Here is my prediction of what has become of John Corapi and what will become of him.
John Corapi chose to disappear from public view because of his court case. He will win this case sometime in the next year. Then he will announce his innocence to the world and the Catholics who assumed his guilt will backpedal. After about six months, he will begin a new and exciting public ministry reaching Christians and non-Christians. This ministry will be a first-of-breed ministry utilizing the latest technology and the internet. He will no longer consider himself a Catholic priest and will agree with some Catholic teachings and disagree with others. His message will be focused on both Christian unity and holy living.
John Corapi recently was accused of misdeeds, and was told by his religious order to quit his public ministry and to move back to his community (the mother ship). He quit the priesthood in response.
I became interested in John Corapi's case because of my respect for him and his ministry. I was horrified at what I learned as this case unfolded. I am shocked at the shabby presentation of this story by those taking the pro-Church side of the issue.
This article is my analysis of what has transpired as of a single point in time: July 9, 2011. I want to add my voice to the topic because I think it is important to understand how the Church operates.
First I present my analysis and conclusions; then I present various audio, video, and print-based articles with my comments.
Did John Corapi commit the acts that he is accused of? Based on the evidence I present in this article, my verdict is that he is innocent.
Certainly he is guilty of breaking his priestly vows by separating from his religious order. I am not addressing that topic in this article.
John Corapi's reputation is effectively destroyed because he is assumed by many to be guilty (of committing the deeds he is accused of). They seem to assume he is guilty rather than assuming his innocence until proven guilty. This is tragic.
I suppose this mentality is a result of the crackdown on the bad effects of the priestly scandals — priests are assumed guilty and removed from ministry right away. Certainly when children are involved and in the case of rape, the innocent people need protection. But this case doesn't involve those.
John Corapi says he loves the Church. But what is the church? It's hard to love the sin within the church. I am curious to hear his views on the Church after this incident.
Obviously John Corapi doesn't believe that Catholics must obey the Church when it is in error. At the time these events ocurred I had a similar view which I describe in my articles about the One Apostolic Church.
The Church is not Church leaders following unjust procedures and it is not oppressive rules of religious orders. Rather, it is righteous leaders and true teaching and doctrine.
Raymond Arroyo and others merely assume that the only way we will ever know the truth is if Corapi remains united to SOLT. I think it is more likely that we will learn the truth from Corapi's lawsuit against his accuser.
Do you trust the Church to give you a fair hearing? Raymond Arroyo admits that it sometimes doesn't but believes that it would in John Corapi's case. I wonder why John Corapi should be so confident of this?
Some think that the Bishop of Corpus Christi would give a fair hearing. I cannot comment on this.
Some think that John Corapi would just be forgotten and his case forgotten. This is my opinion. There is no reason why the Church or SOLT would have to address the topic if he were to submit to their demands.
Some think John Corapi should submit to the injustice because Jesus did this too. But in this case the accusers are the Church, whereas for Jesus the accusers were the unrighteous and wicked Jewish leaders. Do the people who make this claim realize that they are inadvertantly equating the Church with these killers of Christ?
I'm curious to hear what John Corapi will teach. He seems to be focusing on the topic of allowing heros to protect us from those who would harm us.
I suspect that his view of the Church will likely will change.
Based on Corapi's actions we can assume that he holds the following core beliefs:
I suspect that John Corapi gave SOLT part of the money he made. They didn't seem to mind that he was rich until very recently. Probably the money flow dried up as a result of this incident so they didn't need him anymore.
The emails referred to as evidence were surely not John Corapi's emails. Why would he divulge this information. They were likely emails in the Inbox and Sent Items folder of his accuser.
The SOLT statement is laughable in its absurdity.
John Corapi's detractors make much of the timing of his lawsuit, but based on the evidence it seems he didn't plan it at a convenient time when it would thwart their efforts against him. Rather, he filed the lawsuit as soon as he learned of the serious charges she made against him.
For those supporters who want John Corapi to remain in the priesthood (and submit to SOLT) what good would it do for him to stay since he would be squirreled away and we would never hear from him again?
MP3 audio: Sheep, Wolves, SheepDogs (removed)
Freedom vs persecution. Metaphors of peace-loving people (sheep); wolves who will harm these sheep; SheepDogs who protect the sheep from the wolves. What we must do to remain safe.
Video: The Black SheepDog: Changes and Future (removed)
John Corapi will look to the future and will soon stop referring to the controversy. Wearing a Harley Davidson black leather jacket. He will reach out to a broader audience with a broader message — I'm curious to learn what this will be. He said he had two choices: (1) crawl under a rock and quietly die, or (2) not do this. Love the Lord Jesus Christ and the Church — that is where your salvation lies.
