Friday, July 01, 2011

Corapi corrupted part II: the curious court case and the lie of "lying down"

Reprinted on Spero News and RenewAmerica.
It's almost always wrong for a cleric to sue a congregant. It's especially wrong when a priest sues someone who is making sexual misconduct allegations against him. --David Clohessy, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
1. I can quietly lie down and die, or
2. I can go on in ways that I am able to go on. --John Corapi, "The Black Sheep Dog," 6-17-11
Fr. John Corapi
As the important secular 4th of July holiday (and important Catholic Feasts of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts) approaches, we find John Corapi, aka "The Black Sheep Dog," continuing his uneven quest for relevance (if not reverence) vacillating between being a renegade Catholic preacher and a Fox News reporter. Still, there looms in John's past a couple of pertinent questions that must be answered before his future can truly be resolved. The first involves the curious court case he brought against his accuser, and the second concerns the "deadly" statement he made in leaving his priestly ministry. In other words, the age old struggle between fame and humility, faith versus fate.

SNAP Director David Clohessy's above statement about priests suing victims is true enough, and it's doubtful that even Corapi's lawyers would contest David's follow-up point that "[t]his woman didn't 'go public'...seek money...file a lawsuit [or] call journalists...[but] simply wrote a letter to a few Catholic officials, reporting...the wrongdoing." The problem is that although Clohessy may be morally right that "this woman" should not have gotten "hit with a lawsuit by a man who allegedly represents Christ," Corapi could very well hold the legal upper hand, since, taking a cue from the queen of media (Oprah) rather than the Queen of Heaven, Corapi paid this woman a goodly sum of hush money to stay quiet about Santa Cruz Media's internal matters when he fired her, and her disclosures of such alleged consensual acts after signing such a waver could easily be construed in court as "breach of contract."

To me, the most astounding thing about the lawsuit is the lurid details Corapi decides to include, details that, while showing she is not exactly a saint, do not do him any favors either. For example, the brief argues that "[her] Letter contained numerous false, malicious and unprivileged statements about Corapi including...Corapi met [her] when she was sent to meet him by an escort service whom Corapi had contacted; Corapi was a regular drug purchaser and user who...did drugs with [her] and...three of her sisters; Corapi engaged in sexual acts and sexual intercourse with [her and] ... one of [her] sisters; Corapi punched [her] in the face; and Corapi currently has a 'new mistress.'" Call me naive, but would a woman make up a bunch of not only embarrassing but illegal details such as doing drugs and being involved in an escort service; activities for which she herself could be jailed, if the rest of the story wasn't true as well? Of course, it could be that Corapi just happened to be driving through the bad part of town when he spied the sad sisters and, out of the goodness of his heart, hired one and left a care package of cash and his tapes on the Catechism for the others. Later, he reluctantly had to let the lead sister go from his employment after he finds her repeatedly raiding the liquor cabinet, which he kept only for the benefit of his many generous Catholic benefactors.

But even if the latter is somehow proved true, and the court case cleans Corapi up both morally and financially, there is still the immoral mantra Corapi keeps repeating since he left the active priesthood, a false choice he offers his followers that must be exposed. In the above salvo taken from Corapi's first "Black Sheep Dog" statement, Corapi lists his only choices as lying down to die (as a practicing priest) or going on to fulfilling work as a non-practicing one. A week later, in slightly harsher terms, "1. Crawl under a rock and quietly die; or 2. Don’t crawl under the rock and don’t die. I feel that I still have something to offer," Corapi again lists the active (if somewhat secular) life versus a sort of spiritual euthanasia as his only two options, completely ignoring the choice offered by his SOLT superior--and Christ. "We wanted him to come back to the community," said SOLT spokesman Father Gerard Sheehan, where they could support Corapi "pastorally and charitably, taking steps to clear his good name." But "it would have been a drastic change for him...[it] would have meant giving up everything he has." Like the Rich Young Man in the Gospel (Matt 19:16-22), Corapi, the Rich Old Man, could not do this, but unlike his biblical parallel he compounds the problem by pretending this option, not living under "a rock" but "the Rock" of Peter, wasn't even offered. It is said by all three synoptic writers that the Rich Young Man went away sad. But it will be far sadder if Corapi convinces his followers that his selfish choice will make them happy.

