, I would think, a very touching and moving display of filial love and respect.'I didn't find it very touching hearing a commenter cursing Father D's and his family's life and wishing him to become a lonely alcoholic in a church all by himself. It made me feel like giving a filial thump! For the record, I really like Father Corapi and quote him often. I have two of his CD's, one on Our Lady and one on addictions. I believe he is innocent and also think he looks unwell lately. I have been praying for him, also his earthly mother who must be terribly upset by all this as any mother would. God love and bless them all.

  • opey124

    I appreciate the analysis but disagree on the the point of trust. It would seem contrary to what we are called to, union/communion with each other to not have trust in our priest. Some don't deserve trust but should be judged case by case.

  • Anthony Brett Dawe

    oi vahmay this orthodox propose a little 'un'-psycho-babble:'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and soul and mind, and thy neighbour as thy self. On these two laws hang all the law and the prophets''Some put their trust in horses and some in chariots, but we will remember the Name of our Lord.'Surely some of y'all as 'good' Roman Catholics are familiar with the Holy See's lonstaanding (as in aprox two millenia) recognition of 'private opinion' as being just that and on a par lower than heresy.The Padre, or pop stars or our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ… who yah gonna call…?{sometimes we had spags tho Ed]

  • Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

    I was directed here by the National Catholic Register's post. I've never been on this blog before. I am finding the sort of bickering I see here all over the Web. It's sad that Christians seem to be fighting rather than praying for all involved. It's also quite disturbing to me that bloggers are taking it upon themselves to say they do not have enough knowledge about the situation and have nothing against Father Corapi, yet they go on and on and on with disparaging words and imply the worst case scenario. One blogger won't even call him "Father." Seems to me there's a lot of judging going on by people who say they don't really know what's going on. They also criticize those who wish to pray and support a priest who has helped them on their faith journey. I wonder what Our dear Lord thinks about all of this. My recommendation is prayer and fasting for all involved. I hope and pray that the constant bickering and bashing of a priest will stop. We need to pray for all of our priests.God bless,Donna-Marie

  • Tancred

    I'm not sure I like the things people are talking about in the context of Father Corapi's difficulties which at this point amount to nothing more than an accusation which he denies. It's like when a priest is mysteriously silenced by the Archdiocese after criticizing the Bishop's sex ed program, and the Communications Director says, completely out of left field, "of course, there were no sexual improprieties". This actually happened, and the Communications Director still has a job.I don't think what you're doing is fair and I don't think people are in the dark about idol worship.

  • jsb

    as i learned in the seminary, "are you weak enough to be a priest?" thanks for your honesty, it does a body – and soul – good! peace.

  • Saint Michael Come To Our Defense

    "…They also criticize those who wish to pray and support a priest who has helped them on their faith journey. I wonder what Our dear Lord thinks about all of this. My recommendation is prayer and fasting for all involved. I hope and pray that the constant bickering and bashing of a priest will stop. We need to pray for all of our priests…"Modernist Roman Protestants no longer speak or think Roman Catholic.They have been misguided and given an inculcation that is close, but not Catholic.Clown Masses, Novelty Masses, scandals, homosexual problems and a litany of other evils are okay with these catholics provided their own personal 'space' is not violated.Once it is, they are the first to sue the socks off Holy Mother Church.Without people keeping an eye on things, Satan would wreck complete havoc.Remember: when a Priest sins, the graces he confers through his holy ministry are not the same.Satan uses people that want to compromise, and make everything and everybody passive, and non-confrontational.That way he can demolish the souls of the Faithful, especially those of children.If someone has become so ineffective they are put in place to teach or guide us, we should retreat to Tradition.If our Priests have become celebrities, we should find a Traditional Church where Christ crucified is in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and the Padre is lost within it. We should pray for our Priests constantly.We also should admonish them when they are misguided, and finally, we should communicate the problem to the Dispenser of Divine Graces who forms Priests in the image of her Son.After concern for our Priests, we need to look at those who are put in front of us; on the podium, in the Parish Offices, on camera, as Catechists.Our Christian duty is to eliminate those that interfere with the Supreme Law of Holy Mother Church: The Salvation of Souls.May the Lord our God give us His continual blessings that we may know His divine will, and follow it entirely.*

  • Fr. Michael Denk

    Great article and I think a reality for all of us to struggle with and be honest with. It is certainly a realistic trap and I am very thankful for my support who walks me through it. Thanks for your humble humorous and thought provoking reflection. -Fr. Michael Denk

  • Robert H

    @Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle: Please stick around. The comments for this particular article are not typical. For the most part the comments are quite useful and respectful. I think that Fr may have tried too hard to be fair and PC and may reacted to that. it is too bad that we find it necessary to condemn behavior that someone has been accused of, or there is an overreaction when it occurs; behavior that goes without saying is reprehensible. For the most part his posts are insightful, entertaining and uplifting.

