I have read the sad news about famous televangelist Fr. John Corapi in the past weeks. And even got emails about my take on his leaving.
Now here is the shocking news about the real reason why this all happened.
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Father John A. Corapi was involved in "years of cohabitation" with a former prostitute, repeated abuse of alcohol and drugs and "serious violation" of his promise of poverty, according to a fact-finding team appointed by his religious order. [And you think Marcial Maciel is not enough.]
Father Corapi, who recently announced he would leave the priesthood because he could not get a "fair hearing" on misconduct allegations against him, has been ordered by the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity to return to live at the order's regional headquarters in Robstown, Texas, and to dismiss a lawsuit against the woman whose accusations prompted the investigation. [The conditions are pretty simple right, but made me wonder the first time I read this why he find it so hard to comply. That sounded off alarm bells for me.]
"Catholics should understand that (the order) does not consider Father John Corapi as fit for ministry," said a July 5 news release from Father Gerard Sheehan, regional priest servant for the order, commonly known as SOLT.
Although Father Corapi's ministry "has inspired thousands of faithful Catholics," the news release said, he 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," it added.
There was no immediate response to the announcement from Father Corapi.
The order said its three-member fact-finding team had gathered information "from Father Corapi's emails, various witnesses and public sources" and had concluded that the priest: [the emails, in my point of view, are hard evidence.]
-- "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."
-- "Repeatedly abused alcohol and drugs."
-- "Has recently engaged in sexting activity with one or more women in Montana."
-- "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 this society." [Oh good Lord.]
Although he did not name them, Father Sheehan said the fact-finding team was made up of a priest specializing in canon law, a psychiatrist and a lawyer, each of whom has a national reputation and "substantial experience in ecclesiastical processes related to priest disciplinary issues."
Two of the three were members of religious orders, and the third was a layperson. Two were men and one was a woman, he said.
As the team was carrying out its work, Father Corapi filed a civil suit against his principal accuser and then offered $100,000 for her silence, [hmmm...seems like a pattern in handling sex abuse allegations, right Cardinal Roger?] the news release said. Other key witnesses who "may have negotiated contracts ... that precluded them from speaking" with the team declined to answer its questions or provide documents, it said.
When the fact-finding team asked Father Corapi to dismiss the lawsuit and release individuals from their contractual obligations to remain silent, "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,'" the news release added.
Father Corapi, 64, announced June 17 -- two days before the 20th anniversary of his priestly ordination -- in a YouTube video and blog posting that he would leave the priesthood.
"For 20 years I did my best to guard and feed the sheep," [now we wonder what sheep he is talking about here.] he said in the blog posting. "Now, based on a totally unsubstantiated, undocumented allegation from a demonstrably troubled person I was thrown out like yesterday's garbage. I accept that. Perhaps I deserve that." [now there is substance and evidence.]
Father Corapi had been highly visible for several years as a speaker and preacher, including a program on the Eternal Word Television Network. EWTN took his show off its schedule shortly after his suspension, saying it would not knowingly put on the air a priest whose faculties had been suspended.
The SOLT news release said Father Sheehan would not be available for further comment because of the order's general chapter July 5-23.
Fr. Dwight Longenecker of Standing on my Head gave a very nice analysis of this sham.
I have long told my friends in the Order [of the Knights of Columbus] to always pray for priests, old or young, they need our prayers. I KNOW FIRST HAND what goes on in the life of a priest and the struggles he had to go through.
And I remind them that it is only Grace that makes a man a priest. Human politics and psychology may play a part in a man getting the nod of his superiors for him to receive Holy Orders but it does not diminish the fact that a man gets the indelible mark of the Sacrament of Holy Orders once he gets it, whether he leaves graciously or not, or stays until his dying breath, the mark on his soul as a priest remains forever. So our Faith teaches us.
But we have to remember that they are much vulnerable to the attacks of the devil, masked as carnal desires, money, fame. Because the devil knows that he cannot stand a simple man becoming alter Christus at the altar, offering the same sacrifice that Christ offered on Calvary. By his hands, he forgives sins, by his words the hopeless are comforted. In all, through the priest, men are led back to God.
And that is something the devil does not want.
The scandal that Fr. John Corapi made as confirmed by his own religious order is truly regrettable. But don't fret. The Church is made up of sinners and saints, men and women who are still living, and men and women who are now in Heaven and in Purgatory. The Church has been here for thousands of years and She has encountered all kinds of scandals you can ever imagine seeing on Carlos Celdran's Book of Religious Scandals. [Can't help it. I just had to put that in. :) I think he'll make a killing out of this just like his worthless walking tour, full of lies and anti-Catholic bigotry]
The Church is founded by God Himself, Jesus Christ who is also fully and truly human. And He certainly knows what he is doing. He knows that the enemies would use the scandals against His Church to undermine the Church's moral ascendancy.
What could be more scandalous than one of the first apostles was the one who betrayed Him and sent Him to His horrible and humiliating death of a criminal?
And his first Vicar ran like a dog with its tail between its hind legs in fear, denying that he did not even know Him, even after that guy boldly declared in front of all the other apostles that he will die rather than deny Him!
The Church is a Holy Institution where both sinners and saints are found. And its primary mission is to save the likes of Fr. John Corapi.
Pray for our priests!