Monday, March 21, 2011

Fr. Corapi Placed on Administrative Leave After Accusations

This is a big story in Catholic circles. Fr. Corapi is one of the most famous speakers in the country right now and considered a walking saint by a lot of people. Of course we cannot know whether these accusations are true or not at this point. But, what we can do is pray for all involved.

Here is what Fr. Corapi posted on his website - denying the accusations.
A Call for Prayer

On Ash Wednesday I learned that 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. I am not accused of that, but it seems, once again, that they now don’t have to deem the complaint to be credible or not, and it is being applied broadly to respond to all complaints. I have been placed on "administrative leave" as the result of this.

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.

All of the allegations in the complaint are false, and I ask you to pray for all concerned.
Here is a good roundup of what we know and what we don't know from Elizabeth Scalia.

Here is a statement from his superior:
Statement from Rev. Gerald Sheehan, Regional Priest Servant

Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity

18 March 2011

Today, as Regional Priest Servant for the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, I have the unhappy responsibility to announce that Father John Corapi, SOLT has been placed on administrative leave from priestly ministry, in accordance to the Code of Cannon Law of the Catholic Church. We have received an allegation that Father Corapi has behaved in a manner unbecoming of a priest and are duty-bound to conduct an investigation in this accusation.

It is important to keep in mind that this action in no way implies Father Corapi is guilty of the allegation. It is equally important to know that, based on the information we have received thus far, the claim of misconduct does not involve minors and does not arise to the of criminal conduct. Consequently, this matter will be investigated internally, and unless and until information suggests otherwise it will not be referred to civil authorities. In the event that we learn of any occasion where the criminal civil law may have been breached we will immediately refer the matter to civil authorities.
We shall see. In the meantime pray.


Lotus said...

Thank you for this information. I will pray for all involved!

Teresa said...

I know how Fr. Corapi's superior said this - "It is important to keep in mind that this action in no way implies Father Corapi is guilty of the allegation" - but the way that allegations against priests are handled makes the priest who is accused look guilty. It is my opinion that the zero tolerance policy, while it may have seemed like a good idea because of the outrage from the public, was a reactionary and misguided response on the part of the Bishops/Rome. I just think there has to be a better way of handling these investigations, a happy medium between zero tolerance (or zero tolerance investigations) and Bishops moving priest abusers from parish to parish. IMO, they need to investigate the accusation quietly to see whether there is any legitimacy to the accusation. Then, if those investigating it believe it to be true then put the accused priest on leave and investigate more throughly.

Sensus Catholicus said...

Pax et Bonum!

We should keep several things in mind.

First, a good priest is concerned for the salvation of souls, not for his own hide. As a good father, he will be concerned with the possible harm to the faithful under his care, rather than with the possible harm to himself as the accused.

Second, to avoid any appearance of impropriety, a person of integrity will request without hesitation being placed in administrative leave until an accusation of this nature is properly investigated.

Third, we should presume the accused innocent until proven guilty and reserve judgments until the investigation of the accusation is complete.

As in ALL these cases, I have always said that if such accusations were ever made against me AND I was innocent, I would challenge my accuser to a polygraph examination alongside myself in a public plaza for everyone to witness. Whenever, I do not see this type of candid and open response, doubts do arise as to the innocence of the accused.

We should pray for a thorough, ethical and fair investigation of the accusations. And we must be prepared to accept the outcome whatever it is.

However, regardless of Fr. Corapi's guilt or innocence, it will always be just to applaud and give him credit for all the good he has done. You don't throw out the baby with the bath water. Neither do you destroy a man because he succumbed to temptation in a moment of weakness. If he did something wrong he "earned" and should accept the punishment, in the exact same way he "earned" our admiration and applause for the good he has done.

Let us never forget that the failings, shortcomings or sins of a member of the Church, be he a Pope or a layman, do not in the least diminish the holiness of the Church’s teachings nor the validity of the Church’s mission.

Above all, let us keep him, and all our clergy, constantly in our prayers. May Almighty God help them to be virtuous and brave!

Octavio Lima