Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Walls Come Tumbling Down on Corapi

UPDATE 3:
SOLT has now posted the statement on their website. There can be no doubt is is legit.

UPDATE 2: "KRESTA IN THE AFTERNOON HAS OBTAINED INDEPENDENT VERIFICATION OF THE AUTHENTICITY OF THIS MORNING'S PRESS RELEASE BY SOLT. We spoke with a priest member of the order who is at their retreat who spoke to Fr. Sheehan 5 minutes ago and Fr. Sheehan confirmed that the press release is authentic.

UPDATE: "Kresta in the Afternoon" has not independently verified that this statement is authentic. We have talked with the source of the story - the National Catholic Register, which is owned by EWTN - who has told us they confirmed the statement with two different sources.


The following is the text of a press release issued by Fr. Gerard Sheehan, Fr. John Corapi's religious superior in the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT):

Father John A. Corapi submitted his resignation from the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) early in June. SOLT is a society of apostolic life of diocesan right with its regional office in Robstown, Texas.

While SOLT does not typically comment publicly on personnel matters, it recognizes that Father John Corapi, through his ministry, has inspired thousands of faithful Catholics, many of whom continue to express their support of him. SOLT also recognizes that Father Corapi is now misleading these individuals through his false statements and characterizations. It is for these Catholics that SOLT, by means of this announcement, seeks to set the record straight.

A woman, well known to Father John Corapi, mailed SOLT a signed letter detailing allegations of Father Corapi’s sexual activity with adult women, abuse of alcohol and drugs, improper sacramental practices, violation of his promise of poverty and other wrongdoing.

After receiving the allegation, SOLT formed a three-person fact-finding team to ensure that it handled this matter in accordance with canonical norms. The team included a priest-canonist, a psychiatrist and a lawyer.

Two were members of religious orders, and one was a lay Catholic. Two were men, and one was a woman. All three have national reputations and substantial experience in ecclesiastical processes related to priest disciplinary issues.

As the society was engaging this team, Father Corapi filed a civil lawsuit against his principal accuser. He contended that she had defamed him and breached her contract. The contract, according to [Father] 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 Father 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 Father 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 Father Corapi’s emails, 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 Father 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 Father 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 Father 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.

71 comments:

  1. I find all this extraordinary and extremely difficult to believe.

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  2. Dear Dawn,
    This is distressing but not unexpected. Are there particular points of the S.O.L.T. statement that doesn't ring true.
    Al

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  3. "SOLT has contemporaneously, with the issuance of this press release, directed Father 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."

    Contradictory statement to the stated resignation of Fr. Corapi in early June. Corapi is no longer 'under obedience'. Something is amiss here! Might or highly likely a fishy story.

    RB

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  4. I may be wrong but I thought I saw on The World Over that Corapi was not bound by the vow of poverty at any time with SOLT.

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  5. I agree with RB. SOLT had said Fr. Corapi was not guilty "improper sacramental practices" when they issued the statement June 20, "We reiterate that Fr. Corapi had not been determined guilty of any canonical or civil crimes."

    Something is rotten in Denmark...

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  6. Why would you, or anyone, say "distressing but not unexpected"? And why do I get the feeling that there's a whole subgroup of people, whether in the media or in the Church or both, who actually KNOW what's happening but are only letting these little dribs and drabs of information out and then implying--as done above--that there was sound reason why they're not surprised about this alleged wrongdoing? I agree with the poster above. Something's fishy here.

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  7. http://www.creativeminorityreport.com/2011/07/wow-solt-says-corapi-did-it.html


    Seems the story is verified.

    RB
    Sorry but necessary.

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  8. Big News Day: Casey Anthony not guilty of murder.
    Liars and the dumbing down of our society are two big issues. Moral relativism: someone could be a liar and a whole host of things inappropriate to a situation, but not necessarily a murderer.

    RB

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  9. SOLT's June 20 statement, "We reiterate that Fr. Corapi had not been determined guilty of any canonical or civil crimes", only means that he has not been put on trial and found guilty, so the legal presumption of innocence remains.

    It may be impossible to charge him canonically with the offenses described in the woman's allegation. However, he may eventually be charged and tried for a separate offense of disobedience if he ignores the new orders from SOLT to cease his lawsuit and move into a community residence.

    Corapi is still under obedience unless and until he is released by the Society. Canon 743 describes the process.

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  10. "SOLT’s fact-finding team has acquired information from Father Corapi’s emails, various witnesses and public sources..." I for one, would like to know about those sources and the specific wording of e-mails or other documents (sexting??, who is THAT stupid specially after he is under investigation already.. fishy fishy fishy) used as evidence against the man. Hey, if 'public sources' were used, and had they come to me, I'm certain I could've made it into their 'public sources' list of evidence even if I have never met Fr Corapi in person. Last I heard, an accused priest has no way of seeing the witnesses or evidence against him used in the process against his person. Plus, if one is to conduct an investigation to find the 'truth', the 'truth' being what specific people are bent on proving, you will sure find it as long as you can turn and twist all to that effect.... furthermore, Fr Sheehan could simply be put 'under directives' to do as H E is told, under penalty of disobedience and made to release any document that the powers that be want released to the general public... and then, please be put on 'unavailable' status while all hell (sorry) breaks loose and may the chips fall where they may.. just saying. We are all good for conspiracy theories, aren't we?. EITHER WAY, my trust in the Holy order and sacrament of the Priesthood is NOT diminished one bit, in spite of what our Holy Mother Church is going through globally. And it was Fr Corapi who said that her officers, priests, are continually under attack from the enemy: 'no priests, no sacraments'. JESUS I TRUST IN YOU.

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  11. Lord, Have Mercy! Fr. Corapis' soul is precious to you! I pray he is vindicated and when he is - SOLT is held responsible for their actions today. Amen.

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  12. Let us pray for John. May he find forgiveness and mercy in a life of quiet contemplation and obedience.

