At this point, I do not think that there is much to be quarrelled about.
I invite everyone reading this to first stop a minute and say a Hail Mary – or three – for a man who has done so much for so many and who, as one so dangerous for the Enemy, has been attacked with an energy commensurate to the good he has done. During my dinner I stopped shortly to pray for the poor chap, and couldn’t avoid wondering whether I would be able to resist such an attack. A shiver went down my spine. Miserere mei, Domine.
I hate using words like “do not judge” as I find that in modern times they are mainly used to condone or encourage scandal. I cannot – much as I always liked Father Corapi – close my eyes in front of the scandal, and the shame, and the damage for Catholicism. This is very bad, and will be remembered in decades to come. The only way for us is to resolve to pray more, and to pray better; to show the devil that his plan will not work; to pray for Father Corapi, and for all priests, who are predestined targets.
On the matter itself:
1. SOLT must be aware that they are now exposing themselves to be sued for libel for a huge amount of money if the information they have given proves grossly incorrect. As we can reasonably exclude this case, the only reasonable assumption now is that what was stated by Father Corapi’s order corresponds to the truth.
2. It is surprising – to say the least – that a priest can have lived together with what would appear to be his concubine, and abusing of alcohol and drugs, without his own religious order having any sensible control mechanism in place; something like unannounced visits, inspections, perhaps even blood tests, and the like. Without knowing much of the rules of the order, I’d dare to think that his superiors were and are responsible for his spiritual welfare, and that the past history of Father Corapi would have justified – the more so, because of his privileged but isolated position – precautionary measures “under obedience”. It is rather easy and relatively inexpensive to see whether someone takes drugs; it isn’t so difficult to make unannounced visits to see whether everything is all right; it is reasonable to expect that spiritual care is given. I might be biased here because I liked the man, but I think that this doesn’t reflect well on the SOLT, either.
3. Similarly, the accusations to Father Corapi of having violated his vote of poverty seem rather disingenuous. They must have known where he lived, and whether this was all right or not. Moreover, a visit to Father Corapi’s old internet page was enough to understand that this was a well-organised, lucrative business. Whatever violation there has been, the order can’t say that they didn’t know anything of it without looking, in the best of cases, very naive.
4. It is clear, though, that the results of the finding have surprised the SOLT. It is otherwise not to be explained how Fr Sheehan could say, only some two weeks ago, that the order would “take steps to protect his good name”. Evidently, at this point they still believed in his innocence.
5. With the benefit of hindsight, it is to this limited intelligence nothing less than astonishing how Father Corapi could attack in this way, when he must have known that the truth must come out. I have written in the past that his clearly combative attitude was rather an indication that he had nothing to hide, but that a person who has left behind emails and was even (as the neologism goes) “sexting” about his activities should think that he’ll get away with it frankly surpassed my powers of imagination. I now remember a similar case in Germany, many years ago, of a famous football manager accused of taking drugs and denying with everyone even after the police had taken a sample of his hair, and even the day before the publication of the results. Cocaine does this to people, some expert said afterwards. “Realitaetsverlust”, they said, “loss of [the sense of] reality”. We must pray for Father Corapi.
6. I truly hope that this unfortunate case does not give anyone an excuse to continue with the utterly senseless policy of suspending a priest by the first letter of accusation. The fact that in this case the priest does seem not to have been slandered is certainly not proof that such a policy is right. On the contrary, the fact that the truth has emerged so rapidly is a clear indication that the best course of action is to proceed speedily to investigation, but to leave the priest in office until the conclusion of the investigation, as the bishop emeritus of Corpus Christi wisely suggests. Once again, here no misconduct with children was alleged.
7. This might seem a fussy remark, but I still do not understand how an accusation of drugs taking might not be a matter for an official police investigation. To take drugs is illegal in Montana, surely?
8. At the cost of being superfluous: the Church is more than one, or one thousand, Father Corapi of either the good or the troubled sort. The Truths that Father Corapi has so eloquently defended remain just as true today as they always were. Our allegiance is to Christ and to His Church.
9. To close on a chilly note: the disquieting black sheepdog with the lambs in his eyes has shown his true identity.That’s good for another shiver. We must pray.
I dread Father Corapi’s reply now. I dread even more the reaction of his (as it was unwisely said) “fan base”. It is truly time to accept the reality on the ground and start praying for him.
The best course for him would certainly be to leave all this mess behind him, go back to the order (or perhaps, to another order) and try to put his life in order again, away from the lures of sex, drugs, money, and fame. He found the energies the first time, he might find them a second one.
Almost time to go to bed. My Rosary is for him. I liked his ways, and his being so different from the toothless pussycats we see too often around us.
I hope that today, a huge number of prayers will go up to heaven for him.