Monday, March 21, 2011

More Fallout At EWTN

Fr. Corapi in the old days before the solid black goatee.

First it was Fr. Thomas Eutenuer, and now it's Fr. John Corapi.  EWTN is having it's share of trouble with it's radioactive satan fighting corps of priests.  The following is taken from Fr. Corpapi's personal blog:

On Ash Wednesday I learned that a former employee sent a three-page letter to several bishops accusing me of everything from drug addiction to multiple sexual exploits with her and several other adult women. There seems to no longer be the need for a complaint to be deemed “credible” in order for Church authorities to pull the trigger on the Church’s procedure, which was in recent years crafted to respond to cases of the sexual abuse of minors. I am not accused of that, but it seems, once again, that they now don’t have to deem the complaint to be credible or not, and it is being applied broadly to respond to all complaints. I have been placed on “administrative leave” as the result of this. (One, he is not the first  priest by any means who was put on administrative leave for alleged violations of celibacy with adults, and two, his notoriety places him in a unique spotlight.)
I’ll certainly cooperate with the process, but personally believe that it is seriously flawed, and is tantamount to treating the priest as guilty “just in case”, then through the process determining if he is innocent. The resultant damage to the accused is immediate, irreparable, and serious, especially for someone like myself, since I am so well known. I am not alone in this assessment, as multiple canon lawyers and civil and criminal attorneys have stated publicly that the procedure does grave damage to the accused from the outset, regardless of rhetoric denying this, and has little regard for any form of meaningful due process.
         All of the allegations in the complaint are false, and I ask you to pray for all concerned.


First off I think Fr. Corapi should have let himself cool down a little before he wrote the above statement since it's loaded with I, me, myself statements.  Especially since he recognizes in his statement, "for someone like myself, since I am so well known."  Notoriety certainly does bring it's own issues.  I would have thought he would be even more sensitive to this kind of thing since it follows so closely on the heels of Fr. Thomas Euteneur's scandal whose own statement was loaded with I, me, and myself statements.  Rather than arguing for mitigation of the abuse protocols, Corapi's celebrity status argues the opposite in his case.  That he can't see that is pretty freaking amazing.

Unlike Euteneur, Corpapi is maintaining the allegations are false.  This is entirely possible, but as a trained psychotherapist, as well as priest, he has to be aware of the fact these kinds of allegations are part and parcel of the territory. Transference is a powerful defense mechanism and it exists whether one is a therapist or an employer.  The fact his home diocese is taking these allegations seriously enough to put him on administrative leave leads me to believe Corapi put himself in a position in which defending himself is going to be difficult, and that was either a function of idiocy or hubris on his part.  Or maybe he really did think his reputation was such that he could operate way differently than most folks in spiritual counseling or mental health.  It's pretty obvious Fr Euteneur fell to that kind of that kind of I'm  invincible thinking.  Perhaps it's only coincidental that the two were pretty close and linked with same kind of spiritual warfare theology.

It's been interesting to read the blogs of the right, even the centrist right.  The same kinds of excuses are coming out for Corapi as they did for Euteneur.  Corapi is under Satanic attack because he teaches spiritual warfare and the devil fears him, the woman accuser is an agent of Satan and why does she get to remain anonymous, Corapi is one of the few voices of true Catholicism so of course he must be discredited, and my personal favorite:  "even if it's true at least is was with a woman.  He's no gay pedophile."  

In the meantime inquiring minds want to know if EWTN is going to continue to broadcast Corapi's shows.  His program is still listed on their schedule but one never knows if anything a given bishop does about one of EWTN's talking heads applies to EWTN.  Fr. Corapi could be listed today and gone tomorrow--or not.

I'm beginning to feel some empathy for the righteous right.  Their faith has taken quite the beating lately from their cultic heroes.  Maybe EWTN should run a series on why it's very risky and a sign of serious spiritual immaturity to put so much of one's faith in the hands and teachings of celebrities with more than a touch of narcissism.  In any case, EWTN seems to have it's own version of a spent fuel pond irradiating all the other rods in the neighborhood which then periodically blow off radioactive steam.  True believers call this process sure evidence of Satanic attack.  I call it what is, a culture of narcissists attracting other narcissists who then make a habit of playing up the fears of their followers in order to fleece them. But then I do consider that kind of thing pretty Satanic in it's own right.


