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Monday, July 11, 2011

On Obedience

St. John of The Cross:

‎"On the night of 2 December 1577, John was taken prisoner by his superiors in the calced Carmelites, who had launched a counter-program against John and Teresa's reforms. John had refused an order to return to his original house." "He managed to escape nine months later, on 15 August 1578, through a small window in a room adjoining his cell. (He had managed to pry the cell door off its hinges earlier that day)." St. John of the Cross disobeyed his superior's order because it was unjust, therefore, immoral. For disobeying he was imprisoned, but then escaped since he knew the actions of his superior was not God's will for his life."

St. Thomas Aquinas refused his parents will for his life.

On the other hand, Savonarola was excommunicated by Rome, then imprisoned and burned by a mob for refusing Rome's request that he come and explain himself. Martin Luther refused to obey as well.


Where does Father Corapi fall in this spectrum?

I have no clue.

I don't really have any passionate attachment to Fr. Corapi, nor have I had any interest in his talks or work for years and years.

On the other hand, there's a lot of people who seem disproportionately angry with him. Passionately angry with him.

I Officially Don't Get It

1) I don't understand why SOLT would release an explicitly damaging statement about Corapi and then disappear for three weeks - it's almost like they want to make an accusation and then not answer for it. I find that very odd.

You can argue that Corapi is being irresponsible and I won't disagree, but I can't see how SOLT is acting in a responsible fashion either.

2) As for other commentators, like those who say that there MUST be a big file on Corapi because that's just how the Church works... well, tell it to Padre Pio, who was forbidden to say Mass publicly for ten years.

The Church may well have had a big file on him, but it must not have amounted to much, since he got canonized on the basis of that SAME big file.

3) So, why are so many people ticked at Corapi?

And why do all these people who are ticked at him seem to originate from groups that are used to working closely together? I mean, we've got Mark Shea (Ascension Press), who really needs rabies shots on this one, the NC Register (EWTN octopus) and Phil Lawler (CatholicCulture).

Apart from a wild attempt to grab part of Corapi's audience, what are their respective beefs, exactly?

This is primarily a dispute between a man, his religious order and his bishop, none of whom look particularly good in this go-around.

Why everyone is treating it like the end of the world is beyond me.

Ah... the penny has dropped.
Or, in this case, several million dollars.
That may well be the motive behind all this brouhaha.

According to this story, SOLT needs money to pay off the rape victim created by another SOLT priest who was also into contract murder.
Conveniently, Corapi is a SOLT priest who happens to have a lot of money.
So, rob Peter to pay off Paul's victim.

That certainly makes a lot more sense than anything I've heard so far.
If it is true, Mark Shea, Fr. Longenecker and several other "Catholic" commentators should get down on their knees, apologize to Corapi and kiss his boots, begging forgiveness.

I'm still not saying I approve of Fr. Corapi's solution, but if that story is correct, the course he chose certainly makes a lot more sense. It also certainly puts Corapi a lot closer to St. John of the Cross (i.e., contending with venal superiors and illicit commands) than any of us might originally have guessed.


Dad29 said...

So, why are so many people ticked at Corapi?

Prolly because they thought Corapi was really, really, a great guy.

Conservative Republicans REALLY let the cannons fire at RINOs, for example. Not so much at Democrats, even if the RINO and the (D) are espousing precisely the same position.

We know 'that's what (D)s DO.'

scotju said...

Why are they so ticked off at Corapi? I suspect they have problems of their own that might come under scrutiny and all the attention that's being focused on Corapi might turn on them someday. You have, in earlier posts, detailed some shoddy deeds and teachings of some "respectable bloggers". Go to and see what he says about homosexuality. I'd hate to be him if his bishop has the brass spheres to rake him over the coals for this foolishness.

Richard Kato said...

Priests, even Fr. Corapi, are human. We will never know the whole truth of what happened. I was surprised about SOLT's statement. Everyone is throwing each other under the bus. What kind of money has Fr. Corapi brought into SOLT and its ministry? I like to read many of what people have termed "the professional Catholic". But some of these professional Catholics have been very uncharitable.
Why the hate against EWTN? I love listening to Mother Angelica and Archbishop Fulton Sheen, along with Fr. Pacwa and Scott Hahn. I also love to see the coverage of our last two popes.
Ultimately, we all need to pray harder for our priests.

