Santa Cruz Media on Fr. Corapi

It was not my intention to comment on this memo that was released by Santa Cruz media in defense of Fr. John Corapi. I was frankly happy to see passions abating from previous posts on the subject, and earlier in the week I had decided that, until something was “known” I would not post any further on Corapi.

Then the memo was released on Friday, and I thought, “oh, blerg! Not more!” I really didn’t want to open up another round of conjecture and speculation based on a memo that I thought raised as many questions as it seemed, for some, to answer. None of us knows any more than we did last week, when Corapi said, himself, that the allegations originated from a former employee, so it seemed pointless to comment on. And unlike a few inquiring email correspondents, I didn’t find the thing to be “proof” of anything much, and some of it bothered me. That being the case, I thought discretion would be the better part of valor, for all concerned, and that I’d take a pass on the memo.

Also, I figured Deacon Greg, that old newshound, basically had it covered.

Discretion would be a little bit easier, though, if Fr. Corapi — who was the one who announced this whole mess to begin with — could pipe down and just let this thing play out. Instead he puts the memo on his site — not on the Santa Cruz Media site (there doesn’t seem to be one) but on his site, and the thing immediately invites questions. Why is the first line of the memo about the “intellectual property” of Corpai’s work, as though it was making a public notice against a claim? Why was the VP of operations writing this, not the CEO; why does it begin by declaring itself a wholly secular, for-profit interest, making a point that it answers to no Catholic authority, and then commence holding forth in what struck me as the downright Corapian language of a religious firebrand?

Santa Cruz Media is a small company that handles all of Fr. Corapi’s multimedia product – it makes sense that they will want to protect their interests and their sales revenues. But I think a better memo would have been a simple declaration, something like “we support Fr. Corapi in this difficult time and pray for all concerned,” and then lead into their paragraph about appreciating their customer’s business.

But I think Santa Cruz Media should have said nothing at all. All that statement did was make people wonder why the CEO hadn’t written it. And a quick google search gave the answer:

At the urging of some readers, I did a little Googling to try and find out more information about Santa Cruz Media, Inc. According to this filing from the Whitefish Montana Election Commission, where the company is headquartered, the CEO of Santa Cruz Media is listed as John Corapi.

So, now I’m confused, and I am hoping someone can help me out, here. Is Fr. Corapi still a religious vowed to poverty, or is he a Diocesan priests who is entitled to own property? Does anyone know? I thought he was a religious? A commenter suggested that perhaps Corapi turned his venture over to secular management, as Mother Angelica did with EWTN, to keep her endeavor free-handed, but EWTN remains a not-for-profit organization, so this is not the same.

Like I said, this memo was better left unwritten. It certainly does nothing to hurt Fr. Corapi pursuant to the allegations he’s fighting, but it just muddies up the waters.

But who knows, perhaps it will help clear them.

The angel stirred the waters at Bethesda, and it brought healing. Perhaps all these stirred waters will bring healing to our beleaguered church and — please God — our much put-upon priests.

I say, let’s pray. I’m going to be offline and traveling for part of the day — a good chance to say rosaries for all concerned.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • mel

    Anchoress-I have been reading your blog for a long time and generally enjoy your honest treatment of current events and Catholic life and spirituality. You have the unique ability to walk the tightrope between brash and charitable. This time, my impression was that you slipped a bit on the wrong side. I don’t mind a gal stating what’s on her mind; but the “something stinks here” followed by a humble “let’s all just pray our rosaries about it” was lacking a fluid and humble transition.

    I am neither here nor there on Father Corapi. Of course, I love the work he has done for the church but I am no groupie. It’s certainly plausible that any man in the world could fall. Having said that…

    The single most irritating comment in all of this goes something like this: “I just don’t like the way he’s handling this.” And I ask you, what exactly would you do in his shoes?

    We live in a harsh, loud world where people say what they think whenever they like about the Church and the Lord and priests… and we get annoyed but mostly just avoid them (in real life I mean, not on some internet forum). We have watched great men of the Church fall and hit the ground hard and had our hearts break for it. We have seen truly holy men stripped of their parishes, their ministries, their priestly faculties over false accusations. We have seen huge sin. And we have the arrogance to demand that a man (yes, priests are not dolls or eunuchs but MEN) sit on his hands and allow people to beat his name to bloody hell… shame on us.

