|Father Corapi announcing via YouTube his conference in New Jersey at the Prudential Center October 30th, 2010|
EDIT 4:05pm: Al Kresta is interviewing Jimmy Akin on this press release right now on Ave Maria Radio. I will put up the audio archive later when it is available. It could get discussed in the 5:00 hour too. I'm unsure. Edit 11:30pm: Go listen to the audio archive: http://avemariaradio.net/archiveListen.php?file=kpm_20110705_1
Numerous sources, which now includes the website of the Society of Apostolic Life to which Corapi belongs, is this:
Press Release Concerning Fr John Corapi from SOLT Regional Priest ServantThere have been questions surrounding authenticity since it was first released by the National Catholic Register, this afternoon. You might recall, that after Corapi launched his Black Sheep Dog website, Fr. Gerry Sheehan first went to Register senior reporter, Joan Frawley Desmond, before an official statement appeared on the community's website. Here again, the Register had the statement, said it had confirmed authenticity, and now it is, in fact, appearing on the SOLT website.
July 5, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From: Rev. Gerard Sheehan, SOLT Regional Priest Servant Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Robstown, Texas
Fr. 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 Fr. 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 Fr. 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 Fr. John Corapi, mailed SOLT a signed letter detailing allegations of Fr. 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, Fr. Corapi filed a civil lawsuit against his principal accuser. He contended that she had defamed him and breached her contract. The contract, according to 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 Fr. 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 Fr. 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 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.
Father Sheehan will not be available for comments as he is attending the SOLT General Chapter from July 5-23.
Al Kresta has also gotten independent confirmation from a SOLT member at the General Chapter which is running from July 4 - 23.
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.Some people are understandably upset and confused, wondering why the society would release such details. However, Corapi himself has chosen to go public with a trial in the court of public opinion, with only one party speaking - Corapi. This kind of outcome, with him continuing to blast away at his accuser publicly, the Church, the Bishop of Corpus Christi, was predictable.
Let us continue to pray for Fr. Corapi, and for all involved. We also need to pray for unity, most especially among orthodox Catholics who have become bitterly divided over the issue. This is the biggest fruit.
Two great articles I commend to you do not pertain to this case, but have relevant background information worth digesting.
- Fr. Brian Mullady, OP: The Trials of Religious Life
- New Theological Movement: To be "humble of heart", The 12 degrees of humility according to St. Benedict and St. Thomas Aquinas
News Coverage on SOLT statement (may be updated)
Reactions (may be updated so check back):
Opinions offered in these source links do not necessarily reflect my opinion - they stand on their own.
- Fr. Samuel Medley, SOLT (webmaster)
- Phil Lawler: Why were warning signs ignored?
- Fr. Z offers his thoughts
- Fr. Dwight Longenecker
- Fr. Dwight Longenecker Post 2: "Look for Little Ones"
- Fr. Joseph Jenkins
- Elizabeth Scalia
- Jimmy Akin (see combox)
- Richard Chonak (looks at public records in Flathead County)
- Dr. Gerard Nadal
- Deacon Scott Dodge
- Mark Shea
- Curt Jester
- Creative Minority Report
- The Pulp.it - Tuesday extra edition, with loads of links
*Title revised on July 6. Included the words, "Corapi resigns" based on an earlier report. His resignation has not yet been accepted by SOLT based on the wording of this latest statement.
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