|Remember this Father Corapi?|
Note: On July 5, 2011, Fr. Corapi's Superior, Fr. Gerry Sheehan issued another statement concerning his case. Please see my post: SOLT superior responds to Corapi's "false statements and characterizations"
OK - I'm going to get this much out before I leave for work.
This goes right to what I was saying in my last post, about religious life, sacrifice, and attachments: On Fr. Corapi: What if Christ had quit because of injustice?
Here is the latest news on Father Corapi. His superior has broken silence, and will be issuing a formal statement later (emphasis mine in bold and comments in red)
He [Fr. Sheehan - Regional Superior of SOLT] expressed disappointment that Father Corapi chose not to remain in SOLT and to refuse the order’s invitation for him to live in community, leaving his Montana home. Father Sheehan said he had tried to arrange a meeting with Father Corapi before any final decision was announced, but had not heard back from him. Father Sheehan said that SOLT would issue a statement shortly. [I would imagine it will be on SOLT's website]I just want to point out that many a man has had his life taken from him before giving up the Roman collar.
“We wanted him to come back to the community, and that would have meant leaving everything he has. It would have been a drastic change for him,” Father Sheehan said. “We will continue to move pastorally and charitably, taking steps to protect his good name.”
Also, he would have had a roof over his head, and he could have devoted his life to prayer. It may not be what he wanted, but God's will comes for a religious through their superiors. It's a slap in the face to many who make serious sacrifices to go where they are sent without question.
About the case at hand, it seems that the woman who has accused him - the one he supposedly did not know, but the one he claimed to have, "helped the most" in his message, is someone that HE SUED in order to silence, ultimately hindering SOLT from investigating the claim. The NC Register article continues:
Raising more questions than it answered, the message did not state the precise reason why Father Corapi chose to resign from the priesthood, rather than waiting for the outcome of SOLT’s investigation of the alleged misconduct.
However, Father Gerard Sheehan, regional priest-servant of SOLT and Father Corapi’s religious superior in the U.S., confirmed June 19 that the order’s investigation faced complications created by a civil suit filed by Father Corapi against the former employee who had accused him of sexual misconduct. [So, he knew his accuser all along]
“When she left the company, she signed a contract that she would not reveal anything that happened to her while she was at Santa Cruz Media [convenient]. Father Corapi paid her for this [pretty typical when someone is let go with such a contract]. Father was suing her for a breach of contract,” said Father Sheehan, though he did not specify why Father Corapi had initiated the non-disclosure agreement. [Right. And he can drop the suit to allow the investigation to continue, but he is choosing to abandon the community].
The civil suit against the former employee created a problem for SOLT investigators.
“In canon law, there can’t be any pressure on witnesses; they have to be completely free to speak. The investigation was compromised because of the pressure on the witnesses. There were other witnesses that also had signed non-disclosure agreements,” said Father Sheehan. [oh, that's really convenient]
“The canon lawyers were in a difficult situation, and Father does have his civil rights and he decided to follow his legal counsel, which he had a right to do,” he said. “We tried to continue the investigation without speaking to the principal witnesses.” [so, in this particular case, the limbo Father would have been in, was created by his own hand]
More from the NC Register column:
The announcement will likely prompt scrutiny of Father Corapi’s ties to the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), the apostolic religious order he joined twenty years ago, and raise questions about whether SOLT superiors should have allowed him to live and work apart from his religious community. [And questions should be raised].Interiorly, I became concerned some time ago. Something just seemed very odd and I could not fully put my finger on it. One thing that was disconcerting was a shift in his talks from something that was much more Christo-centric, to something ego-centric. Here is one testimony from a disspointed fan who went to the talk he gave in Cincinatti.
In a previous interview with the Register, published after Father Corapi’s suspension, Father Sheehan implicitly acknowledged that the accused priest was not living in conformity with SOLT’s constitution, approved in 1994.
“The founder’s arrangement with Father Corapi was established before that time, when Father Flanagan believed that every mission should take care of its own needs,” noted Father Sheehan at that time. “Now, according to our constitution, a different way of life has been established for members. All the money we make is turned over to the society, which gives us an allowance.” [His order does not have members taking a vow of poverty, but I do believe he took a vow of obedience, and ... constitutions evolve]
During that interview, Father Sheehan confirmed that SOLT had “begun to address the issues of members who joined the society before the new constitution. The society is moving to a more organized structural phase of its existence, with all the Church discipline that entails.” The implication of his remarks was that Father Corapi had not accommodated the discipline imposed by the new constitution. [The compound and lifestyle seem to have meant more than his vows, and the promise he made when he put his hands into the hands of Pope John Paul II. Of course, that requires money - money he cannot get if he does not speak, which really clears up why he decided to jump ship after just three months. Based on comments flowing into NC Regsiter's article, he is losing support. My best guess is that he will have only a fraction of the support he enjoyed previously. If he shifts over to political pundrity at his site and in his media, as Bishop Gracida, the bishop emeritus of Corpus Christi, suggested then he may pick some people up. But, consider what he is giving up to pursue that. For some reason, I just can't be as elated about "John Corapi's" new venture as Bishop Gracida.]
Father Corapi’s status in the Diocese of Helena, the location of his home, also raised questions about his legal ability to exercise his ministerial priesthood. In the wake of his suspension, the chancellor of the Diocese of Helena, Father John Robertson, stated that “Father Corapi has a personal residence in Kalispell, Mont. He does not hold priestly faculties in the Diocese of Helena.”
Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/father-corapis-bombshell#ixzz1PoTtJrWt
During the course of the day, we learned that Fr. Corapi owns a home in northwest Montana which he paid for with a million-dollar lawsuit settlement. He drives a fast car with lots of horsepower and keeps a loaded .45 in the glove compartment. He also rides a fat boy Harley Davidson motorcycle, owns a boat of unspecified size, and vacations in Key West. He works out six times a week, twice with a female physical trainer, and has lost seventy pounds and increased his strength by a hundred percent in the past year. The weight loss prompted him, at his charitable best, to donate two large bags of “fat clothes” to the local Salvation Army. I can only assume that the donated clothes did not consist of old habits and clericals. I don’t know why he chose to share these personal bits of information, but they did nothing to enhance his credibility as a witness to the gospel.
Father Corapi talks about the female personal trainer in this video in which he addresses his "fans" about his health. It's about 3 minutes in. This does not mean that anything happened between them. She is married, but religious communities often teach members to be careful of even creating certain perceptions. I know it was taught when I discerned with a Franciscan community after high school overseas.
Here is that video: Father Corapi's Health.
For me, this is no longer about "John Corapi". It's been about him all along. For me, it's about the people who are left scandalized by the whole thing, most especially young religious who themselves looked up to him after themselves making committments.
FOR FURTHER UPDATES
Tune in to Kresta in the Afternoon for discussion of the Father Corapi case coming up today. I'll add the archived audio later, perhaps in a new post. You can listen online at avemariaradio.net
I'm going to suggest watching New Advent, the National Catholic Register's site, or ThePulp.it for any additional breaking news, such as an official statement out of SOLT or the Diocese of Corpus Christi.
For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog
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