Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Corapi Update: From: Rev. Gerard Sheehan, SOLT Regional Priest Servant Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Robstown, Texas



But Father!  But Father!  Misleading the public?
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So anyway - I just got back from doing many, many very important errands and I'm all sweaty and over heated.  While pouring a glass of delicious tap water, I was just going to put on the recording of Penny singing "Soft Kitty" and for some reason I thought, "Maybe I should check my email."  And so I did...
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Breaking News:  From: Rev. Gerard Sheehan, SOLT Regional Priest Servant Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Robstown, Texas.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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. - Read the rest of the sordid mess here.
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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. - Fr. Sheehan 


H/T Jimmy Akin for the SOLT link.  And DB Cooper for the tip.

Links:
National Catholic Register
Spirit Daily

34 comments:

  1. Well.

    Hmmm.

    Interesting.

    Definitely praying for him and all concerned.

    Kinda cements my recent decision to focus solely on Scripture, writings of the saints, and the encyclicals from now on. No more seminars, no more conferences, no more books of still-living Catholics, no more seers and visionaries (actually, I gave them up years ago - including Medj.).

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  2. To be honest - it is way beyond what I imagined. I feel like I got the wind knocked out of me. It's like the Maciel case.

    Jesus.

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  3. Fr. Richard4:01 PM

    Terry,

    I feel similar to you - this is a body blow to me as a pastor and parish priest who strives to teach the faith with integrity admist all the challenges of the present day- I can't say I always liked John C- he struck me as over the top and overly dramatic with his deep voice- but he grew on me over the years since all he was teaching was solid, and so many good Catholics that I know liked him and looked up to him. What a sorid mess! It goes to show anyone can fall and often what you see is not reality! But the biggest question for me is if his religious superiors now are accusing him of to say the least grave and creepy sins with an ex-prostitute and possibly her blood sister, living high on the hog in Montana with many luxary items and paying out HUGE settlements of "hush" money, out of community, etc. for MANY years- why didn't they call him out on this years ago? - they are not innocent but rather enablers just like the bishops who enabled the other pervert priests to pray on children and teenagers, mostly of a homosexual nature. There is so much enabling in the world and Church today- maybe that is a sign of the end times as St. Paul predicted that the truth would be exchanged for lies. All very disheartening! Everyone please go before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and renew your faith in HIM not in any priest or person!!!

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  4. You took the words right out of my mouth Terry.
    What do I say to my son now?
    He is 13 and believes he may have a priestly vocation.
    He was very impacted by a talk of fr Corapi in which he repeatedly intones, in his very dramatic 'trick voice' "Answer the call young man!"

    My son, on listening to it two years ago, felt that he was speaking directly to him.
    The talk was one that I was sent (perhaps by Catholic Lighthouse Media?) and I will say that I found his style off putting and I thought something was a bit "off" then. So I put the CD away.
    I didn't follow Corapi myself and didn't think anymore about him until you put a picture up here showing him with a black beard.
    Then I knew my gut was right.
    But I never imagined this.

    Larry, you're right. Best to stick with the scriptures, the church and dead saints. That's more than enough to be getting on with.

    I have a Parish priest who is a stunning preacher. You can hear a pin drop when he preaches.
    He leads a rather ascetic life .
    He so assiduously avoids any personality cult or hero worship that he borders on being rude and curmudgeonly.
    Flattery makes him flinch.
    I think he is a saint.
    He has cancer at the moment and it appears to have spread.
    I am asking Blessed John Paul2 for his intercession.
    Please pray for him.

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  5. Anonymous4:27 PM

    Dear Father Richard:

    To a Priest working quietly in the trenches from a tongue-tied parishoner who doesn't talk to priests much. This has not shaken my faith that much in humble servant priests. I am suspicious of high flying ones. But I even more now appreciate the ordinary guy who without fanfare organizes pray groups and humbly serves.

    Vickie

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  6. Fr Richard
    I just read your comment.
    I'm praying for you.
    I love priests.
    This is so hard.

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  7. I can only echo your thoughts Terry. For those who supported and believed in Fr.Corapi this is a difficult time. We have to put this into perspective. This man was a celebrity figure, larger than life.
    Yes, he brought people to God, but celebrity status and the priesthood just don't mix. Today, a lot of good people are going to feel let down. However, the priesthood is not about this one man, it is much, much more.
    We should cherish our priests. Most do great work amongst us, humbly and diligently. Not always an easy task.
    They need our prayers.