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  13. I smell Freemasons everywhere in this. Pray that the light of Christ and Truth penetrate through this darkness and those who are innocent be vindicated. Read Fr. Gobbi's book and you will know what is going on and be able to have the veil taken off your eyes!
    m

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  14. ONLY Jesus Christ is perfect (and Our Blessed Virgin Mother) -- We are lowly human beings striving to be like Him. Remember, St Peter denied Jesus 3x. I too have denied Jesus many times over!! God gave us confession, Holy Communion, prayer, fasting, etc., to guide us along our earthly journey and in the end to Him. God is loving and all merciful - beyond our comprehension! If Fr Corapi committed these crimes/sins then we too must forgive and continue to love Fr Corapi for he is a child of God. Didn't Blessed Pope John Paul 2 forgive and love the very man who tried to kill him? Just like Jesus forgave those who crucified Him. Remember, we must be like Jesus.

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  15. SOLT priests are some of the best I have ever known. I have no doubt that a religious community with such integrity and generosity would maliciously malign anyone in their own community or elsewhere. Surely this statement is credible, sad though it may be. May God bless SOLT and forgive & reconcile John Corapi for the harm done to the body of Christ.

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  16. Amen, Anonymous @ 3:56 pm and Freddy! I have been praying for Fr. Corapi, and will continue to do so. In one of his recorded talks he asked that we pray for him constantly because, as he said, any of us can fall deeply into sin and lose our souls. But, to quote him, "It ain't over till it's over." He can still repent and be renewed! Let us pray for him, for all who are hurt by his fall, and that God will help each of us to guard our hearts and lives that we may attain eternal life!

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  17. Brothers and sisters, Remember to always focus on Christ and his teachings! He gave the authority to the church, to the bishops. Respect that authority, trust that authority. Remember that God is all powerful, He alone is in control. If Fr. John is innocent let him imitate Christ through prayerful obedience, allowing the truth to come forth ("Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed." Prov 12:19) Next, remember that all of us are sinful, and that each of us has the free will not only to sin, but to repent. If Fr. John has done any of these things he is not unlike the whole earthly population, sinful. But what he does going forward, by either asking for forgiveness or continuing in sin, is what may set him apart. Pray for him and all those affected by this situation.

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  18. To Janny: I said "distressing but not unexpected" because he has acted like a guilty man.
    He sabotaged the investigation with a civil lawsuit that he could have reinstituted after the ecclesiastical tribunal.
    He threatened to expose the dark side of his accuser.
    He set aside his priestly faculties after only three months into the process.
    He paid money to shut people up.

    These are all tactics to avoid truthtelling rather than encourage it. That is what guilty people do.

    I'm sure we don't have the whole story but we have enough to realize this is no setup.
    Al

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  19. Sorry, I don't buy what SOLT is trying to sell. Why wasn't all this brought up before this? Jealousy is a terrible thing and that is what I think this is all about. I love my Church and believe all that she teaches but I am wary of many bishops I know for a fact that this would not be the first time a bishop had told a priest to lie. It has happened in my own diocese.

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  20. When the accusations were first made public I believed they were false because I've seen what trouble an unstable and vindictive woman can cause a priest. But the sad facts are clear, we are to judge a tree by its fruits, and Al is speaking wisdom here. What is so unbelievable about a man falling into temptation?

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  21. I am intensely bothered both by the latest news and by reactions to it. SOLT proclaims John Corapi interfered with the investigation by means of lawsuits and so forth, therefore their investigation can't go on.
    Problem is, if he committed the alleged crimes, I don't think SOLT has the authority to solve the problem.
    Possessing illegal drugs can be investigated and prosecuted by the DEA or FBI, depending on the precise allegations.
    Where are they?

    It makes little sense to me for a man to offer the message that Fr Corapi did, for as long as he did, but have him living an apparent double life. Not impossible, no, but I would think it would leave all manner of traces all over the place.

    Even if I'm not as likely to buy anything from him, I'm inclined to think that there're several rats running around.

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  22. I think one early headline was unintentionally misleading when it included the words "Corapi resigns" with the title.

    It would seem to be conflicting. I don't see anywhere in the memo where Fr. Corapi's resignation offered, has been accepted. The earlier statement said they were waiting for confirmation from Fr. Corapi on his decision, so they apparently desired a pause and a response to be certain. We do not know if he responded to them or not yet.

    That said, he still seems to be a member of the SOLT, and therefore, his superiors may still place demands on him, "under obedience."

    Because it is a SAL it's not a vow of obedience, but a promise of obedience. Similarly, it is specified as a promise of poverty, not a vow. In good faith, either way, when one even makes a mere promise, it should be taken very seriously.

    I'm not sure how the average lay person can understand how these differ and perhaps, Al, you can followup on this at a later date if you can get a canonist again.

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  23. @John....

    Maciel lived a double life for 50 years and fooled some very fine and orthodox bishop, at least one of whom sat on the throne of Peter and whose cause for sainthood is being pursued.

    This is not an indictment on them, but shows how cunning someone can be.

    Further, we have seen several cases of people cloaking themselves in pieties and orthodoxy, which yields a following of wounded Catholics rightly starved for it (and where bishops should get a clue about how they should proceed - people want truth and basic devotion, which must be balanced with the Beatitudes).

    Church officials and religious orders must look past the surface pieties and remain detached so that they can be objective.

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  24. Hi Al,

    Why would evidence to suggest or even prove guilt go before a Canonical process of a psychiastrist, lawyer (Canonical, criminal/civil, or both) rather than a civil/criminal judicial process? I don't understand why people who have the upper-hand aren't simply applying charity to both accused and accuser. At least, the evidence can be weighed much better in a judicial court system than the poor application of canonical laws by a 3-person fact finding panel (what a complex term.)

