SOLT and Corapi – UPDATED

Well, after hanging back on this story in order to verify it, it does appear — via The SOLT’s own website — that the society did release a statement today that reads, in part:

As the Society was engaging [a fact-finding] team, Fr. Corapi filed a civil lawsuit against his principal accuser. He contended that she had defamed him and breached her contract. The contract, according to Corapi’s lawsuit, contained a provision binding the woman to silence about him. He offered the woman $100,000 to enter this agreement.

SOLT’s fact-finding team subsequently learned that Fr. Corapi may have negotiated contracts with other key witnesses that precluded them from speaking with SOLT’s fact-finding team. Many of these witnesses likely had key information about the accusations being investigated and declined to answer questions and provide documents.

When the fact-finding team asked Fr. Corapi to dismiss the lawsuit, to forbear from foreclosing his mortgage, and to release her and other individuals from their contractual obligations to remain silent about him, he refused to do so and, through his canonical advocate, stated: “It is not possible for Father Corapi to answer the Commission’s questions at this time.”

SOLT’s fact-finding team has acquired information from Fr. Corapi’s e-mails, various witnesses, and public sources that, together, state that, during his years of public ministry:

He did have sexual relations and years of cohabitation (in California and Montana) with a woman known to him, when the relationship began, as a prostitute; He repeatedly abused alcohol and drugs; He has recently engaged in sexting activity with one or more women in Montana; He holds legal title to over $1 million in real estate, numerous luxury vehicles, motorcycles, an ATV, a boat dock, and several motor boats, which is a serious violation of his promise of poverty as a perpetually professed member of the Society.

SOLT has contemporaneously with the issuance of this press release directed Fr. John Corapi, under obedience, to return home to the Society’s regional office and take up residence there. It has also ordered him, again under obedience, to dismiss the lawsuit he has filed against his accuser.

SOLT’s prior direction to Fr. John Corapi not to engage in any preaching or teaching, the celebration of the sacraments or other public ministry continues. Catholics should understand that SOLT does not consider Fr. John Corapi as fit for ministry.

Father Sheehan will not be available for comments as he is attending the SOLT General Chapter from July 5-23.

I frankly thought this thing was a hoax at first, and that Raymond Arroyo’s site had been hacked. Color me a skeptic, I am always leery of sensational things, and this is certainly sensational. Deacon Greg broke the news early and then — for the sake of fairness — pulled back, awaiting confirmation, which has now come from several credible sources (including one of my own sources at National Catholic Register), and which Catholic Radio host Al Kresta has also independently confirmed.

Why had we wondered, and sought verification? Because of the manner in which the SOLT put out their statement — they didn’t post it to their website — the thing was up elsewhere for hours before they finally got around to doing so.

The statement was a bomb, and they had to know it. Instead of owning it, SOLT tried to throw it discretely. But there are no discreet bombs.

What now? Well, SOLT says “with the issuance of this press release directed Fr. John Corapi, under obedience, to return home to the Society’s regional office and take up residence there. It has also ordered him, again under obedience, to dismiss the lawsuit he has filed against his accuser.”

Heh. Good luck. Corapi sent a letter to SOLT resigning from the Society on June 3rd. Perhaps they have not yet “accepted” that resignation, but it seems highly unlikely to me that John Corapi — who has rebranded himself as the “Black Sheepdog,” with the stated intention of broadening his public outreach in order to guard and feed “the entire world” is going to get back into his grey robes and live in community with his confreres.

But see, this was the problem, to begin with. Corapi’s bio stated that he was a “fully professed priest” with the SOLT, but apparently his profession did not involve a vow of poverty, and the society allowed him to live independently (which flies in the face of the whole notion of “community” and “society”) and to work without supervision or accountability.

Frankly, if John Corapi is in spiritual turmoil, right now — and if the statement is true, it would seem that he is — then this society, by their inattention to their “fully professed” priest, has some culpability for that.

Is the statement true? I know a lot of Corapi’s fans are insisting it “cannot be.” But of course, any man can sin; no one is perfect, save Christ (with whom, it must be admitted, a few of the self-proclaimed “Corapians” sometimes seem to confuse him). Since Corapi has amply demonstrated that he’s a man who is not afraid of bringing lawsuits, we can assume that SOLT has information which would prevent them from being sued for libel, and that they’ve dotted all their i’s and crossed their t’s.

If they have not (and nothing about this crew suggests that they are masters of organization, to me) the Black Sheepdog will eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

More importantly, if the SOLT has the proof they assert, then John Corapi is in serious trouble and he needs prayers, as do his fans, and really, the whole church. A great deal of healing will have to take place. Writes Fr. Z:

Corapi has an immortal soul. He is need of a Savior just like the one writing this and you who are reading this. And I would remind you that you, dear reader, are not sinless and neither am I. Many people who admired Corapi will want to know what happens in his case, but I urge you to examine your consciences for your motives. Those who didn’t like him, consider first your own state of soul and God’s mercy. In any event, pray for him, who seems to be very troubled, and for all the people who have been harmed in the matter.