Video: Corapi and the Blogs, The Vortex, RealCatholicTV.com (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Di538dp9SQk)
That the Catholic media's condemnation of John Corapi is disgusting. They are hypocritically demanding he suffer in silence.
Video: Satire, Father Corapi and the Brit (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpjNcxdiBu0)
Highlights the two opposing views. That Corapi should suffer by submitting to SOLT's request.
Video: World Over, with Raymond Arroyo, 6-23-2011 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YNzumJLKcM)
Video: St. Joseph's Communication (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZNUKpWfhoc)
That we need John Corapi to remain in the priesthood. (But what good would it do since he would likely be squirreled-away from public view forever. Remember, he has already been deemed unfit for ministry.)
Catholic News Agency, July 5, 2011 (http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/fr.-Corapis-order-finds-him-guilty)
Father John Corapi's religious order has found him guilty of substance abuse, sexual activity and violating his promise of poverty.
This is a gross misrepresentation of what his order stated.
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.
Was his harsh words over the years about lukewarm church leaders a factor?
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.
I doubt if he seems cooperative to those in charge of the case.
It seems like the bishops' policy of addressing scandals is an unwise one for people like John Corapi. It destroyed his reputation before he was even judged as guilty.
Are good Catholics required to put up with such abuse from such stupid people just because they are church leaders?
All of the allegations in the complaint are false, and I ask you to pray for all concerned.
He states this repeatedly. I believe him.
Press Release from SOLT (http://www.soltnews.blogspot.com/2011/07/press-release-concerning-fr-john-corapi.html)
This statement is so lame that it is laughable. They must think we are idiots.
Press Release Concerning Fr John Corapi from SOLT Regional Priest Servant
July 5, 2011
From: Rev. Gerard Sheehan, SOLT Regional Priest Servant Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Robstown, Texas
Fr. John A. Corapi submitted his resignation from the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity ("SOLT") early in June.
While SOLT does not typically comment publicly on personnel matters, it recognizes that Fr. John Corapi, through his ministry, has inspired thousands of faithful Catholics, many of whom continue to express their support of him.
I support John Corapi and feel he has been treated unjustly.
SOLT also recognizes that Fr. Corapi is now misleading these individuals through his false statements and characterizations. It is for these Catholics that SOLT, by means of this announcement, seeks to set the record straight.
This statement fails to explain how John Corapi has been misleading people. Nor does it state anything contradictory in any way to what John Corapi states.
A woman, well known to Fr. John Corapi, mailed SOLT a signed letter detailing allegations of Fr. Corapi's sexual activity with adult women, abuse of alcohol and drugs, improper sacramental practices, violation of his promise of poverty, and other wrongdoing.
Did SOLT really not know that John Corapi was rich? Boy, are they dumb! Even I knew it.
The woman was probably hired by John Corapi himself since he seems to have been so closely involved with Santa Cruz Media and since she seems to have had such an important role in the company. Apparently, there was at least one other person who was fired and who acted as a witness against John Corapi.
After receiving the allegation, SOLT formed a three person fact-finding team to ensure that it handled this matter in accordance with canonical norms. The team included a priest-canonist, a psychiatrist, and a lawyer. Two were members of religious orders, and one was a lay Catholic. Two were men, and one was a woman. All three have national reputations and substantial experience in ecclesiastical processes related to priest disciplinary issues.
How could they possible come to an accurate conclusion without all the facts and evidence. Their credentials are meaningless in the absence of facts and evidence.
As the Society was engaging this team, Fr. Corapi filed a civil lawsuit against his principal accuser. He contended that she had defamed him and breached her contract. The contract, according to Corapi's lawsuit, contained a provision binding the woman to silence about him. He offered the woman $100,000 to enter this agreement.
Note the sequence of events: SOLT was merely in the process of forming this team when John Corapi filed the lawsuit. Thus, he did not file the lawsuit to obstruct their efforts.
The $100,000 is probably a salary. She likely had a managerial or creative role in the company; perhaps as a marketing director.
It is common for employees working in fields involving intellectual property and trade secrets to enter into contracts of this sort. Even as a lowly software engineer I signed such a contract.
SOLT's fact-finding team subsequently learned that Fr. Corapi may have negotiated contracts with other key witnesses that precluded them from speaking with SOLT's fact-finding team. Many of these witnesses likely had key information about the accusations being investigated and declined to answer questions and provide documents.
He "may" have. Not very strong evidence. I can imagine that a media company would wish to keep bad press under control and he likely implemented some sort of plan to contain the damage.
When the fact-finding team asked Fr. Corapi to dismiss the lawsuit, to forbear from foreclosing his mortgage, and to release her and other individuals from their contractual obligations to remain silent about him, he refused to do so and, through his canonical advocate, stated: "It is not possible for Father Corapi to answer the Commission's questions at this time."
