I have never been a close follower of Father John Corapi, but I have seen his conversion story and a few other videos. Very impressive. A man clearly touched by the Holy Spirit and called to the priesthood in a remarkable way.
It was some surprise then, when he was accused in March of misconduct. Accused, only accused. I have no idea if there is any foundation to the accusations and apparently no one else does either.
I will say that I am angry at priests who commit crimes against others, particularly children (not what Father Corapi was accused of, BTW) and bring scandal to the Church instituted by our dear Lord. I also appreciate that we have no perfect mechanism to process such accusations but do the best we can, sometimes failing to protect our own – in effect, asking them to “take one for the team.”
Father Longenecker noted the injustices placed upon some of the priests in the messy Philadelphia situation. One priest claims the help he gave to a very troubled kid years ago has morphed into a money grab. A priest who chaperoned a theme park outing asked the kids to put his cell number in their phones in case of emergency. The mother of one of the girls took its presence as proof of inappropriate contact. Another mother claims a hug eagerly exchanged by her child with a priest after Mass (in public) became somehow erotic. These priests are now suspended, collateral damage today caused by inexcusable, immoral acts of a few priests decades ago.
Some troubling facts have come to light in Father Corapi’s situation. Proving nothing conclusively, many have risen strongly to his defense. Others have gone the opposite way. Many in the blogosphere have written articles and the response has been devisive.
There is only one “winner” in this situation, one who is thrilled and delighted by this story and its repercussions — Satan. First, this has been a horrible and painful experience for Father Corapi. Faithful Catholics have engaged in very non-charitable words against each other. The Church, the Body of Christ has suffered from the scandal, as she always does in these situations.
The solution is time for the wounds to heal and prayer.
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
our Life, our Sweetness, and our Hope.
To Thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
To Thee do we send up our sighs mourning
and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious Advocate,
Thine Eyes of Mercy toward us,
and after this our exile show us the
Blessed Fruit of thy Womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Pray for us O Holy Mother of God
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.