Good-Bye, Good Priest! Father John Corapi’s Kafkaesque Catch-22

The case of Fr. John Corapi spotlights a serious flaw in restrictions imposed on accused Catholic priests: an unintended denial of basic civil liberties.

Note to Readers: The following was written a few days before Father John Corapi’s latest statement on his website in which, with great reluctance, he left ministry as a priest rather than assent to the process imposed on him. Father Corapi’s statement alters none of the content of this post, but only points to the urgency of its message. ~ Fr. Gordon J. MacRae

When a good priest’s good name is under siege these days, the situation he faces is best summed up in a combination of two terms from classic literature used in my title. What Father John Corapi and other accused priests face is an all-too-familiar “Kafkaesque Catch-22.”

“Kafkaesque” refers to an oppressive, nightmarish situation from which there seems no escape. It’s a reference to the fictional worlds created by Czech writer Franz Kafka (1883-1924) who wrote in German. “Kafkaesque” is today used to describe a scenario like that in Kafka’s most famous novel, The Trial (1925). It’s the story of an innocent man accused and facing trial, but subtly prevented from offering any defense because the tools for doing so elude him at every turn while prosecutors lurk in the shadows with agendas and motives that are never clear.

A “Catch-22″ is also a situation with no hope of resolution because two mutually incompatible conditions are imposed, each countering and contradicting the other. The term comes from the title of a famous American novel, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (Simon and Shuster, 1955). In Catch-22, a World War II U.S. Air Force pilot desperately wants to avoid combat duty. The only way to do so is to be judged insane. But wanting to avoid combat duty is itself seen as evidence of his sanity. So in the end, a claim of insanity to avoid combat ends up proving his sanity and fitness for combat.

A “Kafkaesque Catch-22″ sums up what is now faced by Father John Corapi since he was accused of sexual misconduct and placed on administrative leave months ago. I first wrote of the Father Corapi case on These Stone Walls in “Father John Corapi and Fifty-Eight Times Around the Sun” in April.

Catholic-PriesthoodAccording to a statement on Father John Corapi’s website, he learned on Ash Wednesday that a former employee of Santa Cruz Media, which markets Father Corapi’s work, sent a three-page letter to several bishops accusing him of drug addiction and multiple incidents of sexual exploitation of her and other unnamed women. I write “unnamed” women, but I am not certain whether anyone was named in the accuser’s letter. She and any other possible complainant remain unnamed in any public forum that I know of.

This is the Kafkaesque part of this story. The U.S. Bishops meeting in Dallas, Texas in 2002 enacted the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” resulting in what has widely become known as a policy of “zero tolerance” for sexual abuse. In my series, “When Priests Are Falsely Accused,” I wrote of some of the wreckage left behind when a Church embraces a one-size-fits-all policy like zero tolerance. There is much more to be said of this.

One tenet of that policy is that every priest accused of misconduct involving a minor, from however long ago, is placed on administrative leave pending investigation. While on leave, he is barred from celebrating the Sacraments in public, barred from wearing a Roman collar, and barred from presenting or identifying himself in public as a priest when speaking or writing. The policy applies if the priest is accused, say, by a fourteen-year-old, and it applies retroactively – as in the vast majority of such cases – when a priest is accused by a forty-four year-old who waited thirty years to make the accusation. As the John Jay College of Criminal Justice report has demonstrated, seventy percent of the claims against priests were not brought by minors, but by adults seeking financial settlements claiming to have been molested as minors.

ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL

Priests-Thrown-Out-Like-Trash-Without-Due-ProcessOne result of the bishops’ policy is that a case alleged to have occurred last month and a case alleged to have occurred fifty years ago are approached in the same way with the same rules and restrictions. But they are very different. The case alleging misconduct a month ago will be investigated, but there is no legitimate investigative tool known to exist that can determine truth or falsehood in any case alleged to have occurred decades ago. Most of the unfortunate priests so accused have seen the end of their ministry as priests, and many of them are simply discarded.

As I wrote in “Are Civil Liberties for Priests Intact?” the fact that so many give carte blanche credence to decades-old claims reflects a mantra that has greatly benefitted false claimants and contingency lawyers. The mantra, cited over and over by victim groups, contingency lawyers, and the news media, is that sex abuse victims are generally unable to report their victimization for many years or decades, so punishments should apply retroactively.

I cannot help wondering about that. My very environment refutes that claim. Just across the hall from me in this prison, some 180 prisoners live in a unit designated as a sex offender treatment program. In the prison system in this one small state, some 1,700 out of its 3,000 prisoners are on a years-long waiting list for admission to the sex offender treatment program which is a requirement for any hope of parole. Thousands more are on parole or otherwise monitored by the state as registered sex offenders. In seventeen years in this prison seeing thousands of accused and convicted sexual abusers come and go – often serving short sentences due to plea deals – I have never heard of a single other case of someone being accused twenty or thirty years after the crime was alleged to have been committed.

