Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fr. Corapi clarifies that he is not leaving the Church.

Vocation was to preach.
Fr. Corapi's latest statement is interesting, wherein he explains that he is not leaving the Church nor the priesthood - he is simply not going to be ministering publicly as a priest, and only in that sense he will be working outside the Church.  I'll let him tell it.
June 23, 2011
I think it’s a bit too easy to arrive at an erroneous conclusion when you base it on a fallacious presupposition. For instance, some very kind and fine people assume that I have “left the Church.” Please, understand this, I have not left the Church. I love the Catholic Church and would not “leave the Church.” I have resigned from public ministry, which is rather anticlimactic to be sure since I was out of it anyhow due to the suspension or “administrative leave,” which is tantamount to suspension. There are elements of this that you don’t know about, and that’s not your fault.
Once a man is ordained a priest he remains a priest for all eternity. Holy Orders is one of the three sacraments that imprints an indelible mark on the soul. What the Church can give or remove is “faculties”, which authorizes the person to publicly administer the sacraments.
The leadership of the Church has made it clear to me they don’t want me anymore. They have a right to do that and I have to accept that. So, I’ll do what I can outside of the Church. I’m not leaving the Church. I am simply doing something else in life so that I won’t wither up and die, and so that you can still derive some benefit from my gifts from God. It may not be as good as before, or it may be better. The only thing I know for sure is that I’m not going to disobey the Church and attempt to “minister” as a priest, and I’m not going to lay down and die. I’m not ready to do that just yet. As a matter of fact, you might be pleasantly surprised at what’s in our future. Stay in touch. We may not have the old meeting places anymore, but we have some new ones and I would like to meet you there. - Blacksheepdog
Doing as the bishops say, but not exactly how they expected you to do it.
I'm very much reminded of Mother Nadine Brown who has also determined to continue her ministry while remaining Catholic.
When Brown made her move, she too had consulted lawyers, canonical as well as civil. It seems to me, agree with her or not, she acted within her rights as a baptized Catholic lay person.  Mother Nadine and companions were never excommunicated or placed under interdict, although their Public Association was canonically suppressed and they were dispensed from their religious vows.  (I've been told these were private vows and they were not technically religious.)  As a lay person, Nadine Brown appears to be acting within her rights and is not using the name "Catholic" except to identify the Companions as a group of Catholic laity.  Brown's statement doesn't mean she is not a faithful Catholic either - she did exactly what the Archbishop asked her to do.

Sadly, neither of these situations inspire confidence in the bishops of the Catholic Church for the followers of these ministries.


  1. He isn't only a priest- he is a religious, right? And as a religious, he made vows, right?

    So even if his priestly faculties were withdrawn, he is still vowed to his religious order.

    (Who, by the way, informed him that he needed to adopt the standard community life expected of most religious, and indeed the religious of his order.)

    So while he may not be leaving the Church, per se, he is, in fact, ignoring his vows that he made as a religious, and the obligations that those vows place upon him.

    -Thom, who might be accused of a lot of things, but has never left the Church or abandoned his solemn, permanent profession.

  2. I'm not sure - I think his community is a diocesan association similar to Nadine Brown's community - and therefore whatever vows they make are not perpetual or final, as in the case with 'regular' religious and monastic profession. I don't know offhand all the nuances.

  3. Ah, I see that now. It is a "Society of Apostolic Life," which, canonically, does not require vows. I can't find specifically for this order- order?- "group" if they do or not.

  4. Catherine6:22 PM

    In the latest article in the NCR, didn't Fr. Corapi's Superior state he invited Fr. Corapi to return to the Community and be subect to the Constitutions approved in 1994? If Fr. Corapi refuses, can he remain a priest in good standing in the Catholic Church? Here's a question: How did Fr. Corapi manage to avoid submitting to these Constitutions for so long? Could it be that no one wanted to ruffle his feathers?

  5. I can't help but be reminded of the scuffle involving Fr. Pfleger. And for all that he is derided by some, he obeyed.

    Food for thought.

  6. Right, apostolic association. I think all the confusion has in part to due w/ the fact that SOLT is a relatively new association. The founder is still alive. When he set up his apostalate/mission/whatever, he was not violating any of their norms. As the community has evolved, the constitutions have and thus now require community living. This was my take. I also think SOLT probably realized that cowboy priests are not working out well for them. Anyway, it all just give me a big fat headache about now. I wish the Church and Her leaders could learn to speak plain English.
    The thing that just sticks w/ me is that the retired Archbishop Graciada and the SOLT's head of the association, Sheehan, both directed him to file this suit against one or two of the individuals who purportedly defamed him and attempted to extort money from them...What does this mean??

  7. Father's unique religious lifestyle was approved by the groups founder who discerned he should live apart in relative solitude and devote himself to preaching.

    A priest can leave his order and remain a priest - he is 'laicized' or released from his religious committment - in the case of monastics it is referred to as exclaustration. The man remains a priest, although if he wishes to minister as a priest he would need to be incardinated into a diocese.

