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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.

  • Saddened

    I really loved Father Corapi’s programmes and his preaching style – this is sad news.

    I guess that this scandal does not change the fact that he spoke the truth (in his talks) and inspired many, but it does make you question whether he was simply using the Priesthood as a means for becoming a celebrity (of sorts).

    Was he the Catholic version of those Bible-belt Preachers who ask people to send them their money? I hope not – but we’ll probably never know for sure.

  • Patt

    Everyone is let down by the disturbing turn of events. He has disappointed and shocked many followers. The story as it unravels gets uglier and uglier. A disgruntleed woman/employee vowed to bring him down, but his own actions have done that. He charged a fee of $5,000 for an apperaance and he sold  expensive CD’s of his talks, yet nobody knew where the money went– not to the missions we hear. Now he has a book coming out on his life, calls himself the Black sheepdog–but I recommend one read “The Life of Christ” by Bishop Sheen–you’ll get a lot more out of it I assure you.

  • Brian A Cook

    May God bring healing, justice, and mercy. 

  • tz

    Hit and run?  John Corapi has noted he and his attorneys asked some simple questions and didn’t get any answers.  He said he was told to do the civil suit.  He has not named his accuser.  Now on the other side, there are three UNNAMED investigators and who knows how many UNNAMED accusers, with no details on any evidence.  I don’t think Corapi is being prudent, but Fr. Sheehan is engaging in calumny and detraction – and after releasing this, “disappears” for a few weeks.

    The public has to play jury, but who knows anything about the investigators or the evidence.  Emails?  How do we know they are authentic?  Sexting?  Where is the data?  The RAW data so we can see if anything is photoshopped or otherwise inconsistent.  Holds title to property?  Did they ask him to put it in the name of the order (before this)?

  • Connie Philmon

    When Fr. Corapi was in San Antonio last August,  all the proceeds from that went to a local charity named
    Alexander House.  He only received his air fare and hotel room.  So make sure that you have your facts
    straight.  I know because I was there.

  • Jane07

    keep drinking the kool-aid, son.

  • Educated_lady_0202

    Just another incident of a priest being found not doing potentially what he vowed NOT to do! 

  • Educated_lady_0202

    Well we can say it no longer a potential series of infractions, but more factual than we knew!

  • RJ

    Agreed.

    It’s important to distinguish between what a priest preaches – which is or should be the Gospel – and his person – he is a sinner who fails and is in need of God’s mercy. Understanding that is part of being a mature Catholic.  We shouldn’t condemn His ministers for being sinners, any more than we want others to condemn us for being sinners – unless we have double standards, i.e. everybody else should be perfect except me.

    Sadness, not anger is the right response.

  • Dave

     So who wants to cast the first stone?

  • Dan H

    hasn’t he done enough already?

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    This is a very interesting and concise commentary on “John Corapi” as he now wishes to be known.  Seems being a  “priest in good standing” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be… 
    http://sspx.org/news/fr_corapi.htm

  • GFFM

    John Corapi’s down fall really is not a surprise. His reaction to all of this is telling. He negotiated expensive contracts to keep people silent. His actions are clearly no indicative of an obedient priest. Prediction: he will be a talk radio celebrity in the States quite soon. It seems that many American Catholics have some kind of need for a celebrity priest or speaker or someone who is claiming to have private revelations or locutions from Mary or Jesus. I think the operative attitude in this age of charlatans or celebrity clerics should be healthy, prudent skepticism until all comes out in the wash.

  • livvy

    right on

  • Sheilalopes

    Precisely my sentiments tz, Fr Sheehan has signed a letter which Lacks besides basic norms of Decency, for a Religious Order shamefully lacks Charity.

    He has condemned a woman -labeling her a prostitute- (I wonder who confirmed this for him) not even giving her a chance to defend herself.

    Shame on the SOLT order,

  • katie

    The word of God which he spoke has not changed. They were words to inspire and convert. He may have sinned against his vow of priesthood,but his words are true yesterday,today and for years to come tomorrow

  • katie

    Love the person hate the sin

  • Lembirdie

    HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE

  • AgingPapist

    Before the unctuously pious hand-wringers pile on to Father Corapi too heavily, let’s not forget his nay-sayers seem to have either amnesia or selective recall. We have an entire hierarchy from one end of the universe to the other equally unfit for further duty. Their leader in Rome has consistently maintained these venal, self-serving cross-dressing divas in office despite mounting evidence from the media of deep-seated corruption contributing to a level of moral bankruptcy we haven’t seen in the Church since medieval times.

  • Bo

    Don’t do as I do – do as I tell you.  He preached the Gospel. God loves all his sinners.

