Have you heard about Fr. John Corapi? I think you should do a blog about his situation. Just a suggestion which I think your followers would want to read.
My initial thought was that there wasn't much to say, since all I knew was that Fr. Corapi (a priest with a powerful ministry and extraordinary conversion story) had been asked to be on administrative leave while an accusation made against him was under investigation by Church authorities. Then I realized that I had been out all day, and away from all media sources, so perhaps there was some new development that I had missed. I didn't think, though, that the Church would have any final decision yet, since it tends to be a long and painful process to sort through any accusations made against a priest. But it didn't take long before I learned of the shocking, saddening news: John Corapi has left the priesthood and the Church, of his own decision; he was not asked to leave.
On June 17, 2011, Corapi released an audio announcement on his Facebook page, YouTube channel, and his company, Santa Cruz Media’s, website proclaiming his new movement towards “The Black SheepDog.” Combining the personified characteristics of “a black sheep,” and the “sheep” and role of a “sheepdog,” Corapi claims his newfound mission is the same, delivering messages of ‘hope’ and ‘truth,’ but now to a wider-audience. He launched a blog-site: www.TheBlackSheepDog.us to allow his fans to begin establishing a ‘home’ where they can be in touch with him, directly. A member from his media team shared “this is a very exciting move for John and his fans, as for the first time, in a long time, John will be directly in touch with this fan-base by way of social networks.”The above quote is taken from his own new website, and I feel that it requires little commentary. Here is a video version of his sad and disturbing announcement:
Really, this whole sad turn of events makes me sick to my stomach. I have many thoughts about this whole matter, but I will refrain from sharing all of them in a public forum. Instead, I encourage all of us to have recourse to intense prayer, fasting, and mortification for Fr. John Corapi (he is still a priest, whether he chooses to live as one or not), for all priests, and for the entire Catholic Church.
Jesus is no stranger to false accusations, injustice, and maltreatment, even unto death. May we all remain close to Him, and to His Church, even until the end of the age.
Let's join our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, in his general prayer intention for the month of June: That priests, united to the Heart of Christ, may always be true witnesses of the caring and merciful love of God.
Peace and all good,
P.S. I will share one final personal thought that may be helpful to others -- Fr. Corapi is now making efforts to sell his books and materials at a discounted rate through the end of the month, since they may soon not be available. He is also doing this to 'celebrate' the anniversary of his ordination this Sunday, just after he announces that he is leaving the priesthood. It's likely that the reason that the materials won't be available much longer is that they may no longer be considered Catholic materials (with the approval of an imprimatur or the permission of his society) after he has left the ministerial priesthood. If people want to support Fr. Corapi during this sad and difficult time, I truly recommend that you support him in prayer only (not by purchasing his materials, frequenting his new website, listening to his forthcoming radio shows, or purchasing his soon-to-be-released book), until we understand more of the situation. Please, please pray, and support him in these ways while he is away. Thank you!
UPDATE, 6/19/11: Some have rightly pointed out that Fr. Corapi did not specifically say that he is leaving the Church (or the priesthood, for that matter). I hope that he is not leaving the Church, and I did not mean to mislead. Fr. Corapi did say, "I am not going to be involved in public ministry as a priest any longer. There are certain persons in authority in the Church that want me gone, and I shall be gone." Also, he has expressed his intention of continuing his 'mission' outside of the Church, as 'The Black Sheep Dog.' It seems that his intention to continue writing and speaking on matters of faith without the Church's authority (after voluntarily 'laicizing' himself rather than going through the Church's process of canonical investigation) indicate his move out of the Church, but the situation remains unclear, and I even hope that I have misunderstood. A good read for those interested in knowing a bit more about the canonical process (to which Fr. Corapi refers) can be found here. Most importantly, let us all continue to pray for all involved in this situation. Peace!
UPDATE 2, 6/19/11: Fr. Corapi's superiors from SOLT (his society of apostolic life) have broken silence on certain aspects of the investigation in light of what has happened, and explained that Fr. Corapi's civil suit against the former employee presented serious problems for the canonical investigation taking place. Read more here. Also, the Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi offers some interesting thoughts and insights on the situation here.