Showing posts with label Father Corapi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Father Corapi. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Revisiting Fr. John Corapi in light of current Church scandal

Detail of Fr. John Corapi from
his "Heaven & Hell" CD collection
Fr. John Corapi was considered among the greatest Catholic preachers of the 1990s and early 2000s. He left public ministry in June 2011.1 I blogged about his departure back then, including this timeline of events. A statement from a priest in his order claimed his behavior was "unbecoming of a priest." Rumors abounded that he engaged in improprieties with one or more women and possibly returned to drugs, from which he escaped decades ago. Fr. Corapi argued the canonical process was flawed, stating that his canonical and other attorneys concluded he "cannot receive a fair and just hearing under the Church’s present process."

Today, the Church faces a renewed look at the modern sex abuse scandal. More prominently figuring in coverage is that 80% of victims have been male and post-pubescent.  This is consistent with data reported in 2004. Although this does not mean simply being "gay" makes one a predator, it does mean those who are gay and predatorial are active in the Church.

Reigniting the current attention to the scandal was the August 22, 2018 letter by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. In the letter, he describes a network of pro-homosexual and/or heterodox clergy having risen to key positions in the Church throughout the decades.

Viganó's account is striking because of the high position within the Church from which it comes. But it is not unique among clergy itself. A scathing exposition on the homosexual subculture and powerful clergy blocking faithful clergy was written in 2012 by Fr. Dariusz Oko. In June, journalist Rod Dreher recounted his efforts to break the Cardinal Theodore McCarrick scandal as far back as 2002, but those with information would not go on record. A popular homily on August 26 by Fr. Robert Altier expounded on infiltration dating back to the early 20th century, as described in such places as the famous book AA-1025.

There are many other accounts describing the scandalous behavior of infiltrating culprits, roadblocks encountered throughout the decades by orthodox priests, and more. Heterodox clergy are at the highest levels. Faithful clergy are persecuted and threatened. With all this in mind, let's return to Fr. Corapi.

I recently listened again to a number of Fr. Corapi's talks from the 90s and early 00s. Whatever the truth about his departure, his talks were among the most popular the Church has heard in recent memory. They were candid, typically delivered passionately, truthful, and backed firmly by magisterial teaching. If you have old CDs or MP3s, I would recommend giving them a listen again. His messages from back then are largely just as relevant today.