39 comments :

Anonymous said...

Amazing article.

Anonymous said...

Corapi is sick. Nothing in him exudes the sweetness of the Holy Spirit. And you don't need an extraordinary amount of the gift of discernment to see this...

He has not followed the way of a Holy Priest. Padre Pio would kick him out of his confessional. Corapi is a disgrace to the priesthood and has created dissension and havoc in the Church.

When I see Corapi I do NOT see Jesus Christ living through that man - at all. And I am not judgmental... just honest.

Read Matthew 24 and the words of Our Blessed Mother when she appeared in La Salette, France as well as Fatima- both of which are approved by Holy Mother Church.

rubyroad said...

I should have left this link in my previous comment. It is more direct,
http://www.romancatholicimperialist.org/2011/06/black-sheep-dogs-thoughts-on-sheep.html

Rosemary

Blindnessisnotcharity said...

Well, if I were going to trump up some false accusations against some innocent sap, I certainly wouldn't present myself as a hooker for hire in my accusation. But maybe that is just me.

On another note, in what universe it is moral to sue a person you consider mentally ill ("demonstrably disturbed")? Is this something Our Lord would have endorsed? I suppose when you are the type of person that can write people off as "delusional oxygen thieves—taking up the space and breathing the air that a real leader should occupy fill" and quotes from men who write books on killology (now that's pro-life for you! seems he and Euteneuer just might be cut from the same type of "pro-life" cloth), suing a mentally ill person probably doesn't seem like much of a big deal at all.


And finally, for the sake of argument, let's grant for a moment that this woman is actually the demonstrably disturbed raging alcholic that Corapi claims she is. What the heck was wrong with HIM that he kept enabling her year after year?? As a supposed recovering drug addict himself, certainly the BS Dog would know that the first rule is you never enable an alcoholic or drug addict if you really want to help them.

Is that brief available online someplace?

Tom said...

Your comments are exactly on the money. Why is submitting to his superiors, in fulfillment of his priestly vow of obedience, tantamount to crawling under a rock and dying? Because he'd have to give up his money, his ranch, his cars, his celebrity status - which to him are more important than the sacred vows he took upon his ordination by John Paul II. This is especially hypocritical of him because his celebrity is built on his preaching of obedience, of the value of redemptive suffering, of devotion to Our Lady ("Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.") If his superiors tell him he has to spend the rest of his life cleaning toilets, then that's exactly what he should do - and offer up every cleaned toilet as a spiritual sacrifice to God through Jesus Christ. Where's the humility, where's the obedience - in the end, where's the Catholicism?

[Above commentary from Spero News.]

Gabe Azzaro said...

How sad that Corapi feels that he has to take this woman to court and sue her when she made her statement private. Whatever happened could have been settled quietly and he would have had the support of his congregation. What he has chosen is the way of fame. He still wants to be in the spotlight, and this is the way he has chosen to do that. For shame, Mr. Black Sheep.

[Above commentary from Spero News.]

Tom O'Toole said...

@Anon 3:22 -- Amazing comment!

Tom O'Toole said...

@Anon 3:31 -- "Sick" seems a strong word, but if you are comparing Corapi to a cutthroat CEO who will do anything to make money, "sick" is the perfect word. It now seems as hard to imagine how he could have failed so many people (as a holy priest) for so long ...

Tom O'Toole said...

@Blindnessisnotcharity -- If my name ("Thomas" as in doubting until proven true) suits me, your moniker suits you even better. Your insights are always exceptional, and your take on "The BS-Dog" is no exception.

Tom O'Toole said...

@Tom -- Spoken like a true "Thomas" (Thomas the Apostle, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas More). Right *and* righteous!

Tom O'Toole said...

@Gabe Azzaro -- How hard it is for the rich man to enter heaven, and how difficult to keep fame from turning into shame.

Anonymous said...

http://caelumetterra.wordpress.com/2011/07/01/black-sheep-dog-prepares-for-further-adventures/

Katy said...

I have to admit that I've been very curious about the details of the case and wondering when someone would publish them. Now we know who the three other witnesses are.

I'm not sure I grok the argument "Why would she make things up that make her look bad?" Similar logic would come up with "Why would he make these things public if they were true?" One or both of these people is crazy and there's really no applying normal logic to them.

