On my mind - Casey Anthony verdict and the ongoing John Corapi saga

Sorry for the light blogging - I've been outside more doing a lot of weeding, and getting my front yard ready for ivy planting and some other things!

Like many I was kind of upset about the Casey Anthony verdict. I read one funny comment on a forum that said, "Little Caylee drown in the pool, and then staggered into the garage where she got tangled up in the duct tape before collapsing into a garbage bag, which a neighborhood dog dragged to the nearby swamp." Well... maybe but I doubt it.

I think nearly everyone, including members of the jury think that Casey was involved somehow in the death of her daughter. But the jury wasn't asked to decide that. They were asked to decide first degree murder. The criteria for that in Florida is:
Florida Statute 782.04 defines First Degree Murder as a killing that is "perpetrated from a premeditated design to effect the death of the person killed or any human being." The Florida Criminal Jury Instructions explains that a defendant is not guilty of First Degree Murder unless the State of Florida proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the killing was a premeditated murder, a "killing after consciously deciding to do so." The decision to kill must be proven to be "present at the time of the killing", but that the "law does not fix the exact period of time that must pass."

Juror #3 has come foreward and said if it was a lesser charger, there probably would have been a conviction.

So in that sense, the system worked. It's a shame the prosecution over reached on this one. On the positive side, Ms. Anthony will be a lot like another famous acquitted murderer, OJ Simpson - a marked woman, an outcast. The only difference is she doesn't have the same resources so I think her life will be much more difficult.

The other item going around is the story of the ex-Father John Corapi. The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity released a statement this week
stating that Corapi had accumulated real estate, cars, and boats and was not living under a vow of poverty. He was living with a woman and was even "sexting."

SOLT's fact-finding team has acquired information from Fr. Corapi's e-mails, various witnesses, and public sources that, together, state that, during his years of public ministry:

He 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; He repeatedly abused alcohol and drugs; He has recently engaged in sexting activity with one or more women in Montana; He 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 the Society.

SOLT has contemporaneously with the issuance of this press release directed Fr. John Corapi, under obedience, to return home to the Society’s regional office and take up residence there. It has also ordered him, again under obedience, to dismiss the lawsuit he has filed against his accuser.

SOLT's prior direction to Fr. John Corapi not to engage in any preaching or teaching, the celebration of the sacraments or other public ministry continues. Catholics should understand that SOLT does not consider Fr. John Corapi as fit for ministry.

The rest of the blogosphere is doing a good job covering this but I want to add one observation. A few years ago, my parish in NE Ohio, invited Professor Scott Hahn to speak. Most know that Professor Hahn is also a famous convert to the Catholic Faith. He has many books and recordings available for sale and he also has a large family. Yet my parish was able to afford his engagement price and we had several very well attended talks. After each talk Professor Hahn was able to sell his books and recordings in the back of the church and many were happy to have the opportunity to get them.

Around the same time, it was suggested that we try to get Father Corapi to come. We soon found out that his speaking fee was way too high and so we never did get him to come. That bothered me. If Father Corapi was in the business of "saving souls" then why the high price tag? Surely it wasn't just the wealthy souls he was out to save? I thought that perhaps the money was needed for his order, but Professor Hahn was able to do it while supporting a wife and children. Wouldn't book and recording sales provide good revenue? I have wondered about that for years; now I know. My biggest question now is wondering why his order didn't reign him in years ago. I'm sure over the next few months we'll find the answer to that question as well.

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TS said…
On the Casey Anthony case, I've heard conflicting reports as to whether the jury could've ruled it as manslaughter. I agree the premeditated murder is too much.

It's still an amazing thing when you can be accused of murder, lie about the circumstances surrounding it, not even take the stand to proclaim your innocence - and still get off. How come the jury didn't say, "we wanted her on the stand" rather than "we wanted more forensic evidence" or whatnot?

I'm not sure I see what the point of having a jury of your peers when the legal profession tries to make them into mini-lawyers (instead of truth-seekers) for the duration of the trial. Common sense ought to play a bigger role in deliberations, imo.

On Fr. Corapi, wow, he makes Jim Bakker look like a piker, a raw rookie in the pleasures of the flesh. There's a sense of having been played by a master con man, one so good that you have to admire the sheer effrontery and skill of his fraud. I was totally fooled, that's for sure.

Certainly we've all recently got an education in how perceived holiness in others can be pure facade. The scandals in the clergy, to Bud Macfarlane leaving his wife, to the spy Robert Hanssen, to Fr. Corapi, it's been eye-opening and even breathtaking. It gives me a little bit more insight into just how difficult it is to be holy - (i.e, it's not just me who has trouble!) - even when given the advantages of the sacraments. Perhaps it's a replay of St. Paul's riveting verse in Romans 11: "God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all."
Elena said…
I agree with you on all counts TSO. It seems a shame that CA will walk when certainly she should have been convicted of even involuntary manslaughter at the very least! The prosecutors didn't frame this well.

I think what I have learned from Father Corapi is that humility and holiness are two peas in a pod.