Let's review several excerpts from Fr. Corapi's talks in light of what has been described about Church scandal today. Emphasis mine:
I sat in a meeting not that long ago with a number of bishops and theologians. I sat between two bishops. The one on my left said, “Well, we’re wasting our time in this meeting.” It was on moral theology. I said, “Why is that, Bishop?” He said, “Well, until we come out and publicly denounce Pope Paul VI and Humanae Vitae, we’re wasting our time.” Yeah, the Bishop said that. To my face. I didn’t read it on the front page of The Wanderer. He said it! My hearing was fine. I made him repeat it three times to make sure. The one on my right said, “I don’t think we can talk much about formation of conscience, you know, it’s in the catechism, but, you know, we have to tell our people they have to form their conscience to the world around them.” What? What do you mean by that? “Well, we’re not the only ones with a good idea. We have to be up to date and people of our times.” “What do you mean, that if the culture says that it’s all right to commit mortal sin, we should form our conscience in accord with that?” He said, “Oh, mortal sin, I doubt there is such a thing.” Now if you’d ever confront one of them with this, they’d deny it to your face. We tolerate evil men! And watch out, the consequences are about to come home to roost.  ...  (MP3)
Those self-styled apostles, who are nothing of the sort, you found that they don’t really teach what the Church teaches, however clever their language, however subtle their heresies. Let me tell you something, and I’m saying it straight out. There are two Churches right now. The right one and the wrong one — God’s Church and Satan’s assembly. (Apocalypse Now #2 of 4, 1994) (MP3)
A religious sister I knew for years, forty-some years professed in an active order, marginalized because she was faithful to the Church. Still wore her religious habit. Thought it was odd that the only novice they’d had in years was about to be professed, and she wasn’t invited. She also thought it odd that the ceremony was to take place on what she thought was the vigil of All Saints Day—midnight, Halloween in other words. She hid in the choir loft. What she saw can’t be repeated. It involved witchcraft and lesbianism. She confronted the superior the next day and was told “If you ever say a word, we’ll put you in a mental hospital. And it will be your word against ours, and you won’t win.” She came back from the school she had taught in for thirty years to find her suitcases in the parking lot and the locks changed. Her reward for forty-some years of religious profession. And a good lay woman had to come and take her to live with her. (Apocalypse Now #3 of 4, 1994) (MP3)
I sat in a room having dinner with a group of 10 priests two months ago. After dinner, one of my brothers said, “What do you think of the new encyclical on moral theology?” [probably Veritatis Splendor from August 1993] They didn’t know me. I was a stranger there. One of the priests responded, “He’s got some nerve trying to tell us what to do.” And it escalated. Like sharks smelling blood working themselves up into a frenzy. And the hatred that radiated out of that room would frighten you. And I’ve seen it for years. ... (MP3)
At a recent convocation of priests in a diocese in the northeast, [to] get together to discuss the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the main speaker, who had 90% of the time, said in a nutshell, “Don’t pay too much attention to it, boys.” And the bishop sat there. “Don’t believe it literally. Because we don’t believe that anymore. The parts on moral theology—ugh! They talk about sin! Never talk about sin. Talk about immature behavior. Talk about a psychological deficiency, but never mention sin. We don’t want to give anyone a guilt complex.” This is what’s going on in your Church and mine, the Bride of Christ. But the Bride of Christ is indefectibly holy and beautiful. But at the moment, She’s being attacked—in a sense raped. That is not alright with me, nor should it be with you. (To Love the Church is to Love the Lord, 1993) (MP3)
I know many places right now where a lie is being taught that there is no such thing as original sin. That is a heresy. In case you didn’t know it, you’re hearing it here. Heresy. Jesus Christ is divine without any question. That’s an old heresy that’s been recycled—Arianism. He is not merely human. He is fully God and fully man, true God and true man. The Blessed Virgin Mary is immaculately conceived, preserved without sin from all eternity in virtue of her son’s passion, death, and resurrection. Virgin before, during, and after birth. Dogma. Doctrine. Without faith in that it is impossible to please God. Why? Because He’s revealed it to us. We have a better idea than God? I think not. We smarter than God’s Church? I think not. And it is nothing but unmitigated callous arrogance to think that we know more than what’s been revealed. And there are millions, possibly, who fall into that category. And you can go in many diocese and see it taught at the highest levels, from the chancery office down, including in our seminaries. And then you wonder why Father has a problem. Then you wonder why Father has a moral problem. Then you wonder why Father isn’t feeding you with the substantive doctrine of truth. (The Truth is a Matter of Life and Death, 1993) (MP3)
Very often a moral problem is behind a doctrinal problem. Why is it that they can’t see that artificial contraception, homosexual behavior, just isn’t right? In some cases, part of their life. And how are you going to preach against it, unless you convert, change your life? (Attack on Truth, ca 2004) (MP3)
Notice in the first story about the meeting with bishops, the bishops condemn the papal encyclical on human sexuality, Humanae Vitae. Fr. Corapi proceeds to then describe something like a competing subculture when he refers to "God's Church and Satan's assembly." Notice how Fr. Corapi describes teachers in the Church who try to make "conscience" the primary driver of "morality" instead of Church teaching.