Anonymous said...

Katy:

How about....they're both crazy?

That's always a possibility

Terrye said...

Nice hatchet job, Tom. And so Catholic!

Having been in direct contact with the accuser, I can aver that she is, indeed, unbalanced. But not so unbalanced that she isn't selling a Corapi-blessed Rosary on eBay for $5,000 or asking $10,000 for the domain name she hijacked from him more than a year ago, based on the title of his autobiography.

And why wouldn't she fabricate a story based on partial truths? The statute of limitations on her crimes has long expired. But her vendetta apparently has not.

Other employees of Santa Cruz media have said that the woman broke into the office after being fired and assaulted two workers. Maybe she was trying to get to that liguor cabinet again?

I don't know who, if anyone, is innocent in this case. But the sneering, gossipy character assassination of a priest sickens me.

Catholic 4 life said...

I do not know whatever happened to Father Corapi. I enjoyed watching the OLD Fr. Corapi on EWTN. He was such a humble Holy Priest. Now where is Jesus Christ in this man, he has gone. Now he is some Military Maniac. I do not fan or follow the black sheep dog!! It is so so sad money is more important than our Lord Jesus! This man is out for himself and he has been for a Long time!! Who charges for Sunday Homilies, forgive me, but he says nothing new. It breaks my heart Jesus and Mary and the Holy Priesthood were everything to Father Corapi, now, he is doing the Devil's Dance (I did it my way). Hopefully he can get back to reality. Hasn't our Lord been through enough. May God Have Mercy On us ALL!!

Tom O'Toole said...

@Terrye -- Interesting that even YOU don't think Corapi is innocent. The fact is Corapi had a chance to remain an active, sacramental priest if he gave up his ranch to live in community, but he refused. Where your treasure is, there your heart is also ...

Terrye said...

Tom, I didn't say I don't believe he's innocent. I don't--and can't--KNOW at this point. And neither can you. That is precisely the problem with all the rash judgment from bloggers in this case.

Llke everyone else, we must wait and see what develops, meanwhile, if we are Catholic, refusing to engage in detraction and calumny. You seem to be judging him. To me, that is a sin equal to anything he might have done.

As I say, I don't find the accusations (or the accuser) credible--and, like Katy, I wonder why Corapi would have made them public if he were guilty.

It seems to me the most charitable response is to pray for both of them, not to take sides when we are completely deficient in facts.

Tancred said...

I agree with Terrye. These comments are all coming from someone's hat.

Obviously, most of you have never had a child, a friend or associate with these problems, tried to help them and got mauled in the process.

One friend adopted a child, who was ever unstable, and the child falsely accused the husband of sexually abusing her. Unfortunately, the State believed the child for a while... at least... thousands of dollars of attorney's fees later... the problem was fixed, somewhat.

Good thing their marriage was strong and he was a good man of discipline and sense.

Blindnessisnotcharity said...

At this point, the truthfulness of the original accusations isn't even the issue. The fact is, Corapi's response to them has revealed some very disturbing aspects of his character and his personality.

Let the courts figure out who is guilty and innocent (something tells me it is likely the truth is somewhere in the middle, and probably there are no angels or saints anywhere in the story), but as Catholics, we have a responsibility to use our brains to discern what is from God and what is orginating from something else altogether. To anybody but the most blinded of hero-worshippers, something is very wrong with The Black Sheep Dog formerly known as Fr. Corapi.

Beware the Black Sheep Dog and cling to the Lamb of God. The Lamb will never lead you astray.

Blindnessisnotcharity said...

"Obviously, most of you have never had a child, a friend or associate with these problems, tried to help them and got mauled in the process."

I had a father I loved very much. He was a drug addict, a con-artist extraordinaire, and he eventually died of an OD.

I learned very early in my life that enabling these types does nothing but fuel their addictions and give them free rein to continue their con.

This is one of the reasons I find something very fishy in the BS Dog's rendition of allowing these demonstrably disturbed raging alcoholics to continue to work for him and wreak havoc in his life for a decade or so. As a recoving (?) cocaine addict, he would be the first to know that such enabling--and allowing them to continue to "maul" him---would only add fuel to their fire. Tough love is the only way to proceed with an addict, and he surely must have known this from his own life experiences.