Why now? Well, the SOLT is trying to become a pontifical. Since Corapi has gone BSD, there has been a great deal of division. A bishop who is by all accounts a good shepherd has been slandered. Some of the faithful — in reality thousands, but not millions — are in turmoil. If SOLT wants to move from being a Society to a real order, it needs to take control of this destructive story — they couldn’t have it hanging out there, like laundry in the shade; they needed the story folded and put away. A couple of correspondents have speculated thusly:

The tone of the statement [by SOLT] is much testier, even angry, compared to the last, more pastoral one. The Black Sheepdog stuff just went a bridge too far, I think, and when you read over the comments there and elsewhere, it’s clear his “fans” had crossed the threshold into a cult. It must have galled [SOLT] that he kept apparently saying things that were untrue, and making the SOLT and Mulvey out to be the villains.

Perhaps. Who knows? As to Bishop Mulvey, another writes:

“Without any substantive proof that Bishop Mulvey had it in for the SOLT [as some Corapi fans allege] my approach is to follow CCC 2248 and interpret the bishop’s actions in the most favorable light. It’s just possible that he could later prove instrumental in saving SOLT.”

Again, perhaps.

My own feelings?
The author of chaos is loving this story — the sower of all confusion and discord has been having a ball with it, setting Catholics against each other, encouraging paranoia, conspiracy theories, all manner of uncharitable behavior and hysteria. Christ is not in hysteria, and that should be the first clue that this is the devil’s own operation, regardless of where the sin began. I tried to stop writing about it after spending a little time in the muck of it and feeling spiritual oppression that was only lifted by going to Adoration, and praying before the Blessed Sacrament.

The story is not over, clearly. Pray for John Corapi. Pray for Bishop Mulvey. Pray for all priests. Pray for each other. Pray, pray, pray.

I’ll be updating with other links as I find them. For the time being comments will remain open, but as soon as people start opening their cans o’ crazy (and there has not been a Corapi thread yet, that hasn’t seen the cans shaken and then sprayed) I will close them, and all surrounding threads.

Everyone, keep your heads. When all is said and done, you know, God still wins. I read the book.

UPDATE: Fr. Dwight Longenecker, though not mentioning Corapi in this piece, says “Look for the Little Ones”

Where shall we find a holy person? Where shall we find a saint? It is difficult because the real saint is hidden and humble and holy. Instead of looking for the hidden holy ones we fall for the celebrity ‘saint’. We want the big dramatic conversion story. We want the dynamic, uncompromising speaker. We like the one who speaks out on sin and rails against the devil.

Do read it all! It’s very good.

Also, scroll down here for some thoughts on the heroism of workaday priests:

For those who like to think in terms of troops and soldiers, these unremarkable, faithful servants are the guys — they’re on the front lines, every day, doing their duty, standing a watch, taking a lot of abuse from haters and know-nothings, and from some in their own congregations who don’t understand why they can’t be better, smarter, more charismatic. They suffer for the sins of the church; they pay for their otherness with a measure of loneliness and misunderstanding. They hardly ever get invited to supper, anywhere, and their intentions almost never get prayed for, because most of us are too busy either criticizing them or bringing our troubles to them.

Yet they keep at it, every single day: a life lived in service to the sacraments, in service to the sheep.

And we don’t thank them, enough.

ALSO UPDATE: Also writing:
Mark Shea
Phil Lawler
Dr. Gerard Nadal
Abbey Roads
Jimmy Akin
Frank Weathers
Fr. Dwight Longenecker (breaking)
Creative Minority Report
Blogger Priest
Scott Dodge
Medley Minute
America Magazine

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Kate

    Thank you, Anthony #97. I did think to add to my comments, that should Father Corapi announce that he is returning to his community in obedience to his superiors, that I will rejoice even more. That would be wonderful news :) and I should probably spend today praying for it.

  • http://victor-undergo.blogspot.com/ Victor

    Hearing comments like, He used us and the prodical son being used here gives me thoughts to comment again.

    I hear ya people! Hey Victor if we were to also put down all our thoughts in writing, we just wouldn’t have time to read “IT” all and to be as kind as possible, we simply wouldn’t know what we’re talking about in the first place!

    Actually folks! There’s a lot more that I was thinking about but as you’ve quietly said, enough is enough. Hey! Who says that a grade 10 education is worth less? :)

    Anyway! He never used U>S (usual sinners) and all the spiritually uneducated know that I’m talking about Fr Crapio.

    Folks, I must apologize for sinner vic and sinner victor who have teamed UP again but “ONE” of my Jesus Cell will be putting a stop to their disrespecting of Fr. Corapi. I’m going to do “IT” right NOW but “IT” is a little sad cause some of their stories are kind of entertaining on occasions and even make a little sense to me if you know what I mean? They were going to try to explain how the prodigal child called “Devil” was really the one doing all the “USING” when He “LIVED” and long story short, He seems to be sprounting new wings because his new found children are starting to convince more and more human cells that “GOD” is nothing but a dog spelled backward. I better close NOW before He tries to Swaggar U>S again with one of His Swagger sticks.

    Please keep praying for me, myself, i and “IT” won’t hurt to throw in a few extra Rosary for my soul and spirit also cause the next trip aground might not be so easy if you get my drift? :)

    SHALOM

  • momor

    For those of you who feel a loss of good teaching (not preaching) I recommend Sister Anne Shields of Renewal Ministries. She has a 15 minute daily audio/radio program in which she takes the day’s Mass Readings and explains them and uses them to gently exhort people to conversion. She consistently speaks Truth in a humble manner. The program is all about God’s Word and not about her. There are hours and hours of her ministry available on the web.