We still see this. For example, in February 2018, Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich stated in February 2018 that conscience must be the primary driver of morality instead of universal Church precepts. His statements remind us of the idea of the "dictatorship of relativism" then-Cardinal Ratzinger warned about in 2005. In September, Cupich swiftly sanctioned a priest for burning a flag promoting homosexuality that once hung at his parish. Of Viganó's letter on Church sex scandal (which named Cupich), Cupich quickly called the allegations going down a "rabbit hole," made accusations of racism, and insisted the Church has a "bigger agenda" to worry about. Cupich also endorsed the book of and invited to speak a Jesuit priest who regularly promotes homosexual behavior, has referred to a man's same-sex partner as "husband," and hopes so-called "married" same-sex couples will kiss at the sign of peace in the same way married couples do. These are just examples of many occasions in which Archbishops, bishops, and priests deviate from Church teaching and deceive the laity.

Notice Fr. Corapi describe how a heterodox priest said to "never talk about sin." In Cupich's entire February talk, sin is mentioned once only when he quotes Pope Francis dismissing the idea that people in "irregular" relationships are necessarily in mortal sin. The concept of sin is supplanted with the notion of "accompaniment," which is mentioned in some form 18 times. He describes what includes sinful arrangements only as different types of "situations" some 10 times.

Notice in Fr. Corapi's story about the nuns and witchcraft, the faithful sister was threatened with mental rehab. A September 25 blog post by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf describes the frequency of this same ploy used against orthodox priests.

Notice in the other stories the attack on authentic doctrine that often comes with corruption and moral problems. According to Viganó's now-famous report, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was instrumental in Cupich's ascension to Archbishop. And McCarrick, as is now well-known, has been a central figure and culprit in the Church's sexual scandal for decades. Doctrinal and moral corruption, as Fr. Corapi described, often work in concert. Exceptions are not strong objections. If a doctrinal error is deliberately perpetrated by a clergyman who has not committed sexual scandal directly, he still, by virtue of diluting the truth of the faith, fosters the belief that Church morals are malleable.

Many voices have now risen to describe the devil's vicious tactics to silence orthodoxy and promote immorality in the Church. It is not publicly known what was the true fate of Fr. John Corapi and why he ended his ministry. We know his popularity and willingness to call out heterodox bishops no doubt made him a thorn in the sides of infiltrating powers. We know in his younger years he lived a sinful life, including cocaine use and spending a year in a mental hospital. What happened with him in 2011 could range anywhere from him relapsing into sin or an infiltrating subculture of enemies plotting his demise. He could have succumbed to his old ways, or, in light of his past stay at a mental hospital, he could have been threatened by an infiltrating subculture with mental rehab as were many other priests.

He did start a website, since closed, under the name John Corapi minus his "Father" title for a brief period after departure. Criticism abounded even among faithful Catholics that he acted in disobedience no matter what happened. The entire affair seemed chaotic. It is my opinion that the quality of his talks particularly lost some sense of candidness and zeal somewhere in the mid-later 2000s. But, before that, he was arguably the best preacher of his time.

In June 2011 the Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Rene Henry Gracida, stated: "I believe that he is justified in not seeking to clear his name through a canonical process; at the present time such processes are very flawed in most dioceses." In July 2011, a since-deleted post from the webmaster of Fr. Corapi's order, SOLT, cautioned against believing Fr. Corapi and that "Church authorities ... have been trying to bring him in for years."

What we do know is that Fr. Corapi's earlier talks often spoke candidly of a poisoned Church, including the hierarchy. We know that his theology was firmly grounded in orthodox truth. In re-listening to his stories, we can see that they are consistent with many others who have since come forward to describe improprieties, heterodoxy, and infiltration in the Church.

