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Order accuses Fr Corapi of sexual and financial wrongdoing

By on Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Fr Corapi is a former presenter for the Eternal Word Television Network

Fr Corapi is a former presenter for the Eternal Word Television Network

Former EWTN presenter Fr John Corapi was involved in “years of cohabitation” with a former prostitute, repeated abuse of alcohol and drugs and “serious violation” of his promise of poverty, according to a fact-finding team appointed by his religious order.

Fr Corapi, who recently announced he would resign from priestly ministry because he could not get a “fair hearing” on misconduct allegations against him, has been ordered by the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity to return to live at the order’s regional headquarters in Robstown, Texas, and to dismiss a lawsuit against the woman whose accusations prompted the investigation.

Fr Gerard Sheehan, regional priest servant for the order, commonly known as SOLT, said in a statement: “Catholics should understand that [the order] does not consider Fr John Corapi as fit for ministry.”

Although Fr Corapi’s ministry “has inspired thousands of faithful Catholics”, the statement said, he is “now misleading these individuals through his false statements and characterisations”.

“It is for these Catholics that SOLT, by means of this announcement, seeks to set the record straight,” it added.

There was no immediate response to the announcement from Fr Corapi.

The order said its three-member fact-finding team had gathered information “from Fr Corapi’s emails, various witnesses and public sources” and had concluded that the priest:

- “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.”

- “Repeatedly abused alcohol and drugs.”

- “Has recently engaged in sexting activity with one or more women in Montana.”

- “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 this society.”

Although he did not name them, Fr Sheehan said the fact-finding team was made up of a priest specialising in canon law, a psychiatrist and a lawyer, each of whom has a national reputation and “substantial experience in ecclesiastical processes related to priest disciplinary issues”.

Two of the three were members of religious orders, and the third was a lay person. Two were men and one was a woman, he said.

As the team was carrying out its work, Fr Corapi filed a civil suit against his principal accuser and then offered $100,000 for her silence, the statement said. Other key witnesses who “may have negotiated contracts … that precluded them from speaking” with the team declined to answer its questions or provide documents, it said.

When the fact-finding team asked Fr Corapi to dismiss the lawsuit and release individuals from their contractual obligations to remain silent, “he refused to do so and, through his canonical advocate, stated, ‘It is not possible for Fr Corapi to answer the commission’s questions at this time,’ ” the statement added.

Fr Corapi, 64, announced on June 17 – two days before the 20th anniversary of his priestly ordination – in a YouTube video and blog posting that he would end his public ministry as a priest.

“For 20 years I did my best to guard and feed the sheep,” he said in the blog posting. “Now, based on a totally unsubstantiated, undocumented allegation from a demonstrably troubled person I was thrown out like yesterday’s garbage. I accept that. Perhaps I deserve that.”

Fr Corapi had been highly visible for several years as a speaker and preacher, including a programme on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). EWTN took his show off its schedule shortly after his suspension, saying it would not knowingly put on the air a priest whose faculties had been suspended.

The SOLT statement said Fr Sheehan would not be available for further comment because of the order’s general chapter from July 5 to July 23.

  • Hopecvg

    To tell the honest truth about the matter, I never was really inspired by Father Corapi’s teachings. The speaking was too modern and liberal for me. 

  • Flo

    I have seen many of Father Corapi’s presentations on the Roman Catholic Catechism and been fed spiritually by his words, which I took as God’s words. I find it hard to believe that he has said and done what he has been accused of.
    I do believe the devil is working hard to turn believers into non-believers by the charges lodged against him.   Perhaps, in God’s time, we will know the truth.


  • wayneg87

    Good, Corapi made some money and got out. Ive always liked Corapi. Dont know why. Im not catholic. But Corapi doesnt have to take orders from the catholic club he was in. They are not the law. I hope he takes me out on one of his boats. Good for him

  • wayneg87

    I wish i could fall as hard as Corapi. Fall back to my millon dollars worth of property, my boats, my cool cars, and best of all, some hunny bunny waiting for me at home. Yes sir

  • wayneg87

    I would

  • wayneg87

    Why isnt the Pope in control? He is the Vicar of Christ. He has the deposit of faith. He is infallable. Maybe you need to look for another religion

  • wayneg87

    Well, i guess god looks down and says…Oh how nice. Look at my catholic church. I am well pleased.

  • Joxxer

    there is no other true Church –and why are you trying to bait everyone and pull them into an argument? Claiming one religion is as good as another is like saying any horse in the race is as good as the other.
    You say you are not a Catholic then why are you here making comments?

  • Michael Kenny

    I’m hardly scandalised that he had a girlfriend but I am a bit shocked that he managed to have so much money.

    It’s a bit sad that quite a lot of people who trusted this man will probably lose their faith because of what’s gone on.

    If he’s been allowed to get married it would have been fine? But then he knew what he was signing up for? Maybe he just enjoyed the adulation of thousands of middle aged women and the money they generously gave him?

    It does amuse me when fierce conservative preachers end up being a total waster – maybe this experience will teach him something? Maybe we should all learn from it.

    — I’m just not sure what I’ve learnt from it? That most men like having sex and will lie and cheat to be seen as righteous when they are actually inherently sinful — I think someone said something like that before….?