For accused parents, step-parents, grandparents, foster parents, uncles, teachers, ministers, scout leaders and so on, the typical length of time between abuse and a victim coming forward to report it has been measured in weeks or months, not years, and certainly not decades. The passage of time seems to be a remarkable rarity in other cases of sexual abuse while it is the norm in claims against Catholic priests, and virtually without exception, monetary demands are central to the claims against priests.

BACK TO FATHER CORAPI

But Father John Corapi was not accused of misconduct involving a minor. His sole accuser is an adult, and was an adult at the time the behaviors were alleged to have taken place. Father Corapi was also not accused of committing a crime, so there is no criminal investigation, no arrest, no trial, and no forum in which evidence could be aired. This makes one wonder why any announcement of the claim against Father John Corapi was made at all, and why the zero tolerance policy adopted in the 2002 bishops’ Charter even applies to him. There have been no clear answers, and this makes the case against Father John Corapi a Kafkaesque tale.

No-Due-Process-for-Priests

The Catch-22, and the affront to Father Corapi’s civil liberties, is this: a public announcement was made placing Father Corapi in the category of “Administrative Leave” as required of those accused of misconduct with minors. Father Corapi is bound by obedience to observe certain rules. He cannot exercise his priestly ministry in any public forum, and he cannot present himself in public as a priest. In Father Corapi’s statement regarding these allegations on his website, he wrote:

“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’. . . The resultant damage to the accused is immediate, irreparable, and serious, especially for someone like myself, since I am so well known.”

And that is exactly what makes the case of Father John Corapi a classic “Catch-22.” If he is to defend himself at all, he must be able to do so publicly with statements that clearly and decisively refute what is claimed of him. That is not only his right under both the U.S. Constitution and Canon Law, it is also what Catholics expect of him.

But if Father Corapi is barred from presenting himself publicly as a priest, then he is effectively barred from presenting himself publicly at all. Does anyone really expect that Father Corapi is to offer a defense and address this case in public as “Mr. John Corapi” as though Catholics won’t know who he is? Does anyone really expect him to treat the accusations against him as unconnected to the fact that he is a priest? It is, today, his very priesthood that makes him and all priests vulnerable to false accusations. Being forced to pretend otherwise is to be effectively silenced.

I have heard from several people that they are concerned at the lack of “anything new” on this subject. They point out that [until this week] Father Corapi has remained silent since his initial statement, and there is a growing, uneasy feeling that his silence itself gives credence to the claims against him. I believe it is a mistake to interpret his silence as anything more than acquiescence to the bishops’ policy, but in effect his silence leaves him vulnerable to further false claims. A rolling stone gathers no moss, but administrative leave requires Father Corapi to be more like a sitting duck than a rolling stone.

I commend Father John Corapi for his obedience and fidelity to legitimate authority in the Church, but that authority must also recognize Father Corapi’s “Catch-22.” If he is a priest falsely accused, he also has a moral obligation that may be commanded by a higher law. He has a moral obligation to the truth. So do I. But as I wrote in “The Scandal of Catholic Abuse of the Catholic Abuse Scandal,”

“The truth really will set us free, but you have no idea how precious freedom is until someone takes it away from you with a lie . . . To serve a lie is to serve the master of all lies.”

There are only two people who know the truth in the “she said / he said” situation faced by Father John Corapi, and one of them has been effectively silenced. If Father Corapi cannot present himself as a priest, then he cannot defend himself as a priest. If he cannot defend himself within the very context in which the accusation against him arose, then he cannot defend himself at all. That’s what makes this case a “Kafkaesque Catch-22.” It is one person’s word against another’s, and one of them now has no word at all.

PRIESTS IN LIMBO

In the second of a well-researched two-part article for The National Catholic Register (“Priests in Limbo,” February 27 – March 12, 2011) writer Joan Frawley Desmond referred to my own case as “perhaps the most publicized case of a priest challenging his conviction,” and cited These Stone Walls “written in his overcrowded prison cell.” I was grateful to see The National Catholic Register tackle this subject. Ironically, Father Corapi was accused in the very week that the Register series ran its second part.

In a comment on Part II of the article, writer David Pierre, Jr. cited “the eye-opening” report of former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Donald H. Steier published at The Media Report. Former DA Steier concluded that ONE-HALF of claims against priests are either entirely false or so greatly exaggerated and distorted that the truth would not support a sustainable claim of abuse. David Pierre is author of Double Standard, a 2010 book I reviewed on The Media Report.