What we can learn from Fr. Corapi's and others' accounts from years past are clues to what attention we should give to what warning signs. He warned of an overlap of doctrinal and moral deviance. We must be alert to linguistic snakery that gives way to doctrinal and moral corruption. It may be necessary to intensify sanctions regardless of whether a clergyman deviates even slightly from a dogma or commits grave sin. In another talk, Attack on Unity, Fr. Corapi proposed the notion that a lack of understanding in Thomistic metaphysics and philosophy has resulted in a "downhill" trend in theology, because many teachers fail to understand the meaning of "being," for example. Many are calling for a return to a more traditional liturgy and traditional Church decor and iconography. If doctrinal and moral faults are as intertwined as they appear, then the Church's solution to this crisis must include doctrinal correction in addition to a systemic correction of checks and balances. If it takes a soft inquisition to purge any defiant, unbelieving clergy, so be it.

Remember the famous quote from then Cardinal Ratzinger in 1969:
The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. ... As the number of her adherents diminishes...she will lose many of her social privileges. ... But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. (Fr. Joseph Ratzinger, Faith and Future, 1969)
Time will tell if the Spirit wills such a purgation to shrink the Church and raise it again to "great power." We must pray for wisdom and invoke Our Lady, the angels, and saints.

Decades have passed while several voices have cried out in the wilderness as did Isaiah or Jeremiah during tumultuous times for God's people. The time for purification of this scandal is overdue.

1Fr. Corapi's current whereabouts and status are difficult to ascertain. I sent an inquiring message to his former order, SOLT, on Monday, Sept. 24, but have not received correspondence as of Oct. 3, 2018.

Related reading:
St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body.
Dr. Ryan T. Anderson's Truth Overruled on marriage between a man and woman.
Austin Ruse on the science of fatherless or motherless children.
Dr. Jeff Mirus: In denial about not ordaining homosexuals?
Phil Lawler: The McCarrick scandal & the gay lobby: a problem the bishops won’t address
Dr. Janet E. Smith: McCarrick, dissent from ‘Humanae vitae’, and the ‘sensus fidelium’.
Rod Dreher: Voice of Conscience = Voice of God, a critique of Arch. Cupich
The Catholic Voyager: Psychology of a pedophile

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A question raised by the timeline of the Corapi saga

With an emphasis mostly on SOLT's statements regarding the John Corapi saga, I feel there is an unresolved question in this matter.

March 18, 2011
The Regional Priest Servant of the Society of Our Lady of the Trinity (SOLT), Fr. Gerrard Sheehan, announces that Fr. John Corapi had been placed on administrative leave based on an "allegation that Fr. Corapi has behaved in a manner unbecoming of a priest."

June 17, 2011
Fr. Corapi publicly announces he is leaving the public ministry of the priesthood because of a flawed canonical process in the Church. He writes: "My canon lawyer and my civil lawyers have concluded that I cannot receive a fair and just hearing under the Church’s present process." He signs off as "John Corapi."

June 20, 2011
Fr. Sheehan responds to John Corapi's June 17 statement which includes the following excerpt (emphasis mine):
Although the investigation was in progress, the SOLT had not arrived at any conclusion as to the credibility of the allegations under investigation. At the onset, the Bishop of Corpus Christi advised the SOLT to not only proceed with the policies outlined in their own constitutions, but also with the proper canonical procedures to determine the credibility of the allegations against Fr. Corapi. We reiterate that Fr. Corapi had not been determined guilty of any canonical or civil crimes.
July 5, 2011
Fr. Sheehan issues a "press release" on behalf of SOLT, an admittedly unusual move done because SOLT asserts that John Corapi is "misleading...individuals through his false statements and characterizations." A detailed description of accusations is included:
SOLT's fact-finding team has acquired information from Fr. Corapi's e-mails, various witnesses, and public sources that, together, state that, during his years of public ministry: He did have sexual relations and years of cohabitation (in California and Montana) with a woman known to him, when the relationship began, as a prostitute; He repeatedly abused alcohol and drugs; He has recently engaged in sexting activity with one or more women in Montana; He holds legal title to over $1 million in real estate, numerous luxury vehicles, motorcycles, an ATV, a boat dock, and several motor boats, which is a serious violation of his promise of poverty as a perpetually professed member of the Society.
July 6, 2011
Fr. Sam Medley, webmaster for SOLT, writes on his blog (emphasis mine):
We had way too much info to be able to suspend [Corapi] in the first place that ought to have humbled him, but because people see him as gifted they are not permitted to see his faults. ... Please do not listen to him trying to turn you against the Church authorities that have been trying to bring him in for years.
[EDIT: July 28, 2011 - It appears that the comment section for Fr. Medley's blog post has been removed. The above quote was one of his own comments to his post and no longer appears available on that site.]

