The Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi writes at his blog ABYSSUS ABYSSUM INVOCAT / DEEP CALLS TO DEEP and specifically, he has commented on the situation with Fr. John Corapi here.
The Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi is a voice of reason in a maelstrom of unrest. After reading what he has to say, I have come to the conclusion that while I do think the lack of good due process is an issue to be worked out in the Church, it is not good to condemn decisions being made here just because of that issue. Separate them, deal with each by itself. Calm down and see what God is going to do with this situation.
Issues of due process, the right to face one’s accuser, the right to know the charges and respond to the evidence, and the ideal of “innocent until proven guilty” have been abused in the way priests accused of wrong doing are handled. Lack of justice is not excused simply because evil was done in the past. Evil does not justify new evil! We must be civilized and seek the way of reason. This is the foundation of our legal system and should be the ONLY path taken when any man, priest or not, is accused of some wrongdoing.
I have concluded this topic is truly separate from the issue of this priest whose recent public announcement appears to be the result of rebellion and pride– but I think it is too soon to know what this all means.
I hope Fr. John Corapi, or as he as asked to be called merely JOHN CORAPI, takes up wearing all black and invests in a really great jet black wardrobe (including a good black leather jacket) to go with his new moniker, Black Sheep Dog
. Since Johnny Cash passed there really hasn’t been a decent “Man in Black” protesting anything and well, there is a LOT in our country and in our Church today which needs to be protested!
So much is simply wrong in this country. There is a lot of socialism being pushed and called Catholic Social teaching. There is a move to eliminate the freedoms which have been the hallmark of our culture. There is a move to destroy our culture and use ANYTHING to justify it, including our beloved Catholic Faith!! Yet it is here, in this country where Catholics have been free to serve God and live the Catholic Faith with great freedom. Here Catholics have lived in safety and built many churches and run many ministries to the poor. This country has done more good than any other and there is jealousy from other countries who choose socialism and then lament that it does not serve human dignity or freedom and what is more that socialism eradicates the Catholic philosophy of the people and faith ceases to be practiced by all but a few and morality becomes a joke. What this country needs is a loud voice for reason, faith, freedom, and morality.
It may be that in causing the Bishop to suspend this man from the role of a priest God may be choosing to use John Corapi to engage secular issues for God. I do not know. I have chosen to wait and find out. What is absolutely certain is that the Bishop has the authority to suspend any priest under his jurisdiction. The authority of the Bishop should not be in question because even if he is in the wrong, he is nevertheless the Bishop.
I read what the Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi wrote, so I’m mellow on what Mr Corapi is doing. At first I was making comparisons in my mind with my favorite theologians who were mistreated and took it with long suffering and humility and their examples are lovely. But these times are what they are and I am going to wait and see how God uses what Mr Corapi has chosen to do, measure the fruits and decide if he is a rogue sheepdog or one who is listening to the True Shepherd.
God bless Bishop Emeritus Gracida and John Corapi.
PS something else to contemplate.
As a follow-up, the vocation of the Priesthood is not something you can simply shrug off. Holy Orders are a Sacrament like Marriage is a Sacrament and it cannot be broken.
Please do not assume that I approve of John Corapi ditching his vocation. I’m just not certain that he is ditching anything.
These is a lot going on here, some purely secular and covered by civil law, some totally Church which must be covered by canon law, and some which is purely the decision of the Bishop of the diocese of Corpus Christi.
I’m not ready to condemn the man for the path he is taking until I see where it goes. I cannot see him taking a path that would disrespect the right of the Bishop to exercise his authority over one of his priests. I cannot see him teaching others to rebel against proper church authority. I cannot see him teaching heterodoxy. So I refuse to condemn his actions until there is a lot more information.
I think a lot of APPEARANCES are being judged but appearances may not be what is really there. I think the best path is to wait and see.
Anyway, a few friends commented elsewhere in a way that led me to think they worry that I approve of ditching vocations– I do not– but are we the competent authorities to decide that is what is happening here? I think not.
Another excellent commentary on this situation: And the Truth Will Make You Free.