First, I'm happy that SOLT has spoken publicly on this matter for one reason, and one reason only: the salvation of souls. Fr. John Corapi, as I've already stated, is leading souls astray by his double talk regarding his "ministry" outside the Church, and by his attacks on the Church's leadership regarding lawful and good procedures put in place to protect the laity. There's also the Facebook issue.
For many who do not use Facebook, it may seem rather perplexing that so many people are worried about Fr. Corapi "leading souls astray", which was the central element of my own criticism. However, for those of us who do use Facebook this aspect of the scandal was the most frightening and what prompted myself and others to speak out.
Many Corapi Facebook "fans" passionately and spitefully attacked not only Fr. Corapi's accuser, but his superiors and the Church in general. Not to mention, those who criticized Fr. Corapi were condemned with no little hateful rhetoric. I had to turn on comment moderation because of the profanity, not to mention ad hominen accusations that completely lacked reason and sanity, directed at me by Corapi "fans" because of my last post on this subject. There's no shortage of conspiracy theories to be found on his page, to include yours truly being accused of being a lackey boy/lapdog for liberal bishops (as laughable as that is!). This is not healthy behavior, but more scandalous is the fact the Fr. Corapi, himself, says nothing to counter this behavior. In fact, someone keeps deleting comments that are negative toward Fr. Corapi, but the same person or persons leave comments containing malicious attacks directed at Corapi's accuser, superiors or critics.
SOLT acted in a way that will hopefully distance themselves and the rest of the Church from this kind of scandalous behavior, and bring, we pray, some of these Corapi "fans" back to sanity.
Secondly, I do not in any way feel "vindicated" in the face of my critics by the press release. This is an unfortunate episode, and great damage has been done to the Church. This should be an invitation for us to make an examination of conscience. Fr. Corapi is, above all, a man just like the rest of us, and any man who thinks himself above the possibility of the fall is a fool.
Lastly, I would like to express my own confusion. I never for a moment thought the allegations were actually true until today. My criticism of Fr. Corapi revolved around the fact that he attacked his superiors, was disobedient to them, attacked the Church, and then announced he was going to engage in ministry outside of the Church. I was critical of him for allowing his "fans" to act in such away as to add scandal on scandal, but never did I criticize him for doing what he was accused of doing or lying to cover it up. I even posted initially that I was sure the allegations would be proven false.
Now I'm left perplexed by the actions of the man, and a façade so easily built up. The last time I saw Fr. Corapi was two years ago at the Rally on the Quad, during President Obama's commencement address at the University of Notre Dame. I remember his impassioned plea for the re-establishment of a Catholic identity at our universities and his vehement insistence on respect for the unborn. Not that long ago, a traditionalist who attended one of his talks asked him when he was going to offer the Traditional Latin Mass, and he smiled and answered, "soon." That gave hope to many that Fr. Corapi would be helpful in promoting the Traditional Latin Mass. For these reasons I'm having a hard time reconciling that man with what I know of him now, a man who not only fell, but has lied to such an extent as to actually harm others.
There are a couple of items from Thomas à Kempis that seem particularly apropos to this scandal.
For those who are Corapi "fans", and for those struggling with this mystery of iniquity, Chapter 79 of the Imitation of Christ:
CHRIST. My son, if your peace depends on anyone, by reason of your affection or friendship with him, you will always be unsettled and dependent on him. But if you turn to the living and eternal Truth, the departure or death of your friend will not distress you. Your love for a friend must rest in Me, and those who are dear to you in this life must be loved only for My sake. No good and lasting friendship can exist without Me and unless I bless and unite all love it cannot be pure and true. You should be so mortified in your affection towards loved ones that, for your part, you would forego all human companionship. Man draws the nearer to God as he withdraws further from the consolations of this world. And the deeper he descends into himself and the lower he regards himself, the higher he ascends towards God.
He who attributes any goodness to himself, obstructs the coming of God's grace, for the grace of the Holy Spirit always seeks a humble heart. If you would perfectly overcome self and set yourself free from love of creatures, I would come to you with all My grace.(I Pet.5:5) But while your interest is in creatures, the vision of the Creator is hidden from you. Learn, then for love of the Creator to overcome self in everything and you shall come to the knowledge of God. But so long as anything, however small, occupies too much of your love and regard, it injures the soul and hold you back from attaining the highest Good.
And for the rest, Chapter 16 of the Imitation of Christ.
Whatever a man is unable to correct in himself or in others, he should bear patiently until God ordains otherwise. Consider, it is perhaps better thus, for the testing of our patience, without which our merits are of little worth. Whenever such obstacles confront you, pray to God that He may grant you His help, and give you grace to endure them in good heart.(Matt.6:13)
If anyone who has been once or twice warned remains obdurate, do not argue with him, but commit all things to God, that His will may be done, and His Name hallowed in all His servants; for He knows well how to bring good out of evil(Gen.50:20) Strive to be patient; bear with the faults and frailties of others, for you, too, have many faults which others have to bear. If you cannot mould yourself as you would wish, how can you expect other people to be entirely to your liking? For we require other people to be perfect, but do not correct our own faults.
We wish to see others severely reprimanded; yet we are unwilling to be corrected ourselves. We wish to restrict the liberty of others, but are not willing to be denied anything ourselves. We wish others to be bound by rules, yet we will not let ourselves be bound. It is amply evident, therefore, that we seldom consider our neighbour in the same light as ourselves. Yet, if all men were perfect, what should we have to bear with in others for Christ's sake?
Now, God has thus ordered things that we may learn to bear one another's burdens;(Gal.6:2) for there is no man without his faults, none without his burden.(Gal.6:5) None is sufficient in himself;(2Cor.3:5) none is wise in himself;(Prov.3:7) therefore we must support one another,(Col.3:13) comfort(I Thess 5:11), help, teach, and advise one another. Times of trouble best discover the true worth of a man; they do not weaken him, but show his true nature.