>>>>end of timeline

My greatest question when pondering the comments in this timeline revolve around the last three entries:

Why did Fr. Sheehan stress on June 20 that SOLT had not even yet determined if the allegations against Corapi were credible, and then on July 5 give graphic details of his guilty behavior?

Some folks I've chatted with about this discrepancy have posited that SOLT came across new incriminating information in the 16 days between June 20 and July 5. But according to Fr. Medley, they had "way too much info" on Corapi "in the first place" and that Church authorities had "been trying to bring him in for years."

Whether or not Fr. Corapi is guilty on all counts or whether he is completely innocent is not a factor in this discrepancy. Not all believe SOLT has handled the case well, even if Corapi is guilty. Former Bishop of Corpus Christi Rene Henry Gracida wrote on July 5 in response to SOLT's press release: "[I]t seems to me that the issuing of the statement is an effort by the SOLT leadership to justify their own mishandling of his case from the beginning."

In either case the question remains:

Why did Fr. Sheehan stress on June 20 that SOLT had not even yet determined if the allegations against Corapi were credible, and then on July 5 give graphic details of his guilty behavior?

Perhaps there is a simple answer. I am willing to accept it. But I would like to hear it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bishop defends Father Corapi

Bishop Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, TX, retired since 1997 came out on June 18 in support of Father John Corapi's decision to leave the public ministry of the priesthood. Bishop Gracida wrote on his blog Abyssum Abyssum Invocat the following:
I believe that he is justified in not seeking to clear his name through a canonical process; at the present time such processes are very flawed in most dioceses. Rather I would like to believe that he intends to try to clear his name through the civil courts. Since I believe that his accuser is a former manager of his media company who he terminated with some kind termination agreement, and since she has evidently sought revenge for her termination by writing to the Bishop of Corpus Christi denouncing Father John, I believe that it is possible for him to do so and I wish him every success in such an endeavor. The basis for his lawsuit would probably be defamation of character, libel, extortion, breech of contract, or whatever.
His post was longer, but that statement was the nut graph in my opinion. As I conjected Sunday (see Things to consider on Father Corapi leaving the priesthood), in light of Father Corapi's new ministry after leaving the public ministry, "perhaps he would be the Church's ally if he were to help purge impurities within Her walls."

Even though the bishop's statement above was made a day before my Sunday blog post, I didn't read it until today. So let me dovetail from my "Possibilities if Father Corapi is right" scenario from Sunday. If Father Corapi was right to step back from his public ministry, might one of the "consequences" of that action be to draw attention to a canonical system drastically flawed? Would Bishop Gracida have ever made such comments about a "very flawed" "canonical process" in "most dioceses"? In a best-case-scenario for Father Corapi, did his action set in motion a much-needed fix in canonical processes? Whether or not he anticipated this deliberately or whether he hoped something like this would happen I can't say for sure. But if the Church's processes wind up corrected as a result of Father Corapi's action, might that be considered a good fruit of his action? ( Granted, God in His sovereignty can work with good or bad actions that good fruit might be the result.)