  • EditorCT

    “I’m hardly scandalised that he had a girlfriend but I am a bit shocked that he managed to have so much money.”

    Here speaketh a traditional, fully believing Catholic NOT!

    If, as you ask, “he been allowed to get married (would) it have been fine?”  Well, er, no.   He wouldn’t have been  an alter Christus – “another Christ” – that’s what Catholic priests are supposed to be: “other Christs” in the world, living as Christ lived.  If he’d been married, his wife and family would have been first in his life, not Christ, not the Trinity, not his flock  of souls. Priests are supposed to live as Christ lived – a single celibate life committed to God -  an alter Christus in the world.

    Those who think there is no life without sex or without lots of money will never understand that – Corapi (obviously) included. “Conservative” preacher” means nothing.  -  he was a modern priest with all the skills of a Protestant Tele-Evangelist.  If he’d been a truly traditional priest, he wouldn’t have got across the doorstep at EWTN.

    As to what you’ve learnt  from it – again, you’re way off the mark. What you SHOULD have learnt from it is that until  we have a complete restoration of the traditional Catholic priesthood – beginning with the rite of ordination – we  will continue to see scandals like this because priests have totally lost their sense of identity, they haven’t  a clue about the priesthood, its nature  and purpose, and they are  brainwashed into thinking they must be “nice guys” like everyone else and not a lot more.  My local butcher has a better understanding of his job that most modern clerics.

    Gimme strength!

  • Stanthony List

    So what Connie?  Like that excuses him living with a prostitute and making MILLIONS of dollars for himself and living in luxury?  You Corapi ADORERS need to realize this guy is a con artist, not a saint!

  • gabrielle

    Father never accused Solt of lieing or at least said he’d take them and the 3 investigators to court..would you let that happen if they all lied? Would you say “show me the evidence?”

    I hope he gave some money to EWTN, but I don’t know. I heard Fr. Groechel say how his orders cars are always dieing because they are donated and probably like mine, 11 years old already. He bought nice cars, would have been nice to buy them one, but I have no right to spend someone else’s money….but EWTN and friends helped him grow his company. In Coranary, a book on his lawsuit with the doctor, he was bringing in 100.000 a month on his first series, it only grew after that.
    You can read excerpts online at Amazon.

  • Maggie Scanlon4

    Fr Corapi will be sadly missed.  I for one came back to the faith by listening to him, I found him someone who had lived and battled every day temptations.  I know in my heart that Fr Corapi will go on to do good things.  His televised broadcasts I will sadly miss and just hope I can continue to keep my faith.  I shall prayer for all involved in this story.

  • mmccarthy63

     Fr. Coropi .. from the first time I saw him I felt 2 things…
    He gave too much information about his past life which could have had a negative impact on some_young people….I’ll explain later.
    There was something about him I didn’t “go for”.!!! 

  • Mmccarthy63

    Hi Patt…I agree with you & you helped me understand what I felt was missing…
    Last year a  group of people from my city took a bus to US to hear Coropi.
    It was mentioned how expensive everything was to buy…I wonder if he had to report what $$$ he was” bringing in” to his parish. $ 5000 to hear John Coropi talk about God makes me feel sick. What about the people who thought they were missing out , ones who could not afford to hear him.!!! I wonder how much time he would give to poor people who could afford to go to his famous tours. God Bless.

  • mmccarthy63

    Merchi,…I think people are more hurt than anything else. I am not judgeing him. I prayed for him to return to priesthood.

  • mmccarthy63

    Saddened…sad to say, but U could have a point. what a shame if he was just out for himself. God will be his judge & we must pray for our Priest because satin is alive and hates our Blessed Mother & Her Priest. God Bless


    You only have to watch Fr.Corapi and listen to what he says, about the world we now find ourselves in ; To realise that he is innocent, he is with the Lord, there is no doubt about that.  But to many atheists out there or ‘secular materialists’, as he would call them, he probably came too close to the truth;he rumbled too many figures of authority, with his honest and correct opinion of the way it is.  Too cose to the beast!  It is amazing how quickly people jump to judgement on him, just like people crucified Christ, they are now crucifiying him. May the Lord God bless him! 

  • Gallenr

    Just read your post and so true. The bishops have much to answer for.I f they had done their job, people would not have felt the need to turn to someone like Corapi for authentic Catholic teaching

  • theend

    Father Corapi is innocent. I have came back to the faith by his sermons. I am discusted by the lie’s and accusations . Lot’s of name calling from so called “Christians” out there who are quick to judge only because they are jealous or to old OLD school and are use to the old OLD traditional way of ministering/ Shame on the accuser.

  • Nbost7

    dearest father john, you will always be in my prayers. I miss you, dearly, D. Capani

  • Barbara J Morrone

    He did more good than harm shame on all U   B J M

  • Barbara J Morrone

    To bad there is not more of  Father Corapi, 63 it is a sad thing that they don’t preach forgiveness no one is perfect but the Lord !  everyone has faults; but he always said it like it was, that is why most people loved him. I will pray for him; it looks like he was already judged,!! to bad  Barbara J Morrone

  • Barbara J Morrone

    You could always listen to him on the catholic channel for free; I listened and it did not cost me a dime !!  Why does a priest have to be poor; as long as he is preaching the Lord ! and that he did; no one did it better. Barbara J Morrone