Posted by: L. E. Barnes | July 7, 2011

Fr. Corapi Update

The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) has issued a statement about Fr. Corapi, which reads in part:

SOLT’s fact-finding team has acquired information from Fr. Corapi’s e-mails, 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 Fr. 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 Fr. 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 Fr. John Corapi as fit for ministry.

Elizabeth Scalia (a.k.a. “The Anchoress”) made the following comments on her blog:

What now? Well, SOLT says “with the issuance of this press release directed Fr. 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.”

Heh. Good luck. Corapi sent a letter to SOLT resigning from the Society on June 3rd. Perhaps they have not yet “accepted” that resignation, but it seems highly unlikely to me that John Corapi — who has rebranded himself as the “Black Sheepdog,” with the stated intention of broadening his public outreach in order to guard and feed “the entire world” is going to get back into his grey robes and live in community with his confreres.

But see, this was the problem, to begin with. Corapi’s bio stated that he was a “fully professed priest” with the SOLT, but apparently his profession did not involve a vow of poverty, and the society allowed him to live independently (which flies in the face of the whole notion of “community” and “society”) and to work without supervision or accountability.

Frankly, if John Corapi is in spiritual turmoil, right now — and if the statement is true, it would seem that he is — then this society, by their inattention to their “fully professed” priest, has some culpability for that.

Is the statement true? I know a lot of Corapi’s fans are insisting it “cannot be.” But of course, any man can sin; no one is perfect, save Christ (with whom, it must be admitted, a few of the self-proclaimed “Corapians” sometimes seem to confuse him). Since Corapi has amply demonstrated that he’s a man who is not afraid of bringing lawsuits, we can assume that SOLT has information which would prevent them from being sued for libel, and that they’ve dotted all their i’s and crossed their t’s.

If they have not (and nothing about this crew suggests that they are masters of organization, to me) the Black Sheepdog will eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

More importantly, if the SOLT has the proof they assert, then John Corapi is in serious trouble and he needs prayers, as do his fans, and really, the whole church. A great deal of healing will have to take place.

This case reminds me of the PTL and Jimmy Swaggart scandals that rocked the charismatic evangelical world back in the late 1980’s. The media had quite a field day with those stories, and churches and ministries across the country were hurt financially, as many people decided to close their checkbooks to these organizations whose trustworthiness they now questioned. (My father was working for a Christian ministry at the time, and the downturn in contributions was a factor in his losing his job.) I wonder how this episode with Fr. Corapi will affect Catholics here in America, or at least the SOLT.

Anyway, we should keep in mind the remarks of another Catholic blogger, Fr. Z:

Fr. Corapi’s case makes me very sad.  There: I’ve said it again.  I have paid as little attention to it as I can, though I couldn’t ignore this last wave of bad news.  I pray that eventually Corapi will get things sorted out.

Corapi has an immortal soul. He is need of a Savior just like the one writing this and you who are reading this.  And I would remind you that you, dear reader, are not sinless and neither am I.  Many people who admired Corapi will want to know what happens in his case, but I urge you to examine your consciences for your motives.  Those who didn’t like him, consider first your own state of soul and God’s mercy.  In any event, pray for him, who seems to be very troubled, and for all the people who have been harmed in the matter.

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Responses

  1. Evan,
    This is a well written and unbiased post on Father Corapi and the accusations against him. I am in agreement with Father Z’s post and yours – prayer is much needed here.

    • Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Yes, we must keep all these people in our prayers.

  2. Evan, it’s so hard to know what to believe regarding Fr. Corapi or John Corapi as he is now asking to be identified. The only obvious thing to do is pray for all involved. Thank you for posting this newly updated information. I’m going to head over to his blog now and see how he responded.

    • True, we don’t know for sure what the facts are. I hope he is not guilty of doing these things, but we can’t be certain either way. God help them all.

  3. Evan, I agree with Fr. Z. I am also sad. And I am praying for all concerned.
    God bless.

    • It’s always sad to see a scandal arise in the Church. May the Lord have mercy on them.

  4. This is very interesting–thanks for sharing it. I’m actually not really familiar with his work, only with his name, but from comments around the web, I see that his work has had a tremendous positive impact on individuals within the Church. This is not the first situation I’ve encoutnered in which a priest is shown to be oh so very human, and yet you can’t deny the fruits of his labors. It goes to show that God uses us all in our weakness, not in our strength. Praise be for that.

    • A professor I once had liked to say that “sometimes God works through you in spite of you” — i.e., that God will still work through you despite your faults. This seems to have been the case with Fr. Corapi.