One other thing I will cite here is Father Corapi's reaction to some of the accusations he's had in the last few days that he's out to get rich by selling his stuff and going off on his own. The bishop made a brief defense of that speculation by stating: "As a member of that Society (The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity) Father John is not bound by a vow of poverty." And Father Corapi's own defense read on his blog earlier today (at The Black Sheep Dog):
Concerning money, most people know me through radio and television. My broadcasts for 17 years on both radio and television were absolutely free to the public. I was never paid for them by EWTN or any radio station, nor did EWTN or any radio station ever charge anyone to view them. The past several years I never charged a fee to speak at events either. Furthermore, I have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to various Catholic organizations, and directed millions more from benefactors that wanted to give it to me. I did not accept charitable contributions, although I could have received millions.
So that is his side of that issue.

One thing I find unspoken in this ordeal is back to what if Father Corapi is guilty of some ill behavior, and we consider the "Bishop was right" to suspend him scenario? Father Corapi would be guilty, his critics vindicated, and the powers that be would appear right to have identified a credible accusation. Would that absolve a canonical process that is still flawed in the minds of Father Corapi's supporters, such as Bishop Gracida? And would that absolve a canonical process that is flawed even according to those who are troubled by Father Corapi's decision, such as Catholic radio talk show host Al Kresta who wrote today:
I personally know 6 priests who have either been removed permanently or are awaiting disposition or have been looked at and left in ministry. All of them have complained about the process including the one that has been left in ministry. Obviously there is a problem.
Finally, I have seen a number of Father Corapi's critics defending Father Corapi's suspension, but I have not seen much in the way of why the accusation was seen as credible. Some of my comments appear first in the Al Kresta link above. The Society in which Father Corapi was a member (SOLT) made the following statements on Monday: "due to the gravity of the accusation...Fr. Corapi was suspended from active ministry" and also "If the allegations had been found to be credible, the proper canonical due process would have been offered to Fr. Corapi..." Neither of these statements sound like the accusation was deemed credible before the suspension began. I'm willing to hear the credibility of the accusation, but I have not seen the reasons yet.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Things to consider on Fr. Corapi leaving the (public) priesthood

So in case you didn't hear, this week Fr. Corapi withdrew from the priesthood indefinitely. Here is the video and transcript of his announcement.

A number of Catholics, including at least one of my favorite apologists, Jimmy Akin, have been very critical of him for making this decision.

The purpose of my post here is to help curb wild speculation and uncharitable comments that have prompted even the good folks over at Catholic Answers Forums to impose a temporary ban on Fr. Corapi threads, perhaps wisely.

Without getting into wild and uncharitable wild speculation myself, I think there may be more to this whole story than meets the eye.

On March 19, 2011, Father Corapi's website had the following statement:
On Ash Wednesday I learned that a former employee sent a three-page letter to several bishops accusing me of everything from drug addiction to multiple sexual exploits with her and several other adult women. There seems to no longer be the need for a complaint to be deemed “credible” in order for Church authorities to pull the trigger on the Church’s procedure, which was in recent years crafted to respond to cases of the sexual abuse of minors. I am not accused of that, but it seems, once again, that they now don’t have to deem the complaint to be credible or not, and it is being applied broadly to respond to all complaints. I have been placed on “administrative leave” as the result of this.

I’ll certainly cooperate with the process, but personally believe that it is seriously flawed, and is tantamount to treating the priest as guilty “just in case”, then through the process determining if he is innocent. The resultant damage to the accused is immediate, irreparable, and serious, especially for someone like myself, since I am so well known. I am not alone in this assessment, as multiple canon lawyers and civil and criminal attorneys have stated publicly that the procedure does grave damage to the accused from the outset, regardless of rhetoric denying this, and has little regard for any form of meaningful due process.

All of the allegations in the complaint are false, and I ask you to pray for all concerned.
As a previous purchaser from his website, I was privy to a March 25, 2011 email sent by Bobbi Ruffatto, vice president of operations at Santa Cruz Media which distributes Fr. Corapi's CDs. She wrote:
There is no evidence at this time that Fr. Corapi did anything wrong, only the unsubstantiated rant of a former employee, who, after losing her job with this office, physically assaulted me and another employee and promised to "destroy" Father Corapi.
Of course, her statement does not prove Fr. Corapi's innocence, but it certainly adds fodder to the intrigue.

