The Corapi cataclysm

Thankless task dept.: Mark Shea and the Anchoress try to make sense out of the Corapi fiasco. Good luck with that. The bizarre events swirling around Father Corapi's spectacular fall from grace inspired despair and soul searching among some, self-righteous rants among others, and all-out looniness from some Corapi cultists not able to deal with the obvious. Shea's experience appears to have been particularly harrowing. 

From Shea's blog ("Catholic and Enjoying it"):

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Bottom line: if you still trust Fr. Corapi, open your eyes. If you are still mad at the whistleblowers who tried to warn you, open your eyes. If you have opened your eyes given up trusting him, forgive him and pray for him. If you have been among those kicking whistleblowers, for my part I forgive you, as I am confident the rest of them do. If you are feeling guilty for kicking the whistleblowers, forgive yourself, receive the mercy of Christ and move on. Perhaps it might be a good idea to go to confession with a priest you have regarded as "liberal" or otherwise not up to snuff as a member of the "real Catholic" tribe.

From the Anchoress:

The author of chaos is loving this story — the sower of all confusion and discord has been having a ball with it, setting Catholics against each other, encouraging paranoia, conspiracy theories, all manner of uncharitable behavior and hysteria. Christ is not in hysteria, and that should be the first clue that this is the devil’s own operation, regardless of where the sin began. I tried to stop writing about it after spending a little time in the muck of it and feeling spiritual oppression that was only lifted by going to Adoration, and praying before the Blessed Sacrament.

The story is not over, clearly. Pray for John Corapi. Pray for Bishop Mulvey. Pray for all priests. Pray for each other. Pray, pray, pray.

Here's the CNS story if you need some background, but this story is as old as the hills really. My grandma used to say beware the man whose eyebrows meet. I'd add beware the guy whose grey beard suddenly sprouts black in a look reminiscent of him whose name we do not speak. And I don't mean Voldemort.

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Adam Rasmussen
7 years 5 months ago
One-time Father Corapi (God have mercy on him) now joins the ranks of his infamous predecessors in the world of televangelical malfeasance: Eddie Long, Ted Haggard, Jim Bakker, and Peter Popoff (and those are just the names that I think of off the top of my head!). "For the love of money is the root of all evils" (1 Tim. 6:10).
Susan Bailey
7 years 5 months ago
I agree that confusion is the fruit that has been born from this scandal and that's a clear sign that this is not from God. It just seems like the scandals are relentless! I come from the Boston area, ground zero to the sex abuse scandal outbreak. Again it proves the point how dangerous it is to hero worship anybody. God is the only one worthy of worship.

Us Catholics can be our own worst enemies, can't we? The vitriol coming from the tidal wave of blogs and comments has been sickening. I did add my own small voice to the mix just today on my blog, mainly because I wanted to share a song I wrote and recorded back in 2001 called Still the Same. The lyrics were an attempt to encourage those who became discouraged because of the sex abuse scandal. Sadly it looks like this song still has life to it! http://susanbailey.org/2011/07/06/brief-comments-about-the-corapi-controversy/
7 years 5 months ago
Two comments:
I fear some on the Catholic right tend to make too great a hero out of those who agree with their views and are dumbstruck when problems arise (say as with Maciel.) We all have feet of clay.
See Michael Sean Winters at NCR.
the Anchoress may want prayers but MSW wants (and I think reasonably) answers.
Beth Cioffoletti
7 years 5 months ago
I count myself as lucky for never having heard of this guy before today.  Must be the company that I keep and the things that I read.
Brendan McGrath
7 years 5 months ago
I've really been surprised at how off-the-radar this story seems to have been for America and Commonweal, at least as far as I've been able to tell.  On the more right-leaning sites, this is absolutely the biggest thing there is. 

I didn't always agree with or like everything Fr. Corapi said, but I did enjoy watching him now and then on EWTN.  It's a shame that any people seem to think that now, all that has to be discounted.  I mean, yes, on the one hand, one has to recognize a connection between a speaker/writer/artist/etc. and her or his works, but on the other hand, it's also good to make a distinction at times. 

