Friday, April 01, 2011

So far the best thing about the Fr. Corapi story:

Some questions regarding his business and religious life have been answered.
1) Fr. Corapi was given freedom to conduct his ministry more or less independently of SOLT.
2) Though wearing a habit of a mendicant for a time, it appears he was permitted to have his own private company and residence.  A report from the National Catholic Register:
"He made Santa Cruz Media a for-profit company, he told his superiors, in order to have the proper freedom to proclaim the Gospel without any fear of raising issues that might threaten the company’s tax-exempt status.  He said he would pay his taxes and proclaim the Gospel fearlessly. Father Flanagan allowed him to manage his own funds. No one knew it would become so big.
Nevertheless, the vice president of operations of Santa Cruz Media, Inc. described Corapi's for-profit production company as a “secular corporation and not affiliated with the Catholic Church in any way. As such, we are not under the jurisdiction of any bishop or other official in the Catholic Church.” - Fr. Corapi's Superior offers a look into the SOLT's relationship with the priest.  
Then to whom is Fr. Corapi accountable?  I noted on another site that he does not have faculties in the diocese in which he lives.  I'm aware that his superiors are investigating the allegations against him, but he seemed to be acting as a free agent up until now.       
"There is great gain in religion..."
Assessing the Fr. Corapi Case  Be sure and read the comments.


  1. Religious order priests aren't incardinated in a specific diocese. They are answereable to their superiors. & in this case the Bishop responsible for overseeing SOLT.

  2. Vow of poverty anyone? Or doesn't that literally mean anything in the church these days?

    Maybe he gives all the profits to the poor though, I have no idea, so probably should keep schtuum.

  3. The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) is not a worldwide religious order, with ultimate responsibility being with the Pope.

    It is a Society of Apostolic Life, where members are responsible to their Superior, and through him, to the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas, where they received their authorization initially.

    Members of such societies do not take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, like religious orders.

    Father Corapi had an agreement with his superior that his company could remain private and that he would ask for no compensation or support from SOLT.

    The fairly large Missionary Society of St. Paul, the Paulist Fathers, are also a Society of Apostolic Life, not a religious order.

  4. michael r.8:08 AM

    "Bobbi Ruffatto, vice president of operations for Santa Cruz Media, confirmed that the company was “the owner of all of Father John Corapi’s intellectual property and the DVDs, CDs and books that flow from it. We are a secular corporation and not affiliated with the Catholic Church in any way. As such, we are not under the jurisdiction of any bishop or other official in the Catholic Church, although we have the utmost respect for Church authority.”"

    They seem to be digging themselves into a deeper hole, don't they?

  5. Paulists: The Scott Hahns, Steve Rays, Jeff Cavins's, etc. of the 19th century:

    The Paulist Fathers began in July of 1858 when four former Redemptorist missionaries formed a new religious movement around the vision of Father Isaac Thomas Hecker. The four Redemptorists Isaac Hecker, Augustine Hewit, George Deshon and Francis Baker were all converts. Hecker had come to believe that Protestant America, if approached in the right manner would become Roman Catholic. The four had over the last seven years engaged in the preaching of parish missions, a form of Catholic revival preaching that reconciled lapsed Catholics and encouraged practicing Catholics to deepen their faith. Protestants often attended these events as the spouses or friends of Catholics or just of curiosity, as these preachers were Protestants become Catholics.

    Isaac Hecker began to take a special interest in the presence of Protestant participants and it served to deepen his belief that America could become Catholic. What had happened to Hecker could happen to every Protestant American if he or she were introduced to the Catholic faith, free from bias and polemic. Hecker came to believe in the perfect compatibility of America and Catholicism and that a future Catholic America would renew the world with energy and hope.

    Hecker wanted his Paulists to be free to reach out to Protestant America and free from the religious rules that he had found oppressive as a young priest, replacing it with a simple promise of members to bind themselves to each other and live out poverty, chastity and obedience. Hecker while a visionary was also an American pragmatist. The American bishops would not support a new order of priests that wanted to work primarily with Protestants, especially when there was all of this need to take care of immigrant Catholics. Hecker wanted the Paulists to begin in New York, America’s busiest and most dynamic city. This would be a problem as Archbishop John Hughes did not particularly like Protestants and would not want to devote valuable priests and pastoral resources towards their conversion. So Hecker agreed to take a parish as a base in New York, the parish of Saint Paul the Apostle on the west side of what would become Central Park. Hecker also continued the original work of preaching missions to Catholics, as a way of financially supporting his work among Protestants.

    See Paulist History:

  6. Michael:

    You may not like the fact that Fr. Corapi seems to be "getting rich" as a priest, but so far nothing has been revealed that says that he has done anything wrong in respect to that.

    Incidentally, I've always wondered what happened to the "whistle-blower" settlement.

    But none of that pertains to the message that Fr. Corapi has been preaching for 15 or more years.

    Pray for him.

  7. 'But none of that pertains to the message that Fr. Corapi has been preaching for 15 or more years.'

    Mmmm... but has he been 'preaching' or 'selling' the message?

    I had no idea he was making so much money and it wasn't going to the church. The accusations may or may not be true, none of my business to be frank but this week I have heard of people paying a hundred dollars for tickets to hear him speak.

    Prosperity gospel, for some.

    I didn't realise priests got rich like that, it's certainly opening my eyes to Catholic 'business'.
    Jesus was born homeless and died homeless. He didn't charge for the sermon on the mount, although he did provide loads and loads of free food!

    Freely you have received, freely give.

  8. Anonymous10:57 AM

    Canon Law and Vatican II’s Presbyterorum Ordinis, state that the priest, “although not having assumed poverty as a public promise, must lead a simple life and avoid anything which could have an air of vanity (CIC 282.1), voluntarily embracing poverty to follow Christ more closely (PO n.17d). In all aspects (living quarters, means of transportation, vacations, etc.), the priest must eliminate any kind of affectation and luxury (PO n.17e)”

  9. Thanks Anonyomous - I was writing with that in mind as well as the canons concerning incardination, religious obedience, etc.

    The question of his obedience/accountability is also covered in the links I provided.

    I still do not see this discussion as a bad thing - inevitably good will come of it. Religious 'Lone Rangers' can be risky business - there is nothing wrong with transparency and accountability - it seems to me to be an aspect of discernment.

  10. I think this topic is worthy of discussion, whatever some people think.


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