The past 24 hours have been very enlightening for me. I’ve reached a new record for traffic on my website, which normally would make me happy…but I wish the circumstances were different. My blog about Fr. Corapi’s decision to leave the priesthood generated lots of interest (to say the least). I was called everything from a “fool” to “sensible”. While it’s not fun to be attacked, I really do appreciate all of your comments. I have to applaud you for caring enough about your faith to comment. I spent some time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and I reread my blog several times and I’d like to clear the air about a few points. Although I’m very passionate about the Catholic Faith and sometimes get carried away, I’ve always considered myself to a fairly reasonable and charitable person. I’d like to ask you to read the following statements and let me know what you think.
Why did I feel the need to write about this?- When the initial accusations against Fr. Corapi came up, I chose not to blog about them. I did post a comment on Facebook asking for prayers for all parties concerned. I didn’t know the details and I thought it best to remain silent. On Friday, Fr. Corapi announced that he was leaving the priesthood, launching a new website and now referring to himself as the “Black Sheep Dog”. Later that evening, I received a message from one of my readers stating that she is thinking of leaving the Catholic Church because of the unfair way that Fr. Corapi was being treated by the Bishop of Corpus Christi.
That was it…I HAD to write about the matter.
Let’s take a look at some of the facts in this case:
1. Father Corapi could be innocent – It is entirely possible that Fr. Corapi is completely or partially innocent of all charges and that the bishop and his superiors are treating him unfairly. If this is the case, he must be suffering terribly and that’s a great tragedy. What’s more tragic, however, is that by his decision to walk away from the priesthood, he is giving up the opportunity to clear his name. However flawed the system may be, it is the only way for him to be cleared and return to active ministry as a priest. I don’t see that as a good choice on his part.
2. Father Corapi could be guilty – As hard as it is to accept, Fr. Corapi could be guilty of some or all charges. Assuming that there is only one accuser, there are only 2 people who know that answer for sure. By leaving the priesthood, the process comes to an end and the truth may never be known.
3. Father Corapi’s actions and statements bring division to the Church – Like it or not, I’m standing by this one. Here are some of Corapi’s words – directly from his new website:
Suffice it to say that I love the Catholic Church and accept what has transpired. Unfortunately, the process used is inherently and fatally flawed, but the bishops have the power, apparently, to operate anyway they see fit. I cannot give a lengthy explanation of what has transpired, but I can tell you that the most likely outcome is that they leave me suspended indefinitely and just let me fade away. They can’t prove I’m guilty of the things alleged because I’m not, and they can’t prove I’m innocent because that is simply illogical and impossible. All civilized societies know that. Certain leaders in the Catholic Church apparently do not.
I did not start this process, the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas ordered my superiors, against their will and better judgment, to do it. He in fact threatened to release a reprehensible and libelous letter to all of the bishops if they did not suspend me.
They (the bishops) choose to selectively ignore or violate both Canon Law and Civil Law, as they deem appropriate and or expeditious. Once again, they apparently have the discretionary power to do this, and if that’s the way it is I have to accept that as reality.
In a time when the authority of the Catholic Church is under constant attack, Fr. Corapi chose to make statements that will turn people against the successors of the Apostles, the bishops. Don’t believe me? Take a look at all of the negative comments on the Internet directed toward the Bishop of Corpus Christi. The basis for these comments? Fr. Corapi’s accusations. Could some or all of his statements be true? Possibly, but even if they were, did he have to express it publicly, knowing what the reaction would be? Wouldn’t it have been more prudent to say that he’s leaving the priesthood for personal reasons and ask everyone to respect his privacy?
Could I have been more charitable? – Yes, and for that I apologize. My comments about “extinguishing him from my life” were harsh and inappropriate. My attempt to play off of Corapi’s words (“I’m not ready to be extinguished”), came across as cold and uncaring. While that was not my intent, I should have chosen my words more carefully. The point I was trying to make is that because of his suspension and subsequent actions, I will not recommend or use his materials. I stand by that position and would encourage others to explore the materials of Fr. Bob Casey, Fr. John Trigilio, Fr. Larry Richards, Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, Fr. Mitch Pacwa and other good priests who are not currently suspended. You can disagree, but that is my opinion. I will never recommend the works of any priest who is under suspension or who speaks poorly of the Church hierarchy.
Where do we go from here? – I strongly recommend that you pray for Fr. Corapi and all involved in this tragic situation. Please make it a practice to pray daily for all of our clergy and religious. Satan is attacking them on a daily basis and rejoices when one of them falls.
To all of my new readers, I hope you’ll stick around as we walk together on the road to eternal life. To all of my existing readers, thank you for your support and “keeping me honest” when needed. If I offended any of you, I apologize and ask for patience as I try my best to proclaim the truth of our wonderful Catholic Faith in a truthful, but charitable manner.
I tried my best to be fair, without too much “sugar coating”. Let me know what you think…