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  25. Al, if revealing the "dark side" of one's accuser is tantamount to guilt, then is not SOLT demonstrating guilt for how they managed the canonical process because they went ahead and tried to reveal the "dark side" of Fr. Corapi?

    In this saga, my attention is drawn more to the epidemic poor canonical process for accused priests (all over the country) than the individual guilt or innocence of one priest's vices.

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  26. The 3 person fact finders were appointed to see if there were credible accusations. Corapi's unwillingness to cooperate and his attempt to try his accuser and his Society as well as unnamed other authority figures in the court of opinion made this press release necessary.

    SOLT has been reserved, chaste, patient. But when Corapi refused to suspend the civil lawsuit until they had a chance to depose the primary witness, when Corapi refused to return to live in community, SOLT felt it had to release this information to counter the misinformation that Corapi was releasing.

    Obviously, they now believe they have credible accusations. The process, if it continues (which I doubt), will now be governed by more explict rules of due process. But he sabotaged the very first stage of this inquiry and when he made this a public melodrama he invited SOLT to respond publicly.

    We shouldn't count out the possibility that higher authorities, even from outside this country, told SOLT to get a little more backbone. After all, SOLT was responsible for him and any scandal which might ensue because of his behavior.

    All in all, a tragic moment and one which will need hefty does of truthtelling and loving and the virtue of courage to end the pain so many people are feeling because of the mutation of Fr. John Corapi into the blacksheepdog. As in biological evolution, the vast majority of mutations are not improvements.

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  27. Sam,
    SOLT never threatened to release into our hands the actual emails or phone calls or taped conversations that Corapi produced.

    Corapi threatened to release tapes of this woman showing her to be an unstable, hopeless alcoholic. When even his devotees began to cry foul, he then, in a grotesque display of mock magnanimity, said that he had listened to the voice of the people and wouldn't lower himself to do this dastardly deed. Good heavens.

    When SOLT makes such threats I will reconsider who I trust in this process.

    BTW, yes threatening your accuser rather than meeting their challenge is an indicator of guilt. Sometimes its best to just shut up and suffer silently trusting that truth is great and will prevail.

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  28. Diane,
    I agree. I think the National Catholic Register headline was unintentionally misleading.

    You are also right on the distinction between a vow and a promise. Both of them are serious even if the canonical penalties differ. We will have another canon lawyer as soon as the shrapnel stops flying by and Corapi gets a chance to respond to SOLT. I think it's probably fair to say he's not at the General Chapter. If so, then that means he has resigned even if his resignation hasn't formally been accepted.

    My guess is that SOLT had to put him under obedience and wait for his refusals before they could proceed with their next step. BUT I am offering only an educated guess.

    Thanks for the website recommends.
    Al

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  29. Jonathan H offers the best possible perspective. Repentance would mean forgiveness 70 x 7. If we stop thinking of Corapi as the priest/preacher extraordinaire and just think of him as a troubled, old man who is having difficulty accepting his mortality like a lot of us, he becomes easier to pray for. If we believe that prayer is efficacious then there is no reason such a miracle of repentance can"t happen. How many of us would be pleased to see him return to his community, chastened perhaps, but repentant and willing to submit to the rule of the Society.

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  30. I didn't mention earlier but I believe SOLT also has Sacrament police department records that, in themselves, are troubling even without many of these other allegations.

    I bring this up because there is more corroborative evidence than just the accusation of an unstable former prostitute. This "case" is being built on a much firmer foundation that Corapi ever wanted his devotees to imagine.

    He will rue the day he ever decided to try this in the court of public opinion. He would have been better off keeping this in the quiet, obscure world of ecclesiastical protocols.

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  31. It just cracks me up to see "who" ran so quickly to the forefront to cast the first stone. These are the ones that we listen to on Catholic Radio, interestingly former athiests or protestants.... I ask why? What happen to praying for our prodigals? I pray that FATHER Corapi will be vindicated. Remember his mama wears combat boots and she will stomp on the heads of those who attack her son-priest.

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  32. Hi Al,
    What I don't understand (please pardon me, truly) is why would anyone, who at least has some dignity in what he or she does, channel a letter with some very heavy accusations and some very weighty evidence without at least the courts and better provisions of justice (or the care of not damaging someone's character or the in-intended consequences of it)? The Church gave better provisions (historicaly) of justice, defense, and council during the inquisition because it faired better than the State's (in the past.) So now you have, at least as I see it, the opposite case. I'm not defending what Fr. did. I'm simply, as Sir Thomas More himself had appealed before the law, believe there are better means and modes of Justice.

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  33. "This is not an indictment on them, but shows how cunning someone can be."

    Yes..and no.
    Perhaps not indictments of people's character, but bishops and popes ARE responsible for Church administration. Maciel succeeded by virtue of poor accounting procedures that didn't require him to be terribly trackable with regard to where money came from or where it went.

    Much the same idea applies in John Corapi's case. His ministry involved a very public presentation with a business model to operate. SOLT surely would've had ample reason to want to know how he conducted his business. If they didn't know he'd required non-disclosure agreements, they didn't supervise him very well.

    I find it tough to believe that people didn't raise BS flags a long time ago, NDA or no NDA, if federal crimes occurred. I'm no lawyer, but I can't believe that a business can legally hold it's employees silent while the business conducts illegal operations.
    At the very worst, I should think the NDA's, if they're as all-encompassing as claimed--should've been grounds for prosecution some time ago, if only for questionable business dealings.

    I haven't heard about any such concerns, nor have I heard anything about FBI or DEA involvement. That bothers me.
    Laws regarding drug possession don't care if you wear a cassock or a business suit. If he did, indeed, use illegal drugs, I should be seeing federal drug charges being drawn up.

    Until I see these things happen, I should think it reasonable to assume that someone failed in their job somewhere.

