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Scott P. Richert

A Falsely Accused Priest Looks at Father Corapi

By June 28, 2011

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Fr. John Corapi's announcement that he will abandon his priestly ministry continues to send shock waves throughout the Catholic Church in America, as debate rages on this site and others about whether he has made the right choice.Fr. Gordon J. MacRae Most of those who support Father Corapi's decision to trade the title "father" for the moniker "The Black Sheep Dog" point to problems in the way that the Catholic Church in the United States handles allegations against priests in the wake of the clerical sexual abuse scandals of 2001-2002. They argue that Father Corapi cannot receive a fair hearing within the Church, and point to the investigation into the allegations against Father Corapi, which has taken three months yet apparently is still far from deciding whether the allegations are sufficiently credible to warrant a canonical trial.

(You can find full coverage of this story in The Case of Fr. John Corapi.)

Fr. Gordon J. MacRae understands the problems with the system better than most. The priest behind the blog These Stone Walls: Musings From Prison of a Priest Falsely Accused, Father MacRae has served over 17 years of a 67-year prison sentence, because he has repeatedly refused to plead guilty to charges of sexual abuse that he did not commit.

In the week's after Father Corapi's announcement on Ash Wednesday of his suspension, but before Father Corapi's June 17th announcement that he was abandoning his priestly ministry, Father MacRae wrote for These Stone Walls "Father John Corapi's Kafka-esque Catch-22 Ordeal." (The link goes to a slightly modified version of the article on the indispensable Spero News website.)

No matter what you may think of Father Corapi's case and his decision to leave the priestly ministry, I urge you to read Father MacRae's piece, because it is perhaps the best summary of the problems that exist in the broader process (not specific to Father Corapi's case) today.

There are points of interpretation on which I disagree with Father MacRae. He writes, for instance, that

I commend Father John Corapi for his obedience and fidelity to legitimate authority in the Church, but that authority must also recognize Father Corapi’s "Catch-22." If he is a priest falsely accused, he also has a moral obligation that may be commanded by a higher law. He has a moral obligation to the truth.

Some of those who support Father Corapi's decision to abandon his priestly ministry rather than to cooperate with the investigation have viewed these lines (written before that decision was announced) as a justification for Father Corapi's decision. I suspect that they may be right that Father MacRae would regard them that way as well, though we won't know until Father MacRae comments, if he ever does, directly on Father Corapi's decision.

To me, however, those lines miss one important point: The bishops and the superiors in religious orders have a moral obligation to the truth as well. That's why the Church establishes processes to deal with such cases, because conflicting claims to truth need to be examined in order for a just outcome to be reached. When those processes are flawed, they should be revised, not ignored.

Christ promised His disciples that the gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church; He did not say that they would not prevail against our private consciences. Our hope lies in Christ and His Church, even when we find ourselves faced with flawed processes that may take longer than we wish to obtain a just result. To speak of a "higher law" may place us in danger of elevating our fallible consciences to an infallible authority.

All of that said, however, let me reiterate that Father MacRae's article should be read by all who are interested in Father Corapi's case. Father MacRae knows better than almost anyone the problems with the current process; what is unclear, however, is the best way to fix the process to avoid such problems in the future.

(Picture of Fr. Gordon J. MacRae from These Stone Walls used with permission.)

More on Father John Corapi:

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Comments
June 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm
(1) Diana says:

Scott, I really appreciate your article here.

My mom and dad were both molested by priests back in the 1930′s. They never told anyone. Nobody would believe them. They had nowhere to turn. They would be in trouble for talking “like that” about a priest.

My parents’ lives and minds were forever twisted, distorted and contorted. It has of course, affected my kids, me, and now my grandchildren — their great-grandchildren.

I see that your article asks how to fix the present system of invstigating the accusations. Everybody seems to agree the “problem” is that all accusations must be assumed credible until proven otherwise. I agree that this is a problem, and I’m aware there will always be disturbed people who will make accusations without foundation — for whatever motivation.

Yet, I cannot help wishing that my mom and dad would have lived in a world where such “problems” existed.

Sometimes I think and hope that this is what Heaven is like. If God lives outside of time, perhaps He can make the malnourishing effects of evil as if they never happened.

I hope and wonder if that is what Scripture (Psalms?) means when it says, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.”

God bless.

June 28, 2011 at 5:45 pm
(2) Gail Finke says:

Diana: I am very, very sorry to hear about what happened to your parents. It should never have happened but, as it did happen, the men responsible should have paid for their crimes.

I find it hard to see, however, how it would affect their great-grandchildren. Like most people, I know next to nothing about my great-grandparents beyond their names. My children know next to nothing about THEIR great-grandparents, who are my grandparents, all four of whom have been dead for many years (one for many years before I was born) and some of whom suffered some terrible things. But to my children, what little they know is just a bunch of old stories. Also, each of us has FOUR great-grandparents on each side of the family, which makes eight of them total. What happened to any one or two of them, out of eight, is not going to mean much even in the closest of families. I say this not to discount you or your parents, but as a reminder that even the worst things do not — in this country, at any rate — make indelible marks on all future generations. Everything passes away, the bad as well as the good.

