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When A Church Leader Disappoints Us - The Father John Corapi Edition

Gee whiz, this is the second one of these for 2011! I wrote about another priestly downfall back in February.

The first time I heard Father Corapi's story I was mesmerized. A wordly sinner with money and riches who finally humbles himself and comes to Christ- it is a truly great story. So great in fact, that I had my impressionable young sons listen to it as well. If such a great sinner could turn his life around and even become a priest, surely there was hope for the rest of us!

But there were a few red flags flown up for me over the years. I heard it was difficult if almost impossible to get Father Corapi to come to speak because of the cost. That seemed odd to me because my parish had been able to get Scott Hahn and Matthew Kelley as speakers. I wondered why Father Corapi would be so much more?

His appearance changed too from  this


to this



and then this!

All a little troubling.

And then the scandal news and finally this odd announcement from Father Corapi himself. In retrospect, I was glad that I hadn't encouraged my children to follow Father Corapi on EWTN and elsewhere, because I think this latest turn of events might have been very confusing for them.

As parents, looking for role models for our Catholic Children, in the wisdom of the church we really can not do better than the actual saints! For these are men and women who have actually run the ENTIRE RACE, had their lives examined and scrutinized and found to be authentically holy.

Father Corapi had some good things to say. So did Father Euteneuer, but the message gets marred when the messenger falls from grace. And as I've mentioned in past posts, the men and women who are truly in leadership are under constant attack from Satan. Perhaps it shouldn't even surprise me when they mess up - it's probably more miraculous when they don't. But as a mom trying to lead impressionable children, in the future I'm sticking primarily with St. John Vianney, St. John Bosco, Father Damien and the Sts. Theresa





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Comments

Daily Grace said…
I loved listening to Fr. Corapi too. I had posted a prayer request when the first news broke. I posted his YouTube video either yesterday or the day before of his recent decission. The more I read the sadder I become.

I find it so unbelievable...I do keep praying though.

thank you
melody said…
I completely understand your disappointment, Elena, but I'm confused by some of your words. You refer to his "fall from grace" and I'm wondering what serious sin you know he is guilty of that the rest of us don't? As far as any of us know, he is innocent of the charges.

As far as his appearance. I don't prefer it but I wouldn't call it an indication of serious sin any more that the obesity we see in other priests we know.

I am deeply disappointed and saddened by the turn of events with Corapi but I still think we need to be careful not to lead others into speculation of the state of another's soul. What's the point?

But I get it and why you posted it... just thought I should share my concern as a sister in Christ. God bless you!
Elena said…
I used the phrase "fall from grace" not theologically but more as a common phase in the vernacular as in "To fall from position of high esteem."

I don't know what his appearance means, but it made me feel uneasy. Most of the men I have known under a vow (husband, grandfather, friends etc.) have cared less about their appearance as time goes by because they are busy supporting, helping, loving, others - family, children, parents, peers. (Which is not to say that I don't think Mr. Pete is handsome, because I do - but last night for graduation he grabbed a quick shirt from Gabriel Brothers to wear on the way home! Between caring for his job and his family that was all he had time for!)

I'm not making any comments at all on Father Caropi's soul. But I'll be damned (probably literally) if I'm going to let a debacle like this affect the souls of my children.
melody said…
Agreed about the children. But let's make sure we're clear about language since we're public with this.

The bloggers this last week have been like vultures and tried, convicted and hung the man a thousand times over. There has been so much speculation over things like appearance and what not that it's getting a little out of control.

btw-Mr. Pete is handsome and so is your whole beautiful family. I mean no offense and still love your blog to pieces. I just hate what I see happening to the man at our own hands. God bless.
Elena said…
I just linked the phrase "Fall from grace" to the popular phrase site so that readers can see that I did not have a theological meaning. That sentence also says "...when the messenger falls from grace" a generic generality which I think is universally true. Hope that helps to clarify and thanks for the comments!
sara said…
I think it MIGHT mean something when a person chooses to make himself look like Anton LaVey. Just sayin'.

It is very sad when a person comes to Christ and (seems to) turn away.
JBO said…
I have learned that some have to reach into the depth of the bottom in order to be a great saint. Some have attempted to put themselves above God and they fall eventually.

I don't know this priest. I did know the founder of Life Teen and warned many that his rise was a false one- since I had hear his "plan" to become rich so many years before. He has lost his priesthood- but hopefully, somehow, God will guide him back so his soul is saved.
When "great men" fall it is our opportunity to teach our children that our own sinful nature can easily take over if we do not center ourselves on our faith in God.
Then when they are tempted- or walk away- they can see that the Church and the Lord lovingly accepts all sinners back. Never close a door- I think that is God's motto.
boysndog said…
Whether he is guilty or innocent of what he's accused of seems almost irrelevant. And yes, there may be corrupt people in the Church trying to push him out, but we don't answer evil with evil, Fr. Corapi should understand this. I got the chills listening to his message, because it is clear that at one time he was truly in love with Christ and listening to Him and spreading His message. Now he cannot even mention the name of Jesus Christ or Mary, those who he once loved so much. I believe this is because his heart is sick and knows he is not doing the right things. At one time he said he needed nothing in life but the Holy Sacrament. I pray he remembers that. There is only one Adversary in this life, and only one Truth.