  • Jeannine

    What I find sad about the whole Fr Corapi situation is that he is leaving the priesthood. Why couldn’t he just swallow his pride & wait things out? If he is innocent as he claims then he will be exonerated. If I’m not mistaken, Padre Pio was accused of a few improprieties over the years (Wasn’t he placed in isolation for a period of time?) & was eventually declared innocent from all. What Corapi has is lots of pride & very little humility & patience.

  • Pachacuti

    First the ex-Bishop of Toowoomba, Australia, and now Fr Corapi. They both committed the deadly sin of PRIDE and their barefaced arrogance has been disturbing as it has been breathtaking. Unfortunately, this is the tip of the iceberg both in the secular and the clerical world – whilst we are not entirely surprised about such things in the secular world, in the priesthood it upsets us because we are reminded of our faults on a regular basis.

    I, for one, used to watch Fr Corapi on EWTN. I tried to like him – particularly as we do need some kick-ass Roman Catholics to help fight our corner against militant atheism –  but there was something about him that didn’t quite ring in harmony. Other priest-presenters on the channel confidently and comfortably preach the Word of God as well as lay presenters. It came as a shock to me when Corapi announced he was leaving the priesthood etc. but his lack of humility and obedience to his superiors stank like a decomposing rat.

    OK, we sin. We are not perfect. That’s where Confession comes in, people! 

    If Fr Corapi was confident of his innocence of the allegations made against him, he would not have resigned or acted the way he did. Are his actions typical of an innocent man with nothing to hide?

    Padre Pio didn’t throw in the habit that quickly and he was obedient to his superiors when false allegations were made against him. St Mary McKillop did the same. They were proven innocent of the allegations in the end.

    Perhaps Fr Corapi should have taken his own advice which he has published and made many thousands of dollars for him. Without a doubt, he talked the talk but fell woefully short in the walk-the-walk department. It appeared that he loved his aura of celebrity too much. If many have taken good from the things he has written or the seminars he presented, that’s OK … as far as it goes.

    I find the whole affair sad and disappointing. The Roman Catholic Church has survived and will continue to survive without them.

    I’m not one of the smug nor of the pious hand-wringer brigade, Aging(Anti)Papist, neither have I amnesia or selective recall. If you want some slagging or name calling, here it is from me, sunshine – you are no better nor any different from arrogant, pride-riddled, enema-orientated hot-air balloons like Toynbee, Dawkins, Fry and Pullman.

  • Katie

    This will pass from the church just like all the other scandels for hundreds of years before. The church will be stronger because of this.Maybe falter in something else It still remains the church of God. His word is still the true word through Jesus Christ. Humans error with sin, the Catholic church does not .The Bible is our guide to the truth lets not get caught up in the people

  • Connie Philmon

    In response to AgingPapist, I agree with you and believe that there is a lot more to this story than is out there
    now!  I am withholding any judgement until all the facts are in.  God bless Fr. Corapi

  • Fadjogbe

    To better sanction the catholic priest let us continually pray for them and a pragmatic approach should be taken to maintain priest sanity and sense of direction.measures such as total obedience and formation process should be an issue of concern rather than ordaining priest through political means as in the case of some diocese,when some fathers are heads in the church their children are admitted into the seminary for priest hood formation at the calling of their parents and not the child himself.   

  • Fadjogbe

    The vocation to priest hood is high in some place,let there be mutual relationship with such place as to reduce the scarcity of priest in some place.I most say that the vocation in Nigeria is high.

  • Johnandliskelly

    I wonder if this “fact finding” team was the same team that shut Mother Nadine up.

  • Clark

    If i were Fr. Sheehan I would be embarrashed to issue a statement showing how “in the dark” I’d been regarding Fr. Corapi’s assets and activities. After all he’s been hiding in “plain sight”. It leaves the impression the SOLT and Fr. Sheehan were fine with Fr. Corapi when he was drawing favorable attention. However, when unfavorable attention comes their way “shasamm” we have discovered he has a million dollar home, cars, boats, and frequents prostitutes. You can probably hide a woman in the closet, but how do you hide a million dollar house, boats, and fast cars? If I were Fr. Sheehan and I’d issued a statement like this I’d leave town too.

  • Margaret

      I am in no way comparing Fr. Corapi to the apostles and disciples of Jesus but even they, who had Him in their midst, ran away and deserted Him.  It has been ever thus. In 20 centuries nothing much has changed in humans.  We still sin, we don’t measure up but the good we do will outlast us.  Fr. Corapi may or may not be all the things written about him but when he spoke about God, he spoke the truth and in the end that may be all we can expect of a weak human being,

  • chrism

    Had a great respect for him   and was very impressed with Fr Corapi’s broadcasts until I saw a recent one on Youtube on ‘faith’ before this story broke. It seems to be nothing other than  a plug for one of his books [ a cathechism ] which he says is  unique at explaining the catholic faith [not so] ,’ and yours for just ……. ‘ Sad.

