Friday, September 09, 2011

Don't Look Back - The Corapi Story.


I'm pretty much 'over' the Corapi deal now.  In my opinion he's just a guy who moved onto something else in life.  He moved on and reinvented himself - he has a new life.  It happens.  There are many priests who have left ministry to pursue a private, personal life.  Once the shock is over, we ought to be able to let it go - live and let live.  People leave things all of the time.  Parents get divorced, mother's give up babies for adoption, father's leave their families, children leave home, friendships break up, people move on.  I know of men who were priests who received a dispensation from their 'vows' and were permitted to marry.  Sometimes they met the woman they fell in love with while they were still priests.  Once laicized, the men were free to marry and did so in the Church and raised good Catholic families - all the while remaining in good standing with the Church.  Life goes on.
That said, I think one reason I find the Corapi story somewhat compelling is because of what seems to me to be a connection, or inspiration motivating his 'makeover', which appears to have been influenced by the works of Bob Dylan.  I'm speculating here of course, and by no means am I being sarcastic or uncharitable, to the contrary.  I'm rather intrigued - from a purely natural point of view of course.  Earlier on in the fracas that arose over the allegations of sexual misconduct which ended in Corapi's resignation from ministry, someone wrote a comment to one of his posts.  The comment was more or less comprised of lyrics from Dylan.  At the time I suggested the anonymous commenter had to be Corapi - and I continue to hold to that theory.  I've reprinted the comment here:
Good People, it’s time to roll the stone and gather no moss. And grow up.
What did Christ say to the Apostles upon His Resurrection when they were all bamboozled, fadoodled and outright poodled? “Peace! My Peace be with you!”
Then buy, borrow, steal or mortgage a bit of Peace if you can, cuz it’s time move on and leave the funeral parlor and bury old Father John and baptize and circumsize Hot Rod Johnny Corapi.
Get used to it. The old Padre is gone and Harley John Corapi is rumbling out of your towne for good.
The Wild Ones, Part II. You don’t like it? You get a new messiah and he’ll get new groupies. We’ll call it even and call it a day.
It’s over. It’s past over. Father Corapi is Dead! Long Live The Black Sheep Dog Corapi.
What? You don’t like it? Too bad. Get over it and get over yourself. John Corapi’s patiently laid the storyline and the plot about his big changes in life, and he’s given you every chance to get it.
Do you get it yet?
Let me explain it to you so that you’ll understand it.
He ain’t working on Maggie’s Farm no more.
You can guess, surmise, assume and presume all day long about why he ain’t working on Maggie’s Farm no more, but the bottom line is that he ain’t.
Did he sin? Did he do “it” or all that other stuff that’s bandied about here, there and everywhere in your mind and hearts? Probably, maybe, could be, who knows? Who cares?
Maybe even more than you could guess. Maybe none of it.
It’s over.
He ain’t a priest no more.
You can live in Yesterdayville all you want and wish him back as hard as your little soul can until your heart breaks and your eyes burst with tears of pain and sorrow and confusion.
Be his guest.
But it’s over.
Move along now, there ain’t nothing to see here no more.
He ain’t working on Maggie’s Farm no more.
“He’s got a head full of ideas that are drivin’ him insane.
Well, he tries his best
To be just like he is
But everybody wants you
To be just like them
They say sing while you slave and he just get bored
He ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more.”
He’s told you now, for the last time. He ain’t working on Maggie’s Farm no more. Either come along for the ride or move along. If you’re looking for him to save you, forget it. Ain’t gonna happen. No more. He’s mixed his last magic potion and heard his last confession and you can go away mad or go away empty. Just go away.
You want a suggestion on how to deal with all your broken dreams?
Don’t follow leaders…watch the parking meters.
You want Jesus? Then go get Jesus. But leave Corapi out of it.
He ain’t working on Maggie’s Farm no more. - Black SheepDog
To be clear - this is just a personal theory of mine - but since the title of his autobiography is the same as the Bob Dylan film/album, Don't Look Back, I can't help but see a link, a connection, an identification as it were.  I find it interesting mainly because I'm a big fan of Bob Dylan as well... and some of Dylan's lyrics had become a sort of 'anthem' for my own life at different stages.  Likewise it seems to me the lyrics reflect something about Corapi's life that he would like people to understand.  Now if Corapi is indeed relying on the Dylan lyrics as a sort of catalyst to tell his story, I think I 'get it' then - regarding where Corapi is at these days - but needless to say, that means setting aside any religious prejudice, expectation and/or judgment regarding his personal decision to leave ministry.   Today, all I can say to that is: It's his life - his decision.
Moving on.
Photo credit:  Don't Look Back - Rui Oliveira



  2. We're as sick, as our secrets.

    I start getting wary when celeb (or non-celeb) priests want too much materialism. I really do. I am not rich, but it doesn't mean materialsim doesn't try to activate my love of it. Far from it. I can be possessive over anything! (and anyone, do you know I keep knowledge of lesser known saints quiet so that only I feel close to them? That is one sick blogger, yeh? I do eventually share them, when my brain explains how ridiculous I am being). I just want them to have my devotion first,so they like me better than you. (I know!!!)

    I have to consciously remember that all things turn to dust, so is any of 'it' worth it?

    I don't like it on blogs where money or donating is mentioned every fourth gadget in the blinkin sidebar. I seem to keep accidentally clicking onto some big order page like you do on commercial websites, when all I am doing is strolling down to the next post.

    Keeping away from controversy, I'll move on to Fr Michel Judge, who gave everything away that he received, to the poorest of the poor. Almost as soon as he got it. That reminds me of Christ, it also encourages me to be like that a little myself, although I am still at the 'give it away if I don't need it' stage, unless it's a relation or friend, or someone I particularly want to like me, or be impressed about me, then I might condescend and be more gracious in my 'giving'........

