SOLT HAS DECLARED (FATHER) JOHN CORAPI UNFIT FOR MINISTRY AND FOUND EVIDENCE OF SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS, COHABITATION, SEXTING AND MORE
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.
SOLT has contemporaneously with the issuance of this press release directed Fr. John Corapi, under obedience, to return home to the Society’s regional office and take up residence there. It has also ordered him, again under obedience, to dismiss the lawsuit he has filed against his accuser.
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. I share a personal story of my meeting Fr. Corapi as well as an open letter. However, before I begin, for the record it should be said that on the National Catholic Register as well as the Catholic News Agency sites, there have been further clarifications.
Perhaps the biggest is that Fr. Corapi was not asked to leave the priesthood but has chosen to do this on his own. His superiors have begged him to reconsider. Even though the religious order he took vows to SOLT or Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity has asked him to reconsider, it seems that the "Black Sheep Dog" as he now calls himself or John as he now refers to himself, will not be moved. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/fr.-corapis-order-places-him-on-leave-after-misconduct-accusation/
"The investigation was halted after Father Corapi “sent us a letter resigning from active ministry and religious life. I have written him a letter asking him to confirm that decision. If so, we will help him with this process of leaving religious life,” said Father Sheehan.
He expressed disappointment that Father Corapi chose not to remain in SOLT and to refuse the order’s invitation for him to live in community, leaving his Montana home. Father Sheehan said he had tried to arrange a meeting with Father Corapi before any final decision was announced, but had not heard back from him. Father Sheehan said that SOLT would issue a statement shortly.
“We wanted him to come back to the community, and that would have meant leaving everything he has. It would have been a drastic change for him,” Father Sheehan said. “We will continue to move pastorally and charitably, taking steps to protect his good name.”
So it seems that John Corapi has decided to leave but the intention was never to ask him to leave the priesthood. It seems, from this statement, that this is John Corapi's decision.
I also want to make note that Mark Shea's blog has some insights that should be considered as well. end update)
I met Fr. Corapi at a Conference many years ago. I was a speaker there and so was he. I was in much need of some spiritual direction and he gave it to me. I was struck by his candid way of stating fact and his desire for other's to do the same.
One thing I will say, not knowing his accuser or if there was any truth to the accusations, is that when I met a woman working there for him at that conference, I thought her to be odd. I would like to share something only a few people have knowledge of and I do so in case it would help in any way.
When I was at that conference, I could not help but notice the way in which she acted. She acted as if she owned him. I thought at the time that it may have been due to being star struck. I am sure that an assistant of a man of such a charismatic personality would be immune to his ability to inspire and connect with people. She did not realize I was a speaker at the same conference and when I approached her to ask if Fr. Corapi was around and that I would like an opportunity to speak to him and perhaps go to confession with him, she was, in my opinion, not only rude to me, but I felt she treated me as if I was something or someone that she had to "protect" Fr. Corapi from.
In her defense, I realize that her job was to allow him the time to pray, to get to his talks etc, but it was more than that. She acted as if she owned him some how. I recall then holding up my speaker's badge which I was wearing and showing it to her saying "I will just talk to him in the speakers lounge", a place even she could not go. I regret doing that now, it was my own lack of humility and my stubborn and quick to anger ego that just wanted her to be nice to me and treat me like I mattered, instead I probably ended up making her feel like she did not matter. I am truly sorry for that.
The look on her face suprised the hell out of me. She looked at me with a seering hate. Yes, hate. I remember thinking how very weird she was and how weird she acted about Fr. Corapi. I never saw them together so I can not say how she acted with him or he with her, but my feeling of how she talked about him and acted as his assistant seemed out of the ordinary.
A few weeks later, I had reason to call Fr. Corapi based on some advise he gave me. I called his office and this woman, whom I will not name, answered the phone. When she found out it was me, she proceeded to threaten me telling me that I was never to call there again or she would have legal action brought against me. I even tried writing him a letter thinking to myself, what the heck is going on?
I then called my good friend Terry Barber of St. Joseph Communications and told him about what happened and not only did he agree that it was really weird but that he was friends with Fr. Corapi and that I should try to reach him again and just tell him what was going on.
I called and left 2 or 3 messages on the answering machine (in which her voice was the recording). I also had another friend call thinking maybe she was just upset with me over what took place between us and if someone she did not know called her I could get through.
Well, this woman called and left a horrific message on my friends voicemail. I listened to it shaking my head the whole time thinking, how can this woman be working for Fr. Corapi and does he know what she is doing?????
The next thing I know I got a letter from his office, signed by him, saying I was to cease and desist from contacting their office or there would be charged brought up against me. I was in shock. It had to be a mistake right? I mean, he knew me! I talked to him! Wouldn't logic make him say, wait, this is the woman I talked with for almost an hour at the conference in Houston? The only possibility, I thought, was that he probably had no idea who I was and she was telling me him something. I regret never acting on the inspiration to send the photo of the two of us and to tell him what was going on.
Perhaps if someone needs this information now, if it is in fact relevant at all, they can read this and let me know if my testimony is needed in anyway. My experience with him and this woman, who may not even be the woman in questions, either proves that there was something very unhealthy going on between them, or that there was something very unhealthy about this woman. I have no idea or opinion about which is the case.
If however, there is something there, then we must pray for him, regardless we should pray for him, but especially if there is any truth to this because the enemy is clearly at work here. If any of the allegations are true, then you can imagine the horrific suffering he is going to endure. It is one thing to bare the burden of being falsely accused, but interiorly you know you are right with God and I believe that they endure knowing they are like Christ in their martyrdom. However, if he is guilty, then the suffering will be like a horrific internal torture and I am sure the enemy will inflict even more further damage. We must pray for him and for this woman so that Christ's will be done. I for one will be praying for light to shine and reveal the lies whatever they may be.