On June 17, Fr. Corapi's statement (linked above in the opening paragraph) includes this:
I did not start this process, the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas ordered my superiors, against their will and better judgment, to do it. He in fact threatened to release a reprehensible and libelous letter to all of the bishops if they did not suspend me. He has a perfect right to do so, and I defend that right. Bishops aren’t bound by civil laws and procedures in internal Church matters. I agree with that, and would defend to the death the Church’s right to proceed as they see fit. He is the bishop and he has the right to govern as he sees fit. It isn’t an easy task. Many forces besiege him, including pressure from other bishops. ...
There is a general unwillingness or outright refusal by certain of the bishops to abide by applicable statutes of limitations, both in canon and civil law. There are good reasons for these statutes. Time has a way of clouding memories and distorting perceptions.

By the way, Canon Law does not dictate this. They choose to selectively ignore or violate both Canon Law and Civil Law, as they deem appropriate and or expeditious. Once again, they apparently have the discretionary power to do this, and if that’s the way it is I have to accept that as reality.

The bottom line is that the only way a just outcome is likely, in my view and that of my counsel, both civil and canon lawyers, is by accident, rather than as a result of the process.

I will not try to fight this irrational and unjust situation for the simple reason that I don’t want to be placed in an adversarial posture against the Church.
Now, we have a fair amount of contribution to this story from Fr. Corapi's side. We do not have much from the bishops or the female accuser in question which makes it difficult to compare the details. So I'll proceed as follows:

In this scenario, let's assume that the bishop (or bishops) is not the defiant character described in Fr. Corapi's statements. Let's assume that the accusations of sexual misconduct, whatever they may be, are true. And let's assume the bishop(s) overseeing this case have just cause to keep Fr. Corapi on administrative leave and unable to speak about the case.

In this scenario, Fr. Corapi would be guilty of lying since on March 19 he said, "All of the allegations in the complaint are false," and on June 17, he said, "They can’t prove I’m guilty of the things alleged because I’m not." He would be guilty of dishonesty and proneness to sensationalism such as with regard to the bishops.

The other factor against Fr. Corapi in this scenario is the sexual misconduct. Anyone who knows the story of his life knows that for 20 years before returning to the Church he lived as a "pagan," indulging in wine, women, and song with an addiction to cocaine to boot. Neither sexual nor drug addictions are easy grips to escape. And it would by no means be unprecedented for someone as entrenched in that lifestyle to have relapsed.

The Ruffatto statement above that says she was physically attacked by Fr. Corapi's accuser and that the accuser promised to "destroy" Fr. Corapi could still be true even under this "Bishop is Right" scenario.

My comments from this perspective will be longer because of my familiarity with Fr. Corapi and the amount of information coming from his side.

In Fr. Corapi's statement on leaving the priesthood, he said that it was proving very difficult to get a fair shake in light of bishops abusing the power they have the right to exercise. He said his decision was made in light of counsel from canon lawyers. So what advantage might Fr. Corapi have to leave the priesthood over this matter instead of fighting it out?

One possible motive would be his ability to speak freely about the case now rather than later (or ever). He is now 64 years old. Even if there were canonical options all the way to Rome, is it possible that his canon lawyers advised him that may take years? We also know Fr. Corapi's health has been in recent years the subject of discussion. Could that be a factor in him not even wanting to bother proving his innocence? Might he rather move forward with the projects he'd like to finish in his life and leave conjecture for speculators? And might living out the priesthood on administrative leave have prevented that work from getting done? We do not know, but these questions may shed light on a possibly wise reason for him to leave the priesthood at this time and bear the pains associated with that as a cross.

