See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The John Corapi Affair.



Some thoughts...
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One risks being called a bad Catholic if one expresses reservations concerning this very public story about this somewhat famous priest, currently accused of sexual misconduct and drug abuse.  As most of my readers know, the priest, Fr. John Corapi issued a public statement last week concerning canonical, non-criminal investigations into the charges against him as a result of a whistle blower former employee, described as disgruntled, and letters she sent to more than one bishop.  Corapi's superior's, not the bishops, called for the investigation and as is customary, placing Corapi on administrative leave in the process - at least until the investigation is completed.
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It is hardly an attack upon the Church, priests, or the priest under investigation, to question the one sided version of this story made public by the man accused.  Catholics have been pretty much shell shocked since the height of the sexual abuse scandal and cover-up throughout the Catholic Church.  The stories keep on coming, most recently involving Fr. Euteneuer, a famous American priest.  Not too many months prior to the Euteneuer case, the Catholic faithful were scandalized by the Fr. Maciel revelations of a double life.  Locally a few priests have had their personal double lives exposed as well.  This is stuff Hollywood movies are made of.  Hence, when another accusation surfaces - thinking Catholics actually pay attention to details, and they ask questions, even sorting through possible evidential signs of behavior and statements by the accused.
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One particular misstatement made by Fr. Corapi's 'company', of which he is the head, owner, director - what have you, states that Bishop William M. Mulvey of Corpus Christi, Texas, acted illicitly in removing Fr. Corapi from public ministry.  The spokesman for Corapi's company, Bobbi Ruffatto claimed the Bishop acted improperly and that the USCCB's policy of removing accused priests from active ministry after such accusations is wrong.  That statement echoes Fr. Corapi's personal statement regarding the events.
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The truth is, Corapi's congregation enacted the suspension, not the diocese.  It is curious how that fact could be obscured.  Obviously, I am not the only person to question such things.  From my local Archdiocesan newspaper, The Catholic Spirit:
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Fr. Corapi's company...
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"A representative of the media company owned by Father John Corapi challenged the action to place the popular speaker on administrative leave from priestly ministry, saying that it was illicit under “several points of canon law.”

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Bobbi Ruffatto, vice president of operations at Santa Cruz Media, Inc., in Kalispell, Mont., charged in a posting on Father Corapi’s Facebook page March 25 that Bishop William M. Mulvey of Corpus Christi, Texas, acted improperly, according to canon lawyers consulted by the company.
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The statement offered no specific citations of canon law.
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However, Marty Wind, director of communications for the Diocese of Corpus Christi, disputed Ruffatto’s claim that Bishop Mulvey placed Father Corapi on leave. He said the action was taken by officials of the priest’s order, the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity in Robstown, Texas.
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"We have been clear from the beginning that the bishop of Corpus Christi was notified by the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity that the administrative leave was imposed by the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, not the bishop of the diocese,” Wind told Catholic News Service March 25.
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Wind said that although Father Corapi was placed on leave, “it’s been the position of the Diocese of Corpus Christi from the outset that the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise is of the highest importance.”

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Calls and emails from Catholic News Service to Santa Cruz Media requesting comment from Father Corapi and Ruffatto were not returned.
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Online records with the Montana secretary of state list John Corapi as the registered agent for the company. A company with the same name also is registered in Nevada and online records in the secretary of state’s office there indicated John A. Corapi holds the office of president, treasurer, secretary and director. - Catholic Spirit
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Links to other writers who have been objectively and dispassionately watching the case as it unfolds:
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Elizabeth Scalia

Deacon Greg Kandra

Tom O'Toole

Mark Shea

8 comments:

  1. I can maybe understand how Fr. Corapi could be the CEO, Secretary, Treasurer, and President (good grief) of Santa Cruz Media, but how could he be *owner* if he is a Religious Priest and member of an Order? Don't they take vows of Poverty and renounce private ownership? There's a disconnect somewhere. Just asking.

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  2. There are a couple of things that have just plain bothered me about this whole scandal. First, Santa Cruz's statement--the one that the VP of Operations posted on facebook, emailed to their mailing list and posted on their website--was was alarmist, premature and incorrect as to the particulars of the case. Second, Fr. Corapi already made a statement and posted it on their Website. Why even bother with another statement, which only served to further scandalize everyone involved, including Fr. Corapi? Third, if you're going to make bold, accusatory statements, you really should be willing to talk to the press when they come calling, or at the very least provide a prepared statement in response.

    I get the feeling that they are totally in over their head at Santa Cruz Media.

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  3. It is our job as Faithful to help defend our sheppards from attacks of the wolf...

    *

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  4. Those of you who have followed the recent doings up at St. John's Abbey and Prep School in Collegeville, MN, in the Diocese of St. Cloud, surely have noticed that Bishop Kinney of St. Cloud is not at all involved.

    The only way a diocese is involved is with the "statistics." A religious order's abuse charges, etc., get added to the totals for the diocese in which is located where the offenses took place.

    I would imagine that that is the case with the Society of Our Lady with respect to Fr. Corapi.

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  5. The Fr Corapi story is yesterdays's news. See--

    Suit Says Jesuits Ignored Warnings About Priest
    By ERIK ECKHOLM
    Published: March 28, 2011

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/29/us/29jesuit.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha23

    READ THE ENTIRE MOTION BY CLICKING ON "MOTION" IN THE 2ND PARAGRAPH.

    GO TO PAGES 37-38 TO READ, SPECIFICALLY,WHAT THE SOCIETY KNEW.

    It made me nearly nauseous.

    James Martin SJ, @ America Magazine, may want to reserve a little moral indignation for he and his confreres. The motion will answer his question: How could this happen after the Dallas Charter?

    To read this motion, and not believe, that Lucifer has infiltrated our Holy Mother Church is to be deaf, dumb and blind.

    We do not carry His Cross. We are on it, with Him. God have Mercy on the Society and ourselves.

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  6. Anonymous5:04 AM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJcHoJxEcN0&feature=related

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  7. I and many friends,and EWTN viewers--have always enjoyed Fr. Corapi's "right on"--sermon style!His amazing courage,and previous life--before he was a priest was radical!Why isn't he posting a public statement? His followers have lost trust in an amazing priest.He always spoke about the scandals involving many other priests,and personal mentors in his own life.His"flock"--deserves some words of respect! What is going on? Sincerely--Patrice Marie

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  8. Fr. Corapi's followers never received a "legitimate statement". It is all political hush,and phoney baloney!--BULL! It seems a lot like our "Government" today!There is a tremendous amount of politic-ing,and no real "Government"!Legitimate faith isn't perfect!...But,please--People understand mental health issues,drug addiction......, A lame statement--on the net does not suffice.A man with a major moral responsibility can't just walk off the "SET"!!! Really!....We deserve something like--maybe ....I'm sorry!I'm no longer willing to live my life in a religious order! There is a choice! There is a private,and personal conscience! Fr. Corapi...? Our God is not a malicious God!- Patrice Marie

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