In an article for Catholic Lane, “Father John Corapi and the State of Due Process for Accused Priests” (April 4, 2011) writer Ryan MacDonald emphasized that zero tolerance and the conditions imposed in its resultant state of administrative leave “must not be the last word in a Church built upon the truth of the Gospel.” Ryan MacDonald has written a good deal for These Stone Walls, and I consider him to be a champion for truth and justice in the Church.

On the case of Father Corapi, however, I disagree with Ryan. He pointed out the rampant unfairness of priests like myself defending against allegations that are decades old in a Church that now presumes their guilt. He held the Father Corapi case out as something more hopeful:

“As unjust as the Father Corapi case is, it is at least current. He and his supporters at least have an opportunity to gather information that could point to less than stellar motives for his accusers’ claims. Already, the claim has surfaced that his accuser – whose name, to date, has been shielded from public scrutiny – had previously threatened to ‘destroy’ Father Corapi. If clear evidence of Father Corapi’s guilt is not forthcoming soon, then it is time for the true voice of the faithful to help restore Fr. John Corapi’s good name and ministry.”

I admire Ryan for his hopefulness for a just and happy resolution, but it is just not that simple. By being placed on administrative leave, and barred from presenting himself as a priest, Father Corapi is prevented from participating in his own defense in public.  This fact causes too many people to interpret silence as guilt. It is sad, but true, and will only worsen over time.

There is another factor that influences this matter, however. Guilt or innocence aside, I believe support for Father Corapi within the Church and priesthood is already influenced and overshadowed – and eroded – by another case, that of Father Marcial Maciel. That’s another story, and in a few weeks I plan to tackle it head-on.

Catholics concerned for the plight of Father John Corapi should have a look at an important essay in this debate. Writing in First Things (January 4, 2011), Father Thomas G. Guarino published “The Priesthood and Justice.” Though it precedes the Father Corapi case, the central premise applies. In just two pages, Father Guarino summed up the great threat to the priesthood itself, and to the Catholic Church’s theology of priesthood, when policies like “zero tolerance” and administrative leave prevail. I was glad to see Father Guarino take this up, especially in First Things which has been too silent on these issues since the deaths of Father Richard John Neuhaus and Cardinal Avery Dulles. Both were strong voices in opposition to “zero tolerance.”

In my post, “At the Twilight’s Last Gleaming,” I made a case for how the priesthood scandal emerged out of Boston just weeks after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Bishops have not been immune to the reactionary hard line on a national scale that has prevailed in the wake of 9/11.

Just a year earlier, in November, 2000, the U.S. Catholic Bishops published “Responsibility and Rehabilitation,” a conscience-stirring critique of the American criminal justice system. As a prisoner, I was much moved by the courageous Gospel truths within that document. The bishops decried the injustices that occur when slogans like “zero tolerance” and “three strikes and you’re out” supplant justice and create one-size-fits-all penalties in civil society. They wrote of the inherent injustice of mandatory sentences with rigid formulations that have crept in to replace the discretion of judges dealing with individual cases in the justice system. I cheered our bishops on.

Since then, other voices have compromised those ideals with the rhetoric of a witch-hunt. In 2000, the U.S. Bishops wrote a masterpiece of justice in “Responsibility and Rehabilitation.”  Now, if they would only read it.

“But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he made no answer.” Matthew 27:12

Falsely Accused Priests

 

About Fr. Gordon J. MacRae

The late Cardinal Avery Dulles and The Rev. Richard John Neuhaus encouraged Father MacRae to write. Cardinal Dulles wrote in 2005: “Someday your story and that of your fellow sufferers will come to light and will be instrumental in a reform. Your writing, which is clear, eloquent, and spiritually sound will be a monument to your trials.” READ MORE

Comments

  1. Cathy Pequeño says:

    I wonder (though I will never personally know) which is the greater suffering: being free (i.e. not in prison) but barred from ever saying Mass again or being in prison and able to say Mass….

    I am truly brokenhearted. You, Fr. Gordon, and all priests are in my prayers

  2. Centurion 9.41 says:

    @Greg H June 23, 2011 at 10:28 am
    Re: … If he presents his defense privately to Church officials and is exonderated publicly by them, why would he need to present his own defense publicly?”

    Greg, the problem is the Bishop & leader of SOLT did not and would not present the “evidence” to Fr Corapi. I use italic because without the information that forms the basis of the summary seen in the letter by the Bishop & leader of SOLT, there is strictly speaking, and literally, no evidence for anyone to consider.

    Centurion
    AMDG

  3. ALICIA says:

    I can see that the devil is trying to attack the Church at all angles, inside our church and outside forces. Just listen to what Bill Donahue is saying making me very upset at how society in general and particularly the media persecuting the Catholic Church, but Christ remains my hope, he is the truth and full of justice, only him can give the most just punishment to those who are guilty, accordingly. We should be careful of how we criticize our Church even in time of crisis, because that is exactly what the enemy wants us to do to, we must be united and fighting this together, through prayer, fasting and offering little sacrifices during our daily lives to God, I believe that what Christ wants us to do.