    AND IT’S ALL FREE, unless you choose to make a donation.

    http://www.renewalministries.net/?module=Events&class=Media&event=Show&mediaID=4

  • b

    This is truly a sad and crazy time in our history. Leyla from post #9 had it right when she spoke of a battle raging all around us. Look at Fr. Maciel of the Legion of Christ, once viewed as a breath of fresh air in the Catholic Church, now a disgrace. At this point in the game, you don’t know who to believe. Church leaders are immersed with sex abuse scandal coverups. What about Fr. John O’Connor from Chicago, is he a freak or is he legit. What about Fr. Kunz who was murdered in a ritualistic fashion. What if.. what about.. why this.. why that.. how come.. confusing.. vatican II.. masons in the leadership of the church.. and on and on and on. NOTHING SURPRISES ME ANYMORE!!! Who knows, maybe next week Mother Angelica will be accused by some archbishop that SHE is really a HE and the pope might drop the bomb that he is gay.
    All I got to say is that times right now are confusing and I truly believe that we are on the verge of a massive chastisement. Just read the headlines of the daily news. A fool can see that somethings up.
    I love the Catholic Church and just pray that I can persevere through all this nonsense.
    O Mary conceived without sin please pray for us who have recourse to thee!!!!

  • James

    (Kate said “The far-reaching wounds were inflicted by Corapi. The longer the deception went on, the more people were going to be caught up in his cult, and the more committed they were going to be.”)

    Corapi is obviously guilty of deception and of turning his back on his vows, but his overall message of orthodoxy was valid and much needed in a Church that has suffered the onslaught of progressive heresies over the last 40 years.

    (Kate said – “The burden of sinfulness in the Church is a little lighter, because Corapi’s deceptive manipulation has been revealed.”)

    A little lighter? Really? A powerful voice of reform against Catholic heresies has been lost- and that doesn’t temper your joy?

    (“You think I have no mercy for people who are hurting–in fact I am sorry for the people who feel pain over this. I am no stranger to pain.”) You feel so bad for them that you are rejoicing over the source of their pain? Why don’t you try empathizing first, and then let them rejoice when they are able?

    (“But from the time Corapi began to get a hold of people’s emotions and loyalties, pain became inevitable.”) Does that make his message invalid?

    (“Better that pain came sooner rather than later. Would you want Corapi’s hold over them to have been extended?”) No. Not at all. But aren’t you extending their pain by rejoicing? Does your joy not feel like salt in their wounds?

    (“Would you want his departure from the gospel to continue indefinitely, his soul in more peril every passing year?”) Of course not. But his soul is STILL in peril (maybe even more so). The Prodigal son has yet to return- and THIS is a reason to rejoice?

    (“So no, I’m not going to engage in the pious handwringing fashion of the day. I’m going to praise God that the faithful are free of a charlatan that preyed on their vulnerability and fleeced them out of their hard-earned money.”)

    Calls for Mercy, Compassion, and Forgiveness equates to “pious handwringing”? Seriously? How do you square that with this: “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy….. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

    (“And if you think I am a cafeteria Catholic, then brother, you don’t know me.”)

    No I don’t know you Kate. I don’t know what you’re views are- I was asking.

    So now I’ll ask you bluntly- do you have any issues with authentic Catholic teaching? Do you adhere to the Catechism? Are you in line with the Church’s timeless stances on: Birth control, abortion, homosexuality as a grave disorder, marriage only between a man and a woman, male only priests, social justice and not socialism? Do you support any “catholic” politicians who have openly opposed the Church’s orthodox teachings?

    And if you simply disliked Corapi’s “in your face” certitude and all-or-nothing style, then aren’t YOU engaging in the very same bombastic vinegar with your first statement?

    (Kate said – “Coldhearted cynic that I am, I have been walking on air all day. This manipulative con artist will never be able to take advantage of good and trusting people so easily again. I feel not one ounce of sorrow, only joy that truth has been made known.”)

    You even acknowledged that you were being a “Coldhearted cynic”. Where is the Mercy, Forgiveness, and Love in that Kate?

  • Jared

    Richard W Comerford…you have good points. All we still have is someone’s word vs. someone else’s word. Just more of them at this point. Talk is cheap, eh?

  • Kate

    tf21, #68. I remember hearing that story about Father Corapi and the elderly priest. If I remember correctly, it was at the Auriesville Shrine in New York. I’ve been there–there’s a little gift shop, and on the front porch is a chair, I think actually a rocking chair, with a sign posted above saying, “religious articles blessed here.” There seems to usually be an elderly priest sitting there, waiting to bless the rosaries and such that people have bought in the gift shop. It is just a sweet place.

    I think that might be the setting that Father Corapi referred to. In the version I saw (probably on YouTube), Father Corapi made fun of the elderly priest’s reaction to his sudden declaration that he wanted to be ordained. It completely turned me off to Corapi. How could he make fun of an elderly priest?