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  34. RMT, Corapi cast the first stone. This was all being handled privately. We ignored it until he adopted the bizarre blacksheepdog persona and began his unsubstantiated attacks on the investigation.
    Al

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  35. John,
    There are many unanswered questions about accountability.

    Questions about criminal responsibility should be looked into but that is not the first concern of SOLT. They have one of their own going renegade on them and misleading many. According to the press release this is what has prompted them to set aside their previously chaste and restrained discussion and adopt a more disturbing listing of initial findings. Why should Corapi monopolize the discussion, poisoning untold numbers of people while SOLT just sits around waiting to complete a formal investigation that Corapi's civil lawsuit rendered impossible?

    I might be missing your point. But I didn't expect as much forthrightness from SOLT as we were sadly dished up today. Compared with the usual oblique and evasive language from most religious institutions, today's press release was shockingly candid. They obviously believe they have the goods to judge him unfit for pastoral ministry. Whether or not that reaches the level required in a criminal court isn't relevant. They aren't judging crime, they are judging character and fitness for ministry. No?
    Al

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  36. Al, I apologize, but I thought your response to me was a distinction without a difference. We should excuse SOLT for bringing out Fr. Corapi's "dark side" because they didn't say they would do it in advance, like Fr. Corapi did?

    Now even if Fr. Corapi (or John or whatever) is guilty of the sins alleged by SOLT, that does not automatically make SOLT immaculate in handling this. What doesn't add up to me still is that on June 20, 2011, Fr. Sheehan said: ""due to the gravity of the accusation...Fr. Corapi was suspended from active ministry" and also "If the allegations had been found to be credible, the proper canonical due process would have been offered to Fr. Corapi..."

    SOLT has stated frustration that they could not move forward with the investigation, and indicated as of June 20, they had yet to determine if the allegations were "credible."

    That was June 20. 16 days ago.

    Yet here we are on July 5, and Fr. Sheehan is listing detailed statements to the public on Fr. Corapi's behavior as determined by the 3 investigators.

    So which are we to believe? Did SOLT not know the credibility of the accusation on June 20 but they did on July 5 so well that they revealed it publicly? If so, then their claim that they were not able to advance the investigation is false because they must have done so in the last 16 days. On the other hand, if they knew all this on June 20, then their statement that they had not determined if the allegations were credible were false on June 20. Where am I mistaken?

    As Janny indicated earlier, unless those in the Catholic media are privy to information the rest of us are not, then why the vehement defense of SOLT (even if Fr. Corapi is guilty of said charges!)? And if the Catholic media is privy to additional information, then please pardon us outside the loop for perceiving as we do.

    Sam

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  37. "Whether or not that reaches the level required in a criminal court isn't relevant. They aren't judging crime, they are judging character and fitness for ministry. No?"

    Um, no, not for my understanding.

    They're judging character and fitness for ministry based on alleged misconduct. Misconduct related to illicit sex, illicit drugs, and related concerns. If they believed the charges credible, why didn't they call in the appropriate law enforcement agencies and/or civil courts to derive the truth?
    Had it been a battle over liturgical norms, use of his ranch, or some other non-criminal matter, I would understand this track.

    But these allegations involve criminal matters too, not just possible breaches of vows, inappropriate lifestyle for a priest, and whatnot.

    I've been rather shocked by how much SOLT has NOT said over the past month. Surely they must know that we're going to be pretty shocked and incredulous. Why not keep us informed about what's really happening?
    If John Corapi winds up being the monster he's alleged to be, I can't believe that any lawsuits or other defense mechanisms he might create could possibly allow for SOLT to be guilty of any wrongdoing, unless the leadership can be demonstrated to have failed to keep track of his efforts.

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  38. Sam,
    If conclusions hadn't been reached on June 20, then his statement is perfectly fine. I assume the investigation was proceeding but in the restrained way they have handled this SOLT wasn't prepared to conclude anything from the investigation and release it to the public. On July 5, they were ready to inform us that the allegations were credible and that they had emails, etc. I don't see a problem.

    SOLT has the responsibility to disclose this information since Corapi has made this a public matter and waged a propaganda campaign while SOLT had to abide by canonical norms.

    Corapi's threat to disclose the accuser's dark side was simply an act of self-defense. She wasn't speaking out about him. She had done her duty by reporting him (assuming for the sake of this discussion that she is telling the truth)... She was not haranguing him as he was haranguing her. Corapi as a priest is supposed to be protecting the flock not himself. He certainly shouldn't be in the position of the Accuser, that's the devil's job, which is what he threatened to do. This was a tip-off to me that he was clearly out of touch with his vocation. He was playing the Satanic rather than the Samaritan role for what reason- to protect his own dwindling reputation.

    Since Corapi decided to turn this into a public melodrama and lead the sheep to heaven knows where and to make a public show of resigning as a shepherd in order to be a sheepdog, SOLT had to act in order that the faithful would not be misled. It amazes me that when a Catholic institution acts decisively there are complaints. When they haven't acted decisively in the past they've been the butt of jokes. Now SOLT does act and discloses information and you are suspicious? Why?

    BTW, there is more information than is publicly available at this time. When SOLT decides to release it, is up to them. They are the ones with the responsibility and jurisdiction. But they aren't the only ones with investigative tools.

    Does this help?
    Al

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  39. JOhn,
    We don't know what criminal followup is going on. Illegal drug use at various times over a period of a few years is hardly going to get the concerns of any prosecutor. Where, when, with whom, what substances. Many of these moments will be he says/she says.

    However, you can judge the believability of the charges by corroborating evidence. This may not reach the level required in a criminal court but certainly speaks to fitness for public ministry. You seem to think that unless we can convict in a court of law, we shouldn't be dealing with these accusations.

    SOLT has said little, I agree. I've always thought it was because they thought it was the most pastoral way of dealing with their brother. I think his sabotaging the process, his refusals to return to community life and his misleading the public probably convinced them that it was time to act so that others wouldn't be hurt. Should they have acted long ago? IF what they released today is true, then absolutely and I'm sure someone at SOLT is going to be paying a price.