  4. Katie Schroeder says:

    I am heartsick at what has happened to you Fr MacRae and now to Father Corapi. I was raised at a time in the ’30s and ’40s when the Catholic Church experienced it’s golden age. Reverence and total respect for our priests, anointed men of God. Total believe in the True Presence and beautiful devotions to Jesus and His Blessed Mother. Then the “smoke of satan” entered the Church and ever since satan is doing his job, with the help of some priests and bishops!! So shocking that what they are doing to the Church is right out of satan’s playbook. I would not want to face God at check-out time and say yes, Lord…this is what I did to your Church. God help us all.
    I pray for all.

  5. Patricia Ogtlesby says:

    This is my first comment Re Fr Corapi and others who do not like how the Catholic Church is dealing with accusations towards her Priests:
    Fr. John Corapi feels there is a serious flaw in restrictions imposed on accused Catholic priests because the opposite happened when these scandals first started and the Press accused Bishops of being too lenient, e.g. some people even objected when Bishop Foley of Boston transfer to a new position in the Vatican. Following this and other scandals all bishops are now more careful how each case is handled.. It does seem unfair for the Priest who has to wait through the investigation but he is being sorely put to the test and needs our Prayers even more to remain obedient like Pade Pi0 was throughout his trial and he lived in Community..

  6. cheryl obos says:

    My prayers for my dear Pastor of my church, Fr. Corapi, and all priests who stand accused will continue.

  7. Franciscan Sister D. says:

    Dear Father MacRae,

    Why is this allowed to happen? This injustice to Father Corapi is destroying him and his much needed PRIESTHOOD.
    Can not an appeal be made to Rome, to the Pope Himself…?
    Nothing can be said against the Faithful, true and valid teachings of Father over the years…thousands have benefited, thousands are being hurt now , with him….and many souls will be lost…and those responsible will pay before God. I think of the Passion of the Christ, and the answer of Jesus to Pilate, ‘you would have not power over me, unless it be given from above, therefore he who delivered me to you..has the GREATER SIN. All priests are always in my prayers. Father Corapi had many enemies…its pure blindness not to see that this attack on him is deliberate..they dont have to shoot him…just make him seem ‘guilty’ and the Church will do the rest. This is heartbreaking and mortally damaging. God Bless You, Father McRae. I am a Franciscan Nun

  8. lilsheep says:

    We also need to pray for those who had nasty things to stay about Fr. Corapi.

  9. John says:

    It is simply unbelievable what the director of SNAP is doing in the John Corapi case. Number one, if the allegations are true, this is not an abuse case. SNAP is discrediting themselves and hurting all involved.

    Fr. Corapi has every right to sue his accuser.

    Bishops need to stand up and get rid of bad priests and defend good ones. Period.

  10. mary johnson says:

    Your article is on point. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I will continue to pray for you, for Fr Corapi and all priests. Like you say, the Priests are men trying to save their souls and everyone elses too. That is what makes them so special. May the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary be with all Priests, Brothers, Prelates, Religious Sisters and our beautful Catholic Church. God bless Mary

  11. Teri D. says:

    Dear Father, I will be with you spiritually in prayer on Sunday evenings from 11:00 PM to Midnight and will spread the word to others, as well, to join with you in prayer. May God bless you and may Our Lady comfort you, as one of her beloved sons.

  12. Kathleen says:

    My prayers are for you Fr. Gordon in your suffering. I happened on your website in following the injustice to Fr. Corapi. Your situation is far worse. The devil is wreaking havoc in the world. I pledge to you that you will be remembered at every Mass I participate in. Your reward in heaven will be so great with a “peace beyond all understanding.” May God continue to give you His graces so you can persevere. Your words reflect God’s Love and your example shows all of us how to live in God’s Truth despite what the world believes. Know that you are not alone, ever. You now have one more person calling to Heaven on your behalf. God Bless you. Kathleen D.

  13. Pax says:

    Dear Father Gordon,
    Your post is a calm and measured elucidation of the dileemma facing accused religious and the Church’s inadequate appraoch which has caused such anguish.
    However I think if you were not confined by your current circumstance and were able to read Father John’s new web site and listen to his radio announcement you would be concerned for him.
    I wish he would seek the help of Father Bernard Groeschel whom I believe to be a humble, shrewd and saintly man.
    My prayers are for you in your heroic living out of the way of the cross in your life and for Father John that he lie still in the love of Jesus .