It's precisely because of my own life experience that I find myself incredulous at this aspect of the BS Dog's story.

Tom O'Toole said...

@Terrye -- But we do know:

A) He had a choice to keep his independence (and money) and go through the investigative process or

B) Keep his independence and money and leave the active priesthood or

C) Share in common his possessions with the community and remain in the active priesthood. He chose B.

And how is it that you are not judging me?

Tom O'Toole said...

@Catholic 4 Life -- Amen. Perhaps Corapi's life was like the parable of the sower and the seeds ... in that he originally received the Word with great joy but the concern for the fans and riches of this world choked it out.

As least Frank Sinatra apparently confessed on his deathbed.

JimAroo said...

The longer this uncooked hamburger sits on the counter..... the worse it smells.

Only one question remains....how long has this guy been a phony?

JimAroo said...

The longer this uncooked hamburger sits on the counter..... the worse it smells.

Only one question remains...
how long has this guy been a phony?

Tom O'Toole said...

Great hamburger analogy, Jim ... although since his new nickname, I think of Corapi as more of a hot dog ...

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever heard the saying "the more outrageous the lie the more likely people are to believe it." By putting herself in such a horrible light could it be that's exactly what this woman is banking on?

Tom O'Toole said...

@Anon 5:37 -- You miss the MAIN POINT of the article, the irrefutable fact! Corapi LEFT the active priesthood of his own free will against the urging of his order, something no faithful priest should do. You know, if he really got the shaft, Corapi could have appealed his case to the Pope, but The BS-Dog valued his utter independence and financial status more than his call to be "another Christ."

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Di538dp9SQk&feature=channel_video_title

Listen and learn -

Pete said...

Tom, I'm a serious and orthodox Catholic, and appreciate your writing.

Keep it up.

Pete

Tom O'Toole said...

Pete,

Thanks for your letter. After receiving a lot of hate e-mails/commentary lately from the Corapi/Euteneuer gestapo, such encouragement is more than welcome. As my wife says, a serious orthodox Catholic beats a silly liberal every time.

God's grace & Mary's prayers,
Tom O'Toole

Tom O'Toole said...

@Anon 9:52 -- Although Michael Voris makes some good points, I receive no money/salary from Spero News or Renew so I am not among the Professional Catholics receiving handouts from bad bishops that he is referring to.

Or as Michael explains himself:

The term [Professional Catholics] is used to mean those who get their money from the establishment Church, or get access, promotion etc. via the establishment Church - and so we [RCTV] aren't like that. We get nothing from the establishment Church in terms of support; we are supported directly and solely by laypeople giving donations.

A link for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cc9u5elgmuA&feature=player_embedded

Fighting Irish Thomas said...

PRESS RELEASE CONCERNING FR. JOHN CORAPI FROM SOLT REGIONAL PRIEST SERVANT

Catherine said...

Tom, thanks for your excellent reporting on this story.

Tom O'Toole said...

@Catherine -- Thank you for your kind words. Now if only Corapi would come to his senses.

Anonymous said...

I just want to simply say that we all need to pray for Corapi and those involved. This matter brings to mind what St. Peter said and also to remind all of us..."the devil is like a lion always looking for someone to devour".

Catholic 4 life said...

Well now the verdict is out. Father Corapi is a phoney. That is why is left the priesthood, he hasn't been a priest for years. According to his Superior at S.O.L.T. he is not fit for ministry. That is why he dosen't talk about about our Saviour Jesus Christ he could care less. John Corapi you are one good actor. My prayer now for Corapi is he be humbled and repents, or he may end up on the streets again. JimAroo you are right he has been a phoney the whole time.

JCconquers said...

I love your use of the statue of the Sorrowful Mother behind her "fallen" priest.

Anonymous said...

Your portrayal of SOLT as the compassionate father figure is quite naive.

I'm guessing you don't understand "Church speak"?

Mr. Corapi was correct in his assessment concerning "dying under a rock", because that is exactly what SOLT meant.

It was SOLT that gave Mr. Corapi permission to begin a secular business; it was SOLT that gave him free reign to live and work as he pleased. It was SOLT that originally promoted him.

It is SOLT attempting to cover their corrupt behinds.