    His ministry hinges on his name. How many countless conversions have come through his work? It is God working through Corapi, of course, but he is using this man, this priest, this ministry. Take him down and how many go with him? If he is guilty? Then we are scandalized and disappointed. If he is innocent? Please, let the innocent shout their innocence and let’s shut our damn mouths until the truth is out! Let him fight it out! What kind of humility is it that would let so many years of God’s good work be compromised by such calumny? Humility is not necessarily silence… Humility is charitable TRUTH. There is a time to suffer silently. I beg to differ that now is that time. Fr. Eutenueur was quiet and humble in his admission of guilt. SHOUT your innocence, CORAPI, SHOUT! He is a priest and a man; let him defend himself and the work of God.

    Madam Anchoress, talk of tans and questioning details which do not even pertain to the central issue are absolutely beneath you. You should have followed your gut and kept quiet. If he’s innocent, you will look uncharitable and petty. If he’s guilty, you will look the same way… because no one knows the truth yet except the parties directly involved. Speculation in this case can be nothing but filthy and you stepped in it.

  • Wanabe KatoliK

    What does it really mean when a Priest is unable to function as a priest, and in whose eyes?

    Unproven allegations are nothing short of kowtowing to the un Godly corruption of Political Correctness, which desensitizes the profound injustice found throughout present day journalism, as much so for the legislation that licenses wrong doing with the impunity of correctness through the silent majority, those who stand by idly while others abscond with objective truth, not subjective to Christ.

    Imagine if every anti-Catholic lodged an accusation against every priest they would effectively keep the creatures from their Lord in the Eucharist. Unless such a Priest disobediently went underground from their own Dioceses which would put to question consecration validity of that Eucharist?

    Priest have been accused of everything since the beginning of time, both accurately and inaccurately, yet even in their human imperfections, they are still apostolically empowered to consecrate Jesus’ mission upon the faithful Church Militant obediently living within this valley of tears; that is, unless validly decommissioned.

    Begging the question, can an invalidly decommissioned Priest actually function as a Priest?

    I hope so, especially in light of St. John Chrysostom saying the floor of hell is paved with Bishop’s skulls.

    Should a priest refuse to witness a marriage to persons unable to realize the Sacrament, where one or both are already validly married, or the Priest refuses to marry same sex couples who by legislation can now sue the Church into the bankruptcy from realizing it’s mission obtained from tithing’s intended as charity to the most needy, not at all intended to be intercepted in validating lawsuits of allegations, be they sustainable or not. Where society permits wrongly prosecuting and imprisoning the Priest for hate crimes under the pretense of homophobia, that in reality is identifying what Christ himself died for in objection and atonement for all the contradictions to His fundamental Church’s beliefs. Here the Priest is penalized by the world for validly functioning within His Apostolic Authority within the Church. It isn’t easy being a Priest, they need our prayer. I can sense the stench of hungry lions in the arena.

    Anchoress it seems you maybe off base claiming an accuser’s empowerment can undo their damage, as if to exonerate the imposed shame and stigma when decanting what was either true or false witness, in actual or feigning need for forgiveness, at having imposed slander in private or public judgment.

    Your unspoken message extrudes the presumption how it’s better to allow unjust false accusation rather then have one woman ever again begin to tolerate abuse.

    With this in mind, remember how Christ accepted the suffering and abuse for all that humanity has ever done or will contemplate.

    I take note in your argument’s undertone that lacks proven statistics showing how many men actually suffer silently in shame at the hands of abusive women, especially so under the now ‘shattered glass ceiling.’ Your glossing over this is either by over sight, or an intentional unjust misdirection, one that any therapist worth listening to can confirm. . . or just Google. But then this sideline implication really isn’t the issue, other then to unjustly touch upon some feminism that isn‘t needed to inflame more of what you’re attempting.

    Keep in mind, neither morality nor justice can be legislated, such things only come from conversion of hearts.

    After first glance, it seems you’ve unfairly used your writing talents to enjoy entertaining yourself by misrepresenting the few good Catholics left in America who still believe in the True Presence needs a Priest.

