Monday, March 21, 2011

Let's Be Patient and Have Some Prudence

Mark Shea on the accusations against Fr. John Corapi:
Everybody is writing me about Fr. John Corapi being put on administrative leave. What do we do? How do we respond? Won't I join the Facebook page supporting him? Why is it our bishops are either sheep or wolves I am asked. Why would these "she devils" (yes I've seen people use the term) attack this godly champion of the Faith? How do we fight back against this satanic attack on this great man?

Ahem. I don't know Fr. Corapi at all. I also don't know his accusers. Nor do I know who has put him on administrative leave or why. I don't, in fact, know the first thing about anything other than that Fr. Corapi protests his innocence.

Naturally, I presume innocence until guilt is proven. But come on: If it were any other priest and these charges were brought we would be *screaming* at the bishop or superior in charge of the priest to pull the guy out of action until an investigation could be made and screaming hysterically at the preferential treatment of priests over victims if they didn't. So let's show some consistency here, okay? Amy Welborn noted way back during the Long Lent that even when priests had *gobs* of evidence against them (as Fr. Corapi does not at this point), their congregations would rally to them and say, "Oh, not *my* beloved priest! Other priests are bad, but *my* beloved priest is being treated meanly by the Church".
So we need to make up our minds. Are we going to demand rigorous investigations and accountability for clergy--except with Fr. Corapi because we happen to feel--on the basis of no actual knowledge of the man other than what we see on TV--that he is one of us? Or are we going to let the Church investigate, find out what's going on and so forth. I mean, it's all well and good to claim that some women we know absolutely nothing about are "she devils" because they are accusing a famous and b beloved priest. But here's the thing: that's *exactly*--exactly--what happened with accusers of the great and saintly and unquestionable Maciel.

Continue reading here.


  1. The difference with Maciel's situation was that we were talking about his pursuing minors. He was an extremely dangerous man.

    I don't get the impression anyone is making accusations that he's dangerous, so why punish him prior to investigation?

  2. There is certainly a parallel to Fr. Maciel. The real tragedy in his case was that the Legionaries exhibited such zeal, and the doctrine they had been teaching was genuinely orthodox.

    People responded to the Legionaries because they had become accustomed to hearing in their parishes was wishy-washy and watered down. The lesson to be learned is that there is a real hunger and thirst for the unadulterated faith, and people will respond .

    Father Corapi's talks reiterate what the Church has taught since time immemorial, but he speaks with conviction. What he has been giving us is something we need.

    As far as the accusations are concerned, I do not know whether they are true or false. If they are true (and I sincerely hope that they are not), then appropriate action must be taken. There is no choice. Unfortunately, if they are false, even an official pronouncement will not erase doubts in everybody's mind.

    In either case, our need to hear the unadulterated faith proclaimed with conviction persists. Ideally all priests will recognize this and strive to satisfy this need.

    I pray for Father Corapi, as well as for all priests.

  3. He's done many good things, maybe he fell, maybe he didn't. If he did, then he's just like me, although, as a priestly public figure in the church, he needs to practice what he preaches or it doesn't come off well as teaching. We'll just have to see what happens. I will pray for all invovled. Fr. C has had a big impact on me but he's also not the only priest and theologian I get my spirituality from. Fr. Farfaglia, Fr. Longenecker, Fr. Fessio, Fr. Groeschel, Fr. Larry Richards, Fr. Surrico, Fathers of Mercy Priests and I could go on and on. These priests should not be living alone. They should live in groups and support each other. The devil will attach everywhere.

  4. Dear Mark,

    I have no idea who YOU are, so I don't know why people are writing to you either. And your assumption that people would want to have an unknown priest removed if accused of what Fr. Corapi is being accused of, is quite presumptuous. I don't want ANY priest removed without evidence of wrongdoing. And some annonomous woman writing and distributing a letter isn't enough evidence. Thank goodness I live in Sacramento and Immaculate Heart Radio is continuing to air his programs during the "investigation". It's what all the other media outlets should do too.