Another connected thought, though shifting gears somewhat: Tertullian died a Montanist (though I've heard some question that, or question whether he really knew what he was doing), but we still find his works valuable.
ed gleason
7 years 5 months ago
Ambition was once a put down .. Mark Anthony defended Caesar as not being ambitious. Someone pointed out that ambition became a virtue after WWII .
We should rightly be more skeptical of the ambitious.
7 years 5 months ago
Father Corapi has a saying:  "Truth in its essence is not a something, it's a somebody. His name is Jesus Christ."

Father Corapi and all should not forget this.  When we here the case of John Edwards, Rod Blago, Bill Clinton, Father Cutie, O.J. Simpson, etc, etc, etc.

We all can look up to those who seem extraordinary.  Father Corapi once talked about a saint who went to her confessor with a dream.  In the dream she was approached by a vision which she thought was from heaven.  Her confessor warned her to be careful since the devil does not come to use looking like evil.  He comes to us looking like a saint.

Father Corapi again has taught me a valuable lesson.  I pray that he can also learn from this.  The truth is not a something but a Somebody:  Jesus Christ!
Fran Rossi Szpylczyn
7 years 5 months ago
I only began to hear of Corapi when I began to work at my current employer. There were those who would drop by and mention him and his EWTN program. As I do not watch EWTN I had to rely on the Google machine... I read, I pondered and I wished him peace from my heart, but I did shake the dust from my online sandals, so to speak, and moved on.

Then a friend - a good, trusted and deeply Catholic friend told me of his great respect for Corapi. This caused me to pause and attempt to reconsider, but I could not reconcile the man of whom he spoke with such reverent tones.

His name resurfaced as I read about the recently unfurling of events on The Deacon's Bench, The Anchoress and Why I Am Catholic blogs. I don't really like to engage in the kind of commentary that was taking off, so mostly I just read.

Whatever happened, it all seems horrifying. And the aftermath - disturbing beyond belief.

Jim McCrea
7 years 5 months ago
Maybe Corapi and his fellow disgraced tighty-righty priesty toy, Thomas Euteneur, can form a traveling circus group called "Scams Are Us."
Jim McCrea
7 years 5 months ago
Priesty BOY, not Toy - or at least not that I know.
Todd Flowerday
7 years 5 months ago
"I've really been surprised at how off-the-radar this story seems to have been for America and Commonweal, at least as far as I've been able to tell."

There's a significance that only the Catholic Right goes fishing for scandals among their idelogical adversaries. Not everybody is a Deal Hudson operative.

When the suspension hit a few months ago, Greg Kandra was surprised nobody at the Brooklyn chancery had ever heard of the guy. He's not really as well known as his followers think. Likely now that many more Catholics will associate him with scandals about sex and money both, people in the future will wonder why the guy had so many followers.
ed gleason
7 years 5 months ago
David; you win my award for the best spin on blogs this week; Citation; Blaming Government for Corapi 'troubles'  Obama is to blame??? "Looks as though his[Corapi] most recent troubles might have something to do with his being given two million dollars by the government,'
{ Corapi split a whistle blower award when Tenet [private insurer!!!] was fined for medical fraud] TPs please note ... no tax money involved.. !!!!!
Thomas Rooney
7 years 5 months ago
I've never been one of Father Corapi's fans - he always seemed a bit too impressed with himself for my taste.  He's a powerful preacher nonetheless, and I am curious as to how he will wield this power in the future; I will admit I find this "Black Sheepdog" persona he's donned to be a tad disturbing.

This trainwreck further blackens the eye of our Church, IMO.  Looking over the various message boards where this story is being discussed (war zones for all practical purposes), Corapi's followers insist it's a vast conspiracy, that SOLT and his bishop threw him under the bus.  Because of the extremely high profile of this abuse case, I have to believe that the SOLT investigators had him cold.  They have nothing to gain by falsely accusing Corapi unless the evidence was damning.  If they were looking to distance themselves from Father, he would not have been ordered to return to the SOLT motherhouse.

Just my opinion,

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