Daily Archives: June 18, 2011
Find here the announcement from the Stop Western Mass page that the Western Mass has been, in fact, cancelled.
In my blog post of some days ago I had written to invite to action so that Cardinal Schoenborn “either sees the light, or get a well-deserved slap from Rome”.
I doubt that the first has happened and am more inclined to believe in the second, though the Cardinal might have thought that such a mess every year must not be good for his chances to get the Big Job when it becomes vacant.
Be it as it may, the mass is now cancelled and the Austrian clergy has received – from the very top – a well-deserved lesson.
On the page I have linked there is a form to send your thanks to Cardinal Schoenborn. I suggest that you do it not because he be particularly deserving of praise (he obviously isn’t), but to show him in a polite way the growing numbers of serious Catholics.
We can pat ourselves in the back today. Nothing against Bratwurst of course, but that was sacrilegious in the highest degree.
I have posted before going to sleep the video of Father (I’ll still call him that way, as long as he is) Corapi. I would now like, after some hours of sleep, to write a thing or two about this.
Let me say beforehand that I continue to believe in his innocence from the allegations, for the following reasons:
1) a priest should be considered, by anyone, innocent until proved guilty. This is valid even if the priest in question is a very successful preacher with an entrepreneurial hunch. I am sorry to say that this is, googling around, not really the case. You try that happening to you and then tell me how it feels.
2) this move seems, among other things, motivated from the desire to be able to defend himself seriously against the lady accusing him. When Father Corapi is John Corapi again, the trial will be – if any takes place – a civil one, and then the lady must come up with something to substantiate her accusation, or shut up, or be massacred in court. Corapi says he has “forgiven” her, but even in the Papal States you got forgiveness before getting on the scaffold, so his forgiveness is certainly not one with any legal effect.
Let me also say again, before every discussion, that the current way the Church deals with priests accused of misconduct is a damn shame. This is the stupidity of the pedophile years all over again, in the contrary direction. It is a mistery to me how a young man can now decide to pursue his vocation, unless his vocation is to have his name and reputation destroyed at the command of the first person with some grievance against him. This is just a disgrace and I truly hope that this senseless praxis will change soon. Read here what not Corapi, but the bishop emeritus of Corpus Christ, Gracida, thinks on the matter. What is happening here is pure madness.
But after saying that, I must say that many questions remain open and paint a picture that is, to put it mildly, not entirely flattering for Father Corapi. Let us see them.
1) Priesthood. Here is not clear yet whether he will be defrocked; whether he has himself asked to go; and what his order thinks about the matter. When one leaves the priesthood himself (by far the most probable answer) I am sorry but I do not think that this can be downplayed as “a major change”. A move is a major change, or falling in love, or getting a new job. Holy Orders are not something one takes and leaves according to convenience. Last time I looked, to leave the priesthood was not a choice but a grave sin and a shame and the fact that the Church has after V II accepted to make of this a current praxis doesn’t make the matter less grave. Sacraments (and the duties that go with them; obedience, say) cannot be disregarded because a “major change” is now more convenient. If he is going to “defrock himself” as it appears this is very, very bad.
2) Publishing empire. I wonder whether the reaction would have been different if he had not had a well-oiled publishing operation. Corapi clearly always had an entrepreneurial hunch and I find this not bad at all; but if the publishing empire goes before the clerical habit then yes, I find this entirely bad. Let us also consider that, beside the obvious talent of the man, his success was in part due to his being a priest, with the authority and holy orders that go with that. He cannot think that things will stay the same with the only difference of “John Corapi” written on the DVD boxes.
3) The black sheep. In the simple world where I live, one claims his innocence or he confesses his guilt. If he is innocent, he should avoid self-commiseration and self-styling as a victim. I don’t like black sheep. I want my sheep white. I also don’t like the smell of “we are a group apart” that this seems to imply. To play renegades should be forbidden to everyone older than seventeen.
4) The half words. At times, the message is outright creepy. 1) He accepts what has “transpired”. What is this? Does this imply some imprudence, or inappropriate behaviour from him? Is he hiding something that will come out soon? 2) He “perhaps deserves” to be thrown out. Really? Really really? Why the fuss then?
5) Clearly the biggest problem here: the pride. We are all human and I am the first one to say that I truly like the though guys like Corapi. He clearly sees himself as the victim of an injustice and gets in reaction mode. All fine in itself, if you ask me; he is certainly not supposed to be slaughtered without defending himself, and I like a combative priest like the next man. But at the price of his habit? At the price of leaving the priesthood? Pride is playing him a very bad trick here. And pride it is, as by simply shutting up his reputation would have remained forever intact among his very many followers, which is much more than every priests on the planet risks, by the idiotic system currently in place, every day.
I have never thought that Father Corapi was a “living saint”, as I think that “living saints” are very rare. But I did think that he was a great man besides being a brilliant mind and a sincere Christian, and am now left wondering what tricks economic interests or, more probably, pride and desire to get even with the lady accusing him are playing to him. I will not make a cruel comparison with Padre Pio, a man who was accused of the same behaviour, and of other horrible things besides, and accepted years of humiliations – and a life of always rehashed slanders afterwards – in perfect obedience and perfect humility. I’d never be able to do it myself, and I will not say to Father Corapi that Padre Pio is the standard. But what I would ask of a priest, is that he defends himself and does whatever he can compatibly with his remaining a priest. To say that this is “not possible” is to negate one’s role as a priest in the first place. Priests are victims, not heroes.