  • Dcruz

    Pity- The Catholic church face serious challages and threats both from within and outside but from what I can see everything is taken so lightly with no prompt action to resolve issues. In Ireland the catholics are joining the Anglican Church because of the sex abuse scandal.. In Austia 250 priests are protesting for reforn to allow non- catholics to receive the Euchrest and allow married priest an women priests to be ordained.The Vatican should look at all the problems seriously and the Bishops of each diosces around the world should take their responsablity seriouly and with dedication.Burshing everything under the carpet or keeping secret anything won’t resoves issues but aggravate them.

  • RichLeo

    “Prediction: he will be a talk radio celebrity in the States quite soon.”

    No, Fr. Corapi is finished as anything but a marginal figure.  His public identity was inextricably bound to his priesthood.  Now that is gone.  I presume his order’s invitation to repentance and a life lived out according to the evangelical counsels still stands.  Let’s hope John Corapi accepts.

  • Joxxer

    get me a rock.

  • Dcruz

    satan is surely having its way by destroying priest directly and indirectly disrtuction of the church from within.

  • Dcruz

    satan is surely having its way by destroying priest directly and indirectly disrtuction of the church from within.

  • Merchi

    Listen to us!! Jesus said to the people who were ready to stone a woman who was caught in an adulterous relatioship “Who among you will cast the first stone?” We are disappointed and saddenned by all these but let things fall where they may. Instead of judging Father Corapi, we should pray for enlightenment and forgiveness. Who among us has not fallen? He fell hard because he is a public figure, let’s not kick the man while he is on the ground.

  • Pjdeed

    Hear, hear! If Corapi is indeed guilty then his order has serious questions to answer about its oversight of its members.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    LET THE CHURCH GO BACK TO THE WAY JESUS USED TO RECRUIT HIS APOSTLES WHOM HE MADE PRIESTS LATER; EVERYTHING WILL BE COMPARITIVELY CLOSER TO JESUS’ EXPECTED IDEAL. OR ELSE WE SHALL HAVE ONLY PRIESTS WHO ARE BENT ON MAKING THE BEST OF BOTH THE WORLDS. FOR SUCH THIS ALSO IS O.K., THAT ALSO IS O.K. AND EVERYTHING IS O.K. AS LONG AS THEY ARE NOT CAUGHT RED HANDED.

    What is the need of having two kinds of priests: secular priests and religious priests? is it not  “the learned and clever”  men’s device to have their own way rather than that of Jesus? Going into structuralisation and multiplicites and thus building complexties, whose cause is served: Jesus” or of his enemy?

    Fr.Thomas Poovathinkal

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    NO, aGINGpAPIST,  LET THE SUCCESSOR OF ST. PETER DECIDE USING GOD’S GRACE AND HIS OWN COMMON SENSE AS TO WHAT IS GOOD  FOR THE CHURCH IN THESE TROUBLED TIMES.

    MEDIA IS ONLY MEDIA. IT IS NO HEAVEN SENT MEDIUM TO MAKE THE RIGHT JUDGEMENT IN THE CASE OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST WHICH HAS AS ITS MEMBERS SAINTS AND SINNERS. EVEN AMONG HIS 12, WAS THERE NOT A DEVIL?

    IF YOU ARE CONCERNED, JUST PRAY.
    GOD BLESS YOU.

    Fr.Thomas Poovathinkal

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    Fadjogbe 4 days ago

    “To better sanction the catholic priest let us continually pray
    for them and a pragmatic approach should be taken to maintain priest
    sanity and sense of direction.measures such as total obedience and
    formation process should be an issue of concern rather than ordaining
    priest through political means as in the case of some diocese,when some
    fathers are heads in the church their children are admitted into the
    seminary for priest hood formation at the calling of their parents and
    not the child himself.”

    “THIS ABOVE COULD BE TRUE, ALL BECAUSE THE OFFICIAL CHRISTIAN CHURCHES – ESPECIALLY THE BIG ONES – HAVE MOVED AWAY FROM THE EXAMPLE OF CHRIST THE LORD AND HAVE BECOME A LAW UNTO THEMSELVES.BUT THEN EVERY CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN HAS A DUTY TO CHRIST AND TO HIS CHURCH TO BRING TO LIGHT SUCH FACTS BY WAY OF CRITICISM, PROPHECY, OR BY WAY OF INTERVENTION AS A SON OR DAUGHTER OF GOD IN AND THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.SINCE CATHOLICS  IN GENERAL DO NOT READ OR MEDITATE ON GOD’S WORD, SUCH PRIVILEGES AND POSSIBILITIES MAY NOT BE KNOWN TO THEM.