    For all we know, higher authorities may be putting pressure on SOLT to act. They are seeking to become a pontifical order rather than a diocesan society and maybe someone said, "YOu need to handle this situation before we can believe that you are competent." BUTTTT this is pure speculation on my part!
    Al

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  41. "However, you can judge the believability of the charges by corroborating evidence."

    True enough, but I've been rather skeptical about the proposed corroborating evidence. Up until today at least. I'd figured the former bishop of Corpus Christi must be expecting SOMETHING to happen if he's willing to make a public statement like he did. Perhaps I assumed too much about SOLT's supervision, but..well, honestly, if my military command chain had paid less heed to my doings as an officer, they likely would've been guilty of some form of dereliction of duty. I thought they paid too little heed and offered too little guidance as it was. I would've thought surely the same rationale wold apply to the Church.
    The consequences of NOT keeping a close eye would be obvious enough that they'd surely keep tuned.

    Perhaps I assumed too much....

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  42. John,
    I'm also surprised at how little accountability seems to have been exercised over Corapi. Bishop Gracida's website contains what will probably be his last statement on Corapi. I think he clarifies why he was defending Corapi and criticizing SOLT. It's definitely worth reading. Just google Bishop Gracida and go to the home page and look around.
    Al

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  43. It's amazing to context today's priest scandals within the Church's early history. Can you imagine King David, "a man after God's own heart", being judged in modern times for adultery and murder? After being gnawed, snarled, and nailed to a million cyber crosses for all his human failures, would there be any mercy?

    David actually made many modern leaders look pretty good. Yet, he was forgiven, and the promised Messiah generated from his line. Thank God our salvation does not depend on man's mercy.

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  44. You seem to think that I want Corapi out of priestly ministry. I don't. Using your analogy of King David, I'd have to say that we are not yet to the Nathan moment. When Corapi hears "You are the man" and repents and submits to his proper authority (SOLT or bishop), makes amends for the sins committed, is reconciled with those he has sinned against and ready to use his considerable talents for the Kingdom, then I'll rejoice. When he decides to seek restoration Christ will be there to receive him and so will I and, I trust, all those who have respected the power of his priesthood.

    When he hears the prophetic voice or the convicting power of the Holy Spirit comes upon him, he can say yes and he can get back on the path. Right now, he is simply denying the offenses. You can't be forgiven if you don't fess up.

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  46. Anonymous posts which make gratuitous or unrelated commets or which appear to mask some personal agenda will be removed as they are brought to our attention.

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  47. I removed a post I had earlier posted asking if anyone knew of particular incidents in which Fr. Corapi had actually intervened to remove a heterodox theologian or changed a particular liturgical abuse or publicly debated any enemy of the Church. Has anyone ever seen him outside his own element. I know he has spoken powerfully which I respect but I want to know if we have any record of him going to the mat to bring about, rather than just preach about, these matters.

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  48. Al, in response to this:
    "It amazes me that when a Catholic institution acts decisively there are complaints. When they haven't acted decisively in the past they've been the butt of jokes. Now SOLT does act and discloses information and you are suspicious? Why? "

    It is because SOLT indicated only 16 days ago that they did not know if the allegations were even credible. Now that they release info of this detail, this seems like a 180 by Fr. Sheehan. My comments are related to the apparent contradiction---not SOLT commenting per se.

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  49. Sam, you misread Fr. Sheehan's statement. Please reread it and place the emphasis on the tense he uses. He knew something then and was acting pastoral.

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  50. First, I think when people say they are followers of Corapi, they should first be a follower of the Church of Jesus Christ and the orders that are included. Second, this church says we must be obedient. Corapi is disobeying direct orders of coming and living back in community. I believe Cannon law states priests are suppose to live in community and that the priest shortages, thanks all you contracepting Catholics, has caused our beloved fathers to live alone in rectories, praying the office in solitude. This is not meant to be! They need a family, encouragement and love, in the house. I also think SOLT gave this guy too much rope. It is scandalous the amount of private money that appears to have gone into private hands and using the church to extract or extort the money. I have MANY of his CDs and DVDs and love how he teaches the faith, however, I never liked the fact that he lived alone, his discussions of keeping a gun by his bed, doing violence to people who get on his land, (shooting at them) riding a $20,000 motorcycle. I know a priest who had a $20,000 cycle and his superior told him that they put too much time and money into him and he had to sell it. Guess what he did. It was gone inside of a few weeks. That's obedience. Think of all the time, money and resources that have been spent. Ouch. I could also never figure out why a DVD set from him is $400 and one of the same nature from Scott Hahn or Fr. Groeschel is $5 or $10. I’m a computer guy and know how much production and DVD mastering costs. I wrote many times about where the money was going and was never given a response, so I stopped buying and recorded off of EWTN to MP3. I also signed up for his weekly homilies, and tried to record them to MP3’s so I could listen while I run, he spent so much money and time on copyright protection, it was nearly unbreakable. If I purchase it, I should be able to put it on an MP3 player. All other Catholic outlets allow this, many of the priests I listen to are free on itunes or other podcasting sites. FREE. Are we trying to save souls or make money, even those poor souls who can’t afford $400 DVDs or are we trying to make money. Gees. Additionally, there are Catholic outlets who were not obedient. When a superior puts a priest or religious on suspension, we ALL should follow suit. If only this could happen to the Nancy Pelosi's, we would not have such public scandal. EWTN was one of the outlets to remove him, but others did not, such at iCatholic Radio. They finally did but went for months still playing his material from 5-6pm ET. I felt I was being disobedient to his superior by listening. We must be obedient and follow orders. To those who say these allegations are untrue, there are many allegations out there but much of this is public record, like deeds, ownership of items, told to live in the community and disobeying, and the drunk driving record back in 1989 where he was using alias names. It’s all there in the Sacramento record for those who want to look. I’m not mad at Corapi, I’m mad at those who appear to continue to create division and say this man was wronged. Maybe he was and maybe he wasn’t but it appears he was doing many things incongruent with religious life. I hope and pray he will follow orders and come home, and go into solitude for 5-10 years and come roaring back. I for one would accept him, but not pay $400 for his materials, how about a nice $20 price point. It’s time for us all to be obedient and remember who the general is. It’s not Corapi, it’s the only one we believe is protected in faith and morals by the Holy Spirit, our Holy Father. Stick with chair of Peter folks, not individuals. We must be unified, not separated. The blogging and discussions on all sides is too loud and too divided. We need unity with the chair of Peter. God Bless and use the sacraments. I’ll be praying for Corapi and the division this is causing.