  • Joe

    Everyone is fretting about warning signs. With this and other situations it is not so mysterious:

    1) Lone rangers with no oversight from a community or bishop

    2) An individual charging for materials – especially CDS and DVDS which are very cheap to produce one the basic content is established.

    3) The money going to a business – not a non-profit or a religious community

    *Especially* when the individual is a Catholic priest. This is not how Catholic priests are supposed to operate. Corapi is often compared to Sheen. Sheen had his problems but he used his wealth for the good of the Church. He was closely identified with the Society for the Propogation of the Faith and he was instrumental in funding many – many – Catholic institutions in the Deep South.

    Corapi has done nothing like that. Corapi has been about Corapi.

    Yes he should have been reigned in. But I’m sure community politics – rooted in his approval and support from an earlier superior – made it a challenge.

  • Patt

    Bishop Sheen is still available for free on the net. Corapi quoted him often, but he was never in the same league.
    Sheen is timeless, for those of you still lamenting about poor, misguided John Corapi, read “The Life of Christ” by archbishop Sheen–you can’t go wrong. You will come to realize he was a good priest that made it his habit to spend an hour each day in front of the Blessed Sacrament and it reflects in his works.

  • diane

    So much to sort out in this whole stinkin’ mess.

    Yes, I am praying very hard for Fr. Corapi, and I would be thrilled were he to return to his community. I’m not exactly holding my breath, but far greater miracles have happened.

    At the same time, I kinda-sorta agree with Kate. It’s good for the Church that Corapi’s con game was exposed. We need cleansing and healing, not further deception, confusion, and division.

    And, while I do feel that he is a very troubled man who deserves our heartfelt prayer and compassion, I also feel that his victims deserve prayer and compassion, too. As someone noted up above, Corapi could sue his accuser into the ground. Would that be OK? I hope his defenders would agree that it wouldn’t be. She is a person, too. She, too, has an immortal soul.

    Sure, think of what he has been through…but think of what she has been through, too.

    Think also of his duped and deluded disciples, some of whom are now confused and demoralized while others still seem prepared to follow the guy off a cliff. They deserve our prayers and compassion, too.

    What a mess. Lord have mercy.

  • Mary M

    #81 Daniel T and #96 Anthony – I don’t understand why you feel that EWTN should have been more responsible or that Fr. Corapi could have been involved in a “cozy relationship” with ETWN. They removed Fr. Corapi when it was announced his faculties were suspended. There was no reason to believe that there were any irregularities. None of us knew there were. My experience with EWTN is that they have always been very dililgent about removing “questionable” individuals. I don’t think EWTN was obligated to do anything more than what they did. If anyone needs to be examined for any irregularities it’s Fr. Corapi (and his employees) and SOLT.

  • anthony

    John F # 59
    just to give a quick response.

    if any priest is sexually active, abuses alcohol and drugs, lives a lavish and indulgent life style and uses deceptive practices to hide it from coming to light…….i think it is fair to say he is acting the exact opposite (anti) of what he is called to be.

    if we read again the scriptures dealing with the qualifications of how those in ministry must live, if we read all the documents on a priest’s call to holiness that have come out of the Vatican, or if we just read the exhortation the bishop gives a deacon before he is ordained a priest……then there is no doubt about the call to holiness a priest is bound to strive for and to give witness to in his life.

    and then for one ordained to choose a worldly life style caught up with all types of the sins of flesh…..well i think it is fair to say they are acting in a way that goes against (anti) the very principles they are ordained to live.

    Pope Benedict has stressed over and over it not what a priest does that is important, it is holiness that he lives and radiates that is the source of his ministry. the power of the Gospel is to deliver us from the power of evil, that the life of the spirit overcomes the works of the flesh in us and we enter into a life of holiness. someone can talk all they want about the life in the spirit but if in their personal life they still choose to live the works of the flesh, then there is a big disconnect and yes, i would say they are living the opposite (anti) of what their mouth says.

  • Kate

    James, what can I say? I am glad that Father Corapi’s deceptions are ended. This day had to come. I thank God that it has arrived so the damage he has done, to his fans and to his intimates, has at least been limited.

    If it will help to set your mind at rest about my own orthodoxy, I guess I can oblige: I have no issues with authentic Catholic teaching. I adhere to the Catechism. I am in line with the Church’s teachings on birth control, abortion, homosexuality, marriage, priesthood, social justice, and socialism. I do not support politicians opposed to the Church’s teachings. I have been arrested four times and served jail sentences twice for sit-ins at abortion clinics. I was a sidewalk counselor for several years, and I give of both time and money to pro-life charities.

    Am I really a cold-hearted cynic? Well, perhaps I overstated the case. I am certainly not the gushy, sentimental type, as my (few) friends sometimes remind me when I decline invitations to hold babies. (OTOH, I do love my cats.)

    Where is my mercy, forgiveness, and love? In looking forward and not back.

    Shall I tell you a story of my own life? In my much wilder and crazier youth, back in the 60s, no less, I lived in a commune in Santa Cruz for about five years. It was what I would now call a borderline cult of “Jesus people” types. Being separated from that group–they kicked me out–was intensely painful, and recovery took about another five years. So I understand something about the dangers of “gifted” ministries, and the emotional damage they can do. That’s why I think it is better to look forward than to look back, and that’s why I am so thankful that the damage Corapi was doing has been limited.