  • Robert H

    Perhaps some people should learn the central tenet of all christian life and thought: life in the truth. The fact is that many priests, and other religious, became so for wrong reasons. In case anyone forgets, shortly after Vatican II, maybe because of the times (late 60's and 70's), many nuns left their orders to live together, and priests did much the same. To this day the lavender mafia is an issue; in fact Benedict addressed this issue almost on day one of his papacy. One of the biggest offenders in the scandal in Boston was a man who was a very active gay liberation activist in the 70's and 80's. There are also includes the practitioners of liberation theology: priests who are militant atheists, particularly the Jesuits, yet use their collar to promote Marxist poison. This is not to deny the many religious who are deeply and profoundly spiritual people, whether as workers in the small vineyard of their own parish, or as well known figures.

  • Saint Michael Come To Our Defense

    The Pope disobeyed an order from the Holy Mother.He did not make public the Third secret of Fatima as he was ordered to do in 1960.For whatever reason his disobedience, he disobeyed.We are suffering the results of his disobedience.The subsequent Popes also refuse to Consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart.Rome continues to be disobedient, we continue to suffer.The chastisement upon Rome will be like no other in human history.Even Sodom and Gomorrah will pale in comparison.The Cardinals, Bishops, Priests and Elect that have abandoned the Faith will be punished.The Faithful Traditional Priests will rebuild without the Priests of Judas standing in Authority over them.*

  • Lizzie

    I am always struck by the belief so many people have that Priests are somehow supposed to be MORE than human, which is impossible, of course, because they aer ONLY human.In an age when so much of the sin exposed in the Church is of a titillating nature, we forget that the very rock upon which our Church is built, Peter, committed an even greater sin when he denied Jesus on the night of his arrest. And yet he was holy enough to found the Church.Priests are human beings. They are no more or no less capable of sin than any one of us. Pray for them. And pray for each other, because if this comment board is indicative of the state of the Church, we need all the prayer we can get.

  • Saint Michael Come To Our Defense

    "…I am always struck by the belief so many people have that Priests are somehow supposed to be MORE than human, which is impossible, of course, because they are ONLY human…"A Priest is a man taken from among men for those things ordained to God.This separates them from ordinary men.Christ came to redeem us from sin that separates us from attaining the Kingdom of Heaven.He chose weak men, sinners, to be His Priests.Without Priests, the world would not be able to exist.He chose Priests to bring the graces necessary to men that they enter Heaven.Only a Priest can bring God down from Heaven and save souls from the fires of Hell.Peter did not found the Holy Roman Catholic Church, Christ did.Peter only served as the Pontiff.During the public ministry of Christ, Caiaphas was the Supreme Pontiff.*

  • Anthony Brett Dawe

    the 'office' of Supreme Pontiffshould be dusted off and utilisedif old Benito made the sun stand in the sky for thirteeen days…we would all be on the same calendar once more…[never know til yah try... ED]

  • Sally

    no Catholic class.

  • Saint Michael Come To Our Defense

    The purpose of this blog is to teach.It is a Catholic Class.The Padre has expanded his holy ministry to world wide proportions.At this moment, someone in a period of darkness of the soul could be reading these comments and receive from them help in coming to salvation.Father Doyle, a famous World War II Priest was on his way back to his Priory from the Church which was a far distance between the two, when he came upon a woman of the night."Please do not hurt Jesus anymore tonight" was Father Doyle's remark as he passed her.Two years later she was to be hanged for participating in a murder.She would only speak to Father Doyle, who did not remember meeting her."That one remark I heard from you has convinced me more than all the speeches of anyone else."The woman asked to be baptized, and forgiven for her sins.After briefly meeting Father Doyle the woman had tried to repent, but had failed .In her hour of most need, however, she knew of a Priest who's heart was with Christ, and called for him. It was Father Doyle.May these little remarks we make here, through this Padre's poor blog, serve as a beacon to the cross of Jesus Christ for the poor souls.The biggest jewels in the crown a Priest wears in Heaven are the souls he baptizes, and the ones he brings to repentance.May God our Lord in His infinite and supreme goodness be pleased to give us His abundant grace, that we may know His most holy will, and entirely fulfill it. *

  • Juanita Landers

    I was so hopeful that you would offer some sort of understanding of the human condition r/t Fr Corapi, and, of any priest, but, to have read that you did acutally focus on the potential we all have for inflated ego, Father… I am left speechless. Father Corapi's life and humanness have given me hope for the hopeless, whom I have recently felt akin to. Please offer a bit of hope for the potential discredit he is suffering. Father Corapi has a believable story and will certainly be treasured in my heart till we all dance in paradise.

