Thoughts on Corapi...Updated

UPDATE II (6/20): Read my thoughts if you will, but there are much wiser, more knowledgable and more faithful people out there in the world. Please read this article on this business from the bishop emeritus of Corpus Christi for some hope and clarity. Thanks to reader Sally for the heads up.

Also: Corapi responds to reactions and questions... HERE.

UPDATE (6/18): I'm adding a bit to the beginning of this post. A few hours have passed and I'm less emotional and tired and confused. And I have to adjust accordingly...

I want to acknowledge that I know nothing about the situation other than what Father Corapi communicated during the three month span. For this reason, I recognize that I am not qualified to make any sweeping judgements or statements. I don't know what went on behind closed doors. I don't know what options he would have had if he had remained an active priest; such as, where would he live, how would he earn a living, how could he work in the Church in any capacity, what was agreed upon or understood in his private conversations with his superiors, the full extent of the injustice against innocence. I know none of this. Very few people on earth do. So, I think I owe him the benefit of the doubt where at all possible.

The removing of the faculties and ministry of a priest who has been falsely accused is tragic. It is effectively canceling out that good priest's ability to serve God's people in any way other than contemplative prayer. If Corapi is innocent, and he says he is, then the primary functions of his priesthood were snuffed out unjustly. I don't know what I would do in his shoes. He makes it sound as if he was quite certain that no other decision or justice would be forthcoming. I don't know what his options were. Many Catholics seem convinced that a hermit's life is the correct way. But how can we say for sure without being in those shoes in those conversations? How is it that we can be so certain about the details of this man's life and heart when we can hardly make it half a day without bungling our own. I know what I think about appearances and how I feel about them. Other than that... what have I a right to say?

Following is the post I wrote early this morning. I still feel the things I wrote but am open to the possibility of being wrong. In that respect, its more like a journal entry than a statement of fact and I do not wish for it to be read with the idea that I have any greater idea or authority than anyone else.

Corapi is a grown man with more years, wisdom, experience, knowledge of the faith and skill than I. I perhaps owe him a bit more courtesy than I afforded him below. I will remain hopeful that the Lord has greater plans for him still... to which I may or may not be privy. God's will be done.

One thing is certain: the man has been tried, condemned and dragged through the mud by a number of prominent Catholic bloggers over the last three months. It has been a disgusting spectacle and destructive in many ways. They, who knew no more than you or I about any of it. They insist they saw it coming... however, their intuitive brilliance does not excuse their horrid lack of charity. Regardless of his actions, they owe him an apology. I stopped reading them two months ago since their words just turned my stomach. I visited for the first time since then and found nothing changed.

On a better bloggy note, Fr. Z. has written the best article I have read on the subject so far HERE.

I wrote the following within the hour of hearing Corapi's announcement; take it for what it is (thoughts from a wounded heart) and not an iota more...

Bummer. And I mean that in the most grown up way. I just don't know how else to express my disappointment at this point. Oh, I can talk around it for hours; the details and why this is understandable and that strange and whatnot. But for me, it really comes down to vocation.

I get it, Corapi... I really do. My heart breaks for you. Whether you are innocent or not, I get it. But still... I'm hung up on that word. Vocation.

The man is mistaken if he thinks that even heavy discord justifies divorce from his vocation. I can understand the temptation humanly speaking, but I cannot agree with it.

If he was only a preacher, I could understand it. Just as if I were only a babysitter it would be no big deal to abandon my home. But he is a priest and I am a wife and mother. We do not divorce ourselves from vocation. We cannot undo who we are. His act is just paper; and as such, is an act of rebellion against his own heart. As if he could somehow separate it from his body. Scandalous. At best. If my husband leaves me or develops a mental illness, I am still his wife, miserable and isolated or not. I wouldn't march off to divorce court to give crude emphasis to the division. Vocation.

I would not want to be in the man's shoes. Thank you, Lord, for keeping me out of the spotlight and please keep my children un-famous. Know what I mean?

I am so unhappy with the way that justice is denied to so many good priests. So much of what Corapi objects to are valid concerns. But he's a priest before he's a preacher... and a priest with a heavy cross indeed. And the black dog image is creepy. Ask me if I've been to sleep yet. Never mind, I'm too embarrassed to admit that the mental picture kept me up to greet the birds.

I don't want to jump on the bandwagon with the down-with-Corapi vultures. I think people are going far, far overboard with their lack of charity, gossip and speculation on the state of his soul. I am grateful for the good work he has done. But I'm am really, really disappointed in this public act of separation. I cannot follow him there.

Vocation, Corapi... Father, Mister, whatever you are. It's God's gig, not yours.
Posted on June 18, 2011 and filed under "Father Corapi".