    Fr.Thomas Poovathinkal

  • Barientosca70

    Benedict XVI back again with his nazi style of control Fr Corapi has is not so saintly past but his efect with the listening church of his programs are great, Ratzinger wants to control the liberation theology in Latin America has done damage prohibiting people like Mathew Fox an others now in AMerica

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

     How wrong can you be. Matthew Fox is an out and out heretic and the problem we have today in the Church is that the Pope is NOT in control.  The lunatics (like Fox and his ilk) are running the asylum.
    Get a grip.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    With all due  respect, there is only ONE Church, the Church we today call the Catholic Church, founded by Christ and currently going through a terrible crisis, foretold by Our Lady at Fatima – please check out the facts at http://www.fatima.org

    Christ’s promise to be with His Church until the end of time will prevail. But that doesn’t mean that negligent popes, bishops and unfaithful priests  won’t do a mountain of damage – not to mention Catholic newspapers who are complicit in the confusion caused by this dreadful crisis – but in the end, the glory of God will be revealed and those who have obeyed Scripture  and stuck with the Church: “the pillar and bulwark of all truth” will be rewarded.

    But, remember, Fr Thomas – ONE holy, Catholic and apostolic Church – the rest are man made imposters and are NOT  pleasing to God. 

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    THESE KINDS OF OUTSTANDING CASES BE LEFT DIRECTLY TO OUR POPE. HE IS COMPETENT ENOUGH TO DEAL WITH IT FINDING OUT THE TRUTH IN THE SPIRIT OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD.

    Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    COULD YOU PLEASE THROW MORE LIGHT ON PADRE  PIO’S SIMILAR PLIGHT?

    IN FEW CASES SINNERS TURN OUT TO BE  GREAT SAINTS AT THE END BECAUSE THEY KEEP SEEKING GOD’S MERCY AND HIS HOLY WILL FOR THEM. WONDER OF WONDERS! THANK YOU JESUS, MY LOVE.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    A GREAT TIME AND OPPORTUNITY FOR THE CHURCH PERSONNEL, ONE AND ALL TO REPENT AND BELIEVE IN THE GOOD NEWS, SETTING ASIDE THE ARROGANT PHARISAICAL  WORLDLY SPIRIT THAT IS OVERWHELMING AND WORKING OUT DESTRUCTION OF THE WHOLE LOT OF SHEEP.

    LET BISHOPS AND PRIESTS FIRST AND FOREMOST ( NO EMPLOYEES, PLEASE) BECOME TRUE  APOSTLES, EXEMPLARY AND INSPIRING PREACHERS OF GOD’S WORD. SEE WHAT JESUS SAID AND HOW HE BEHAVED WHEN CALLED TO MERE WONDER WORKING AND SOCIAL SERVICE : “I MUST PREACH THE GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD TO OTHER CITIES ALSO; FOR I WAS SENT FOR THIS PURPOSE.” REF ST.LUKE 4:43; AGAIN EVEN THE SEVENTY TWO (ST.LUKE 10:1-24) WHO WERE SENT OUT BY JESUS WERE PROCLAIMERS OF GOD’S GOOD NEWS UNDER THE GUIDANCE HIS HOLY SPIRIT. 

    ALL WILL BE WELL AND ALL WILL BE  SAVED AND EUROPE WILL BE BROUGHT BACK TO CHRIST AND WILL BE ESTABLISHED IN HIM MORE GLORIOUSLY. IF THIS IS NOT DONE – mind you all claimers of  the apostolic office -  evil will overtake; the anties will have their way. THE LORD WILL BE FIGHTING NOT ON YOUR SIDE…

    Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

  • Patt

    Calm down, nobody is kicking him while he is “down”. I doubt if you could accuse the millionaire ex-priest
    as being “down” He is too macho and self confident for that –and he has what he wants, which was not the priesthood and humility. When last I checked his web site he is still selling his CD’s (close out sale until the end of July), so still grabbing the bucks while he can you might conclude.
     Business as usual and on to bigger and better– perhaps. Feel free to keep him in your prayers.

  • Lilith

    It is unbelievable that any adult with even a minimally functioning brain is still defending Corapi. Look at the recent video he made: black leather Harley Davidson jacket, dyed goatee, gaunt, Euro-trash body, arrogant, obnoxious attitude, and the same self-aggrandizing demeanor, the same mugging for the camera. This “priest” who has downplayed his celebration of the Eucharist as not being a vital part of his ministry, this despicable misogynist who abuses women sexually and has the gall to wrap himself in the spotless mantle of Our Lady, is nothing but a rank opportunist. But, the groupies will still rush the stage because, after all,  he is a priest, he wouldn’t lie or hide a secret life, would he? Where have these gullible fools been through the entire sex abuse crisis iin the Church? Get over Corapi, he is a rich, promiscuous, brazen charlatan. The next thing you know he will be in People magazine, pictured smiling and insolent, with his girlfriend on their ranch in Montana. 

  • j barton

    what about the vows they take for poverty and chastity. do they conveniently forget them?

  • Clark

    Your spiritt of Love and Forgive is wonderful.