    How can I conclude this? Your willingness to undo a good Priest through the strange contradiction of your statement, ‘how it was not your intention to comment on the memo about Fr Corapi.’

    Yet you did so quite extensively in what I found a negative tone hidden under the false guise of objectivity, all the while admitting you had nothing to go on but speculation, yet turned it into a fact finding quest, seeking unsubstantiated reader input, how you’ve inflamed this sad scenario. . . akin to those colorful celebrity stories plastered near the check out counters.

    As Dragnet’s Sgt Friday use to say, “Nothing but the facts please!”

  • Guest

    I disagree. I actually think Anchoress has handled this well.
    You asked what Fr. Corapi should have done differently? He should have tabled the SCM statement or signed his name to it. Either is justified. Suffer silently like Christ before Herod, or speak the truth, like Christ before the Sanhedrin. Having the VP sign this defense was a mistake.

    I’ll be frank. I loved Fr. Corapi before this. I *felt* he was innocent. I thought his original statement was fair and well-worded. After the SCM statement was posted, and he was revealed to be this man’s boss, I thought “something stinks,” too.

    He needs to know it’s a mistake, especially if he is innocent. His reputation is on the line and will affect souls.

    I do hope he is innocent. A priest’s sins do more damage than an anonymous accuser’s.

  • Guest

    I am glad you know him personally and say he is a of very good character. These are good words to hear! Thank you for sharing them.

    He should concern himself with not giving any appearance of wrongdoing with these nasty accusations hanging over his head. It may not be fair, but there are weak souls at stake, and Fr. cares about souls.

    I say ditch the tanning for the duration for that reason. It makes him look like he is living the good life which is inconsistent with the image he surely wants to portray.

    There is nothing wrong with a tan when you are seen as a wonderful and humble preacher. When someone accuses you of the activities of a playboy, it is prudent to try not to look the part.

  • Rzecznik55

    I appreciate God’s work through Fr Corapi and Fr. Corapi’s submission to His will. It’s no surprise that evil is hot on his behind. If he miss stepped it proves nothing that can’t be proven of any one else who ever lived except for Jesus and His mother. Take a deep breath and give it all up please.

  • jeff

    “something stinks”? Give me a break. You are drawing every conclusion against Father Corapi. You are assuming he coerced the author of that statement to write it. You are also therefore implying that it is a false statement even though it sounds nothing like Father Corap’s writing and was obviously written by the author himself. You are not asking any questions in favor of Father Corapi, as in why was this person fired? Did she assault someone?

    It’s a constant drumbeat of negativity and presumption.

  • Anne

    In a previous entry you stated:

    “…but if I were Corapi, I’d ditch the tanning booth for the duration. I’m sure it’s perfectly innocuous and innocent, but it’s unhelpful at the moment.”

    The truth is that Fr. Corapi was diagnosed by the Mayo Clinic as having an “acute Vitamin D deficiency”. When a person is so diagnosed, the remedy is not only taking Vitamin D supplements, but direct sunlight as well, as much as possible.

    Just saying.

  • Guest

    I wasn’t clear. When I thought, “Something stinks,” it was as my very first impression on reading the memo then finding out that Fr. C is his boss. I drew no conclusion as I gave it absolutely no thought at that point. It was an instantaneous impression. I have no reason to hope for anything except complete vindication. I just wanted to agree with The Anchoress that those of us who don’t know his work very well (most of America) may get a bad impression from that memo. So the memo isn’t helpful to him.

    I really am pretty impartial- I am not a big follower of Fr. C (love his conversion story) or any bloggers. I have no idea if he is lying or she is lying, only that ONE of them is lying, and to come down on either side is to cast aspersions on another person.

    My hope for his vindication is due to my belief that a guilty priest is more harmful to souls than a guilty anonymous accuser.

    Thanks for the response. I hope my comment is clearer.

  • Guest

    This link says Fr. C was Fr. E’s spiritual adviser. How would anyone but them even know that? Did they talk about that, too?

  • Guest

    Fr Corapi is a kind and thoughtful human being.I am honored to call fr Corapi a friend.For those of you who do not know this man should refrain from judging him.The person behind the vile lies and accusations is sick.When the truth is revealed some of you will need to remove your foot from your mouth.