    Peace, James. I don’t expect everyone else to share or understand my reactiions. But I don’t think rejoicing in the truth is shameful. I tell you what. To show you my heart is really in the right place, and to make amends for whatever pain I caused you, I will go and say an extra rosary today for Father Corapi’s supporters who are in pain over the revelations, and then another one for Father Corapi himself.

  • Frustrated Catholic

    It seems that the Order (SOLT) has known about this for a while. It smacks of just another coverup by the Church. When are we ever going to learn that covering up sinful/criminal behavior by any clergy member is almost worse than the original sinful/criminal behavior? It makes all Catholics look untrustworthy–at least all members of the clergy/hierarchy.

  • Conspiracy Carol

    I have to admit; we all were beginning to be a Corapian Cult over Father Corapi’s very Holy Spirit-Filled Ministry!
    He offered us ‘Easy Prayer for Hard Times’, ‘Spiritual Warfare’ and other great, great evangelical discussions and seminars.
    There is NO DOUBT that we are in the end times; bishop against bishop, priest against priest, father against son, daughter against mother, families in dysfunction and women killing their own off-spring–What more can I say?!!
    The best and ONLY SOLUTION is for us all (not just Father Corapi) to approach Jesus through the Gate of His Mercy because we are all IN NEED of it.
    REMEMBER THAT JESUS IS COMING VERY, VERY, VERY SOON!

  • James

    Kate, now what can I say but….

    I am humbled.

    I thank you for your compassion and mercy and I will include you and everyone else in here in my prayers as well.

    And lastly and most importantly, my wife and I are devoted cat lovers as well.

    May The Peace of Christ Be with you always.

  • Janice

    I enjoyed listening to Fr. Corapi very much and will continue to listen to the CD’s I have. It was his words that inspired me not the man. He had profound thinking and a way to express it in easy to understand terms. Like “Truth is not a something but a somebody, and His name is Jesus Christ”. I will continue to pray for the entire church and all of her members.

  • charles woodbury

    “I never meet a con man I didn’t like,” shouts my human nature.
    “He’s a mere mortal like me,” whispers my soul.

  • Conspiracy Carol

    Perhaps for now SOLT should simply not become a Pontifical Right Society Member. I was visiting with one of SOLT’s ministries ten years ago in Subiaco, IT and there were definately some problems (unnamed) there.
    I just feel that SOLT HAD TO HAVE KNOWN about what Father Corapi was doing-even on a small scale. These types of big, giant, sensational scandals are never completely invisible to most insiders.
    Father Corapi and SOLT were simply “caught” this time around because, unlike previous cases, the most recent victim wouldn’t simply lie doen and accept the $100,000 hush money.

  • Kate

    James: So the whole truth really is revealed at last… we both love cats! I have six. :)

    All shall be well.

    The peace of Christ be with you also.

  • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com Kevin

    Mr. Comerford

    This is now at least the third of fourth time you have posted the “I’m not a fan of Fr. Corapi” bit. And you’ve been doing it ever since the story broke on various blogs (unless someone else is using your name.) You may not have been a “fan”, but surely you have invested a bit of time in defending the man at least to a certain degree.

    Yet to answer your questions, here is what we can safely assume:

    1.) SOLT wouldn’t make this stuff up. As others pointed out, he has shown he is not afraid to sue.

    2.) It is clear that on his promise of poverty, he hasn’t lived up to it in the slightest.

    3.)Whether or not he wants to drop the civil suit, he now has no choice. He has to live up to his promise of obedience and drop the civil suit, otherwise he goes 0 for 2. Tarring your accuser (whom you claim not to know) as a horrible drunk and you threaten to release audio tapes of her unrelated to the matter to “prove your point” in questioning her sanity, certainly doesn’t go with charity. That’s three strikes, and we need not even consider whether or not he is innocent of the charges of sexual impropriety, improper sacramental practice (?>!!?!!?!?), etc.

    Fr. Corapi can now fix this pretty easily, and let the whole truth come out. Once he complies with his superiors, drops the lawsuits, the NDA’s, etc. Then they will be allowed full access to them, and the proper canonical proceedings can resume and end. Why not ask the man you have defended so often to do precisely that? It is clear you are not some “impartial observer” in this.

    I think finally about what kate said: in the end, everyone had to prepare themselves that something like this might happen. It’s not “worst case scenario” but its pretty darn close. People could wish this weren’t so, but if it is so, it is best it happens now, after only a few weeks (when the whole BSD persona was born), rather than letting this drag out for months or even years.

    In that aspect, we should be grateful, that if this is how its gonna play out, Jesus decided to resolve this situation while it was still in its relative infancy.

    Should he return to live with his brethren, the canonical proceedings can continue. If he’s innocent, it will be borne out. Yet many of us feared his guilt based on his actions. A non serviam on the two issues he is bound to obey, while not an admission of guilt, might as well be one.

  • http://whiterosebrian.deviantart.com Brian A Cook

    I didn’t read all of these, of course, but let me just say, may God bring healing and justice and truth.

  • Richard W Comerford

    And What If He Is Innocent IV?

    “This is now at least the third of fourth time you have posted the “I’m not a fan of Fr. Corapi” bit.”

