Very Interesting blog post from Pat Archbold about the Corapi Affair.
Mr. Archbold says a couple of interesting things, on which I’d like to expand a bit.
1) As Mr. Archbold has been the subject of slandering accusations in the past, he is acutely aware of the effect of such slanders on the life of a person unjustly accused of horrible things. This obviously doesn’t mean in itself that Corapi is innocent, it merely reminds us of how easy the slandering game is.
“Slander, slander! Something will stick!” were, more or less, Voltaire’s trenchant words. As human nature hasn’t changed in the meantime, the principle sadly maintains all its dreadful validity.
2) Rev. Sheenan’s statement adds, in my eyes, further elements to the situation. The Reverend confirms that, as per today, there’s nothing else than the letter. It is not that several people have spoken about the same episodes; it is not that facts have been checked and concordances found; it is not that a variety of elements hardens the suspicion. All there is, is a letter of a former employee.
Ever worked in an office?
3) Again, the Reverend confirms with his own words what we already knew from Father Corapi himself: no criminal law profile involved. Even if Father Corapi were to be found guilty, as per today the matter would not involve civil authorities. This clearly excludes drug use and leaves as main field for supposition “sexual impropriety”, which – being I the chauvinistic bastard you all know and, perhaps, not entirely dislike – instantly reminds me of a famous saying wrongly attributed to Shakespeare. I might, of course, be wrong. It happens to the best….
Summa summarum, what emerges is that (and please take a long breath before you read this) the writing of a letter is enough to have a priest suspended and his reputation provisionally tarnished the world over.
I must ask whether you think that the Holy Father would self suspend himself from his office if a letter should be posted to various Vatican congregations accusing him of some misconduct not relevant for the criminal law.
No, you say? Are you sure? Do you really think that before measures of this sort are introduced the accusations should have at least some external concordance, some additional elements inducing one to believe that the situation is worthy of serious investigation? You do? Mere common sense, I hear you say?
Alas, common sense seems not to live in ecclesiastical offices anymore, having left its place to an unholy terror of absolutely everything that might, by a deranged mind, be remotely considered a cover-up.
Now, Father Corapi – or everyone else for that matter – might in a purely hypothetical manner turn out to be Saddam’s secret son-in-law in charge for the ruthless torturing and killing of every missing person in the United States in the past two decades. But frankly, I don’t think that an ex colleague writing a letter and saying this should be sufficient, in itself and without any further element, to have him suspended.
As I have written often in the past, the Church is showing a will to self-flagellation slowly bordering on paranoia. It is high time that sanity takes the place of the current madness and this irrespective of the result of the investigations about Father Corapi (on whom I personally am ready to bet not one, but several pints until I read that there are concordances and further elements of suspicion besides a letter of a disgruntled employee, or of a scorned woman), but purely in order to put an end to a praxis that doesn’t afford any protection, any protection whatsoever to any priest with some degree of notoriety or even without any degree of notoriety but merely disliked by the one or other nutcase in his parish.
Mr. Archbold sums the current situation admirably:
My employer, also implicated in the suit, stuck by me and defended me until it was eventually dropped. Wrongfully accused priests no longer have this luxury
Time to wake up, folks.