    For the record. Fr Corapi lives in a modest home and has helped many less fortunate people.

  • GRUMPY238

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
    This quote is not to prove innocence or guilt but mearly to provide food for thought.

    I have read some comments to the fact that if there was no credibility to the accusations that his superiors would do nothing. I sincerely think that is an erroneous opinion;with all the scrutiny the church has been under with regards to ignoring or hiding compalints, I do believe they would act on an accusation just to show that their is nothing to hide. Hopefully the truth will come out.

    PRAYERFULLY IN CHRIST

  • Adam

    I would like to know if Corapi is a religious or diocesan priest. If religious order, then how come he is not living out his vow of poverty? He ought be living the life of a poor priest in all things. But it appears he is very wealthy. I have to say that he is innocent until proven guilty in these matters under investigation, BUT I have to say I have never been impressed with the man. His type of haranging preaching, loud and aggressive (to say the least) has always been a turn off to me. I find personally that something is always missing from this man’s preaching – real humility – and indeed I have always had some doubts about him. It may be his style, but I am not convinced at all.
    The man has something about him that does not convince me at all. He is not a star at all.
    He ought get back to being a simple, prayerful priest and back off the spotlight.

  • anonymous

    If you did not intend to comment, and have no more information–why this post? In the manner of this discussion: do the post and string of comments come perilously close to the sin of detraction–on both sides?

  • 4unborn

    Do you (and anyone) believe that his superiors would have place Fr. Corapi on administrative leasve if they believed that there was no credibility to the accusations?

  • Daniel T

    Father has also mentioned security from those armed with cameras.

  • Coyo

    That is one of the most slanderous, slimiest, and pathetic rag-articles I’ve ever read. It’s amazing the trash people proudly churn out. I found out a lot more about Tom O’Toole than I did about anyone or anything else.

  • Daniel T

    It is a bit hard to see what might be detraction when each time I hear something new about Father one of his supporters indicates that he has already said that himself.

    A report on his Cincinnati conference indicates that he divulged that he lives in an expensive home, has a fast car, boat, etc. That should then be considered to his merit that he remains a successful business man, and therefore if it is mentioned by anyone it builds his reputation.

    Father did not serve in the Green Berets in Vietnam. That is of no concern, Father has apparently never actually said that he did and the website on his bio is fairly specific about that. If anyone has the wrong impression about that it is not detraction to correct that impression since Father has made every effort to do that himself. He does not want his reputation to be built on false impressions about him.

    That his intellectual properties are in no way affiliated with the Catholic Church and the media company answers to no Catholic authority has been announced by the media company that uses his name for their website. Nothing hidden there, other than perhaps who owns the stock and is the president and chief executive officer. Personally I had thought that his talks were part of his Apostolic Mission for the sake of S.O.L.T. and therefore their property, but anyone that had that impression has now had it corrected for them by the media company.

    Father Corapi specified to some degree that charges against him were related to sex and drugs, not any bishops or religious superiors. It’s not possible for Father Corapi to be guilty of detracting from his own reputation.

  • Wanabe KatoliK

    @Guest, in your effort to stick up for The Anchoress, you’ve inadvertently exposed a lack of medical understanding in how vitamin D3 is optimally obtained from the sun through the skin (suntan) and is controlled in the body by vitamin K where combine as crucial in maintaining good heart health.

    Fr Corapi explained having to lose weight and work with a trainer because of an unhealthy heart, an issue which he says is now resolved. No doubt the good will of our Lord, and because of proper diet and exercise.

    For you to judge someone’s guilt or innocence by how they look is pretentious, unchristian, unfair and unjust. Please don’t attempt to explain how you get to calling a priest playboy because of a suntan because of unfounded allegations; the question of your ability to pass sound judgment is now profoundly before you, adversely affecting your arguments.

    You have contradicted yourself, first post by saying to love Fr Corapi, then later in this post claimed not having much knowledge of him. Please don’t try to explain how to love someone when you can’t make up your mind about knowing them or not, even more so when contradicting by claiming not know very much them in the first place. You are so confusing, so unclear!