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  8. When I first open a post like this, I am (subconsciously) tempted to think, "Yay! Another faker bites the dust!" "Clean your Church Lord!" "I was never a fan of this guy, look at all the loser 'sheep' that followed him!" And so before reading the article, I was going to put a snarky comment up like, "THE VOICE has left the building..."

    Last night I was at a dinner and everyone was making fun of Corapi. Refering to him as , "Black Sheep Dawwwg" and an impersonation of Corapi placing his order at a McDonald's drive-thru..." We all laughed and moved on to the next scandal of the moment, almost trying to outdo each other.

    But, as I sat and read through this statement, all I could feel was a big finger pointing back at me. All the times I have screwed up, all the times my actions in some weird, small incidental way have led others astray.

    This is a man with a soul, a deeply flawed man, but a man created by God and a priest nonetheless.

    The words of St Paul come to mind,

    "Be sober and watchful! For your advesary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same suffering befalls your bretheren all over the world."

    My Jesus, Mercy.
    Queen of the Clergy, pray for him.
    St Michael the Archangel...

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  9. Anonymous5:03 PM

    Pray, pray, pray, pray -- and keep praying. The Devil is hauling out the heavy artillery, so we need to match that firepower with the Rosary.

    Pray, pray, pray, pray - and keep on praying, especially for priests. It's obvious that Old Nick has them in his sights - and that old bastard fights dirty!

    Pray!


    Chloesmom

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  10. I am less interested in the news over his "fall" than I am the reactions to it. Some who usually jump at the first hint of "blood in the water," those who (even priests) love to tear down other people when scandal befalls, won't touch this one- they just "leave it to God's mercy," and "aren't we all sinners." The inconsistency is staggering. I hope that we're able to remember this pious advice the next time scandal strikes someone that others may not care for.

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  11. I have noticed the same double-standard Thom SFO. And I'll go a step further by saying nowhere have I seen that double-standard more evident than at Father Z's blog, particularly if the fallen happen to be of the same political persuasion he is. God pity anyone else.

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  12. Fr. Richard - I went to visit the Blessed Sacrament immediately after posting this. I prayed the chaplet and the rosary for him as I prayed for the conversion of sinners - and for those who will be scandalized. I spent a good time asking Our Lord why. I remembered that I too have sinned and lied in the past It is deeply troubling.

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  13. hello abbey roads... i am the author of www.praeceptorumdeus.blogspot.com and am a new follower of this site. so far i enjoy the reflections and news. be sure to check it out!

    God Bless

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  14. Couple of years ago, Fr. Corapi was speaking in Omaha. A bunch of people from our town were getting up a bus-load to go down and hear him. You had to pre-register and I think it was something like 50 bucks a head. My husband asked if I wanted to go. I said, "No thanks, honey. You guys go; I've got something else to do." I think it was something really cool like cleaning the basement. My feelings now? I'm really glad I didn't spend the 50 bucks.
    And BTW I have also noticed the double standard Thom is speaking of.

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  15. What Thom and Larry said.

    So very disheartening, but not entirely surprising (although just a skosh considering the possible extent).

    Terry, I am also reminded of my past sins whenever I read revelations like this and just think, "yep. another liar, another sinner. just like me." the greater the depths one sinks, the more glorious will God's redemptive power be at work - provided one has eyes to see, ears to hear, and receives the grace to cooperate with God in the renewal.

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  16. So sad....beyond unbelievable. Seems like there's more and more of that these days...Our best and only recourse
    is to pray..and ditto to what Larry said.

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  17. I have really been trying to keep my mouth shut but I have a question. Does this "statement" seem in keeping with the Church's typical "way of proceeding"? It seems odd. Does anyone have any thought about this?

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  18. fr Richard,
    I think it is unfair to start throwing blame at his order.
    No one really knows how much the order knew or how many times they may have tried to get him back to a regular religious life. men like Corapi are very good in manipulation, good grief Marciel even fooled Pope JP2 and most of the vatican for 20 years.

    i would imagine the order would have tried to deal with all this internally, but Corapi has gone public and with all his recent lies and spin the oder had to come public with a few facts to keep the record straight.

    Corapi had been living out of the order for so long (which seems to have been allowed at first because of his relationship with the founder) that it seems more likely the order was out in the dark with all this until the investigation.
    anyway i just think it is very unfair to start blaming the oder in this........men like Corapi and Marciel always think they will never get caught but it always come out eventually.

