Although EWTN had already made a statement announcing that it was pulling its Father Corapi programing until the matters concerning him are settled, the network must have gotten a lot of negative feedback from people who are hurting about the controversy and also — I am sadly sure — from people telling them what shameful, disloyal Catholics they are, and threatening to never contribute another dime to their operation, and so they’ve released a fuller statement:
We are aware that many of our supporters are disappointed in EWTN’s decision to remove Father John Corapi’s programs from the Network during his administrative leave. We too are greatly disappointed that EWTN had to make this difficult decision. We can assure you that it was made with much prayer and careful discernment.
The fact is that Father John’s own religious community has placed him on administrative leave and his capacity to function publicly as a priest has been suspended during the investigation of the charges against him. This was officially communicated to all of the bishops of the country in a statement saying that, “…Fr. Corapi has been placed on administrative leave and has had all of his priestly faculties removed.”
In EWTN’s thirty years of existence, the Network has never knowingly aired programming featuring any priest whose priestly faculties have been suspended. The Network has always responded consistently and immediately in such situations by removing such programs from the air. We are obliged to do so in obedience to the discipline of the Church.
You can read the whole thing at Patrick Madrid’s establishment. It seems very reasonable to me, that they be consistent with all of the priests and religious who present on their network. I frankly hadn’t realized that Fr. Corapi’s faculties had been removed (although Te Deum blog highlighted it yesterday); if that is the case, it makes perfect sense that they would suspend his broadcasts until such time as they are restored.
You can’t really run programming from a priest who has (for however long it takes) had his faculties removed. It’s a credibility issue. If this is accurate, I believe it means Corapi can no longer publicly celebrate any sacraments, wear priestly garb, or present himself as a priest — in which case it would actually be dishonest of EWTN to continue broadcasting the work he has done as a priest.
What a mess, for all concerned. I am sure everyone involved wants to see all of this quickly resolved.
There is no reason to suspect that this decision was not difficult for EWTN, or that they are not praying for all things to work out well. A network that has brought 30 years of excellent and orthodox Catholic teaching to the world can hardly be accused of being an anti-Corapi conspirator.
Frank Weathers has 10 Things to Do While Fr. Corapi is on Leave
Eric Sammons Fr. Corapi and Media’s Reality Distortion
Jimmy Akin: Thoughts on the Fr. Corapi Situation