    You faulted your position even more when defending your friend The Anchoress as having properly handling this topic when implying you both really know very little about Fr Corapi. I don’t know how you know The Anchoress or even what she may or not know, maybe you are The Anchoress herself lurking here as a phantom writer. Otherwise can understand your wanting to defend your association; but not doing so at the expense of fairness and justice, nor at the expense of another’s innocence. Where you then take this even further down the wrong road by claiming how America doesn’t know very much about Fr Corapi either, when in direct contradiction to the fact that he’s known very well all over the place, he is a big calling card amongst traditional Catholics. How can you both go about passing judgment upon someone you both can only claim to speculate about? Once again, please don‘t attempt to explain the unexplainable!

    You’ve unfairly sided on that of unfounded character assassination, without a shred of evidence, other that of a healthy sunburn, the premature and yet substantiated accusations of a disgruntled discharged ex-employee.

    In all fairness, if you must, then at least prayerfully attempt to refrain from making speculative accusations until these allegations against Fr Corapi are finalized and your 20/20 vision has some substantial hindsight.

  • AnneG

    yep. Investigate first. PS, this is the first time I’ve read all the comments and you really need to get a life.

  • Wanabe KatoliK

    Shame on The Anchoress (Authoress) for initiating and sustaining this type of blog, where instead could have humbly asked for intercessory prayer without all the unfounded speculation.

    Am unsubscribing and blocking this inflaming rag from my Emails so as to not appear in any sense of contributing to the temptations of appearing involved in wrong doing. Like not walking into a bar, or a porno shop, or a strip tease joint, et all.

    Stay in prayer and hope to be blessed!

  • sj

    Where did “guest” touch on the suntan issue at all?

  • Guest

    “I love Fr. Corapi” means…as a Christian loves another. I really “love” his conversion story. That’s the only preaching I have heard him preach. “I don’t know him” means I don’t know much more than that but what I “know” (conversion) I “love.” I hope that helps.

    My first impression of this memo is that it raises questions- and that’s not a good thing. I agree with The Anchoress, who I am not, do not know, never met, and can’t rightly call a friend.

    I freely admit to not knowing much about vitamin D. I don’t have to. If the tan is necessary to his health, well, he should by all means keep it. If not, he should “ditch the tanning beds” because it gives a false impression of his lifestyle, which another has said is actually humble and generous.

    I give no judgment of anyone’s character, despite my own being attacked.

    I stand by my opinion that Fr. Corapi is not well-known by most of America, nor, probably by most Catholics.

    This is my opinion of this memo.

    *To The Anchoress: You invite comments. I left a thoughtful opinion and have been personally attacked for it. Is this behavior permitted?

  • 4unborn

    I believe that his superiors would not have put Fr. Corapi on administrative leave if the accusation was not credible. An investigation is not taking place in order to determine if the accusation is true.

  • 4unborn

    I believe that his superiors would not have put Fr. Corapi on administrative leave if the accusation was not credible. An investigation is not taking place in order to determine if the accusation is true.

  • 4unborn

    sorry for the typo
    “not” s/b “now”

  • Anonymous

    Several people have related that Fr. Corapi has a serious vit. D deficiency, and parathyroid problems. Taking vitamin D in pills kind of works for raising blood levels, but sunlight on the skin is much more effective.

    I have vit. D deficiency and hashimoto’s thyroid (an autoimmune disease where the body destroys thyroid cells.) My endocrinologist tests all of his patients (mostly thyroid and diabetes) for vitamin D blood levels and about 80% of us are deficient. Vit D is not really a vitamin, it’s a hormonal precursor which is vital to cellular metabolism in all living things. In humans, we get our vitamin D by particular frequencies of ultraviolet rays on our skin (and, no, a sunny window doesn’t cut it — the wavelengths in question get stopped by glass.)

    For Fr. Corapi, like millions of other human beings, sunlight is as vital to his health as insulin injections are to a diabetic. Perhaps rather than making snide comments about other people’s tans you should get your own vit D levels checked. And on the way to the car, take off your coat and get some sun on your bare arms and face.

  • Michelle

    I think you’re correct. It would have been better if you had only written the last line of your dissertation of thoughts.

  • Christine

    Working in Human Resources, I understand how accusations of sexual harassment, whether they are true or false, place everyone involved into an extremely stressful situation. I fear that Fr. Corapi is not handling this situation well. Whether he did or did not do that which he is being accused, he truly needs prayers at this time, because he is not conducting himself in a manner that gives any party to this matter, especially himself, the privacy and resepct they deserve. May GOD in his infinite mercy have mercy on him.