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  19. Well-said, Patrick. I, too, would be cautious about accusing the order of anything unless some evidence points to that.

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  20. Aceman9:00 PM

    I think that the order said that they don't normally comment on personnel matters, such as him resigning, but since he is such a public personae, they wanted to set the record straight.

    As for the double standard, I wonder what all the bloggers and pundits would be saying if he had been shacked up with a man instead of a woman.

    Ace

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  21. Fr. Richard9:36 PM

    Patrick and Thom,

    In normal circumstances I think your point is well taken and they the superiors may have been trying to work behind the scenes- but that is starting to ring more and more hollow- in light of the fact that the priest was living on a huge ranch in Montana. How on any level do you allow that in the religious community and Fr. C was famous enough that reports of the boats, cars, etc. would have gotten back to the order- leave out the sexual stuff which could have been well hidden- trust me as a priest everything gets around- the difference with the Macial case is HE was in charge of the order, Corapi was not- it all just smells more and more foul- but I go back to my original point which is to pray before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament esp. that souls who were influenced by Fr. John's teaching and charistmatic personality do not leave the Catholic faith that would make the evil one very happy.

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  22. The Superior of his religious community is responding to a public scandal exacerbated by Corapi's own public statements - although it seems to be an unusual response - I believe they are actually concerned for the souls who may be deceived by all that's been said. The Superior of the group has the duty and right to speak on the proceedings. Rest assured the Father Superior acted thus after close counsel with the appropriate civil and canon lawyers as well as the local ordinary's authority.

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  23. I have to agree with Fr. Richard - The order needs to take some responsibility for letting this guy wing it on his own - they recognized the signs.

    That is why I am often dubious about all the new little communities that spring up across God's country.

    Nevertheless, God brings good out of evil.

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  24. Thanks for responding, Terry.

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  25. Right you are, Terry. "Where sin abounded grace abounded all the more"...

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  26. Fr Richard and Terry,
    i guess i just find it difficult to start judging and blaming the order when i really know nothing of the history of them and Corapi over the years. it just strikes me as another way to enable and make an excuse for him "well if he would have gotten the help he needed". Corapi is no victim here, if this hero died, it was because he based it all on lies.

    i think i do have to insight into religious life, and their internal workings and all. it is not just the new orders that have these problems, and i know there are lots of benedictines, trappists and others roaming around in all kinds of irregular standings with their orders. and each order has to struggle with a member who basically flips them off in their own way.
    again i put the major blame on Corapi, he made the vows or solemn promises, he knew what he was obliged to do and he milked his status of being a priest and religious in good standing for all he could and for as long as he could. i am sorry but it seems to me he is in this mess because he refused to obey the truths he vowed and he had the b_lls to go around preaching to everyone else to be faithful.

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  27. Patrick - you are correct as well. Corapi is totally responsible for his actions - no doubt. But his superiors made mistakes - they do not deserve censure or anything like that of course - but it might do harm to their reputation. I wouldn't recommend SOLT to anyone.

    That said, new 'orders' or congregations and their founders are often spiritually immature and naive and overly confident of themselves in their initial fervor and devotion - as are their bishops sometimes, who sometimes like to boast of having these diocesan groups.

    If every new founder and group had the oversight Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity did, it would be better for the people who join these new groups. As Mother's bishop cautioned her, 'you are in charge of souls whose salvation is your responsibility.'

    It is an awesome responsibility to assume the direction of souls, and even more so, to become their superior in religion.

    Nevertheless it is never good to trust an unseasoned religious on his own - especially one who happened to be an addict and serially promiscuous - at least not until after long testing in community - and then not without supervision - because the worm never dies...

    I think there are a lot of immature religious and immature new religious associations on the loose. Young people should be very careful as to the 'new orders' they may aspire to.

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  28. one last point then i promise to shut up (and I keep my promises!)

    Yes Maciel was the major superior, but others had to know of his lavish life style, his stealing of money, his expensive gifts he would purchase for cardinals in rome, and from the mid 1990's bishops were encouraging men who were molested to send their information to rome etc and during this time his order became a pontifical order and one praised by the Pope and held in great esteem by many in the curia. Yet there were signs all over for someone to look closer and to his credit Cardinal Ratzinger finally reopened the case after all the files of clerg abuse started coming into the vatican in the early 2000's.

    maybe corapi's order was on top of it, maybe not....we dont know. but they finally got with the program, just like the vatican finally did with Macial.
    But if Corapi fell in a big hole, it was the one he knowingly dug himself. there is great hope for the old black sheep dog, i am sure the hound of heaven is on his tail now......but only if he comes clean and faces the truth will he be healed...no blaming others, no being a victim, face the truth cry out "deprofunis" and the hound of heaven will do the rest!

    ok, that is more than 2 cents worth and i am out of here.