    I am a fan of justice. And after 50-years of Scandal, of thousands of innocents thrown under the bus to satisfy the lust of predatory priests and to protect arrogant Church bureaucrats all American Catholcis should be fans of justice too.

    “SOLT wouldn’t make this stuff up. As others pointed out, he has shown he is not afraid to sue.”

    No. It does not have to The money sentence in the SOLT Statement is: “SOLT’s fact-finding team has acquired information from Fr. Corapi’s e-mails, various witnesses, and public sources that, together, state that, during his years of public ministry” This is not a finding of either guilt or innocence. I am not an attorney but my guess is that this sentence is not actionable.

    “It is clear that on his promise of poverty, he hasn’t lived up to it in the slightest.”

    What promise of poverty? And what authority made a finding that Corapi is rich?

    “Whether or not he wants to drop the civil suit, he now has no choice. He has to live up to his promise of obedience and drop the civil suit, otherwise he goes 0 for 2.”

    What promise of obedience? And if he made a promise does it extend to filin a civil action?

    “Then they will be allowed full access to them, and the proper canonical proceedings can resume and end.”

    The SOLT fact finding team managed without any help from Corapi to make (in the public mind) 9 additional accusations against Corapi.

    “It is clear you are not some “impartial observer” in this.”

    I hope I am not impartial. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am partial to justice.

    “Should he return to live with his brethren, the canonical proceedings can continue.”

    To my knowledge the Canonical proceedings have not yet begun.

    “If he’s innocent, it will be borne out.”

    I am glad you think so. I have gum shoed around in several cases during the Scandal. I have yet to see the innocent either protected or vindicated.

    “while not an admission of guilt, might as well be one.”
    And interestingly enough the SOLT statement did not deign to mention whether or not Corapi pleaded guilt or innocence to either the new or the old accusations. Is that justice?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Daniel T

    Mary M #113:
    EWTN may not have known anything, it would seem that they should have known some things. It’s been indicated that unlike most visiting guest priests, he never said Mass on EWTN. Did he already have a problem with his faculties, or did they just never bother checking on his faculties?

    They knew that they only had the rights to his show on the Easter Triduum and that all other shows the viewers had to go through Santa Cruz Media. The book “Coronary” from some years ago has him referring to his deal with EWTN as a million dollar deal. They didn’t know that he owned a fortune and was in violation of canon law in the way he conducted his ministry? I suppose it could be no one at EWTN had heard of his statements made in “Coronary”.

    They surely knew that he lived outside of his community for several years. Did they make any inquiries as to his status in his home diocese? They never heard anything from the Diocese of Sacramento where apparently some accusations were files some years ago?

    It just seems that EWTN could be ignorant of some of these issues only if they stuck their heads in the sand. I mainly hope that they are now doing due diligence. Most people would assume that if a priest is appearing on their network, he does have valid faculties.

  • Martial Artist

    29,

    In an article on the blog Sancte Pater, within the past few days, Bishop Rene Henry Gracida, emeritus Bishop of Corpus Christi, plainly states that members of SOLT (a religious society—Pontifical if I understand correctly—not a full-fledged religious order) do not take a vow of poverty. Being a relatively new convert to the Catholic Church, I am unclear on what the precise distinctions between the two are.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  • CD

    There’s a problem with hanging on to the notion that we don’t know which side is telling the truth yet.

    Either:

    1. A recovering addict relapsed, or

    2. Fr. Sheehan, Bishop Mulvey, three outside examiners, EWTN, and various unnamed “Church authorities” are involved in an elaborate conspiracy and have manufactured evidence and suborned perjury to implement a long held plan to suppress the truths of the Catholic faith.

    Is there really no rational way to decide between these two?

  • kris

    102 Mike L

    Bravo! One of the best “Christian” comments because it relates to the essential facts skipped over by so many obviously unfamiliar with such disease. If anyone suffered with such or loved someone who is susceptible, often by genetics/chemistry, he/she could never treat such persons with such disdain and condemnation. Those addicts truly attempting to live well also live with that ever present fear of a day when they might fall again. And those who have lived out a serious time in addiction hell may also be damaged physically – the brain, heart, etc. Con men? No kidding. Some of the best!

  • Richard W Comerford

    Re: Fr. Sheehan, Bishop Mulvey, three outside examiners, EWTN, and various unnamed “Church authorities are involved in an elaborate conspiracy”

    Or, how about this one for a farfetched conspiracy theory:

    For fifty years American, Irish and Dutch Bishops and Religious Superiors protected and promoted predatory priests and religious who preyed upon the trusting innocents who had been placed in their charge. When finally exposed by secular journalists some of these same Bishops and Superiors threw under the buss dozens of innocents priest and placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of the Popes!

    Yeah I know it could never happen.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • kris

    127 Martial Artist

    Life long Catholics don’t quite get the difference either and yet, I believe most if not all diocesan priests just make the promise of obedience and vow of chastity, but no poverty.

  • http://friarsfires.blogspot.com Brett

    Although I lament the cause, it will be this Methodist’s pleasure to pray for my Roman Catholic brothers and sisters. May the healing and peace of our Savior be over this matter, and be with you all.

  • Rainey

    Kate,

    Thanks for the breath of rational and objective fresh air.