  • Greg

    "I'm afraid to say that too many men who are drawn to the priesthood already have a poor self image."Sounds a lot like what draws many men (and women too) to many other callings in life. I would say that in some cases, this can be a starting point in discovering one's own true calling in life. But of course it has to go further, but often times one does not discover what his vocation in life is without grappling with self-doubt and (in the parlance of popular psychology)low self-esteem.Father Grumpy, Father Sarcastic? What about St. Grumpy and St. Sarcastic? Even a cusory glance at Chruch history reveals something of an embarrassment of riches of these kind of saints. This is another way of saying I think saints often get put on pedestals they do not belong on.

  • Clare

    Statement of Santa Cruz Media, Inc. Relative to Fr. Corapi’s SuspensionSanta Cruz Media, Inc. is the owner of all of Fr. John Corapi’s intellectual property and the DVDs, CDs, and books that flow from it. We are a secular corporation and not affiliated with the Catholic Church in any way. As such, we are not under the jurisdiction of any bishop or other official in the Catholic Church, although we have the utmost respect for Church authority.We fully support Rev. John Corapi in this terrible trial, not surprisingly having begun on Ash Wednesday. Through the sacrifice and struggle of the desert and all of the dark moments that this entails, we are confident that the glory of the risen Lord will shine forth from the power of the Resurrection and Easter.We have consulted with a number of canon lawyers. They have assured us that the actions of the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas are, on several points of canon law, illicit. It is our fervent hope that The Dallas Charter will be changed because of false accusations like this. There is no evidence at this time that Fr. Corapi did anything wrong, only the unsubstantiated rant of a former employee, who, after losing her job with this office, physically assaulted me and another employee and promised to “destroy” Father Corapi. We all continue to pray for this person, and we ask you to do the same.We sincerely believe that the work Fr. Corapi has done is of greatest value to the Church, hence hated by the devil. We fully intend to make Fr. Corapi’s material available as a service to the Church and the world for as long as we possibly can.The Church provides no financial support to Fr. Corapi. He has to pay for his own legal representation, medical costs, food, housing, etc. We have never accepted donations or charitable contributions of any kind. We are supporting Father’s efforts to defend himself. Your purchase of products from Santa Cruz Media helps provide the funding for Father’s continued work as well as the legal expenses he continues to incur as a result of these malicious allegations.Father Corapi and all of us here at Santa Cruz Media, Inc. greatly appreciate your kindness, support, and prayers. Please continue to pray for Father Corapi and his accuser, as well as all priests who find themselves in this unfortunate situation.Sincerely yours in Christ, Bobbi RuffattoVice President of OperationsSanta Cruz Media, Inc.

  • Schloeder

    Fr D: I am double posting this only for the sake of your readership. You may of course edit or remove it if you wish.The recent allegations of serious impropriety against a well known Catholic priest may have been trumped up by a disgruntled former employee…

  • soblessed

    All I see is a blog by an honest priest who has a good dose of humor, humility and expresses himself well. Do we have to dissect every word to find the insult? Geez, people!

  • Lindsey

    Fr. Longnecker, Thanks for your post. I don't understand the criticism in the comments section. I forwarded it to my husband, who teaches at a Catholic high school (run by an order, not the diocese) because he works with several priests. At first, I think it was somewhat shocking and depressing to find out that these men are not absolutely, perfectly pious and correct at every single turn. I know when you said, "Fr Grumpy and Fr Sarcastic and Fr Drinkalot and Fr Hissyfit and Fr Layabout," you were not calling ALL priests these irreverent nicknames. The truth is, there ARE priests (I think we all know them) that have some of these weaknesses. I know you were speaking to the humanness of the men called to be priests. Prayers for all priests, tonight! I appreciate those who have reminded us that we should be praying more fervently for our priests. God bless.