June 30, 2011 at 7:48 pm
(3) Katherine A. says:

Here’s how it works, Gail:

My grandmother was physically abused by her stepmother. It resulted in tremendous anger and odd behavior patterns, which seem to have been passed along to her daughter, my own mother, who was also abused — sexually by her father, and through extreme corporal punishments by her mother, who would not protect my mother from her father.

My mother experienced mood swings, usually anger followed by despair, and her own neurotic behaviors, including alcoholism. She accused me, at the age of ten, of trying to seduce my own father (because I “ran around the house” in my nightgown on Saturday mornings).

Because of our mother, my sisters and I were reluctant to invite anyone to our home, and reluctant to interact with boys. All three of us have been involved in inappropriate relationships with men that ended very badly. Between the three of us we have experienced at least two abortions, at least two incurable STDs, one divorce, one broken engagement, one case of alcohol abuse, and three cases of suicidal depression. Two of us have had children who have suffered as a result of our difficulties and their limited exposure to their grandmother.

How much of this is biological I cannot say. But I have no doubt that much of it began when my own grandmother’s mother died young, leaving her at the mercy of the stepmother who treated her cruelly. That woman caused, to at least some degree, the suffering of four generations of my family (and it may not be over yet). Few people outside the family members I have described know anything of this story, because we do not share it — for obvious reasons. I believe most of our friends, neighbors, and coworkers would describe us as normal and happy people. They have not seen what goes on behind our closed doors.

If you cannot understand how this can happen, it is because you have been lucky, or perhaps blessed, not to have experienced this in your family. Sometimes ignorance truly can be bliss.

June 28, 2011 at 7:18 pm
(4) Sandrda gray says:

While it is sad what happened but even Our Lord was betrayed by one bad apple -Judas- likewise in the Church, most the priests I know are holy, good, and kind and now finding themselves under attack for what happened 20/30/49 years ago, I personally think like most people we were innocent, we never thought of perverts, gay, lesbian or anything other than normal, we lived in innocent times, no bad thing when we see what is going on around us.
To say its effected your children, grandchildren, is dramatic to say the least, my friend’s father attacked her but when she got married she never told anyone and hence her children and grandchildren are happy and normal T.G.

June 29, 2011 at 9:42 am
(5) Sharon says:

I have to disagree somewhat with the previous two comments on your post Diana. If you are raised by bad parents – for whatever reason – it WILL affect you. Some are affected more than others. You in turn can make some of the same mistakes that your parents made and then your children may repeat them with their children. I was abused by my father for many years – both physically and mentally. I KNOW how it affected my parenting and it was not until I told my husband, after 25 years of marriage, that I could finally start healing. I have no doubt that some of my emotional problems affected the development of my children. I can see some of my insecurities in my daughter who now has two children. Now, nobody can tell me that it will not affect her children in some way. So, YES, it can pass down for many generations in the actions and decisions made by each of them.

June 29, 2011 at 9:28 pm
(6) Karen says:

Very well said.

June 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm
(7) Joji says:

Hi Scott,

“Gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church”. That is what I think both people against Corapi and people supporting his decision has to meditate on. That concept has become much broader when considering all the things Blessed Pope John Paul II had to ask forgiveness from the humanity on how the Church handled them. As Diana mentioned above it was one extreme of abuse of authority at the time(or before) of her parents (priests/Bishops can get away with much of what they did), and it seem to be the other extreme now (anyone can accuse priests/Bishops).

So I would say as C.S. Lewis would say both extremes are bad.
Also, if you read the history of the Church, one thing you realize is it is not easy to know what exactly Jesus said when he said “it will not prevail”.

The judgement in Daniel 13 can be taken as an example on how the Church should handle cases like this. (n that case the judges themselves were the accusers). So it is right there in the Scripture. The Church has to be fairer and just to both sides than the secular world. “If your righteousness does not exceed that of the teachers of the law”. Mathew 5:20.

It is difficult to judge that Fr. Corapi’s decision just to leave priesthood was wrong in God’s eyes. Only God can prove him wrong and only God should judge him for that. Almost everyone I know have broken their Baptismal vows, which is a vow to priesthood of all faithful. Like Jesus said “Let the one who has not sinned (or not broken their any vows to God) throw the first stone”!.

July 1, 2011 at 7:51 pm
(8) David Biessener says:

Dear Joji,

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful post. I would like to point out one common misconception, that Father C has left the priesthood. He has specifically stated a number of times that he has not. He has simply resigned from “public ministry”, which was already stripped from him (i.e. his priestly faculties) by the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Bishop Mulvey. It seems to me he simply “resigned to” his fate.

Should he have his faculties restored, he will be able to again publicly wear the collar and execute the sacraments. In the meanwhile, whether it is for one more day or until the end of his life, he is and will remain a priest. In fact, he is a priest forever.

