As a long-time follower of Fr. Corapi, I listened in horror yesterday to the message he delivered on Friday. I was stunned, and tried to wrap my head around it. If not for Fr. Corapi, I may not have become Catholic, my marriage could be over now, and my wife could be dead. That’s how much he means to me. I am Catholic, I changed my ways to be a real Catholic(thanks to Fr. Corapi, no thanks to RCIA), and it saved my marriage. Being a real Catholic, I do works of charity, and mainly on church property. We took on a project, my wife and I, to relandscape our parish, after noticing how ill-cared for the bushes were around the rectory at night when I was in RCIA. There were places that someone could hide in the commission of wrong on innocents, and we ended up digging up many 25-year-old stumps. My wife hurt her shoulder extracting one of those stumps, eventually needing an x-ray, which revealed her still-small lung cancer. As small as it was, they removed half her lung, but she’s alive and well now, thanks to God (and Fr. Corapi).
In my horror, I turned to see what other sources were saying, and they ranged from “Will you marry my daughter?” to “Hey, you promised your life to the priesthood, what about that???”, to criticisms of lack of humility. Well, here’s my take:
First of all, Fr. Corapi didn’t say he’s leaving the Catholic Church, he said he’ll no longer function as a priest. Meaning he will not say mass, hear confession, confect the Eucharist, and so on. Those faculties have been removed already, so there is no change there.
Secondly, people ask about his vows of chastity, obedience and poverty. Time will tell about the chastity, though I believe he knows he’s consecrated to God, and thus not permitted to marry, or have sex. The vow of obedience is trickier. Who did he vow to be obedient to?
God is always first when it comes to obedience. As for Canon law, it does allow for “disobedience” when it is necessary.
Obeying superiors is a grave duty of a Christian (for all). Even the commands of an angel or saint are inferior to those of a superior. The vows are also superior. In the records of a certain saint’s reception of an apparition of Our Lady, his order had a special prayer time, and the bell rang and he had to leave. When he returned, he was told if he had not followed his vow, he would never again have seen her.
However, the Church has many humans in it, and there are times when “disobedience” is necessary to be true to one’s vow. I withhold judgement, but am inclined to believe that Brother Corapi is following a course led by prayer, and obedience.
As to poverty, there are different kinds of poverty. Poverty does not mean you cannot have things, or earn money, any more than a non-profit organization doesn’t have a need to operate in the black.
Father Corapi’s life will not change very much, I think. He will write books, give seminars, and tell it like it is, in obedience to God’s Church-the Catholic Church. Having professed that the Catholic Church is the one true church, Fr. Corapi will be a Catholic, will work for the good of the Catholic Church, and for the good of his fellow Catholics.
For those who would like to still follow him, the website is http://theblacksheepdog.wordpress.com/.
We, as the faithful, must always hold and believe that God is in control. Even if we don’t understand what’s going on, God is in control. It’s up to us to follow his will. So do not abandon your faith because of what a few men did to Fr. Corapi. The Catholic Church as an organization is a flawed body, with politics galore, and I’m sure there’s intrigue. There’s conservatives and liberals, all with an agenda. Our task is to keep our butts planted firmly in the Barque of Peter, neither straying too far right or left.
As to lack of humility, it’s nearly impossible to cover everything in an 8 minute recording. Sure, he could have sounded less like “I’ll now take my ball and go home.” But the message is clear, he wants to make sure his message is out there. I’m sure he prayed all through Lent and Eastertide. No, he didn’t say so, but I would give him the benefit and think he did.
Well, I got my copy of Fr. Corapi’s timeless Teachings of Jesus Christ. One thing I know, if he was right then, and I believe he was, then he’s right now. I wouldn’t be burning Fr. Corapi’s books and DVD’s just yet…