Another potentially reasonable cause for him to leave the priesthood is that he would not set a precedent for a priest to defy his bishop if he should choose to expose abuses in the Church from his new position in the laity. His statement does say he does not want to be placed in an adversarial position against the Church. But depending on what projects and information we receive from him in the future, perhaps he would be the Church's ally if he were to help purge impurities within Her walls.

Another factor in this scenario is then the culpability of the accuser. If Ruffatto's statement is true, the accuser may be mentally unstable and have conspired to "destroy" Fr. Corapi with false allegations. And compounding the vice of the accuser in this scenario is the complicity and motive of the bishop(s) in question.

I own a lot of Fr. Corapi CDs. And with the help of radio replays, I might venture to say I've heard most of Fr. Corapi's talks. Those who have heard him speak much know that he is not afraid to criticize bishops for behaving as "wolves in sheep's clothing." I remembered a particular comment he made about what some bishops said in a meeting at which he was present. I found the comments in his talk Apocalypse Now (Disc #2) from 1994. And let me add that was the first talk of his among at least 129 that I own that I reviewed to find the quote––so perhaps my memory is way better than it usually is, or God didn't want me to waste time looking! Anyway, in that talk, Fr. Corapi said:
I sat in a meeting not that long ago with a number of bishops and theologians. I sat between two bishops.
The one on my left said, "Well, we're wasting our time in this meeting."
It was on moral theology. I said, "Why's that bishop?"
He said, "Well, until we come out and publicly denounce Pope Paul VI and Humanae Vitae, we're wasting our time."
Yeah, the bishop said that. To my face. I didn't read it on the front page of The Wanderer. He said it. My hearing was fine. I made him repeat it three times to make sure.
The one on the right said, "I don't think we can talk much about formation of conscience, you know, it's in the Catechism. But you know we have to tell our people they have to form their conscience to the world around them."
"What? What do you mean by that?"
"Well, we're not the only ones with a good idea. We have to be up to date with people of our times."
I said, "Well, what do you mean that if the culture says that it's all right to commit mortal sin, we should form our conscience in accordance with that?"
He said, "Oh, mortal sin, I doubt there is such a thing."
Now if you would ever confront one of them with this, they'd deny it to your face. We tolerate evil men! And watch out, the consequences are about to come home to roost.
If this "Fr. Corapi is Right" scenario is true, are these words prophetic? The above statement may not refer to any of the bishops involved in his suspension. But it does show that he is capable of making comments that might not sit well with bishops fitting the description. Has Fr. Corapi irritated enough bishops who feel the sting of his words? And do they find it advantageous to shut him up?

One thought from a doctrinal perspective is also in order here. Some folks, Catholic and otherwise, do not always understand the charism of "infallibility" associated with the Catholic Church. As we saw in reactions to the pedophilia scandal of the Church in recent years, many people think the trueness of Catholicism as Christ's Church is ultimately debunked by the widespread sin by priests and bishops alike in that saga. But the protection of infallibility is something that pertains to the teaching office of the Church, not the personal impeccability of individual priests or bishops. The Church believes that the Holy Spirit protects the Church from ever proclaiming an untrue dogma. The Church believes all matters of faith or morals definitively taught by the Magisterium as a whole are preserved from error by the Holy Spirit (CCC#890ff). So in this incident with Fr. Corapi, if there are bishops who have committed pastoral sins, this would not discredit the Church anymore than did the sin of Judas or the hypocrisy of Peter (Gal: 2:11-14).

I hope and pray both the bishops and Fr. Corapi do that which is just. Fr. Corapi's autobiography is scheduled to come out August 5, 2011. Perhaps comments on this incident will be included. Will the Bishop scenario prove right? Fr. Corapi's scenario? A combination? Neither? Ultimately, I think time will tell us more about this incident and quell much of the wild speculation.

EDIT 6/21/2011: Technically Fr. Corapi didn't "leave the priesthood," but rather the public ministry of the priesthood. He can still celebrate the sacraments in private or in emergencies as I understand. EDIT 6/25/2011: Added "(public)" to title.