Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Father Corapi Thing

If you've never heard of Father Corapi ... he's a celebrity priest who was accused of sexual misconduct, loudly declaimed his innocence and frustration with "the system", now is loudly declaiming some more, and also leaving the priesthood ... although not, as I understand it the Catholic Church.

Don't like that description? Sorry, but I know next to nothing about him so you may be interested in knowing that is the general vibe of who he is and what his deal is.

So, amongst all the writing, I have found these to be the most helpful, in order of helpfulness to me.
  1. The Curt Jester's analysis ... fair and even-handed to both sides and reflects my own feelings, based on what I have read (which has included some of Fr. Corapi's declaiming)

  2. This opening from a blogging priest's reflections at the hermeneutic of continuity, which struck me as good advice not just for priests but for us all. Though the whole piece is good. I'll add that I read this much, nodded and moved on (much struck by that wisdom), only coming back to read the rest later. I think this is enough, frankly.
    Fr Corapi has published another defence of himself, including a further attack on his accuser, the process by which he was being investigated, and the people conducting it. I think most priest bloggers will be profoundly disturbed by all of this, and, if sensible, will make a serious examination of conscience.
  3. This was not a commentary at all, but struck me quite forcibly after reading through some of the various pieces about Fr. Corapi. Via Margaret at Ten Thousand Places, it is from A Man For All Seasons.
    William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
    Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
    William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
    Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
Keep in mind that I proffer these for two reasons. First, there are two or three Catholics I know for whom this is their sole source of Catholic news. I thought they might be interested in some good links should they hear of the story.

Second, I look at this as an opportunity to do that self examination. Other than prayer, I can't affect anything about Fr. Corapi or the whole situation. But I can look at my own response when accused. How often I fail to turn the other cheek ... so often ... and yet, that is what Christ taught in both words and example. I see this as a real-life cautionary tale.


  1. Thanks for the link! I don't think I intended to pick this quote from A Man for All Seasons based on the Corapi scandal, but it does reflect some of my own thoughts about this situation. (Especially, I thought the SOLT official response was very solid.)

    St. Thomas More, pray for us!

  2. This will keep many of us praying for quite some time to come. The Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Corpus Christi has some interesting observations about the situation:

  3. Tante Léonie6/22/11, 12:35 PM

    Hey Julie!

    I'm another one of those who doesn't know squat about Father Corapi (except his Spiritual 911 prayers).

    It's a big relief to be out of the loop.

  4. I highly recommend Jen's thoughts at Conversion Diary. She's very level-headed about it all and the impact of Corapi's actions on those who admire him.

  5. Nothing like stomping on a preist when he's down. What has happened in the Catholic blogophere is disgraceful. You too 'happy catholic', gloating over at Frank Weathers place.
    And it's not just the dispicable Frank Weathers doing it. Mark Shea, you, Scalia, Kondra, Acholbold brothers, etc. You expect this preist to lay down and bleed to death?. Father Corapi has saved more souls than all of you phoney Catholics put together X10.


  6. Jasper, what I would hope is that in a priest we would see someone following in Jesus' footsteps, someone who helps us understand in our own lives the meaning of "take up your cross and follow me."

    What is it in Father Corapi's behavior that is Christ-like? I see a man, fallible as we all are, who needs our prayers. It is the Catholic church which taught me that and I remain happy to be Catholic. I pity Father Corapi but can't condone his behavior. It isn't kind to do so but only encourages more of the same ... both from him and from his followers, which I can only assume you are.

    Far better to follow Jesus, wouldn't you think?

  7. "take up your cross and follow me."

    You don't think he's taken up his cross? You're kidding, right? He's carring his cross right now. Do you also expect him to not defend himself against baseless charges? He's taught excellent, sound catholism for 20years, including a course on the cathecism. Now the limp-wristed effeminates in the church want to silence him. You'd think he would be getting support from the online Catholic community, but they are his worst enemies, right here in the church. So, let me ask you, do you think your fellow catholics; Shea, Weathers, Archolbolds, Scalia are acting Christ-like?


  8. Jasper, because his leaving the priesthood stopped the investigations that could have cleared his name, I guess we never will know whether those charges were baseless or not.

    Many saints had to deal with baseless against themselves and a church system slower than molasses that kept them from fulfilling what they thought was their true vocation while they waited it out. John Corapi is not the only Catholic priest who's had to deal with the Catholic Church.

  9. Jasper, I know he is carrying his cross but reread Jesus' passion ... he didn't defend himself against the baseless charges, he received blows with humility, he asked God to forgive those who nailed him to the cross ... he showed us what it is to turn the other cheek. I see much anger and frustration from Father Corapi. I understand how he could feel that way. But it is his response that is sorely lacking in showing us Christ.