On the 20th Anniversary of his ordination, Fr. John Corapi has decided to leave the Catholic Priesthood an concentrate on a “wider audience” as he announces his new web site The Black Sheep Dog. A statement on his website says it all. A clip:

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.

I guess the Bishop of Corpus Christi shouldn’t expect a Christmas card?

There is one curious statement toward the end of his announcement.

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.

“PERHAPS I DESERVE THAT?” Those are his words and not mine, but that’s as close to an admission of guilt that I think you’re going to get. I think there’s something more to this but I doubt that we’ll ever hear the whole story.

That said, I liked Fr. Corapi. He wasn’t someone I would say that I agreed with all the time, but I thought that his humor was often funny and that he had a pretty good show. There were times I didn’t like what he had to say, but also times that I thought he was spot on.

I do find this a bit distasteful that he continues to use this moment to plug his new website instead of coming forth with evidence of his innocence himself. Maybe that day will be coming and I pray for it.

But perhaps, there is good reason for his leaving. Perhaps he is quitting because he is guilty? I hope he isn’t, but I fear that he did something that is irreparable. Otherwise why else would he not produce the evidence of his innocence? A second thought is more positive, he’s giving up to not harm the accuser any further. Either way, Corapi had some kind of dealing with her. What happened after that is anyone’s guess.

It’s a sad day for him and for the priesthood and most of all, for the church. Detractors will pile on and say, “Yep, there’s another bad priest who has problems with sex and women.”

I’m wondering what supporters and detractors will do. Will the 5000 facebook fans he has leave the church now? Doubtful–but it will be interesting to see what happens.

0 thoughts on “Corapi Leaves Priesthood”
  1. Former Father Corapi’s blog site banner is downright frightening! It conveys more of a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” than a “black sheep.” What’s up with that?

  2. I have never been a close follower of Fr. Corapi. But I agree with him: the system of dealing with accusations is seriously flawed. Virtually any innocent priest who is falsely accused has him ministry as a priest destroyed for life. That’s not the way it should work.

    While of course, our allegiance must always be to Christ and never to a mere man, it’s not a matter of following Christ or Corapi. I think that Fr. Corapi is doing the best he can to follow Christ, and to the extent that he is, I believe his work will continue to empower people to better follow Christ.

    John Corapi has two choices: Either lie down silently and disappear, never to preach as a priest again, or find a way to continue to boldly proclaim the Gospel and challenge the dark dangers of the culture outside of his role as a priest. A lesser man with fewer resources would just lie down and fade into oblivion, making a living in some obscure way. But the soldier of Christ that Fr. Corapi is, he cannot just sit idly by and wait for a process that will probably never allow him back into priestly ministry, even if he is innocent. I believe God may still continue to use him to snatch souls from hell.

    Regarding the imagery, althought it is intense, actually it portrays reality, and I like it. I’m tired of effeminate Jesuses who play soccer with kids and do nothing but gently smile at us and give us hugs. Yes, Jesus loves us and is kind and merciful, but there is another side to him. We are in a spiritual war here. We cannot expect an image of puffy cute sheep and a kind gentle Lassie from a man who feels called to serve as sheepdog protecting us sheep from the relentless and ever increasing onslaught of “evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.” St. Michael can and does share that task with the courageous men and women, still here on earth, in the Church militant. Like our soldiers defend our country, we need people willing to take on similar roles in defense of our spiritual well-being, who have the guts to take on the enemy head on.

    If Fr. Corapi is innocent, and I’d place bets that he is, I think he’s doing the best he can to follow Christ, using the gifts he’s been given. God bless him, those he serves, and the leaders of our Church.

  3. God will look after you Father Corapi because you are a true priest to your commitment.Like you have always mentioned in your homilies on EWTN, there is a constant battle between good and evil. Remember,through all of this Father Corapi, you as a human being are on the side of GOOD and God will justly reward your for your efforts. May God be with you continually during this time of trial in you being weighed down by such a heavy cross.

  4. To quote our beloved Saint Padre Pio, “Do not surrender your soul to temptation, says the Holy Spirit, since the joy of the heart is the life of the soul. Sadness, however, is the slow death of the soul and serves no purpose. So have courage [Father Corapi], fight well, and you will have the prize reserved for the strong-hearted.”

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