  • Thomas

    I have to wonder when a New York Deacon starts a blog to spread “scandal” against a priest—before there’s ANY SUBSTANTIATED EVIDENCE/PROOF, who’s borne so much good fruit for The Church, and then when any sort of defense pops up he decides “enough already! Commenting is closed.” ……..

    Is he in cahoots with the spurned woman?

    Has he no scruples? Or does he like to spread unsubstantiated scandals to garner ill-gotten feelings toward that priest (and, indeed toward the priesthood).

    Is his agenda to pull many away from the faith??

    Pray, pray, pray!

  • Daniel T

    This is one of the more ridiculous comments I’ve seen. The poor Deacon began with simply linking to statments made by Father Corapi and Santa Cruz Media themselves on http://www.fathercorapi.com (that father spelt out), so how can he be accused of spreading “scandal”. Comments began in each case supporting Father Corapi, and then any “attacks” were normally legitimate questions and pointing out facts that Father Corapi has supposedly revealed himself. The Deacon cut off comments on one post after it reached 139 comments. If you’re looking for someone that is trying to cause scandal, look in the mirror Thomas.

  • Daniel T

    This is one of the more ridiculous comments I’ve seen. The poor Deacon began with simply linking to statments made by Father Corapi and Santa Cruz Media themselves on http://www.fathercorapi.com (that father spelt out), so how can he be accused of spreading “scandal”. Comments began in each case supporting Father Corapi, and then any “attacks” were normally legitimate questions and pointing out facts that Father Corapi has supposedly revealed himself. The Deacon cut off comments on one post after it reached 139 comments. If you’re looking for someone that is trying to cause scandal, look in the mirror Thomas.

  • Tlitterell

    So, you’re saying no one is ever accused of anything in error. If that is true, then Jesus was also a criminal. The truth will come out. Fr. Corapi is a faithful priest. A very holy man that the devil is trying to take down because of his holiness not of his sinfulness. The best thing is to keep your speculations to yourself, and let the truth surface. Like Father Corapi says, “We know the ending, we win”.

  • Kris

    Haven’t read all the comments so don’t know if this link has previously been given, but the diocesan spokesperson states that it was the order that placed the administrative leave, not the bishop:

    http://thecatholicspirit.com/featured/father-corapis-company-says-action-against-priest-violates-canon-law/

    “However, Marty Wind, director of communications for the Diocese of Corpus Christi, disputed Ruffatto’s claim that Bishop Mulvey placed Father Corapi on leave. He said the action was taken by officials of the priest’s order, the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity in Robstown, Texas.

    “We have been clear from the beginning that the bishop of Corpus Christi was notified by the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity that the administrative leave was imposed by the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, not the bishop of the diocese,” Wind told Catholic News Service March 25.”

  • http://www.lisagraas.com Lisa Graas

    I just want to say that I am praying for everyone involved…..and I’m praying for Elizabeth, too.

    Blessings.

  • Patt

    Everyone seems to have forgotten, that before his fall (later becoming a priest), Fr. Corapi was a sharp BUSINESS MAN. Becoming a priest did not make that go away. Also in his first tapes about his life he kept saying how he”wanted to be SOMEBODY”–an important person. I don’t think that has gone away either. He remains a successful business man and nation wide speaker, and listening to his comments on his tenacity I am sure he will fight his way back up to the top. I don’t see him becoming a desert hermit.
    But these are my opinions based on his tapes that are sold for profit.

  • Angela Sullivan

    Father John Corapi has done enourmous good for Catholics,
    His ability to communicate The Teaching of the Church is truly amazing. I think what is un-healthy is for anyone to make snide remarks(with regard to his beard etc.) and insinuate misconduct based on such nonsense. Firstly people should be aware Father Corapi was sick years ago and the darker skin is due to treaments that are necessary since is body does not absorb vitamin D correctly. I believe that he should be assumed innocent till proven guilty we know nothing. The Bishops have not been above reproach in the past. I would suggest that all pray for Father John Corapi and all involved as he recommended.


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