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  51. On 16 March 2011, the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas, and the SOLT received a complaint against Father John Corapi, SOLT. As is normal procedure and due to the gravity of the accusation alleging conduct not in concert with the priestly state or his promises as a member of an society of apostolic of diocesan right, Father Corapi was suspended from active ministry (put on administrative leave) until such a time that the complaint could be fully investigated and due process given to Father Corapi. In the midst of the investigation, the SOLT received a letter from Father Corapi, dated June 3, 2011, indicating that, because of the physical, emotional and spiritual distress he has endured over the past few years, he could no longer continue to function as a priest or a member of the SOLT. Although the investigation was in progress, the SOLT had not arrived at any conclusion as to the credibility of the allegations under investigation.

    At the onset, the Bishop of Corpus Christi advised the SOLT to not only proceed with the policies outlined in their own constitution, but also with the proper canonical procedures to determine the credibility of the allegations against Father Corapi. We reiterate that Father Corapi had not been determined guilty of any canonical or civil crimes. If the allegations had been found to be credible, the proper canonical due process would have been offered to Father Corapi, including his right to defense, to know his accuser and the complaint lodged, and a fair canonical trial with the right of recourse to the Holy See. On June 17, 2011, Father John Corapi issued a public statement indicating that he has chosen to cease functioning as a priest and a member of the SOLT.

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  52. As you can see, at the onset and on June 3 when Fr. Corapi resigned there had not yet been any determination and the investigation continued until perhaps July 5, over a month later.

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  53. I really doubted his innocence the moment I heard about the NDA and the civil suit, but tried to give presumption of innocence.

    That's just not possible anymore. And it still stings reading that statement. Worse than I think anyone could expect.

    Noreen (from earlier) I think it is obvious while SOLT didn't release this right away: they wanted to give Fr. Corapi a "way out." He was a member of their community, and they wanted to save him from utter humiliation and embarassment.

    Fr. Corapi would have none of it, but instead amped up the volume of criticism against the local ordinary, his religious community, etc.

    Some have said that SOLT and the Bishop didn't have "the good of the Church" at heart when they removed him. If even one of the "findings" are true, that is just cause to remove him. If 50% of them are, he should've been removed long ago.

    SOLT has a lot of questions to answer about this, namely how they let this situation come to this.

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  54. And now reading through all the statements:

    Some are wondering why SOLT didn't release this stuff earlier. This is the kind of stuff that when you release it, you will bury somebody. Such should ALWAYS be a last resort.

    It was becoming clear that not only was Fr. Corapi not going to co-operate, but he was doing everything in his power to sabotage SOLT, the bishop of Corpus Christi, heck even the authority of the church in general (with his allusions to various figures who "want him gone.")

    Worse yet, he had a following. Otherwise faithful and good-willed Catholics were being taken in by this. At this point, they had to become concerned with the souls of those thousands of "fans." They needed to know they were following someone who wasn't being entirely honest.

    They haven't compromised the investigation if one is to continue (though due to Fr. Corapi's actions, that is highly unlikely.) They have now disclosed in full view the charges against him and that their investigations confirmed these charges.

    Given the fact that Fr. Corapi has already sued his accuser in civil court, SOLT I wager would not have gone forward on this without having all their ducks in a row. They "know where the bodies are dug" so to speak.

    Though do we really want to engage in such shameless voyeurism by having all the emails they have on file released for public consumption to satisfy his guilt? Several of his fans want precisely that. Think of what a bad precedent that sets for future accused priests who could actually be fully innocent.

    One can only pray that tomorrow's "announcement" by Fr. Corapi is his submission to SOLT. Might seem a long shot, but that's the only way this ends without a lot of spiritual blood being spilled.

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  55. Hi Al,

    My objection is to the extent of SOLT following the same pursuit of Fr. Corapi's tactics in the the public arena (i.e. blogging, media, newletters, etc.) Even though Fr. Corapi has done this with ill directed and damaging statements, why hasn't the other-side ventured further with a much more mature and charitable discourse? Think about it, if Fr. Corapi attacks someone's character, the the other-side comes up with an equal and defensive expression (through a channel of media.) And here lies the problem (the absence of charity.) In an American contrived sense, you have the justification (for whatever reason; wrong or right) of one's re-action to the action of another individual (i.e. he or she did this to me so I can do this back to them.) But, since one has to admit to charity respective to and of the Church (not of the American sense contrary to the act of Apologetic will) in all matters (especially this one), SOLT (and Fr. Corapi) need to abide doing things in the most Catechetical sense (before any Canonical sense; the spiritual and corporeal acts of Mercy.) Remember, Catholic faithful are not Cannonicaly instructed to receive the Sacraments nor cannonicaly (meaning by Cannon law) trained to be baptized. Keep in mind, I know (if I'm not mistaken) Cannon law re-inforces Catechesis and receiving the Sacraments and the norms of the Church. However, I do not think the norm or process of Cannon law has any right nor any justficiation above the expressive and explicit demand of Charity (which is the requirement and demand of the Church "in all things" - partly quoting St. Augustine of Hippo.)