  • Ann

    I started at the top of the comment thread thinking, "Fr. Layabout…that's my guy," but have ended with a firm resolve to confess my criticism of him and try prayer and penance instead (even though I really don't like penance.) Thanks to all the extra-Catholic Catholics for the reminders and corrections. Sometimes you guys annoy me, but I need you to keep me in line!So Fr. Longenecker are you a married Roman Catholic priest from the Anglican Church? Welcome, from a cradle Catholic. The more the merrier! One of my brothers is a priest. I grew up with him. I love him dearly, but I have no illusions about priests being sinless. After I came to accept that, yes, Jesus really does call average Joe's like him to consecrate the Eucharist, I noticed all the failings of the Apostles in the Gospels. Peter not only denied Christ, he missed the Crucifixion, sank on the sea, blathered during the Last Discourse, scoffed at the story of the empty tomb, wavered in Acts, and ended up running from Rome during the persecution of Christians. I love Peter in all his failings! He helps me accept mine for what they are and try again. What a great example of how God forgives, forgets, and rewards a miserable sinner who turns to Him.

  • CatholicMommy

    There is some wisdom in your words. We should never put any human on a pedestal. Humans are weak. God should be our focus. However, I detect some of the cynicism you warn us to steer from in your tone and I find it very sad that you seem to believe that until you grow fully into your role of being the person of Christ (in persona Christi) you believe the priest has to don a persona, put on an act. I will pray for you.

  • The Lady of the House
  • David Hottinger

    Thank you, Fr. Dwight. I would add lay ecclesial ministers (for obvious persona reasons) to your list of leaders vulnerable to ego-driven self-deception. Five years out from my own spectacular fall from grace, I am grateful for the gift of Christ's ongoing and restorative mercy.

  • Geomama

    Ouch! Satan is loving some of these comments. While we're attacking each other, he's silently claiming souls. Reminds me of that McDs commercial – Lebron James and Dwight Howard are so busy showing off their moves they don't notice Larry Bird eating their lunch.

  • Tracie Holladay

    Wow, judging from the comments here, it seems to me that some of you Catholics are some NASTY people! Kiss your mother with that mouth, Truism? And to think, for a while I was considering going through RCIA and becoming Catholic myself. If this is what I have to look forward to, you all can KEEP IT!

  • Tracie Holladay

    Apparently some of you people need a joke to lighten up:Jesus was standing in the square with the adulteress, and everyone had stones in their hands ready to stone her for her sin. Jesus says to them: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."Suddenly a little tiny woman comes out of nowhere with a HUGE rock and drops it smack on the adulteress, squishing her flat. Jesus turns to the little woman and says, "You know, Mom, sometimes you really piss me off."Now, quit taking yourselves so damn seriously! Learn to laugh for once! GAAAAWWWWWDDDD!!!!

  • Brad

    Nicely pithy and eloquent. My wife is deeply saddened about Fr Corapi's situation. As an atheist, it is easier for me to care about the man, not the priest. I will pass your words on to my wife, hoping they will help her find peace.

  • The Lady of the House

    Brad, What a kind and thoughtful atheist you are to care so much about your wife's feelings about this priest. Mother Teresa says thoughtfulness is the beginning of great sanctity. Maybe you're not as much of an atheist as previously thought!God bless you and your wife. It is sad. Tell her there's always Jesus. He's perfect and never falls. Adele

  • Saint Michael Come To Our Defense

    Even Satan dislikes an Atheist.Why drag souls to your 'nowhere' with you?If someone chooses to be an Atheist, they should leave people of Faith alone, and women with a drop of Faith would not put the souls of their children in jeapodardy by marrying and Atheist.Most Atheists see themselves as enlightened heros, but in reality they are zeros.*

  • The Lady of the House

    Better to be an atheist that the devil hates, than a Catholic that he loves!

  • probation3


  • probation3

    I can't approve the tone of this piece. Not only do you seem quite uncharitable to poor Fr. Corapi, but it seems as if you can't or won't let go your Protestant scruples about saints. I have a Protestant co-worker and every time I say "St. so-and-so" or "St. such-and-such" he has a minor coronary and assures me that there are no such things. But that is exactly the tone of this piece. How else to interpret the idea that an "alcoholic priest" is preferable to a "holy one" b/c "at least his sins are in the open"? And "we know the other priest has 'secret sins' they are just hidden." That is just weird. After reading this piece, one imagines that the faithful who cried "santo subito" at the death of Blessed John Paul II are the equivalent of teeny boppers at a rock concert idolizing a rockstar. For myself, I have felt for a long time that Fr. Corapi was on the way to sainthood. This latest incident just confirms that for me. Satan is up to something, to be sure, but God is up to something even higher. Hope it helps.