Why is this a problem?
SOLT's fact-finding team has acquired information from Fr. Corapi's e-mails, various witnesses, and public sources that, together, state that, during his years of public ministry:
This does not say that John Corapi was judged as guilty. However, it strongly implies this and other people are drawing this conclusion.
It is unlikely that they obtained emails from anyone other than the accuser herself and the witness(es) who were apparently also fired; these emails could easily have been tampered with (especially from someone who gets paid $100,000 and likely has professional savvy and capable contacts).
We were told in a previous paragraph that the witnesses were thwarted. Likely their testimony was unhelpful. So how can SOLT know so much with so little information at their disposal?
It is unlikely that public records revealed any of the following except perhaps the value of his home and property. Probably all the following is contained in that three-page letter from the accuser.
He did have sexual relations and years of cohabitation (in California and Montana) with a woman known to him, when the relationship began, as a prostitute; He repeatedly abused alcohol and drugs; He has recently engaged in sexting activity with one or more women in Montana; He holds legal title to over $1 million in real estate, numerous luxury vehicles, motorcycles, an ATV, a boat dock, and several motor boats, which is a serious violation of his promise of poverty as a perpetually professed member of the Society.
If his vow of poverty was so important, why didn't SOLT address his wealth years before? Perhaps they enjoyed receiving their regular payments from John Corapi which he likely sent them. And by the way, $1,000,000 is not that much money for a home and property.
Perhaps the woman he hired was a prostitute, or should I say, an ex-prostitute. He likely would have been very forgiving of people who had made mistakes in the past given his colorful testimony.
Motor boats? Not yachts?
A boat dock. Probably for the boats. If it was on a lake it probably didn't cost more than a few thousand dollars to construct.
He likely used the ATV for his infrequent days off from a busy schedule of touring, speaking, and managing his business. Certainly you can't deny such a man a little R & R once in a while.
Where did he purchase the alcohol? Didn't any of the local store owners sell it to him? It seems the prosecutors didn't try very hard to learn the truth.
SOLT has contemporaneously with the issuance of this press release directed Fr. John Corapi, under obedience, to return home to the Society's regional office and take up residence there. It has also ordered him, again under obedience, to dismiss the lawsuit he has filed against his accuser.
Throughout history so many of the gifts of the saints were squelched by their superiors.
Of course they want him to dismiss the lawsuit — that is how we are all going to finally learn the truth of his guilt or innocence.
SOLT's prior direction to Fr. John Corapi not to engage in any preaching or teaching, the celebration of the sacraments or other public ministry continues. Catholics should understand that SOLT does not consider Fr. John Corapi as fit for ministry.
They sure let him teach for a long time. They apparently didn't object to his unusual style.
Statement about the accusation of misconduct made against Father John Corapi, SOLT. Statements by Bishop George Leo Thomas. March 21, 2011 (http://www.diocesehelena.org/bishop/press/2011-03-21-statement-corapi.html)
It is important to accord Father Corapi the principles of due process, including the assumption of innocence, until a full investigation is carried out by his superiors.
Apparently John Corapi didn't feel he would receive due process if he obeyed SOLT's request to return to Texas.
Santa Cruz Media, Whitefish, Montana, March 25, 2011 (http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2011/03_04/2011_03_25_Kandra_FrCorapi.htm)
It is likely that John Corapi had direct management responsibility over this company so it is not surprising that this spokesman is supportive of him.
Statement of Santa Cruz Media, Inc. Relative to Fr. Corapi's Suspension
Santa Cruz Media, Inc. is the owner of all of Fr. John Corapi's intellectual property and the DVDs, CDs, and books that flow from it. We are a secular corporation and not affiliated with the Catholic Church in any way. As such, we are not under the jurisdiction of any bishop or other official in the Catholic Church, although we have the utmost respect for Church authority.
We have consulted with a number of canon lawyers. They have assured us that the actions of the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas are, on several points of canon law, illicit.
He does not specify the points.
There is no evidence at this time that Fr. Corapi did anything wrong, only the unsubstantiated rant of a former employee, who, after losing her job with this office, physically assaulted me and another employee and promised to "destroy" Father Corapi.
Did SOLT use either Bobbi Ruffatto or this other employee as a witness?
If this testimony is true it doesn't bode well for Corapi's accusers.
The Church provides no financial support to Fr. Corapi. He has to pay for his own legal representation, medical costs, food, housing, etc. We have never accepted donations or charitable contributions of any kind. We are supporting Father's efforts to defend himself.
Corapi did not fleece the sheep. He was a gifted speaker and sold products and services.
Bobbi Ruffatto, Vice President of Operations, Santa Cruz Media, Inc.