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  56. I don't think SOLT was doing a tit for tat. I believe they were not prepared for Corapi's taking the offensive and monopolizing the conversation. Their publication of his offenses equips the Catholic faithful to exercise discernment and avoid being misled.

    If I learn that they acted improperly, I will certainly spend some time disclosing it.

    SOLT's culpability in this mess will be considered by whoever is responsible for lifting them from diocesan to pontifical status.

    This would have been handled quietly had it not been for Corapi's decision to launch a new media persona in preparation for the release of his autobiography.

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  57. I truly appreciate the effort to think and speak with charity through this difficult situation. Thinking with the mind of Christ and His Church means that even tragic moments can move us closer to our goal of being conformed to His likeness.

    I don't think SOLT was acting in a tit for tat manner. After Corapi had monopolized the discussion, they needed to act that the faithful would not be misled.

    If I learn that they acted improperly I more than willing to disclose it.

    This would have been handled quietly and privately if Corapi hadn't decided to launch his new persona in preparation of the release of his autobiography, The Black Sheepdog.

    He turned what should have been a family matter for his community into an international fight which is forcing good Catholics to choose between him and his family and the bishop responsible for SOLT.

    Al

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  58. Dear Fr. Corapi if you messed up (sinned), repent, ask for forgiveness and come clean with the fall (like everyone else), suck it up take your lumps and get back to work. If that means seclusion so be it it will serve as a time of purification. If it is something that you cannot stop say so and then step-down. You will gain much more respect from us little people sitting on the side lines and in the bleachers. Regardless of the false accusations or of the sins committed he is a great speaker and I will still rehear his talks. Father Coropi cleave to the rock (Christ)and THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE!!

    Mike Nobody

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  59. MY FINAL COMMENT (HOPEFULLY) ON THE CASE OF FATHER JOHN CORAPI

    FROM THE BLOG OF BISHOP RENE GRACIDA- http://abyssum.wordpress.com/

    Posted on July 5, 2011

    BY NOW MOST OF YOU HAVE READ THE STATEMENT ISSUED TODAY BY THE LEADERSHIP OF THE SOCIETY OF OUR LADY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY ON THE CASE OF FATHER JOHN CORAPI.

    The statement seems to me to be nothing more or less than an effort by the SOLT leadership to ‘throw Father John Corapi under the bus.’ Maybe he deserves it, maybe he does not, I do not know. I have had no direct contact with Father Corapi in many years. But it seems to me that the issuing of the statement is an effort by the SOLT leadership to justify their own mishandling of his case from the beginning. It is a classic example of what psychologists call transference.

    As I have previously pointed out, Father Corapi was not charged, as far as I can figure out, with a civil crime. Nor was he accused of sexual misconduct with a minor. Rather, his conduct which resulted in the accusatory letter sent by the woman seems to have been fostered by the lax leadership of SOLT itself. Even though he did not have a vow of poverty he was given freedom to acquire and use wealth which can in itself have a corrupting influence on anyone.

    MY CHIEF COMPLAINT AGAINST BOTH THE CHANCERY OF THE DIOCESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI AND THE LEADERSHIP OF SOLT IS THAT THEY DID NOT HAVE THE GOOD OF THE CHURCH IN MIND WHEN THEY ACTED PRECIPITOUSLY TO PUBLICLY SUSPEND FATHER CORAPI.

    By rushing to publicly suspend him before any investigation of the facts had been done, these Church officials totally overlooked the impact of their actions on the tens of thousands of innocent people who have been brought into a closer relationship with Our Lord, Jesus Christ, through the TEACHING of Father Corapi. He did not seem to have any other form of ministry.

    Instead of rushing to publicly suspend Father Corapi these people should have quietly launched an investigation into the accusations and, if they proved to be credible, they could have quietly removed him from active exercise of his public activities and then after further investigation determined whether or not to take more drastic canonical disciplinary action against him.

    INSTEAD OF RUSHING TO PUNISH HIM PUBLICLY, they should have been concerned for the welfare of the thousands and thousands people who have either been brought to the faith or have had their faith strengthened by the man who, in spite of his having clay feet, had been an effective teacher of the Gospel.

    THAT WAS MY CHIEF COMPLAINT AND THAT REMAINS MY CHIEF COMPLAINT.

    I doubt that I will have much, if anything, further to say about the sad case of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity and Father John Corapi.

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  60. Thanks to Ninov for the usefull comment replete with facts, they made 400$-a-DVD Corapi looks like a tartuffe who must be derailed.

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  61. "This would have been handled quietly and privately if Corapi hadn't decided to launch his new persona in preparation of the release of his autobiography, The Black Sheepdog."

    Al, what triggered Fr. C to speak out publicly (and launch a counter civil lawsuit) is that the woman will affect his business. For his business to operate, he has to be a priest in good standing with the Church. (This according to the legal complaint scanned and posted on the internet).

    My common sense asks me, is it all about money then?

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  62. I meant, the woman's accusations will affect his 'business'.*

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  63. People want the SOLT to give an accounting. This is good. However, there may be more to this, as well, so we need to tread carefully.

    I don't think i posted this here... If I have, just delete it (difficult to see on iPhone)

    Here are some basic facts from the Catholic Hierarchy website:

    Bp Gracida was installed in 1983. He resigned at age 73.8 in 1997.

    Bp Edmond Carmondy took the helm in 2000 and retired in Jan 2010, I believe at 76

    Bp Mulvey was installed in March of 2010.

    Now, according to the wiki-page on Corapi, he joined the SOLT on March 26,1990, amd was ordained a deacon by Bp. Gracida

    The same page has him ordained by Bl. John Paul II one year later on March 26, 1991.

    SOLT's constitution was changed in 1994.

    Was SOLT trying to bring Corapi, and others who joined pre-1994 back then?