  8. Susan9:28 PM

    a few comments;
    Terry, I think it's a little disingenuous to compare Fr. Corapi's situation with Mother Nadine Brown's...if memory serves correctly, wasn't her 'order' involved in some kind of heretical teaching? I have NEVER heard Fr. Corapi teach heresy or encourage schism...ever thru this pig-pile mess. She was seeking legal recourse against the Church in It's decision...BIG difference in the two cases and a law school 101 grunt could easily see it.
    Catherine, he was incardinated before the order's current constitution and was grandfathered in on the prior one. No foul in that, and an easy fact to find with a little research.
    Thom, i just...gosh, wow...really? in your estimation, Pfleger--the heresy spouting, Marxist liberation-theology shouting, Liturgy abusing, bishop defying, sorry excuse for a cleric is somehow of superior character to Fr. Corapi...."he obeyed".....really? He's NEVER obeyed...he was just finally, for once, held to account, and (coward that he is) caved--he doesn't even have a back-bone in his heresy! Fr. Corapi, on the other hand, is surrendering the faculties of his priesthood in an effort to obtain justice...something that should be a high priority in the ecclesial system, but sadly isn't (ever hear of Fr. MacRae, Fr. Altier, Fr. Haley, and about a thousand others in their horrific positions?) Is it a sad situation?...yes. Is he 'disobeying'? You can parse that word to try to vilify him, but in the real meaning of the word he didn't disobey...he chose a sad, heartbreaking option that is neither mortal sin nor heresy. Pray for him.
    Maria, it means that Bishop Gracida and Fr. Sheehan aren't politicians, and are interested in justice being served for a priest who's never spoken or taught heresy; who's charism has brought many into or back to the Church; and who is still carrying a pretty huge cross(albeit not the one many of the blogging commentors want him to carry...though they're certainly adding to its weight)
    I don't know the facts yet, and as such am reserving judgment and avoiding the shameful, invective-filled, hate-fired blogs like the plague that they are. I would suggest that everybody, not just say that you'll pray for him, but get down on your knees and do it. How many Rosary's have you said? How many hours in Adoration for him? How many Masses offered? Help him carry this cross even if you don't understand it, and trust in the Holy Spirit to bring something good out of the mess. If you really believe in prayer and the virtue of Hope, do it.

  9. it of course, yes, so long as you would do it for any other priest, right?

    Or is it that this one is special?

    This is the crux of it, in my estimation.

  10. Susan - I just said the situation reminds me of Nadine Brown. Don't go putting words in my mouth. BTW - religious aren't incardinated he was given that permission to live as he did by the founding superior. Diocesan priests are incardinated.

    You say: "I don't know the facts yet, and as such am reserving judgment and avoiding the shameful, invective-filled, hate-fired blogs like the plague that they are." No one here is being hateful - but obviously you are prowling the blogosphere looking for a fight.

    Anyway - good for you that you are in adoration and prayer 24/7 - you obviously are a very holy lady - " If you really believe in prayer and the virtue of Hope, do it."

  11. Thom, you bet! Every day I pray for priests, religious, and those called to vocation...ALL of them. I just get my dander up when I see a vicious mob-stomp...

    Terry, whoa. First of all, you are indeed correct, and I misspoke on the incardination point...mea culpa and thank you for the correction.
    Secondly, I don't consider this one of the shameful, invective-filled, hate-fired blogs...that's why I'm reading it. And I didn't say anyone was being hateful; I don't even think I implied it. If I did, again I say, Mea Culpa.
    And thirdly, not a very holy lady...just an average, stinky, grace-needing sinner, and quite well aware of it. I stand by my last sentence, as an admonition and reminder to myself too. I've just seen faaaar too little evidence of it the past few days and decided to kick it up a notch myself instead of just giving it the lip service I too often do. Peace be with you all. I meant no offense. At the risk of sounding snarky (holy lady that I am), can you say the same?

  12. Susan - I have no fight going on here or with you - peace. I think the whole thing is nuts - well I posted on it for tomorrow so you can see.

    I don't trust any religious people any more any where.

    God alone.

  13. ummm.....yeah. I hadn't been to this site for a really long time, and hadn't been following your Corapi coverage...just assumed you'd be fair, reasoned, and somewhat charitable. Went back and looked at you prior posts. oy. Remember what I said about this not being one of those shameful, invective-filled, hate-fired blogs?...ummm.....yeahhh....
    I still wish you peace my brother, but,......oy.

  14. Hey Terry? Will you please stop being so shameful, invective-filled and hate-fired? You're kinda stepping on my toes when you do that. How many times do I have to remind you???


  15. Aceman9:17 AM

    Why are people so hell bent on him returning to ministry as a priest? I don't get it. I remember him when he first appeared on EWTN, back in the days when I used to watch it. He made me uncomfortable then and that has never changed. For his devoted fans, he'll supposedly be doing the same thing as before but now with a dog collar (remember it's still Pride Month!) instead of a Roman collar. And to a broader audience and on a broader scope. Good thing, right? And no bishops or order to rein him in.
    If anything, prayers should be directed for others like him, who live on their own, serve no one, and have freedom to do and go as they please, or for faithful priests who struggle day by day. Let it go and let him go in peace to the new phase in his career. Ace

  16. I hate it when non-Jews use the 'oy' word - it's like white people using the 'n' word. These things make no sense.

    Ace - we are letting him go - he keeps posting though - it's kind of like Charley Sheen. Oops! Was that disingenuous?

  17. Aceman11:17 AM

    And thou keep'st posting about him posting! Aren't you glad I'm back? Ha Ha Ha!

  18. Some of us come by our "oys" honestly.
    Just say'in.

  19. So if I'm not Spanish, can I still say "Ayyy Yiii Yiii!"

    I've always enjoyed Corapi's spunk & trusted that his lifestyle was allowed by his superiors for a reason & was none of my business. His teaching / preaching did quite a bit to help my understanding and fortify my fidelity in the days of my early reversion, and for that I'm thankful.

    I am not surprised by any of what has happened to / with him, however. Disappointed? Yes. Surprised? No. He's a human sinner and all priests make big targets. People fall. People get up (or in this case reinvent themselves).

    Prayers continuing for all our priests, with faculties or without.

    Peace! :)

  20. Ace, you said, "Let it go and let him go in peace to the new phase in his career. Ace"

    I have to agree.


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