The above video announcement may come to a surprise for many. I must confess it kind of did for me. With the many things that I have seen and experienced it sort of did not as well.
John Corapi’s announcement will certainly lead to many comments from armchair Canon Lawyers and Christian pundits many of which will contain judgements against and/or for one side or another. This brothers and sisters is something that I truly encourage you against.
What is evident in this message is that John Corapi is expressing pain. Pain that his public service to the Body of Christ, that is the Church, in a public capacity has seemingly been cut short, again, for one reason or another. From what has been said and what has not been said – Corapi’s statements ring true. In a world filled with pressures from all angles, the Bishop of Corpus Christi, acting in his capacity, has done what he feels is best. Corapi too, has done the same.
What is transpiring is ultimately a matter of faith for all involved including those of us who are simply watching from the nose-bleed seats. In the case of John Corapi, he is the third high-profile priest who, in recent years, has suffered accusations of impropriety: Fr. Thomas Euteneuer and Fr. Alberto Cutié being the other two.
However, there are distinctions among all three men:
- Fr. Alberto Cutié was accused and admitted to failing in his vows. This occurred with an adult female whom he later “married.” Cutié admitted his part but blamed it, somewhat, on celibacy (thought he could not truly pin it on that, as per an interview on Al Kresta’s show). He never officially left the priesthood.
- Fr. Thomas Euteneuer was accused and admitted to being unchaste though never actually engaging in the “marital” act with an adult woman. In this case, the exorcist and former head of Human Life International worked within the system and remains, officially, a priest though is now out of the spotlight. Not much has been heard from since.
- Fr. John Corapi was accused and never admitted to any impropriety with an (or any) adult woman. Nothing has been proven and he continues to proclaim his innocence. He now chooses to continue his “ministry” outside of the priesthood and the governance of the Church, so to speak. His departure from serving publicly as a priest was or is being done in the appropriate manner.
This is the key difference. Between all three men – Corapi is innocent (until proven guilty) and is working within Canon Law as he sees fit to continue serving Christ.
Corapi’s departure from serving publicly as a priest comes as a blow to the Church indeed, however, it does not even come close to what some have said about him. Corapi gives no sign of giving up on anything. He is simply doing what Christ asked of him and all of us: he is carrying his cross to Calvary.
May God bless him and may Mary wipe his tears with her mantle.