  14. David Cobb says:

    As many others have and will, I found your entry on Father Corapi shocking and outrageous, a parallel in many ways to your own frustrating plight. Many of us are impressed not only with your eloquent prose, but also with its grace, self-control, and uncanny detachment as you write so objectively and compellingly not just about the persecution of priests but about a growing range of injustices, even those at Duke University, which we all ought to recognize as permeating our society. Like many others, I am grateful for the dependable integrity, courage, and power with you so eloquently address these outrages in a concern which transcends your own persecution. You’re engaging, moving, and speaking powerfully for all of us, old friend. Thank you!

  15. Hi Fr. Gordon,
    Thank you for your clarity! Imagine, in the Church today, the Truth of the Gospel must be preached from prisons, prisons of all kinds. For the past 40 yrs I’ve had to watch my much loved Church taken over by the spirit of anti-christ. Now that I’m 70, I so much more appreciate JP II’s ‘dry martyerdom’! I have a rosary I would love to send you if it is allowed! I almost never know who I’m designing the rosaries for, but, this one is yours if you will accept it. In thanksgiving for all of the wonderful nuns & priests who gave their lives so I could have the gift of The Holy Eucharist! Just send me an e-mail & I’ll send it to you. Thank you, again & again for your loyalty to Jesus & the Priesthood!
    Kathleen

  16. Jim Howard says:

    Gordon,
    The simple truth as all of us know is that you cannot prove that you did not do something. This past weekend I visited the grave of Cardinal Avery Dulles, SJ, probably the finest theologian this country has produced. When this whole issue came to the forefront, he was the one voice who had the courage to say that the Church must be a community of forgiveness and redemtion.

    On my 25th aniversary of ordination, the Holy Father was kind enough to grant my petition for laicization so that my wife and I can move on with our life and have our marriage blessed by the church. I know what it is like to live under a cloud.

    What is needed most is to remember that the message of Christian redemption is that “It does not matter where you have been, but where we are all going. ” If we cease to be a community of forgiveness at our core, we cease to be followers of Jesus.

  17. Jim Ariyoshi says:

    Aloha Fr. MacRae,
    After reading your statement on Fr. Corapi, I believe you are both ‘Servants of God’ and serving your Master in faithful obedience.
    Anyone who comes forward with an accusation should know that ‘Truth will Prevail’ and ‘God will be our Judge’.
    Stand strong, my friend, I will continue to pray for your ‘Truth to Prevail’.
    Jim

  18. Mike Gallagher says:

    “Get out and stay out!” That’s the message the bishops are sending to all accused priests in their diocese. These holy gentlemen do not want to deal with the tawdry details of these other holy men, truly or falsely accused. Now, those Philly 21 priests are just sitting around (I wonder what they do all day?) and hoping, against hope that the archdiocese will release them and send them back to ministry. Hah, don’t they know they are on permanent suspension?
    There are only two ways they will be ‘unsuspended’ from these phony charges: to die or quit the priesthood. Color me cynical but, from my experience with a false accusation, organizations like the Church (or in my case, the school district) in no way want these ‘tainted’ men back in the pulpit.

  19. eli heff says:

    As Catholics we are under attack and at the front lines are our holy priests. We must support them not only with our prayers, and hopes but financially. Please post an address that we may do so for those that do not use internet pay pal or whatever.
    My love to Fr. Gordon and Fr. John. It is hard to be a christian
    only our love for Our Lord keeps us going forth. God Bless you.

  20. Greg H says:

    Fr McRae,

    So are you basically saying that no internal investigation would be done and that is why Fr Corapi would be forever in limbo? If he presents his defense privately to Church officials and is exonderated publicly by them, why would he need to present his own defense publicly?

    Response from Fr. Gordon J. MacRae:

    I have clarified that there were no criminal charges against Father Corapi, but there was possibly a civil lawsuit in the works by his accuser. We don’t know that, so I cannot speak directly to the Father Corapi situation. I can only say that in most claims against priests, the claim is decades old so there is no internal investigation because there is nothing to investigate beyond the word of an accuser demanding money against the word of an accused priest who will either admit to the claim or maintain his innocence. The Philadelphia situation raises an important issue. Most of those priests were exonerated by the Church’s internal investigation and review board. It appears that the victim groups like SNAP and the DA in Philadelphia are saying that being accused alone should bar a priest from any further ministry for the rest of his life. Such a standard could have dire consequences for us all. With blessings, Fr. Gordon

  21. ELIZABETH RODGERS says:

    Thank you for your insite into Fr Corapi’s catch 22 situation.Those whose voices are now raised to condem him for leaving ministry should take note and tremble as they judge the anointed of God.
    My prayers are offered on your behalf and those of good true priests like Fr Corapi.
    In the end justice will be done.May God have mercy on those by whom you and Fr Corapi were betrayed, they will have need of it in this life or the next.
    Psalm 91 is the warrior’s prayer of protection.It is my prayer for you both.God bless and protect you.
    Sincerely in Christ Jesus our Lord,
    Elizabeth Rodgers.

