Friday, July 08, 2011

Commenting on the Commenting on the Case of Fr. Corapi

Apparently there was a bit of back and forth recently between Fr. John Corapi and Fr. Gerard Sheehan, one of his superiors.  Another well-known priest, in an apparent response to the controversy, posted a call to read 2 Peter on Facebook. The post was a bit cryptic as it made no mention of Corapi, but from the avalanche of responses, most seemed to know it was a reference to the Corapi uproar.

Most of the comments called for placing faith in God, not men, etc. One comment called for focusing on the message not the messenger which brought to mind Marshall McLuhan's famous quote and I responded thus:

"The medium is the message". It's easy to say we shouldn't place our trust in men. But Jesus gave us such men and gave them a sacramental office. This is why there are such grave consequences for those who abuse it.

Saying that we shouldn't place our trust in men just because they are called Father is like telling a child that he shouldn't place his trust in the man he calls Father. They are called "Father" for a reason. They represent our heavenly Father on earth. This is why there will be hell to pay for those who "lead the little ones astray" be they spiritual fathers or biological.

In Corapi's case, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it was in large part the fault of his superiors. His wayward life was no secret to them. They allowed him to live apart from community. They allowed him to accumulate massive wealth. They could not have just suddenly become aware of all this. If they are just suddenly aware, then they were bad parents...as I would be if my son had been drinking, drugging, and sleeping around.

They had to know and they chose to leave him alone. Perhaps they were getting a nice bit of cash flow off Corapi's stash. I don't know. But for whatever reason, they let him do what he did, and let him do it for a long time. One wonders who his superiors will have to answer to.

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