Friday, June 17, 2011

Fr. Corapi has left the priesthood

Father Corapi has announced that he has left the priesthood.

Details here.

Without wishing to encourage gossip, I have to say that this is the strangest announcement of its kind that I've ever read, especially considering the new website and the announced title of Corapi's soon-to-be-published autobiography.

Prayers are probably the best response.


bearing said...

Judging from the facebook page, a lot of people are confused about exactly what he has announced. He says he'll no longer be a priest in public ministry, and many seem to think this means he's still a priest, but not in public ministry. Except that apparently he's going to keep writing and broadcasting? So... huh?

This is weird, and I'm worried about the people who are his fans.

Anonymous said...

I have been following the priest abuse issue closely for 25 years. Educated in both Counseling and Mechanical Engineering, I searched for a correlation that could help identify priest abusers. Are the conservative priests more likely to abuse? Nope. Liberals? No. Priests with same sex attraction? No.

A few years ago it became clear - Narcissism. A high correlation between narcissistic priests and abusers. No, I do not have research to back this up. Its a difficult diagnosis clinically, but one that non-counselors can usually guess.

Prayers indeed for Fr. John Corapi, and for more humility in the priesthood.

Paul Pfaff

Charlotte (Waltzing Matilda) said...

I thought that since he is now referring to himself as John Corapi (once called "father," now "The Black Sheep Dog") it was clear that he is leaving or has left the priesthood. On his website it says, "From the desk of John Corapi".

TJ said...

Very sad. Without any judgment of Corapi's culpability, this eerily reminds me of former Monsignor Dale Fushek, founder of Life Teen who now runs some sort of non-denominational church where he can continue to pump up his own hubris. I just hope that Corapi remains Catholic and fully supports the Church, though I'm skeptical.

This seems an occasion, all too often of late, for one of Flannery O'Connor's zingers about the everlasting nature of the Church in spite of its members.

Carrie said...

VERY strange. He certainly needs our prayers!

John E. said...

There is a certain 'type' exemplified in such characters as Werner Erhard, Tony Robbins, and - I suspect from what I've read about this fellow - Mr. Corapi.

It is an important life skill to learn to recognize these sorts of folks and stay away from them, no matter how fascinating they might seem.

Thegodsblindthosetheyhate said...

John E,

You nailed it. When the story first broke a few months ago, I did some research online and quickly found signs that Corapi was a narcissist even back in the seminary (there was a letter one of his defenders posted that Corapi had written during his seminary days, and the red flags all over it basically sent chills down my spine). My teenage sons asked me what I thought of the story, and I was bluntly honest with them. They didn't want to hear my take on the story.

Today my oldest son came into the room to tell me about The Black Sheep Dog, and I felt some relief that he is beginning to see for himself what I was trying to tell him months ago.

I have often said that if I could only teach my children one life skill, it would be to recognize the red flags that the Maciels, Euteneurs, and Corapis of the world clearly demonstrate time and time again with their narcissism and megalomania.

It took being bamboozle and hoodwinked a time or two, but I learned it. Now I would like to give that gift to my own children without having to suffer the bamboozlement part of the lesson!

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I don't know enough about him to identify him as a narcissist. I understand that narcissists can be dangerous, and, that people in many fields, religious and secular, make their personal selves the object of adoration, even when verbally deferring to God, or justice, or democracy.

On its face though, I find his letter to be worthy of some consideration. Whenever an institution, or a society, recognizes that some evil has been overlooked and excused for too long, there is a tendency to accept wholesale that all subsequent accusations are true. This, too, is an evil. I still don't know whether some child molestation occurred in the McMartin pre-school, but the case was handled in a shocking manner that could easily have convicted innocent people.

Corapi's deference to the authority he upheld and worked under is a hard choice, always. There must be some legitimate authority, in any sphere, and that means respecting a decision an individual disagrees with. What constitutes abuse so flagrant that the authority itself must be challenged (e.g., the American Revolution) is a hard question. Corapi apparently doesn't see so general or flagrant an abuse as that.

He's right that civil due process is not binding on internal church proceedings (as long as the bishop doesn't hold someone by force against their will).

Red Cardigan said...

Anonymous at 9:13, I removed your comment. You didn't seem to be responding to anything I actually wrote, which was simply a statement of Fr. Corapi's own words followed by my honest opinion that his announcement of his decision to leave priestly ministry, coupled with the further announcement of his new marketing venture, is strange.

If you'd like to discuss either Father's announcement or my opinion as to its strangeness, please do. If you're here to make drive-by denunciations of all Catholics for some reason or other--goodbye.

Clare said...

This was indeed the strangest announcement I have heard in a long time-but to be fair, did he chooses to leave the priesthood, or is this some sort of face/career saving gambit in reaction to requests that he cease public ministry indefinitely? His bishop or superior may have removed him, and this may be an attempt to romanticize this removal by framing it as "The black sheepdog going rogue" or whatever.

Charlotte (Waltzing Matilda) said...

I think, based on this section of of his statement:

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.

... it is fair to say that he has chosen to leave of his own free will. Someone in another combox said that by leaving the priesthood, he is effectively shutting down any further progress, positive or negative, of the investigation, since this is only an ecclesiastical matter which ends when he is not longer under the authority of the bishops. I wish someone more knowledgeable about ecclesiastical procedure would confirm or deny this as it certainly seems to add to the strangeness of this final step.

Rebecca in CA said...

It's all really strange and heartbreaking. I really enjoyed listening to Fr. Corapi but I do not get what he is doing.

freddy said...

Something I think needs to be clarified:

Fr. Corapi, no matter what he says, is not "leaving the priesthood."

He can't.

When a man is ordained it is forever, no matter what he chooses to believe or do in the future. He can leave active ministry either informally (which is what he seems to be doing) or formally, through a process commonly called "laicization," which removes his priestly faculties, but in either case he remains a priest. An ordained man in the Catholic church cannot, through any process, "return" his ordination nor can it be taken from him.

This priest surely needs our prayers! Pray for priests!