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  29. Good one Patrick. I actually agree with you that the Hound of Heaven persues him still, and never gives up - I do not think he is lost unless he goes the route of Judas. He does belong to Our Lady after all - in the end all will be well.

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  30. This "contract" that this individual and others signed sounds very much like the "nondisclosure" contracts that many of us sign upon employment of many companies. It keeps employees from leaking company secrets and procedures to the rest of the world or to the highest bidder...corporate espionage..as an engineer I had to practically sign my life away, although I DID make sure that the caveat was included that the company did not own my mind 24/7, and that I could pursue outside research and academics outside of the workplace, as long as I did not utilize any company equiment, computers, or workspace. If you're not familiar with these contracts Google "nondisclosure contract" or "employee confidentiality contract" and you'll see several good examples...I won't hog Terry's combox space.

    If this individual by her action did in deed breach her contract then Fr Corapi is well within his rights to sue her in civil court. The same thing would happen to me, if I left my current job and then blabbed to the media or whoever about the goings on in my former company, the management or what we are doing. I would especially get pounded as there would be a government contract at stake. You see people get busted for blabbing stuff like this on FaceBook..

    Regardless....someone is a big fat liar...we'll have to see what happens.

    Sara

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  31. My hope is that all of us who were taught well by him are now on our knees before the Blessed Sacrament for him. In this case his popularity and solid teaching in the past will come to his aid.
    I do find it ironic that we were taught well enough by him to now recognize his error. Even if we held out and wanted to believe the best, he taught us better.

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  32. It is sad that so much "collateral damage" will be done to the Kingdom. Both sides (Fr. Corapi and Rev. Sheehan) are getting advice from their respective lawyers. It is a high stakes, ugly game. Without "blaming" anyone at this early juncture, isn't it obviously convenience that the timing of the Rev. Sheehan's press release renders him immediately unavailable (and this is the last thing stated on the message) due to his attendance at the SOLT General Chapter (i.e., business reasons). I don't truly believe it's that much of a concern for the faithful. They are distancing themselves from Fr. Corapi only because he will not do as he is told suddenly, after they gave him the latitude to have this ministry.

    Fr. Corapi is also taking advice by not putting his head on the chopping block.

    The mistake of the order is to pre-judge it stating he is "not fit for ministry" and leave it at that. Clearly, they are distressed at his lack of obedience at this stage, and they are defaming his character, waiting to see if he will "take the bait" and sue for defamation to find out what their "evidence" is. This "evidence" will then be "published" as a "defense" to the "attacks" of Fr. Corapi on his Order. It is an ugly, high stakes legal game with both sides having enough money to fund it. It is a war and their will be casualties.

    We do need the intercession of Our Lady to bring the good out and to minimize the damage. Please pray for all involved as all are sinners and worthy of God's judgment (as we all of us are) but it is only by the Grace of our Lord that we are saved if we repent and turn away. The Devil is having a field day, and we shouldn't rejoice in that.

    Thank you for considering this viewpoint.

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  33. Well, there has always been conflict between people, cities, states, countries that has caused distress in life. It is hard to work/live with one another without conflict. The sides that handle it the best way, the Christian way, the loving way, the way Jesus asks of us to handle are the ones that receive peace only because of their connection with Jesus. We all have conflict in our lives some are heavier than others especially when you live out in the public. That is why it is odd to hear all these allegations about Fr. Corapi. I would think more people would of noticed this - not just 1 person. They say they have several witnesses . I have not followed this, but it all seems so strange to me. All I can go by are Fr. Corapi's words and 20 yrs of his ministry. For some reason he does not seem as though he did all these things they say he has done. His work has been fruitful. Satan brings confusion and He is in the front lines. Still I see that Obedience was broken on Fr. Corapi's side and I see that The leader of SOLT could not lead well enough. It just looks like Fr. Corapi had to defend himself and that he was not being backed/loved by the society that took him in -> Guilty or not. I guess it is so hard to see conflict among priests, but we have seen it in history. But always the Church prevails.
    "the gates of hell will not prevail."

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