Father John Corapi

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Christ the True Vine (Athens).
"Father John Corapi does not belong to a religious order or congregation. He belongs to a Society of Apostolic Life. He is not a priest of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, he is incardinated in the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity [SOLT], a diocesan Society of Apostolic life that I established in the Diocese of Corpus Christi when I was the Ordinary of the Diocese. He has never held an assignment in the Diocese nor has he ever worked in the Diocese. Following his ordination in Rome in 1991 by Blessed Pope John Paul II he has ministered in many places, but not in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. With the permission of his superiors he established his media company in Montana and has lived there ever since. As a member of that Society (The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity) Father John is not bound by a vow of poverty. He is bound by a promise of obedience to his superior, the General Priest Servant of the Society" (Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, founder of SOLT).

"Press Release Concerning Fr John Corapi from SOLT Regional Priest Servant," July 5, 2011.

SOLT's fact-finding team has acquired information from Fr. Corapi's e-mails, various witnesses, and public sources that, together, state that, during his years of public ministry:
  • He did have sexual relations and years of cohabitation (in California and Montana) with a woman known to him, when the relationship began, as a prostitute;
  • He repeatedly abused alcohol and drugs;
  • He has recently engaged in sexting activity with one or more women in Montana;
  • He holds legal title to over $1 million in real estate, numerous luxury vehicles, motorcycles, an ATV, a boat dock, and several motor boats, which is a serious violation of his promise of poverty as a perpetually professed member of the Society.
SOLT has contemporaneously with the issuance of this press release directed Fr. John Corapi, under obedience, to return home to the Society's regional office and take up residence there. It has also ordered him, again under obedience, to dismiss the lawsuit he has filed against his accuser.
SOLT's prior direction to Fr. John Corapi not to engage in any preaching or teaching, the celebration of the sacraments or other public ministry continues. Catholics should understand that SOLT does not consider Fr. John Corapi as fit for ministry.

What we know for certain

  • None of this is a surprise or shock to God. God has known about this from before all time. He has a plan for our welfare, not for woe (Jeremiah 29:11). We need to deepen the virtue of hope in response to this strange turn of events.
  • This is Another Free Growth Opportunity (AFGO).
  • Someone needs forgiveness, repentance, reparation, and amendment of their lives: Fr. Corapi, his accuser, the blogosphere, myself.
  • God has provided everything we need in the death and resurrection of His only-begotten Son to bring good out of this evil. God can write straight with crooked lines.
  • Nothing Fr. Corapi taught is false. The Catechism is a reliable guide to the mind of the Catholic Church; the Catholic Church is the Body of Christ on earth; Mary is the Mother of God and Mother of the Church; Jesus is our God and King. We need to repent of our sins, reform our lives, and preach the gospel to all who will listen.
  • We are at war. The weapons we have at our disposal are faith, hope, love, prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude. We take our marching orders from Jesus through the successors of the apostles, our bishops. We need to be fortified with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. Our rations for the battle are the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We are joined to God and to each other in an unconquerable Kingdom by the power of the sacraments. We are surrounded by a great army of angels and saints who watch over us night and day. We are not alone. We are not without hope. God who began this good work in us will bring it to completion.
  • It hurts to see Fr. Corapi acting so strangely. But our faith is in Jesus, not in any of His servants, faithful or not. It's a waste of time and energy — and therefore a victory for our enemies — for us to picture how perfectly we would have lived Fr. Corapi's life and emerged victorious over all of his temptations. The advice from Alcoholics Anonymous for what to do when someone relapses is to say, "If not for the grace of God, that would be me!"
  • Sheep dogs are not the head of the flock. They serve under the shepherd and themselves need to be shepherded. We get distracted, like Peter on the beach in John 21, and start asking questions about how other people are going to follow Jesus. I imagine that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is saying to us what he said to Peter: "What does it matter what I want Fr. Corapi to do? Your job is to follow me."
  • So the bottom line is that when we are tempted to worry about whether Fr. Corapi is following Jesus faithfully, we should instead examine our own conscience to see if WE are following Jesus faithfully.
  • The moral of the story of Judas: Don't leave Jesus because of Judas!
  • I feel very sad about the whole thing. I'll read his autobiography when it becomes available and I'll keep on praying for him, but only because his priestly ministry was so important to the Station of the Cross. "Test everything; hold fast to what is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21). I listened to many of his talks on the station during the last four years. I didn't find anything objectionable in his theology. When the announcement first came out, I felt like a soldier in the Civil War. When a standard-bearer fell, other soldiers rushed to take his place, even though that meant that they would be targeted next. Fr. Corapi has fallen in battle. It's very sad. I hope he can recover. Meanwhile, the battle continues and we need to pick up the battle flag and keep on fighting with the gifts God has given us to conquer our enemies: faith, hope, and love — "and the greatest of these is love."

Three scenarios

God has not appointed me to be Fr. Corapi's judge. That is the prerogative of King Jesus, Who is coming in glory to judge the living and the dead. All of us, not just Fr. Corapi, will have to answer truthfully when Jesus asks, "What did you do with what I gave you? But it is possible to use our imaginations to determine what our obligations are in different cases.

Fr. Corapi is innocent

If Fr. Corapi is innocent, then his accuser is guilty.

We need to forgive her and pray for the salvation of her soul.

Fr. Corapi is guilty as charged

In this case, both Fr. Corapi and his accuser are guilty of grave sin.

We need to forgive both of them and pray for the salvation of their souls.

Fr. Corapi is innocent of some things and guilty of others

In this case, both Fr. Corapi and his accuser are guilty of grave sin.

We need to forgive both of them and pray for the salvation of their souls.


  • "Father Corapi's Health." Sound advice about how we need to "take care of the instrument" (St. Ignatius) in order to serve God faithfully. "There is no substitute for exercise."