I am late to the game in commenting on the latest development in Corapigate. The official statement made by SOLT seems to make it quite clear that Fr. Corapi indeed was guilty of the accusations made and that he left behind a trail of email, and SMS Sexting messages that pretty much make it quite clear what was going on along with other irregular behavior.
SOLT’s fact-finding team has acquired information from Father Corapi’s emails, 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. [Via Jimmy Akin’s Blog]
Like many I was a bit caught off-guard by this. When it comes to the mystery sin I am seldom surprised when somebody falls. I always saw the possibility that Fr. Corapi was indeed guilty of the charges, but also like many held-out thinking that there was a good likelihood that the charges were false. When he initially left his order I was annoyed that he did not stay to fight it out and to help maybe change the process when it comes to accusations of priests.
This latest revelation does anger me a bit or to be more accurate highly annoyed. Not that he fell. That he fell certainly saddens me and just reminds me to pray for him as we must hold up our of our priests in prayer. What annoyed me is the same thing that annoyed me about Rep. Weiner who kept denying what happened and attacked his accusers even as more and more photographic evidence was coming out. That Fr. Corapi kept maintaining his evidence and blaming the process is a betrayal to his fans. We can understand someone falling into serious sin, but someone of Fr. Corapi stature lying to us in the aftermath is another story. But I won’t let the sun go down on my anger and annoyance.
Phil Lawler asks Why were warning signs ignored?
In many ways it was a recipe for disaster with Fr. Corapi living in isolation in Montana away from his religious order with access to large sums of money that had gone unmonitored. As a convert I certainly realize the dangers of an incomplete conversion or being put into circumstances that can lead to backsliding and falling back into a previous orbit.
I always felt the saying “There but for the grace of God, go I” as being rather trite, but I feel the merit of it in this circumstance. God gives us all the grace we need to persevere and we have to cooperate in that grace.
In the reply of St. Joan of Arc to a question posed as a trap by her ecclesiastical judges: “Asked if she knew that she was in God’s grace, she replied: ‘If I am not, may it please God to put me in it; if I am, may it please God to keep me there.” May it be so for all of us.