  5. I, too, am so very said about this situation. I am praying very much for everyone involved.

  6. Have I missed something? –

    “during his years of public ministry: He did have sexual relations and years of cohabitation”

    How can anyone still be holding out hope these allegations aren’t true?

    • It doesn’t seem there is any grounds for such hope. Alas…

  7. Father Corapi ————– get your ass back to your Order ———- your AWOL! If your guilty———–take your medicine————–if your innocent—————–take your medicine! Running away like you have makes me think your afraid you can’t handle it————– you know that’s b.s! GET BACK to your Order & take your medicine so the Lord can bring something good out of all this!

    • Well, you certainly don’t mince words! I hope the Lord will bring something good out of this…

  8. 11/25/11 fri. 4:11 p.m. where is fr. corapi NOW in his JOURNEY?!?!!!!!!! in MIRYAM’S name—————lynne

    • Good question. I haven’t checked up on him any further. God have mercy on him…

  9. I rec’d the grace during Mass this morning to know that I need to restart my daily prayers for all priests and religious-something I stopped doing about a year ago when I was dealing with mental illness. I am now healthy again.
    Tonite for some reason (grace) I was inspired to look up Fr. Corapi on the internet and it would be a huge understatement to say I was totally shocked to see what has been happening.I used to listen to his talks all the time and I always thought he was an excellent priest.
    Now I feel partly culpable -as should all of us who do not pray regularly for our priests and religious. The devil delights in taking them down-it is our obligation to hold them up by our prayers. May God forgive all of us for our part in this scandal that is hurting The Church. And I pray that Fr. Corapi will humble himself and stop using his finances to legally silence witnesses. Only the truth will set him free. Running away from the Catholic Church is only going to lead him more astray and then he will take so many other souls with him. I love you Fr. Corapi-no matter what-please don’t go off on your own. Perhaps God is asking you to spend the rest of your life in silence and meditative prayer. Don’t let your ego and your pride destroy your soul and the souls of those who follow
    after you. I will pray for you. My Jesus mercy.

    • Thank you for your heartfelt comments.

      Why did Fr. Corapi end up doing these things? Whether it was because of insufficient prayer support from the laity, only God knows. But yes, we should pray for the man now, that he will repent and be reconciled to God and the Church.

  10. After all the tremendous good Rev. Father Corapi has done why are we so quick to judge. We, as Catholics must be reminded how very much satan hates all Priests and will do anything he can to bring them down.We must pray for him with all our hearts and as any family with a hurting member, be there for him and reassure him of our love and gratitude for all the good he has done, and assure him of our constant love, sacrifices and prayers. We love you Father John and pray you will accept the love of your community which, being the Society of our Lady, will know it is HER arms open wide and waiting to embrace you and through her love will bring you to her Divine Son Who is sharing His Cross with you now more than ever.God Love you and don’t forget how many times you reminded us our Mother wears ” combat boots” and is waiting to fight for you to the end with only one goal to lead you into the arms of her son. Also, “Once a Priest, always a Priest” reminds us how very much we need your Holy Masses to rain down graces for us all. May Blessed Pope John Paul who ordained you at St. Peters, intercede for you, his dear son and bring all this to a beautiful ending. May you through his intercession become one of the churches greatest saints after enduring one of the greatest of all trials.Love and Prayers from one of your faithful “Grannies” who will always believe in you. ( He who is without sin, throw the first stone !)

    • AMEN SISTER !!!!!

  11. Father Corapi is not alone, he’s in good company and he will be victorious in the end. One who knows the Lord so much more than many of us, could never do anything so deceifull. Let’s pray for him. Let’s pray for his accusers and for the whole church to stand strong and faithfull.

    • Whether Fr. Corapi did or didn’t do what he is accused of really isn’t the point when you come right down to it. The fact is that those who are closest to God and draw other souls to God are also the ones who face the greatest temptations. The devil hates them with a vengeance. We probably couldn’t deal with the temptations that Fr. Corapi has had to face. If he did fall, it behooves us to lift him up in our prayers. If he didn’t fall, we still need to pray for him.
      I personally have suffered a lot at the hands of people “in” the Catholic church and I too have been “very tempted to leave” because of it. It will only be by grace that I am able to stay. The ongoing persecutions leave me feeling alone and betrayed. The people who treat me like an enemy only know 1% of what is really going on. God knows the other 99% of the truth. I don’t defend myself -I just put my trust in God. I understand why Fr. Corapi gave up on the Catholic church. I wish the best for him.


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