  22. Esther says:

    Aloha Father:
    Excellent post on this topic. I have been avoiding many blog posts, opinion pieces re: Father Corapi. However, I knew you would write something that would be good to read and reflect on. Thank you Father! My family and I continue to pray for all priests.
    God bless,

  23. Keith says:

    Fr. G,
    Again (as I have mentioned before) you have written in the Spirit! And, sadly once again, the constrains of our common humanity (in your case the unavailability of instant communication) hampers the Spirit.
    At the most recent meeting of the Bishops, only ONE bishop, Bishop Hurley pointed out the dark side of “Zero tolerance” and its lack of resemblance to Gospel living! The Bishops instead applauded their policy by voting to assure its continuance! The sadness of these times, is the missed opportunity on the part of the Church to TEACH: “Justice without Mercy is Revenge” OR Reconciliation is More than a Sacrament, it is the opus operendi of Christ and His Church. It is reported that when a Bishop was approached by a concerned parishioner of a priest accused, his statement to this gentle soul was: ” I took care of that problem.” Yet, in the Gospel stories about the Shepherd, He goes in search of the strayed sheep. For the longest while, the Major Superiors of Religious Orders and Congregations have restrained from acting like the Collective body of Bishops, but it seems (based on the relationship of Father John Corapi and his superiors) that those days may be passing as well.
    Again you have pointed out the disparity between the rhetoric and the action, more motivated by “material” welfare than the “spiritual” one. The same Bishop reported above, said at a dinner for his priests: “One thing I am proud of. is that our diocese never paid a 6 figure settlement!” Vene Spiritus Santus.
    My prayers are with you that you may continue your evangelization to the Church.
    United in Christ, our brother,
    keith

  24. Trish says:

    Dear Father Gordon

    I heartily echo what Kathy Maxwell has said ( June 22, 2011 at 4:51 pm )….I have very real concerns for the spiritual well-being of Fr Corapi. I do not know whether he is innocent or guilty, no-one can except God, Fr Corapi and the person who has made these terrible allegations agaisn him. I have always admired his fearless way of delivering the gospel message without watering it down to make it more ‘palatable’. His conversion story was very moving. However, it does seem that he got caught up in materialism again about a year ago. His change of appearance as well as a shifting of focus onto himself in his talks should have raised alarm bells…what a pity many have only now commented on those warning signs that something was a bit ‘off’…By this I do not intend to imply that he is guilty of the accusations agains him but I feel there is something not quite right about him. I visited his ‘theblacksheepdog’ website and I am deeply concerned for him and his spiritual well-being. As with all priests, he is a threat to Satan and the powers of darkness and must be constantly under attack. I pray that the Holy Spirit come upon him (and all priests and followers of Jesus Christ) and give him wisdom, discernment, good judgement and courage to follow the right path.
    I am praying for you too, Father Gordon and all priests unjustly accused. Thanks you for your deep, insightful posts. May God keep you safe and may the Truth set you free.

  25. Marcy says:

    Dear Father McRae,
    I stumbled across your web page many months ago by accident. I have kept you in my prayers, as well as Father Corapi and all falsely accused priests.
    I believe the Father Corapi situation,because of his popularity not with just Catholics, but thousands of members of different Protestant denominations, has evoked much ire and cries of injustice. I see a grassroots movement among the laity to attempt to do something,anything to bring about justice for all priest falsely accused or those who will be in the future. Cries of write to the bishops, the Papal Nuncio for the Doctrine of the Faith , to the ultimate authority in the Church Pope Benedict XVI, who has knowledge of Father Corapi,as he helped review the Catechism of the Catholic Church before it was published. Many are even saying , “Don’t give then any money, that is the only message they understand.”I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know if we continue to sit by idly, nothing will change.
    Many people do know who Father’s accuser is . We continue to pray that God will change her hear, that she will recant before this wonderful man ,who has never erred from the teachings of the Catholic Church and led thousands to Christ, leaves the ministry he was called to by Our Lord Jesus Christ. Blessings and the love of Christ be with you Father Mc Rae.

  26. Rita Blaize-Watson says:

    I’m saddened by the news about Fr. Corapi left the ministry as a Priest. For many years he has exposed Satan and evil for what they are and no doubt took many souls from him. I know it is not much consolation that this could not happen had God not allowed or ordained it. But it is true and this terrible suffering imposed on Fr. Corapi is ultimately a part of God’s plan.

    I have heard that once a Priest always a Priest and I am wondering if Fr. Corapi will at least be able to have private Masses.