  • Sally

    gee…they followed St. Anthony into the desert…they followed St Francis into the woods, they followed St. Pio everywhere….if someone speaks with the Holy spirit about God, people will follow…just like you bloggers or floggers do all the time…

  • Saint Michael Come To Our Defense

    Miss Sally,In our hopes we pray that God not abandon us to our sins…We pray the Holy Spirit remain with us, that we not fall into the depths of despair.Floggers and blogers, we all love our Lord.*

  • mojavehicular

    Congratulations, Truism 1000. In my three years of perusing Catholic blogs, your comment here is among the most hateful I have had the misfortune to read.

  • John Flynn

    Interestingly enough many people on her are judging Fr. Dwight and writing public nasty things about him and they're doing this because….wait for it…because he "judged Fr. Corapi." Do you people realize the hypocrisy that spews from your mouths? It's like screaming at someone to stop screaming. Wake up and follow your own advice.BTW Fr. D, very insightful post!

  • eagerfortheinfinite

    Wow – such a real, real commentary. I love Christ and the Church he has given us. We are all so weak though, it's insane. I love your realness and honesty. Aaaaah. This is just the most "real" thing (I dunno – the word REAL just seems to be what repeats in my head over and over) I've heard or read about priests (and men who start off with dreams to join the priesthood) in the longest time. It reminds me exactly of some very wounded priests I know, and of even more young men I know who wanted to be priests and even went through years of seminary, but who I now know to be some of the most broken people I know. Dear God, please give us the grace to be real and honest and humble yet compassionate-to-ourselves, and wise. We are so in need of His grace and help to have our brokenness be mended and to stay zeroed in on – truly constantly encountering – our identities as beggars, as "longing itself" for all the good things that God is and brings.Anyway – I love the realness. But don't let it give you a big head Father. ;) Haaaa. =)

  • 45219e1c-9f49-11e0-b533-000bcdcb5194

    Wow! Fr. Dwight, you are brave indeed to have posted your blog about this highly charged issue and I am so thankful you did! I am a convert to the faith and many years ago Fr. Corapi was very important to my further deeper conversion into the Catholic faith. Many Catholic apologist have led me to where I am today, deeply in love with the Church and Christ present in the Eucharist! I found your remarks to be charitable and very helpful for me to understand the challenges of the priesthood and especially for one in a public ministry! We all need to be aware of the pitfalls of wordly success! I will amp up my prayers for priests! Thank you for sharing!

  • blank

    Dear Fr. C is in need of some silence and quiet adoration. I suggest he go for 40 days into a monastery and pray and listen. He has jumped so quickly into so much. I feel, 'ego' and 'self' shouting from him. He is wounded and hurt and needs Gods abiding deep intimate love. He seems to be trying to get this from people. God is who he needs big time. We all do. It is a curse to be a media star and loved by the masses. It distorts ones image. We lose humility that way. Please, Fr. Corapi go to Jesus and get His peace and love. We will all keep praying for you.

  • Chicago Carol

    Thank you father for that insightful piece of writing. I attend a 12-step program, and there are 2 priests in the group who fight with alcohol and drug addictions. One even admitted to trying to commmit suicide when he was young. It's very difficult to talk about one's addictions as it's so shameful to the addict. Although a bit shocked at first to find priests in a 12-step program, after they bared their souls and gave their testimonies, I genuinely hold them in even higher regard for being so honest.

  • RSF

    "The task of becoming really ourselves is also the path to sanctity."Such wisdom, I learnt the hard way… Coming from a 'devote' Catholic family, I found myself leading a double life. I had my 'fall' and now I understand why the Lord needs us to know and see our ugliness because that's the only way we can receive his beauty.

  • MAB

    Thank you Father for saying it how it is. Very helpful. Being raised Catholic my parents always taught us kids to respect our priests. That means in everything…the good or the bad. We are all sinners and in knowing that it helps me when I enter into the confessional. Don’t we all try to put our best foot forward, making sure no one knows our mistakes. We need to stop judging our priests and others, and we need to focus our minds on what God wants us to focus on, and do not focus on what God wants us to leave alone. God bless you.