OPEN LETTER TO JOHN CORAPI;
Thank you John Corapi for taking the time to help me deal with an incredible burden I was carrying during that time in my life. That day at least, you gave me much peace on the subject matter.
However, I must implore you to consider what you are doing. We are all called to lay down our lives and to pick up our cross and follow Christ. Right now, it seems you are rejecting that suffering. Your new website "Black Sheep Dog" and the referring to yourself as the "Dog" is down right spooky and very disconcerting.
I am also worried by the responses on your blog/website. It seems many see you as some sort of rock star or cult leader and have expressed their willingness to leave the church to follow you anywhere you go. Doesn't that worry you since your job is to lead people to Christ and not to your guilt or innocence? Why did you get into evangelization? If it was to lead people to Christ then why do this thing which surely is a huge distraction from knowing, loving and serving God. Your actions are somewhat frightening, because I can now see how the enemy could take this great conversion story and ministry of your big personality and instead of these things leading people closer to Union and Communion with Christ, he may instead use this as an opportunity for his own diabolical purposes.
Would people really leave the church to follow a mere mortal man? I pray it would not be so, but judging from those leaving comments on his site, clearly they would.
The Following is a reprint of John Corapi's statement this Father's day:
This Sunday, June 19, 2011, is both Trinity Sunday on the Catholic liturgical calendar and Fathers’ Day on the secular calendar. It is a day I’ll never forget, and sadly so. It is the twentieth anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood in the Catholic Church. For twenty years I was called “father.” I am very thankful for those twenty years. I could have easily died any number of times, any number of ways in my life before that, so I consider it all a bonus, an undeserved bonus. To all of you that have communicated support, ordination anniversary congratulations, and other kind sentiments, I am greatly thankful, and I do not take that for granted.
All things change, only God stays the same, so I have to tell you about a major change in my life. I am not going to be involved in public ministry as a priest any longer. There are certain persons in authority in the Church that want me gone, and I shall be gone. I have been guilty of many things in the course of my life, and could easily and justifiably be considered unfit to engage in public ministry as a priest. The present complaint that you have heard about is, as far as I know, from the one person that I can honestly say I did more to help and support than any human being in my entire life. I forgive her and hope only good things for her. I am not going to get into a back and forth or argument with the Church or anyone else about this matter.
Suffice it to say that I love the Catholic Church and accept what has transpired. Unfortunately, the process used is inherently and fatally flawed, but the bishops have the power, apparently, to operate anyway they see fit. I cannot give a lengthy explanation of what has transpired, but I can tell you that the most likely outcome is that they leave me suspended indefinitely and just let me fade away. They can’t prove I’m guilty of the things alleged because I’m not, and they can’t prove I’m innocent because that is simply illogical and impossible. All civilized societies know that. Certain leaders in the Catholic Church apparently do not.
I accept moving on, but I am not ready to be altogether extinguished just yet. In the final analysis I have only one of only two viable choices:
1. I can quietly lie down and die, or
2. I can go on in ways that I am able to go on.
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.
My canon lawyer and my civil lawyers have concluded that I cannot receive a fair and just hearing under the Church’s present process. The Church will conclude that I am not cooperating with the process because I refuse to give up all of my civil and human rights in order to hold harmless anyone who chooses to say defamatory and actionable things against me with no downside to them. The case may be on hold indefinitely, but my life cannot be. Some of the things that might surprise you about the way some of the bishops treat accused priests are as follows:
1. The identity of the accuser is not revealed. You can guess, but you don’t actually know. Nor are the exact allegations made known to you. Hence, you have an interesting situation of having to respond to an unknown accuser making unknown accusations (unknown to the accused and his counsel).
2. The persons chosen to investigate the allegations normally have no qualifications to do so. They certainly didn’t graduate from the FBI academy, nor do they have any other background to qualify them to interrogate or otherwise interview witnesses.
3. There are no set rules of evidence or norms of procedure.
4. You are for all practical purposes assumed guilty until you can prove you are innocent. This one is truly baffling. No civilized society operates that way. If you are accused of something you are considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
5. The accused and his counsel have no right to obtain and review any of the evidence against him.
6. The accused and his counsel are not provided the names of witnesses, nor are they permitted to cross-examine them.
7. 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. For 20 years I did my best to guard and feed the sheep. Now, based on a totally unsubstantiated, undocumented allegation from a demonstrably troubled person I was thrown out like yesterday’s garbage. I accept that. Perhaps I deserve that.
I can’t do what I can’t do. I can only do what I can do. I shall continue, black sheep that I am, to speak; and sheep dog that I am, to guard the sheep—this time around not just in the Church, but also in the entire world. I am, indeed, not ready to be extinguished. Under the name “The Black Sheep Dog,” I shall be with you through radio broadcasts and writing. My autobiography, “The Black Sheep Dog,” is almost ready for publication. My topics will be broader than in the past, and my audience likewise is apt to be broader. I’ll do what I can under the circumstances.
Please don’t bother the bishop or complain because it will do no good and it wastes valuable time and energy, both his and yours.
I hope you stay with us and follow us into our new domain and name of “The Black Sheep Dog.” Through writing and broadcasting we hope to continue to dispense truth and hope to a world so much in need of it. For those of you who choose to part company and go away from us, we wish you well and thank you for your many kindnesses over the years. We’ll miss you in our usual meeting places, but assure you that there will be new places for us to meet, just like in “the good old days,” so for now,
God bless you, God love you, and goodbye.
John Corapi (once called “father,” now “The Black Sheep Dog”)