Sunday, 20 March 2011

The moment every priest fears.....

Fr John Corapi - an "other Christ"
They are easy targets for those with a grudge, the mentally unhinged or those who are just plain malevolent. All one has to do is launch an accusation: "He assaulted me in the Sacristy bishop" and the damage is done. The priest is suspended pending an inquiry, maybe, even the civil authorities are involved and a court case is the result.

Guilty until proven innocent!

But the damage does not stop there. The branding has only just begun, there will be whispers, mothers will hide their children when he is around and the invitations to Sunday lunch will dry up; whatever the outcome, guilty or innocent.

It must be tempting to those of the Judas mould to inform on a priest (even an innocent one) and then take the thirty pieces offered by the Diocese. Except that, it's much more than 30 pieces, it's more likely to be thousands of dollars or pounds that are on offer.

Now the great television evangelist, Fr John Corapi, SOLT, has been falsely accused (I believe). Anyone in Great Britain who has watched his EWTN Monday at 9pm programme could not fail to believe in this man - probably our greatest media orator since Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

Here is his account in his own words:

A Call for Prayer

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


Pray for Fr Corapi and email him a message of support. He is undergoing the same trials that Christ endured right now and this is an opportunity for us to repay him for his wise counsel via EWTN and his writings.
Here is his website


  1. On the wider picture an Irish friend of mine (a very good Catholic, EF attendee, with a large family, with a Catholic extended family) said that after the purse was opened to victims of clerical abuse (and he is well aware of the all too real failings of the Church in Ireland) that thousands came forward with the flimsiest of stories and grabbed the money.

    As with any "open purse" arrangement, many will come out of the woodwork to milk a system, especially those of a bent vaguely anti-Catholic.

    He said that the Church was wrong to try and cover-up the genuine abuse, but equally wrong to offer a pot of gold with now controls, which led to hugely inflated "abuse" figures which will not be independtantly verified: so making a bad situation worse.

    We should always err on the side of caution, and follow the line of natural justice; whether it is a priest or a lay person.

    Common sense and natural justice should be applied, and IF priests are to be all but suspended, then the wheels of justice should turn with speed (not haste - but speed) so that if a name is to be cleared, it can be done so.

  2. The devil never sleeps. I think the more a person belongs to God, the more he fights and persecute that person. I don't know this priest. Let us give him the benefit of doubt and pray that everything will be well if he is innocent.

  3. Unfortunately, because of the way the abuse of children cases were so badly mishandled, it's going to be presumed guilty until proven innocent. In this case, the accusations, if true, point to voluntary participation by the accuser. If Father committed the things he's accused of having done, and I pray that he didn't, in my opinion it does not rise to the level of public accusations like this. Every person is entitled to their reputation, and this type of expose is a sin of detraction, imho, of the highest degree. Father's alleged sins, in this case, should be a matter between him and God. With that said, Father has done some things which do not help his case in the court of public opinion. A ministry of preaching to the masses is fine, but at the end of the day, a priest should be hanging his hat in a rectory somewhere, if for no other reason, to protect himself AND the already-reeling priesthood from this kind of attack. And as I have said elsewhere, IF these accusations are true, they do not change the power or truth of the message, even though the messenger himself may be flawed.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. In the UK this is one of the quickest ways to make money. Most cases are settled without a trial. Defendants do not want to fight cases that they will lose. Ultimately, whether or not a case is settled depends on whether or not a suitable amount of compensation can be agreed with the defendant out of court. If it cannot be agreed, the case would have to go to court to be decided by a judge. That ‘threat’ can be used by the plaintiff to leverage even greater sums of cash out of the Church or other organisations, which become de facto ATMs. Add to that the fact that a claim can be brought with as much or as little publicity as the plaintiff wants. The ‘brief’ can apply to the court for an anonymity order so that the plaintiff’s identity is secret from everyone – employers, family and friends.

    Finally, it is uncharitable to discuss Fr John's appearance in the public domain.

  6. I have removed two comments as I felt that they could be construed as detraction and contribute to scandal. I am sure the authors never intended such.

  7. We used to know a very good priest who was falsely accused. The guy was a drug addict looking for some quick cash with an array of stories so ridiculous that even the police and judicial system tossed it out 'with prejudice.' Considering the hysteria and lynch mob attitude prevalent in legal circles today, that says a lot about what a BSer the accuser was. We and the rest of the parish remained faithful to Fr., and I hope that vote of confidence helped him somewhat.

    SNAP, of course, went ahead and slapped his name on some of their websites. Last I checked, he was still listed on a couple. They're good at dishing it out, but apparently aren't too interested in justice for *both* sides.

    Someday, I would hope reporters will have the guts to expose the 'other side' of this scandal, much like how some of the phony child care cases in the 80s have been reexamined. But seeing that the Church is such a convenient punching bag, I'll remain doubtful until I see it happen.

  8. Pray that justice will be done.