The comparison with Padre Pio, or Fulton Sheen, might be too hard. But the comparison with the thousands and thousands of priests who get slandered, threatened, insulted and perhaps harmed or killed in many parts of the world, bearing a heavy cross that the world doesn’t even see, can certainly be drawn.
I cannot see any of them reacting in this way. I also cannot see any Father Zuhlsdorf, or Father Finigan, reacting in this way.
A line has been crossed here. A sacramental one. And this is not even a matter of weakness. If he had said “I have been week and have been with a hooker” this would have been bad, but merely a weakness, not a rebellion. If he had said “I have been overcome by stress and have started taking too many pills, so that now I don’t even know whether I am a drug addict again” this would have been bad, but one would have understood the pressure, and the snares of the devil.
But this here seems to me cold-blooded rebellion to his habit, an all-pervading desire to continue to be the hero of the masses or, much more probably, to defend his name and reputation at any cost. But this is self-defeating, as one cannot defend his reputation in ways that must perforce damage it.
Father Corapi is and remains a brilliant mind. Many of the quotes in my “quotable Catholic” section come from him. They will remain there, make no mistake. He will have my prayers, but certainly not my support in his new activity. And our prayers he truly needs, because in him a brilliant mind and a sincere heart fight against clearly present self-destructive tendencies, and an ego that wants too much. If he thinks that after this move his situation will improve he is, in my eyes, sadly mistaken and a slow journey to self-destruction, sorry as I am to say this, appears to me a more likely occurrence. Satan is clearly circling around a good soul, whispering in his hear sweet words of celebrity, intact reputation, adoring crowds, if he just…… abandons his habit. Abandon his habit! One is almost reminded of Doktor Faust. Best wishes to him, and let’s keep him in our prayers.
He wants, I think, to become another Michael Voris. Perfectly orthodox of course, but free to talk and to defend himself. But there’s a fundamental difference between Michael Voris and John Corapi.
Michael Voris never left the priesthood.
On Insight Scoop, an interesting blog post dealing with the matter of “why dissenters remain in the Church”. After all, Luther & Co. at least had the intelligence and logical thinking of drawing the consequences of their revolt.
The blog post article (in turn mentioning an essay) opines that in the end it is a matter of power: the power-obsessed liberals do not want to go away, they want to conquer and reign over nuChurch. The same would be true, says the article, when the dissenters say that the Church “infantilise” them. Like a rebellious child, they are looking for….. power at the expense of the legitimate authority of the Church.
I found the theory very interesting and it is in my eyes unquestionable that the quest for power is an important part of liberal thinking. One is reminded of school and university, where the most vocal leftists were clearly looking for personal advantages and a political career and whenever you heard “we must this” and “we must that” you knew who was supposed to lead the “collective” effort.
Nevertheless, I would like to offer other three elements; of which two I would attribute largely to the female public (and please note that among “dissenters” women are clearly very well represented).
1) Ego or, if you wish, pleasure. Human beings as such tend to do what gives them pleasure, and to eschew what gives them pain. Dissenters act in a way that is not different: they please their ego by feeling “modern”, “progressive”, “inclusive” and “rebellious in a comfortable way”. But they mostly abstain from thinking this to the end, because to draw the consequences would be traumatic.To say “I have decided to leave the Church” would be very painful, because it would force them to really feel the gravity of what they are doing. As long as they don’t say that they want to go, they think themselves free to feel like “reformers” instead of what they are: heretics.
To make a parallelism with everyday life, think of the “wannabe rebel” adolescent who questions parental authority but continues to be fed and cared for by them. Were he to be kicked out of the parental home – or to decide to leave it and fend for himself – his rebellion wouldn’t be much fun anymore. Therefore he will choose to be rebellious from the comfort of the family. The well-fed, shirt-ironed, college-paid “rebels” are, and always will be, the vast majority.
2) Emotions. Some people (particularly women, but not only them) tend to put a huge premium on how they “feel”. In this perspective, thinking is merely an optional. Therefore, many dissenters (particularly women) will stay within the church (or thinking they do) because of the fuzzy feeling they get by calling themselves “Catholic” and still feel part of the oh so big family. This is the religion of their fathers and mothers, and they just don’t see as “fuzzy” to say to them (or to their tomb) that they have become Episcopalians, even if they are. “I have always felt comfortable in the Catholic Church”, they’ll say clearly revealing the inability to add 2+2 if it feels bad.
3) (Macho alert! Feminazis please look away now!!) Approval. The day a woman stops kidding herself (between seventeen and nineteen, mostly), she realises that women have in their genes a strong need for the approval of men. You see this happening anywhere, with women fighting for male approval in the office and dissing the female colleagues in their presence with an energy and passion men would never find (or care to find) to diss other men in front of women; or berating each other in what makes them cheap in the eyes of men (ever heard men calling each other “slutter”?). I could make much stronger examples, but the important thing for us is that the same mechanism is at work here. These “emancipated” wannabe priestesses badly need to be approved by the same men they accuse of being oppressive to them. It’s…. dad all over again! They can’t do their own thing, leave the church, get a beer with their friends, go to a bar and never give a dime for what the people of the opposite sex in the church they have left think, as men would. No. They must get men’s approval, and in their deluded minds they think that if they only nag men for long enough, they’ll get their way. Foolish but, I must say, very gender typical. Works rather well on an individual level, anyway.. 😉
And so there we are, with this singular mixture of ego trips (“the Church doesn’t satisfy my needs“), emotional orgies (” I always feeeelt that I was born a priesteeeeess”) and starvation for men’s approval (“I’ll not be satisfied until men approve of women priest”) causing what we are seeing: the strange phenomenon of rebellion without severance, and seeking approval from those rebelled against.