    I do believe as Pope Paul VI said “the smoke of Satan has entered the sanctuary”. Satan has a lot of help when it comes to those who persecute God’s children and while many in our beautiful Church are children of God there are also many who mean well but unknowingly do the work of Satan. I’m not naive and I do realize there are members and clergy who do willing try to carry out Satan’s agenda.

    There are truly evil people including religious and they have to be forgiven and prayed for. I pray for their discernment and conversion.

    Fr. Corapi could have just preached love and peace, never say anything controversial and attended the pot luck dinners we are so fond of and Satan would have let him coast. Thank God he did not.
    The words he preached are true and will go on forever and still affect souls for many generations to come. They will continue to thwart Satan’s plans.

    Like Fr. Gordon, I hope he talks about the falsely accused and hopefully write a book about his experiences.
    It’s a terrible loss that he is leaving the ministry as a Priest but I pray he will remain the great teacher he has always been.

    Pax Christi

  27. Patricia says:

    Continuing my prayers for Father Corapi, you Father MacRae and all of our priests. Is Father still able to offer Mass and hear confessions privately? Isn’t this the result of the Church trying to mix with the state? Thank you Father Corapi for teaching our Catholic faith so clearly, with enough humor and real life stories to make it stick, truth to give it power, and inspiring me so much, esp. to pray the rosary and love the Church as a Mother and hold on to Her Hand. Thank you Father MacRae for your witness to truth and love under oppression. Your website has been very enlightening. The Truth brings a unique peace and security to hold on to in troubled situations. And so I pray, Our Lady of the Most Precious Blood, watch over the living chalices of the Blood of Christ. Amen

  28. Wenko says:

    Let us pray for all priests that are under attack and have been victims of false accusations. May they be vindicated in Jesus’ name, Amen.
    Thank you for this wonderful post, Father Gordon! God bless!

  29. Michael S. says:

    ….I have watched Father Corapi for years. Unfortunately, in today’s society , the chances of him being treated fairly aren’t good. He’ll be in my prayers. Being an ex-police officer I have more faith in God’s justice than our judicial system !

    Yours in Christ
    Michael S.

  30. Melissa G says:

    Father, I am very interested to read what you have to say about the M. Marciel case. I admit it clouds my thinking about Fr. Corapi. I was told to believe Marciel was innocent, and suffering like Christ.
    The audio tape of Fr. Corapi’s message was disturbing to me because it seemed so self serving and almost like a commercial. I will continue to pray for him.

  31. linda ireland says:

    Dear Father,
    thanks for your article on Father Corapi. Another holy priest, like yourself, destroyed. I don’t understand why the woman’s name is protected. If her allegations are true, she has nothing to hide. So much of the story is a mystery. I hope it all comes out in the end and Father Corapi is vindicated. You are in my prayers daily. I hope you will be free soon.
    Linda Ireland

  32. Josefina Caliso says:

    I thank God for you, Father Corapi and all priests. I thank you for all your sufferings and prayers for souls. I go to Mass everyday and quite often I offer my communion for you and Fr. Corapi and priests who are dear to me. May I ask you to remember my son Jonathan (18 years old) in your prayers. Love, josephine+

  33. Kathy Maxwell says:

    Dear Father Gordon,
    I have been thinking of you more than ever these last two days. I listened to John Corapi’s audio message two days ago and yesterday, read a follow up about it from his diocese here in Texas, in the Catholic News Assn. web site.

    I am very concerned for him and praying hard. I fear that he has succumbed to “fame and fortune” again. The investigation of his case was stopped by the diocese because he filed a civil suit accusing the complainant of breach of contract. Apparently, she signed a contract which forbade her to discuss anything that went on at Santa Cruz Media, should she ever leave.

    I think he got very bad legal advice. The diocese could no longer investigate, since the person filing the claim was facing a threat of legal action for filing it. There is concern about the ability to discern the truth when the person claiming injury is threatened.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think she is lying and I think that would have been made obvious during the investigation.

    It’s ironic that he could not keep his vows of faithful obedience to the authority of the bishop, yet sues her for not keeping faith with her employment contract.

    Perhaps God called him to suffer unjust persecution for a while; perhaps like you, for a long while. We are all worse off for his not having been able to do that, even though we probably would not have been able to do it either.

    I pray that he finds success in his lay ministry. I pray that he doesn’t fall into the worldly traps that are set for those who wish to be famous. It once led him to a park bench. God, acting through the Church, brought him to his full humanity. How heartbreaking if he ends up there again!

