Have to be honest, sort of saw this coming when “John-once-called-’Father’-Corapi” (his words) offered his materials for sale with the note that they might not be available much longer. Seemed to be saying, to me, that he would not be able to preach or sell his stuff as a priest, anymore.
Real quick analysis and a little transcription on initial listen:
“All things change; only God stays the same…I am not going to be involved in public ministry as a priest any longer. There are ‘certain persons in the church’ who want me gone…I do accept what has transpired…but the bishops have the power, apparently, to operate any way they see fit.”
No explanations, nothing specific — there’s a heavy victim note being played about “certain leaders in the Catholic church.” yet leaving the priesthood appears to be his decision. He states that he’d be “indefinitely” suspended by those in authority as they waited around for him to leave.
Parts of this are extremely melodramatic. I’m sure Corapi feels he has been treated unjustly, but his remarks are not — at least to me — seeming like the stuff of humility, acceptance, obedience. There’s nothing here about the movement of the Holy Spirit, or God’s will; Corapi is not talking about this in terms of God “writing straight with crooked” as some might expect. Nothing about prayer, struggling, his personal anguish, Mary, his confreres (he seems always to have been a bit of a lone wolf), or the Rosary, or hope. It all seems pretty earthbound, to me.
Corapi seems a little miffed that the people questioning him were not graduates of the FBI Academy; he is claiming he does not wish to be placed in an adversarial position against the church — you can hear him say that right after he storms about the bishop and procedures for a few minutes, and charges them with ignoring both canon and civil law.
A few days ago, we talked a little about how — just as the laity need to be able to depend upon the church to do the right thing regarding bad priests, accused priests need some protections put in place, too. But to be honest, since Corapi is offering no specifics regarding his “irrational and unjust situation,” I am not sure why he would not choose to fight, and therefore help to initiate new policies and procedures for the sake of the priesthood, which he always spoke of lovingly. If I was involved with something unjust, I’d fight like hell, but that’s just me. You love your priesthood, you fight for it; you trust Jesus, who IS truth, to bring forth the truth. That’s what Padre Pio did.
“For 20 years I did my best to guard and feed the sheep…was thrown out like yesterday’s garbage…I shall continue, black sheep that I am, to speak. And sheepdog that I am, to guard the sheep, this time not not just in the Catholic church, but in the entire world!”
Not hearing the Jesus note in there, that he’s feeling called to it by Jesus, obeying Jesus and not just following his own ambitions, etc…In fact, I am not sure he mentions Christ at all in the speech. I’ll have to listen to it again, but I’m not hearing any generosity, in any of this. Everyone is, of course, entitled to their own opinion — and I am sure many people are either confused or heartbroken over this news, and I truly feel badly for them — but so many have called him a “living” saint and a few have even called him “the lone voice of truth” in the church, today — and I guess those sorts of sentiments led me to expect something different.
He speaks of his audience necessarily becoming “broader,” which I guess it would have to be, if he’s intending to feed and guard the entire world!
Am I the only one who finds that a bit grandiose and thinks he sounds just a bit messianic along with the melodrama? Maybe he’ll start his own church! I’m more inclined to think, though, that he’s intending to go into a right-wing focused teaparty/religion sort of mode; I expect he’ll become more political.
Corapi’s new book is almost ready to be published. He’ll be writing/broadcasting as the “Black Sheep Dog.”
UPDATE: Entire text here
Deacon Greg is feeling pretty much as I do. But many, many of his fans and followers really seem upended in various feeds I’m reading. They need prayersupport. Whisper up a prayer, if you can, for them. I am, and for Corapi, too. It seems to me he is choosing to save his brand over fighting for his priesthood, and that is very sad.
Mark Shea is furious and mincing no words. He says this is worse than Richard Nixon’s “Checkers” speech. They won’t have John Corapi to kick around, anymore!
I predict a mob of pitchfork wavers fanning out across the internet to yell at the woman (about whom they know nothing except what The Black Sheepdog has told them to think) and the bishops and investigator
What a sad mess.
UPDATE II: Max Lindenman expresses sympathy and wonders if Corapi is over or under medicated.
Frank Weathers: I’m still here!
Lisa Graas: “saw it coming”