    It would have been a tragedy for Corapi to continue teaching the Truth while living a lie. People—especially those outside the Church looking in and youth who are particularly sensitive to hypocrisy are scandalized when those who teach it are not made better by it (right or wrong, that’s human nature). I mean, if what he taught did ZILCH for him, why should anybody else bother? (again, not saying it is the way we should think, just saying it is the way many people DO think).

    As many people as he “saved” might be turned away from the Church altogether based on his hypocrisy while teaching the Truth. This is the gravity of scandal. This is why Jesus talked about millstones for those who scandalize the little ones (my older children have been scandalized by the Corapi affair—I did not even realize they had been watching him. This has been a real teaching moment for sure).

    I will join the prayer that he will rejoin his community and return to a life of integrity.

  • Deb

    I was thinking about this today, when Fr Francis had a relationship, I’m sure there was gossip within, you can’t burp in community without someone knowing something, and you know and I know, someone knew something about Father Corapi. It wasn’t gossip for us, they would be sinning by telling his “fans”, BUT they should have told somone who could have stopped the insantiy before this.
    I knew a priest who whistle-blew on another, like a cop, they don’t like that, but he said no one was doing anything.

    Again, I think it was pride all around, “please no more scandal” maybe it will stay hidden. Time and time again, that doesn’t work.

    Father had an ego, he started to brag about it at talks, selling plates one fan said for 1000! They knew of the cars, boats, trainer, money, they knew he wasn’t doing charity work when he wasn’t preaching. This is his sin, but he didn’t do it alone.

    IF he lied from the beginning, we will never know, that is between him and God, was it just an “out” from his former life, or did he just fall because addicts are fragile. I wont believe the entire thing was a lie, because the hurt and anger of using Jesus and Mary’s name for money makes me ill.

  • fiestamom

    I really love EWTN, and I do hope they do some in house soul searching to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

  • Gonzalo Palacios, Ph.D.

    First, learn about the sin of scandal, then once again: SHUT UP! BE QUIET! And now, PRAY, IN SILENCE.

  • diane

    Corapi quotes: “human beings will always let you down”, how true! Christ will always be there for you no matter what. Lets not put our hope in a man.

  • Rick

    sj

    Gerard Nadal @ 25 says it beautifully: “Rejoice if Father Corapi helped bring you closer to Jesus, and now you can return the favor. Lift him up in prayer. He is in the grip of the devil, but not at all beyond redemption and your prayers of intercession.”

    Just what information does Gerald Nadal have that enables him to say that Fr. Corapi is in the grip of the devil? Seems like a widely speculative and uncharitable statement to me.

  • Richard W Comerford

    RE: On the “SHUT UP! BE QUIET!” Strategy

    Too many Catholics did indeed follow the “SHUT UP! BE QUIET!” strategy during the first 50 years of the Scandal. As a result thousands of innocents were preyed upon by predatory priests and religious; and untold numbers have lost the Faith of their Fathers.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Dan Gallagher

    It is amazing that the SOLT has not stepped forward and accept accountability. Where was the leadership over Fr. Corapi. As a former manager if an employee I had under me was accused of wrong doing I would have been held accountable for his actions. It is time that the Church leaders step forward and accept their accountability.

  • http://www.arsorandi.blogspot.com David Werling

    “Corapi’s bio stated that he was a “fully professed priest” with the SOLT, but apparently his profession did not involve a vow of poverty, and the society allowed him to live independently (which flies in the face of the whole notion of “community” and “society”) and to work without supervision or accountability.

    Frankly, if John Corapi is in spiritual turmoil, right now — and if the statement is true, it would seem that he is — then this society, by their inattention to their “fully professed” priest, has some culpability for that.”

    I am not particularly attached to SOLT or am I supporter. However, this assessment demonstrates a certain lack of knowledge regarding the society’s founding. It did not initially require either living in community or a promise of poverty. It still does not require a “vow” of poverty, but a promise, still binding, but different, nonetheless. Corapi was an early member, and the society was grandfathering the initial members into the promise of poverty.

    Rumor has it that Corapi was initially in favor of the change to the society, but that was before he came into a large settlement as a whistle-blower in an insurance scam sting. Becoming a millionaire may have changed his mind.

    Regardless, placing blame on SOLT is to cast stones at one of Corapi’s victims.

  • http://www.gerardnadal.com Gerard Nadal

    Rick, I don’t know about Gerald Nadal, but I do know that Gerard Nadal sees a priest who may or may not have taken a vow of poverty, but has nonetheless amassed a fortune, and will not respond affirmatively within his vow of obedience to divest himself of those things.

    He is also in disobedience for not returning to the community as ordered.

    He is also in disobedience for not dropping the civil suit, as so ordered.

    His continued civil suit is blocking a canonical investigation.

    So, I see these things and know that they do not auger well for a priest who hasn’t even given the process a chance to work. That enough for you, or would you also like to read that press release by SOLT again?

  • Richard W Comerford

    RE:

    “He is also in disobedience for not returning to the community as ordered.”

    The”order”was issued when, today? Can he have time to pack his bags?

    “He is also in disobedience for not dropping the civil suit, as so ordered.”

    That is an interesting point. Can the Superior of a Society of Apostolic life, under Canon Law, order a member (and a member who has requested to leave said Society) to withdraw a Civil Action?

