I have refused to comment on the whole Fr. Corapi situation on this blog. However, with the release of the statement by Corapi’s order, TheSociety of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, and Corapi’s response to it today, I have a few thoughts that I would like to share.
1)To all appearances it seems that Corapi is indeed guilty of the accusations against him. I find it hard to believe that SOLT would make public the specific charges unless they had absolute certainty they were true.
2) A friend pointed out to me when Corapi made his announcement that he was resigning from active ministry as a priest and becoming “The Black Sheepdog”, that it was very revealing that he did not show his face in the video. He said that this is something guilty people (and poker players who are bluffing) do, because they do not want anyone to read their face. I find it very disheartening that he still has not shown his face publicly.
3) With SOLT’s affirmation that the accusations against him were true, I was hoping that Corapi would come out today and admit that he failed and ask for forgiveness (as Fr. Thomas Euteneuer did). That would have mitigated the deceit that has occurred in his continuing to deny the allegations and leading the faithful astray with his new branding of “The Black Sheepdog.” Alas, that did not happen. In his statement today he continues to deny any wrong doing. Yet, he glaringly did not respond to all of SOLT’s statement. If he is indeed guilty, as it appears, the continual deceit just makes everything worse. People want to forgive him. But they cannot do that when he claims to have nothing to be forgiven of.
4) Regardless of whether Corapi is innocent or not, SOLT has ordered him, under obedience, to return to the order:
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.
Yet, Corapi has refused to do this in direct violation of his vow of obedience. This is not good. If he is guilty he should humble himself and return to his order in obedience. My respect for him would be restored, if in part, if he exhibited fortitude in doing so. If he is innocent, he should also humble himself and return to his order. If he is innocent, exercising obedience and returning would help to build virtue. He should do what is right in the eyes of God, not of men. Pride goes before the Fall, but unfortunately it often remains after the Fall as well. I pray that Corapi would take to heart the words of St. Josemaria Escriva: "If obedience does not give you peace, it is because you are proud."
5) These revelations are very sad. Corapi was very encouraging for me to watch when I first entered the Church five years ago. His fall and continual denial deeply saddens me and it is a reminder that we need especially to pray for all bishops, priests, and deacons because no one is exempt from temptation.
Please say a Hail Mary for Fr. Corapi and all priests, that they would exercise the virtues of humility and obedience.