Kevin said...


There's a real odd idea here. Maybe EWTN, Mark Shea and the rest of the band spoke up in public not to look to fatten their own pockets....

But because a priest launched a tirade against the Church without a scintilla of evidence he was willing to bring to the table. As Catholics, they thought their influence could help counter that.

Horror of horrors, even Mark Shea feels compelled to defend Mother Church when he is under attack.

You might think they were being uncharitable.

As far as St. John of the Cross, a few things:

1.) Did he rail in public and leave his vocation?

2.) Is there any public evidence that SOLT was like the Carmelites of St. John's time?

I'm a traditionalist, who isn't well disposed to the idea that people are immaculate by nature. But there at least needs to be some evidence.

Given Fr. Corapi's seemingly public renouncement of not only his priesthood, but of all previous materials, hopefully this thing dies down.

Larry said...

Shea even pulled his original post on Corapi's resignation from the priesthood, which was incredibly over the top. Why the vitriol from other quarters, when we really don't know a great deal about either Corapi's actions or any culpability by SOLT (which, I agree, has really backed itself in to a corner. I know and like Fr. Sheehan, but there have been other problems on his watch. SOLT wanted to become a religious organization of Pontifical right - that may be more difficult, now. It appears SOLT has been run like the wild west for some time).

I just don't know what to make of it - Corapi's behavior has been very odd, but so too has SOLTs. I don't know if SOLT was just repeating the accusations of the accuser in their most recent statement or if they truly found a great deal more evidence. It's crazy, and I wish it would go away.

Steve Kellmeyer said...


No, St. John of the Cross didn't do any of those things.

We've already established Fr. Corapi is not a saint.

The question is, is his disobedience necessarily sinful? That's what is difficult to judge.

And it's not like Fr. Corapi is the only one who has brought little evidence to the table.

Now, what evidence can an innocent man bring, if he is innocent, which he may not be? I, in fact, have no idea that he is. I'm just asking - what kind of evidence would work?

Why has SOLT produced it's statement without any evidence, given the really bad timing for them to expand and explain?

This whole thing is just stupid-weird.

Kevin said...


The only thing one can consider is if his superiors demanded him to do something immoral.

Is living with your religious community while all your expenses (including medical care) are paid for immoral? Granted, Fr. Corapi would have to give up living like a Borgia, but that might've done him some good.

As far as the statement, I don't know why it was released when it was. Given Fr. Corapi's answer, I'm inclined to think everything that was said was true, so that wouldn't make it calumny.

Now detraction? A little bit more gray. If revealing the info prevents a greater scandal, then it isn't detraction. Was a greater scandal prevented? Who knows.

For me, I adopt an attitude that isn't so much "trust the Church!" but more I need to see that what was commanded and carried out by the Church was unjust.

Its a nasty situation no doubt, and hopefully one that is going away, given recent developments.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Well, your rule for what constitutes licit disobedience seems to fail for St. John of the Cross as well...

SOLT isn't the Church.
Neither is Corapi.
Neither is the bishop, for that matter.

Thus, the phrase "Trust the Church!" doesn't seem much help.

The whole thing continues to be absurd, as far as I can tell.

Jim Dorchak said...


I was very taken by your description of the situation. I like you was never a big Fr. Corapi follower, but neither was I a follower of the others mentioned.

As to EWTN; I never saw EWTN as the end all to be all of Catholicism. It has always struck me as odd that EWTN was so anti Latin Mass or EF as some call it.

As we all know they have been gate keepers for all that is Novos Ordo, and anything outside that rhelm was and for the most part still is FORBIDDEN, (Take any talk of the SSPX or their followers or some of their wonderful authors like Colleen Hammond who is a spectacular author who has been branded "X" by EWTN).

It was indeed late after the MP from the Holy Father that EWTN and its cult followers opened up to the possibility to the tradition that was and STILL IS the Catholic Church.
For all purposes it seems that the crowd that is after Fr. Corapi as well as EWTN are more concerned about what is politically Correct and not what is Spiritually Right.

Jim Dorchak