  1. This is a no-win situation for all-involved. The accuser, rightly or wrongly, will be tarred and feathered. No one will believe the bishop, either because he won't follow the board's findings or because the board is not seen as truly independent. Corapi is "tainted" for ever. The Church's credibilty is zero in this arena.

    In other professional fields (e.g., a teacher) being put on administrative leave is normal. An investigation is held and, if allegations are judged to be credible, administrative action is taken; if false, the person is restored and for the most part, people accept the individual's non-culpability. Corapi can't win this thing, either way.

    Another problem is that these investigations take a HUGE amount of time.

    I'm not a fan of the "spiritual warfare" mentality that Corapi presents. To me, it hints of his own "warfare" which may well be against himself...and not "Satan."

    I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. What I won't give the benefit of the doubt is the transparency of the process to come.

  2. Kevin you've hit on a real truism, in other professions the investigation would be done and things would just move on--unless said professional was also a celebrity and then maybe not so much. If it turns out that Fr. Corapi is innocent his biggest problems will most likely remain with his least mature followers and since that's the flock he's aimed his preaching at, that's his karma.

    I have a strong feeling that more is at foot here amongst EWTN, the Spiritual warfare proponents, Medjurgorge and other Marian afficianados and self described orthodox colleges like Stubenville. The same names and the same money sources appear over and over again. It could be like attracting like, but then again maybe not.

  3. Corapi. like Euteneuer, is all ego, regardless of whether or not he has engaged in misconduct.

  4. I know almost nothing about him, but I very much hope he is completely innocent.

  5. I have watched Corapi on TV a few times and do think that he is something of an ego driven celebrity. But my gut feeling is that he is innocent here.

  6. But I do think all the going on about Satan this and Satan that is strange. Some of these people seem to have fixations on Satan.

  7. I'll pray for Fr. Corapi, one my favorite preachers. Satan does try to get those who he knows is going to get in his way of deceiving the world. I used to want to be a priest, and I have stuggled with my parents be accepting that. You just have to trust in the lord, and he will bring you through it. Always place your trust in the Lord.

  8. Rob from Harlem NYCMarch 21, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    Hey Anonymous if you have a calling to be a priest, that call of God will give you the strength to follow Him no matter who opposses you or what obstacle may get in your way.

    Hey All, Fr Corapi has many times said he has many faults and to pray for him. He has also said that he has many people who dislike him and some have threatened his life. We don't really know what the allegations really say but I hope justice is served for both Fr Corapi and the lady who made the allegations.

    His spiritual warfare mentality comes from being engaged in that type of warfare. If you haven't lived through that you will never understand it. But we are never too far from the spiritual battle field. Just try to love God above all else and love your neighbor as yourself and see if you won't encounter a battle, and that battle does have a spiritual component whether you believe it or not...if you don't believe it you'll be shocked when you are faced with its reality.

  9. Rob I have had my encounters with what I call dark force energy. I do not give this energy the same kind of anthropomorphic ability others do. I never forget that Jesus treated this kind of thing as if it was mindless, undirected, and not very threatening. He was not particularly confrontational and acted as if He thought it was a big deal. He never fed the fear of others and it is fear on which this kind of thing feeds. People who want to make a war out of this are asking for far more trouble than they need.

  10. Colleen: I think the emphasis on "Satan" in the Corapi situation and other scenarios accomplishes a number of things. It shifts responsibility to an ephemeral evil deity instead of asking Catholics to enter into critical self-reflection. It serves as a rallying point of unity for fundamentalist Catholics - they can all hate the Devil who forced Father Corapi into sexual activity. Church leadership can dodge responsibility for dealing with these issues by calling for another round of spiritual warfare against the demonic. None of this is a proper response to the micro or macro situation. John Shuster

  11. John, you are absolutely right in this assessment. This pattern of blaming and hating Satan for the self chosen downfall of priests like Euteneur and perhaps Corapi seriously irritates me.

    It wouldn't be so irritating if the same brainless excuse was extended to clergy of the progressive side of things, but of course in those cases, it's never Satan. It's always prideful ego driven choice. Ahemmmm.

  12. The catechism teaches that we are all tempted by the world, the flesh and the devil. St. Augustine warned us that "each man walks with the chance of falling". We all need to remember that, pray that the works of darkness are exposed to the light of day, and to be delivered from evil. We can't afford to lose priests so the best response to those who have fallen is to get up, repent and return to their true calling with full trust in God's mercy.

    I would also add beware of Catholic celebrities whether priest, religious or laity.