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SOLT reveals a pattern of grave misconduct by Father Corapi

Catholic World News - July 05, 2011

In a stinging public statement, the apostolic society of which Father John Corapi is a member has announced that the popular preacher and television personality is not “fit for ministry,” and ordered him under obedience to leave his private Montana compound and live with other members of the community.

The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) released a public statement on July 5 in response to a series of claims by Corapi. While acknowledging that Father Corapi had “inspired thousand of faithful Catholics,” SOLT said that a public clarification was necessary, to avoid misleading those who remain loyal to the suspended preacher.

SOLT revealed that an investigation of Corapi’s affairs found a pattern of misconduct, including sexual relations and cohabitation with a women, abuse of drugs and alcohol, and embrace of a luxurious lifestyle that was “a serious violation of his promise of poverty.” The statement indicated that Corapi "holds legal title to over $1 million in real estate, numerous luxury vehicles, motorcycles, an ATV, a boat dock, and several motor boats."

Father Corapi impeded the investigation of his affairs, SOLT disclosed, by filing a lawsuit against his accuser, charging that she had violated the terms of a non-disclosure agreement that she signed upon leaving his employ. Other colleagues apparently signed similar agreements not to reveal what they knew about his personal and business affairs, SOLT said.

SOLT had suspended Father Corapi from public ministry during the investigation of his affairs. The July 5 statement, released by SOLT superior Father Gerard Sheehan, confirmed that the suspension remains in effect:

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.

Father Corapi shocked his many Catholic followers by announcing on June 17 that he was voluntarily leaving the priesthood. He charged that he could not receive a fair hearing, under current circumstances, claiming that Church procedures leave an accused cleric helpless. He also hinted that the charges of misconduct were part of a broader campaign against him: “There are certain persons in authority in the Church that want me gone,” he said.

Corapi said that while no longer functioning as a priest, he would continue to speak out on various issues. “My topics will be broader than in the past, and my audience likewise is apt to be broader,” he said.

The July 5 statement from SOLT indicated that Corapi had been directed not to engage in “preaching or teaching.” SOLT also instructed the suspended priest, under obedience, to drop his lawsuit against the woman whose accusations prompted the investigation into his misconduct.

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Show 9 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Pete - Jul. 06, 2011 6:23 PM ET USA

    I would find it at least interesting to hear from the Retired Bishop of Corpus Christi, who Fr. Corapi claims advised him that he should file the civil lawsuit, and from his former Superior at SOLT, who also supposedly advised Fr. Corapi to file the civil suit, as it was the "only way" he was going to get justice. I have no doubt that Fr. Corapi at least "irritated" several members of the American hierarchy. We must keep praying for him and for all our ordained and religious!

  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Jul. 06, 2011 11:30 AM ET USA

    @ dfp3234574, Fr Corapi was a cash cow for SOLT I'm sure. As long as the $$$ was coming and the reputation was intact, they allowed him to do his own thing. I hope we Catholics learn not to make any priest into a celebrity. This used to be a Protestant problem; now it's a Catholic problem between him and Fr Euteneur -- both of whom we should pray for.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Jul. 06, 2011 10:22 AM ET USA

    I have made this point before, but the Church needs to be more cautious about letting priests and religious move headlong into the world or public notoriety. Public ministries by priests and religious need to be time limited and strongly supervised. If not, you will see more such scandals, such as what we witnessed with Fr. Euteneuer of HLI.

  • Posted by: ltoscan2645 - Jul. 06, 2011 9:44 AM ET USA

    PLEASE let us all ask for the intercession of Blessed John Paul II, who ordained this man to the priesthood, so that he may return to his order and his vows...Satan obviously has the upper hand with him right now...pray pray for all priests and religious in this increasingly evil world

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Jul. 06, 2011 8:50 AM ET USA

    How the mighty have fallen! The lives of people Fr. Corapi touched, who believed in him as a priest, have been sorely wounded by his transgressions. I do not judge him but the Bible says he will held accountable.

  • Posted by: dfp3234574 - Jul. 05, 2011 7:51 PM ET USA

    Very sad, indeed. The crime, the deception, the dishonesty, the cover-up - it's all awful. I can't help but wonder why his order would have allowed him to live off on his own on a Montana compound. That was obviously a BIG mistake.

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Jul. 05, 2011 7:12 PM ET USA

    This is simply very,very sad. Please pray that Fr. Corapi will return to our Lord, his Order and his vows.

  • Posted by: Hal - Jul. 05, 2011 6:44 PM ET USA

    Hard to believe Corapi missed the whole point so badly and was willing to deceive others on his way as well. Disappointing. And apparently intentional. Next stop the ECUSA, I suppose.

  • Posted by: rpp - Jul. 05, 2011 6:16 PM ET USA

    This is becoming a sad scandal.

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