    God bless you,
    Kathy

  34. Jeannie Ash says:

    Dear Father,
    Thank you for this article. The balance of it is a marvel to me and I wonder if you had to edit yourself, to revise anything you might have put that was a result of your humanly flawed side vs your faithfully humble side. As a lay person my inclination to indignation against the double standards plays right into Satan’s hands as I might have laudable arguments, but my militancy, especially in these times of ‘delicate sensibilities’ (another effective tool of Satan’s against confidently stated righteous truth being interpreted as such, rather than as the overly zealous attitude of militant fanatics), rarely does any good at all.
    The other catch 22 is one that is part of your vows already self-imposed: Humility. The bishop and others ignorant of their own erroneous behavior impose upon you a supra-humility, whereby your natural inclination is absolutely nailed shut by bureaucracy and even if you had to fight to realize that supporting a lie meant speaking up on your own behalf, the church in error is using the rampant intolerance of the secular world as its governing rules, thereby depriving you of any sanctuary, short of the Holy Spirit dwelling within you.

    John the Baptist had people on his side wanting him out. Those who are supposed to be on your side have evolved into creatures little resembling St. Michael and far more resembling the spineless jellyfish. A little teenage saint by the name of Joan would slay them with a look.

    We are victims to these times of infinite tolerance for vice and absolute intolerance for virtue. It is as though the beatitudes are the don’t and the transgressions which the 10 commandments deride are daily being discovered as laudatory activity.

    Kafka and Heller wrote of secular societal situations, but had they been inclined to Christian writing they could as easily have cited the ancient battle of good and evil and the subtle and brazen methods employed by evil to undermine good.

    As you can see from my evident rancor, I am no great spokesperson against this attack on morality, so I can only applaud and champion you and thank you for offering a discourse that is far more effective in providing a balanced perspective for people to read.

    God bless you and watch over you.

  35. Patricia says:

    Dear Father, We pray for you unceasingly!!

    Opus Bono Sacerdotii Prayer for Priests

    O Lord Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest and exemplar of priestly holiness and dignity, we are grateful to You for having chosen certain men for the ministerial priesthood by which You continue to instruct, admonish, forgive, nourish and strengthen Your Church.

    We are sorely awware of the great need of priests in our time to be confirmed in their sacred calling so that they may continue confidently in their ministry of mediating Your graces to men and of representing them before Your august majesty.

    Relying on the intercession of Holy Mary, Mother of priests, and of Saint Joseph, Her beloved spouse, we beg Your help for the priests who are the most troubled, tempted, discouraged and suffering.

    May the noble and sacred office of the priesthood, which has too often been reviled and scorned, regain its admirable stature in the sight of all men for Your greater honor and glory, and for the sanctification and salvation of Your people.

    Amen

  36. Kelly says:

    Dear Father,
    Well, sadly, it is now _because_ Father Corapi is not being silent that is drawing all manner of fire. Apparently, due to hie priesthood, he must keep silent no matter what happens to him, and just go peacefully into the night.
    I have a different perspective, and think that what he is doing now is quite possibly FOR his fellow priests, who like you, have been sidelined at the snap of someones, (anyones) fingers, no questions asked. Because he is well known, he may be able to garner enough attention to this issue as to get the wheels turning.
    God Bless you! Thank you for your words.

  37. Shirley says:

    I pray at Mass for priests who are falsely accused, inspired by you, Fr. MacRae. I have been praying for Fr. Corapi since this started, and would like people to join me in a Storm Novena on Friday, June 24- fittingly the feast of St. John the Baptist, unjustly beheaded. Here is a link to my post for the intentions and prayers:
    http://wwwseekingjesus.blogspot.com/2011/06/storm-novena-for-fr-corapi-and-catholic.html

  38. Erin B. says:

    Dear Fr. Gordon,
    it is clear that we must pray for our Priests with vigilance. Take heart in the knowledge that the devil would not bother with the ineffective as they are no threat. So, our Priests must be very effective to be under this attack. But we must hold them up with prayer and support.

    Saint Michael the Archangel,
    defend us in battle.
    Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
    May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
    and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
    by the Divine Power of God -
    cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
    who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
    Amen.

  39. Karin says:

    Father,
    Thank you for clarifying what exactly the “zero tolerance” policy means for priests falsely accused. Perhaps there should be a zero tolerance against this policy.
    I was saddened to see Fr. Corapi’s statement telling of his leaving the priesthood~not so much because of this one priest in particular, but because he is a priest; it is Satan putting another chink in the armor of the priesthood.

    I would have loved to hear what Fr. Neuhaus would have had to say about this case.

    While I personally saw some red flags while listening to Fr. Corapi’s preaching (at times there was too much about him), a lot of good came from it and many people came to or back to the faith because of it. He was/is a good priest. A Kafkaesque-Catch~22 is a perfect way to describe his situation.

    I pray that in time the bishops will repeal this zero tolerance nonsense so that more good and innocent priests will not fall victim to it. I know God can and does bring great good out of bad situations, I’m sure he will in this case as well (although I’m not sure what or when)

    For now I will pray for Fr. Corapi, his accuser and all priests.

    Continued prayer for you and all the men there.
    God bless.

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