    My laptop has to have a seperate keyboard as I've lost a lot of the keys off the original. I could buy a new one, but it's ok, it works, it just means a bit of extra faffin about. If my goods have to be too perfect, I will get ungrateful. Forget the 'have nothings', as I become one of the 'have most of what I wished for'

    Money, the love of which, is the root of all evil.

    Priests, please live more frugally, it sets a good example to the rich and shows solidarity to the poor, who will feel loved by it.

    Father Corapi, I just don't get it. The lapse into using, I get that, if it's happened, but the money, the materialsim, no.

  3. I really do like Bob Dylan, though.

    I like that song "Serve Somebody" - did you know Mark Knopfler of he Dire Straits played lead guitar on it (on that album)?

    It's a shame Knopfler's an atheist - he's another of my favorite solo artists. He's got a great album called "Sailing to Philadelphia" that loosely follows Mason and Dixon's trip to America.

    Let's see: "Changing of the Guard", "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again", "Brownsville Girl", "Positively Fourth Street", and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" - just to name a few favorites.

  4. His life and his decision, yes, but he is part of the Body of Christ, his actions effect all of us. We should be saddened and deeply troubled by what happened to Corapi and love him enough to desire his repentance and salvation.

    Did he request to be released from his vows? Does he claim to still be a practicing Catholic?

    As for Dylan being an inspiration to anyone...I guess that's a Boomer thing that I don't understand.

  5. Clark,

    I'm not sure inspiration was the right word - I think for any age group an artist's lyrics can reflect and resonate with one's personal experience. Art is like that. Wow! Old geezer Corapi is an evil boomer isn't he. I doubt that makes him a bad man however. As for Dylan's influence upon contemporary music and culture, it's huge.

    That said, men are free to request laicization from the priesthood or religious vows. If the allegations of sexual misconduct were true, that seems to be in the past now, doesn't it? How do you know if Corapi has need of repentance? Or that his salvation is any less certain than our own?

    When we pray our rosaries for the conversion of sinners, I have confidence Our Lady applies our prayers to those most in need of mercy. That could be me, Corapi, or you.

  6. “… We should be saddened and deeply troubled by what happened to Corapi and love him enough to desire his repentance and salvation…”

    Amen to that.

    Bob Dylan in his own words.

    Father Corapi has our prayers.

    We will not abandon our Sheppards.


  7. Pablo - I think the more appropriate disposition regarding the Corapi experience is for us to remember to be as "wise as serpents but as innocent as doves" when it comes to religious personality cults.

  8. Pablo - I've been meaning to tell you. I also think you have that shepherd analogy backwards - the shepherd abandoned the sheep. Shepherds are supposed to protect the sheep. Get it?

  9. So should I start worrying now that my love of Bob Dylan's music will compromise my soul? What about Wagner?

  10. The Padre that married my wife and me fell into hard times.

    The scandal he fell into caused worldwide news.

    For twenty-five years we fought hard for his soul.

    The prayers of the little old ladies and the bulldog persistence of his sheep moved God to grant him the grace of final repentance and to receive the Sacraments.

    Two Bishops had abandoned him.

    An SSPX Priest traveled to the home of the Padre and gave him his Sacraments.

    God bless the Padre that did so.

    For twenty five years we were ridiculed and scorned, many roadblocks were placed before us, and we continued to storm Heaven on his behalf.

    The repercussions of our actions were great; Satan became enraged and attacked us.

    We are fortunate to have found a Sheppard that is a traditional Priest; he is featured on my web site.

    Never give up on souls, even that of a Padre gone bad.

    "Do you love me?"

    I believe God put this test before us that He may discover if we do truly love Him.

    Its the only test I've ever scored a hundred on.

    Pray for the Holy Father and all his Priests and Nuns.

    Blessed be God in all His Angels, and all His Saints.

    Viva Cristo Rey!


  11. "... Shepherds are supposed to protect the sheep. Get it? ..."

    One of the young men following Jesus ran away, naked, when the Romans apprehended Him.

    When we run, walk, or crawl on our belly away from Christ, we are left naked.

    No more Faith, Hope, or Charity.

    If our Sheppard has run away naked, should we not take him a robe (the Faith) in which to clothe himself?

    When the Wolf is done consuming the Sheppard, his hunger returns, greater than the first, and begins to devour the Sheep.

    Pray for all Priests.

    There is another Proverb:

    Be as persistent as a little old lady.


  12. I should also state I have failed miserably many times.

    I found this prayer. I think I will say it at Mass.

    Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas

    Ineffable Creator, Who out of the treasures of Thy Wisdom hast appointed three hierarchies of Angels and set them in admirable order high above the heavens, and hast disposed the divers portions of the universe in such marvelous array, Thou Who art called the true source of Light and supereminent principle of Wisdom, be pleased to cast a beam of Thy radiance upon the darkness of my mind and dispel from me the double darkness of sin and ignorance in which I have been born.

    Thou Who makest eloquent the tongues of little children, fashion my words and pour upon my lips the grace of Thy benediction. Grant me penetration to understand, capacity to retain, method and facility in study, subtlety in interpretation, and abundant grace of expression.

    Order the beginning, direct the progress, and perfect the achievement of my work, Thou Who art true God and true Man and livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.


  13. A Random Event11:37 AM

    All I can cite is my "priest sense" in this regard, but something feels seriously wrong with the Fr. Corapi story and events. I can't put my finger on it, but it is very troubling. I pray for his healing, reconciliation and peace.


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