Extra Ecclesiam Nullus Corapi
Many of you will remember the controversies surrounding the suspension of Fr (?) Corapi, his controversial decision to leve his order, his even more questionable decision to create that disquieting “black sheep dog” site and, most of all, his publicly announced decision to leave the priesthood.
Many will remember the fears expressed form several sides, that this new ex-Fr Corapi would be able to establish his own “cult” and cause many people to leave their Catholic faith. I always thought this was an unrealistic fear, but I must say the following months have given me right more than I expected.
The number of followers of the new, ex-Fr Corapi on facebook was immediately decimated. The disquieting internet site never went beyond the usual accusations and recriminations, and some blog post about politico-social-religious matters. Starting from around September – say, two months after the mess – the site was de facto paralysed. In January, it was closed.
Several are the hypotheses made to account for this. The man might be complying with requests made by ecclesiastical authorities as condition to allowing him to be defrocked; or he might be discussing the possibility of coming back to his old order, or to enter a new one; or he might have already done so, though in this case I can’t imagine the fact would have been kept secret – unless, of course, because waiting for a sort of “probationary period” to be concluded. He might also have had a moment of lucidity followed by the clear conscience of how he was ruining himself, and have decided to simply shut up for the time being.
Be it as it may, one thing is self-evident: once severed from his priestly office, Corapi the man lost most of his followers, and I think we must pray for those whom he didn’t.
As I have already written in the past, the meltdown of the black sheep dog pantomime actually shows what a solid work Corapi had performed whilst a Catholic priest: the many he converted were converted to the true Church, not to a personality cult. When he detached himself from the Only Church to which he had been attracting thousands, they immediately applied the lessons learned from him and promptly ditched him. Catholicism is not about this or that person, but about Truth. People know it, and act accordingly.
We do not know what is happening around – and inside of – Fr (?) Corapi. I hope one day his good works – the many thousands he converted and the other thousands he greatly helped to rediscover authentic Catholicism – will help him in the day he will have – as we all – to give a complete account.