    A SAL is under the local bishop, in this case, those men listed above.

    If the SOLT superiors encountered any resistance by Corapi, at any point of the way, did they seek help from the responsible bishop? In the case of +Mulvey, the answer is a clear affirmative. But what about prior to him? If the SOLT tried earlier, but was not supported by the local bishop, their hands were tied, outside of going around him, to the Holy Ses

    I'm just askin'

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  64. An anonymous commenter above wonders what relevance public records have. I can provide a partial answer to that. Fr. Corapi's property holdings are documented in public records of Flathead County, MT: 12.5 acres in two tracts of land, commercial property, and boat slips. The information is also accessible via the net.

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  65. Al Kresta said...
    I've encouraged people to read Bishop Gracida's comments over the last two weeks for two reasons:
    1. He was the ordinary of the diocese of Corpus Christi when SOLT was established.
    2. He is known as a man who speaks his mind, especially on pro-life issues, and is unusually candid in his public remarks.

    With that in mind, I think it is important to take him at this word when he writes about his major complaint.

    Gracida: "MY CHIEF COMPLAINT AGAINST BOTH THE CHANCERY OF THE DIOCESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI AND THE LEADERSHIP OF SOLT IS THAT THEY DID NOT HAVE THE GOOD OF THE CHURCH IN MIND WHEN THEY ACTED PRECIPITOUSLY TO PUBLICLY SUSPEND FATHER CORAPI."

    Bishop Gracida is entitled to such a judgment. He is certainly better placed than I am to render a judgment. Nevertheless, it's hard to know what public evidence there would be to confirm what he said. If this is his major concern then most of us don't have any basis upon which to agree or disagree.

    Given his status, I hope he is confronting the current bishop to his face the same way Paul confronted Peter. His concern is about motives and they have little to do with the facts in this case. However, as Christians and not prosecutors, motives are spiritually significant and have power to form, transform, malform the people who hold them.

    On the other hand, how would Catholics in Detroit feel if retired bishop Thomas Gumnbleton had launched a campaign to discredit Archbishop Vigneron when Vigneron tried to discipline the priest who celebrated the American Catholic Council Mass with all its liturgical abuses and in direct defiance of the ordinary of the diocese.

    The major difference here is that dynamically orthodox Catholics like Bishop Gracida and don't like Bishop Gumbleton.

    I still like Bishop Gracida and am interested in his opinion. But this is odd and I would have he is extending the same fraternal charity to his successor that he is to Fr. Corapi.

    July 7, 2011 11:37 AM

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  66. Al...

    Excellent point re: Bishop Garcida.

    I'll just add something that has gnawed at me since this episode began: I can't remember the last time a retired American bishop publicly and repeatedly castigated his successor. Not only does it show disrespect for a brother bishop; its purpose can only be to divide and fracture the Body of Christ.

    Dcn. G.

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  67. Al,

    First thing, people ought to pray for, not only Father Corapi, the accuser, SOLT hierarchy, the Bishops and all Diocesan authority, the people making remarks against Father, the people making remarks against the hierarchy and the Church, and each and every person following the whole dilemma (especialy good Apologists.) Why? Because, each person is frail, those in authority, those who do Apologetics, SOLT, and those with Magisterial authority are all prone to the same temptation as Father Corapi. However, Baptism is our claim over sin (because of Christ Our Lord.) Therefore, prayer, penance, almsgiving, and receiving the Sacrament in the State of Grace are all necessary for this salvific role of the Church. Having said that, each person has a moral choice in the midst of terrible catastrophy, if there ever was one. People who side with the new image of Father and become rebel to the Church, they have made a moral choice and certainly ought to know better. Those who attack Father's character (as if the obvious wackiness of the whole event was not enough to tell by anyone with a lick of common sense that something has gone wrong and awry with Father) very likely know better and are simply leveraging (just as those who dislike hierarchy) a superior view when things are just right for the ridicule (reminds me of the woman being chased by men who wanted to stone her - Christ asked, "Which one of you who hasn't sinned, cast the first stone.) So before anyone casts stones at Father, those for his new image, those who don't like nor care for him, those in hierarchy, those involved through Apologetics and at any point along the way, see if you have not sinned and see if you will cast the first stone.

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  68. (continuing from casting the first stone) Because Christ will be your judge.

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  69. I smell freemasons and politicians here in all these accusations against Fr. Corapi
    Fr. Corapi, we are praying for you and the truth will set you free, I place you in the enclosed garden of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

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  70. How about we all just follow orders here. SOLT and the Bishop have suspended him and then he walks out on the priesthood. I would not walk out on my wife. Clearly, they likely know A LOT MORE than any of us making any type of remarks on this case. There are facts that can be had, like property records, a private media company selling DVDs for hundreds of dollars, I personally was involved in the Cinci speech where his agent via him wanted $10,000 for me to advertise our homeschool conference with a simple poster, oh, and he was paying people $100,000 to sign confidentiality agreements. Do these things add up to what most good priests are doing. What priest has $100,000 to pass around to each employee and why sign this agreement in the first place. Someone knew their cannon law well and knew how to block the investigation, if there ever was one. Fr. Mitch Pacwa was told to sell his motorcyle, and guess what, HE DID. Without a fuss. Corapi is also not being obedient by coming back to the house. So, let us follow a good example and be obedient, which means we must follow the example of his order SOLT, and the Bishop, who clearly, in all cases, no more than any of us. Obedience is so lacking in our church. Follow the General which for all of us is our local bishop when in union with the pope! Viva il papa.

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  71. Al, good article and good explanations on the comments. However, there are some people that will never believe Father Corapi did anything wrong unless he admits it. If pictures were shown, they'd say they were fake. I liked him a lot and feel sorry for him now but he is not Christ. If he had acted in a different manner (obedient and humble)and not suing his accuser, maybe, I'd buy a conspiracy theory. Let us just for pray him.

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