    “His continued civil suit is blocking a canonical investigation.”

    Really? The Civil Action did not prevent SOLT from publicly announcing that “e-mails, various witnesses, and public sources that, together, state that, during his years of public ministry” show that Corapi allegedly committed many acts of misconduct some of which are also criminal in nature.

    The reason there is due process in both Canon and Civil law is to prevent trial by rumor mongering.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Roamin’ Catholic

    I’m very sorry to read SOLT’s press release, which seems to corroborate the accusations against Fr. Corapi. My wife and I have been withholding judgment, even though we both witnessed four or five public statements in his presentation given at Cincinnati (Xavier Univ.) in July 2010 (with Fr. T. Euteneuer) that gave us serious cause for concern about a direction his life was taking. These included references to his new “hog”, to his personal profit form his media business, to giving up his tax-exempt status so that when the Federal gov’t clamped down on his political statements he could tell them to “kiss my ass”, to his personal trainer that he referred to as “Sheena, Queen of the Jungle”, to people snooping around his ranch taking pictures, to which his countermeasure included the protection of firearms. Despite these eye-brow raisers, we liked the boldness of his teaching, which pertained the the Social Teaching of the Church. But we privately shared concerns about whether perhaps the echo of the pleasures of “sin for a season” weren’t getting a grip on him. Clearly, he’s a very proud man, an extraordinary performer before his conversion as well as after. The temptations of pride are greater among the great. Though I’ve hesitated to do so, I’ve purchased his published CDs from the Cinti event, and I have yet to listen to see whether he edited out the above comments. If they’re not there, this might (?) indicate a challenged conscience. We’ll continue to pray for Fr. Corapi’s return.

  • http://www.arsorandi.blogspot.com David Werling

    “Seems like a widely speculative and uncharitable statement to me.”

    Oh, I don’t know… sexting, cohabiting and having sexual relations with a prostitute, being attached to luxury and material things… sounds like the grip of the devil to me. Not much speculation required, Rick.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    Centurion in #63 says:
    ““At this point I would have to say Corapi has not only slipped, but has been doing it for a long time, even while preaching and inspiring. If he’s guilty, which I am inclined to believe, he’s despicable.”

    This is a perfect example of the mortal sin that exists from the errors promulgated by false “interpretations” of Vatican II.

    The poster gravely sins against himself and God by his heart’s lack of Charity.

    Those who are so “inclined” to believe that Grace can not exist in a man unless the man is perfect, a Saint, are filled with the Smoke of Satan.”

    Well you are obviously directing that at me. “Perfect”? No, I don’t ask for a man to be perfect. That’s a red herring and a strawman. I think we all can ask for a priest to be at least of average moral stature. If the claims against Corapi are true, the man’s sins are deep and wide and have gone on for a long time. I don’t know what kind of Grace is in such a sinner. That’s not for me to say, but that is not how one would expect any Catholic to behave, but especially one who goes up and preaches the opposite of his very life’s conduct.

    Am I being uncharitable? I don’t know. I think calling a spade a spade is required. I pray that Corapi repents and is absolved. Now it’s between him and God. As far as his public life is concerned, he needs to just fade away.

  • Will E.

    Daniel T (#129), I’ve seen others ask why we never saw Father Corapi celebrate mass at the EWTN chapel and wonder if that is a red flag everyone missed. Did Corapi ever actually record anything at the EWTN Alabama studios? In my recollection, all his presentations were recorded in churches and auditoriums all over the country, but never at the EWTN studios.

  • David

    St. Theresa of Avila was once asked ” would you rather have a holy confessor or a wise one?” She answered “a wise one.” because a holy one may not be able to help instruct another on becoming holy; but a wise one who may not be personally holy could instruct another in becoming so. I don’t know if Fr. Corapi is guilty of the accusations or not but I will continue to spiritually profit from his many good teachings. I pray for him

  • tf21

    The interview on Al Kresta w/ Jimmy Akin on the radio reveals that there were records of Fr. C being arrested for drunk driving (& substance abuse?) 9 yrs after he was ordained. So perhaps, SOLT’s findings has factual basis. http://avemariaradio.net/archiveListen.php?file=kpm_20110705_1

  • tf21

    @Richard ““He is also in disobedience for not returning to the community as ordered.”
    The”order”was issued when, today? Can he have time to pack his bags?”

    National Catholic Register had an interview with the SOLT superior stating he wanted Fr. Corapi to join the community in the event that Fr. C announces he is going to be using the black dog alias. Another SOLT priest stated in his blog that they’ve been wanting/inviting him in community for a period of time now . But to answer your question, it was mid June that the SOLT superior invited Fr. C to be in community possibly earlier. The interview can be found in an article in the national catholic register.

  • tf21

    I’m sorry. I mean at the time that he announced to be the black sheep dog, the SOLT superior said he invited Fr. Corapi instead to be in community. This is also what the NCR reporter relayed to Raymond Arroyo via the world over.

  • Colorado Catholic

    I think he made at least a couple visits to EWTN’s site — as my in laws saw him there and have pic’s with him — I have no idea if they attended a Mass he presided at or if it was just a speaking engagement — but he was in Alabama at least twice in the last five years.