I agree with Scott R. that much of the debate revolves around the church’s treatment of accused priests. Father C’s case is one of many. It is my belief that God has chosen Father C to carry this cross to catalyze reform in the Church’s process. Father Corapi is a priest and theologian, and has acted on the advice of (retired Corpus Christi) Bishop Emeritus Gracida, and his longtime mentor, Father Flanagan, and others, as well as his own well formed conscience.

It does not appear to me that Father C is in disobedience in any way, as S.O.L.T. has offered to help him out of his priestly obligations, and membership and responsibilities to S.O.L.T. Father Corapi has rejected any notion of his leaving the priesthood.

God Bless you, please pray for all involved, and especially for all accused priests and their accusers, regardless of who is the victim and who is the victimizer – they all need prayers.

June 28, 2011 at 7:11 pm
(9) Kirt Higdon says:

A very good analysis. I remember being stunned when my mother and brother showed me a newspaper article which reported that a fellow I had known pretty well in elementary school, high school and college had received a million dollar payoff in a class action suit against the diocese of Covington, KY arising out of allegations of molestation. He claimed to have a “repressed memory” of being molested by a priest which he “recovered” more than 40 years later. No mention of the priest, who may well have been dead by that time. I tried as hard as I could to recover some repressed memory of priestly molestation to get a million dollar payoff (less attorney’s fees of course) but couldn’t quite work the mental trick. Father MacRae is right; for the accused priest it really is a Kafkaesque Catch 22.

July 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm
(10) Marilou says:

On another note, my sisters and I were sexually abused by a family member and it was to the religious in our lives (through school and the parish church – not those clergy that were family members) that we found solace. Unfortunately, they did not intervene, but you know, 40, 50 years ago, things were not handled in the same way. I am sure there were things said to my parents, but anyone who involved themselves in our family in too demanding a way (as far as the safety of the children was concerned) was simply cut off. And that’s the way things were. Now, we’ve gone to the opposite extreme where most people (especially clergy) are presumed guilty even after proven innocent. To this day, when I mention what happened to my sisters and I to anyone who knew my family then, most people will not believe me. Some do. My cousin says her Dad always thought there was something wrong and feared for us, but did not speak too loudly because his wife was my mother’s sister and she could not believe that anything so bad could be happening, as far as the sexual abuse by another family member was concerned. Most everyone knew about my mother’s temper though, but most people still say they didn’t think she would be that way at home. Lord, she was worse at home. Who was there to speak up for the children? I’m sure the neighbors must have known, just from the shear loudness of it all, but we were not friendly with them – and now, as an adult, I think I may know why.

June 28, 2011 at 8:24 pm
(11) Ellen says:

I think the blanket assumption and assertion that MacRae is a “falsely accused priest” is a dangerous one to make. You’re accepting his storyline. That’s your right – but it is not the only story. He is quite busy making everyone believe that he is falsely accused…but I would not be so sure about that.

June 28, 2011 at 9:00 pm
(12) Lea says:

If Father Mc Rae was not innocent, he could have pleaded guilty and been release from prison 15 years ago. I can’t imagine anyone that would continue to plead their innocence, knowing that they will have 50 more years in prison and no parole by doing so. Also one of his accusers has recanted his story, and I believe the two were brothers. I may be wrong on that fact.

July 1, 2011 at 8:07 pm
(13) David Biessener says:

Ellen,

I would urge you to read the documentation on Father Macrae’s case. I believe he is absolutely innocent, but it is not a blanket assumption or assertion. Research it yourself if you feel so compelled, but please do not make the “blanket assumption and assertion” that whomever it is you are accusing of”accepting his storyline” is doing so simply ‘accepting’ Father Macrae’s ‘storyline’.

July 2, 2011 at 8:55 pm
(14) Jean says:

Ellen – I am with you. Although I initially accepted Fr. MacRae’s version of events, I later did my own investigation of the documents and the case. Fr. MacRae has some serious issues, he has had extensive therapy for these, and has pleaded guilty to some other sexual misconduct cases, prior to the one for which he was convicted.

In his own words: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/docs/manchester/NHAG_03112_03114.pdf

In the words of the experts who treated him by court order after his guilty plea: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/docs/manchester/NHAG_03347_03356.pdf

There are many John Doe’s who have made allegations against Fr. MacRae. I would prefer to see him in a mental health facility, but he definitely needs close supervision and lock down, in my opinion. Apparently the state of New Hampshire came to this conclusion also.

June 28, 2011 at 8:51 pm
(15) Lea says:

To those who do not follow Father Corapi, he is not leaving the priesthood and he has posted on both Facebook and Twitter that he is not seeking laicization. Rather, he can not function as a priest,except to say mass in private. So he will speak out as John Corapi. His former Bishop and the founder of SOLT have advised him, that the only way for him to get a fair shake is to initiate a civil suit against his accuser. That being done, he can take the evidence to his bishop and asked to have his faculties reinstated. The world needs to hear the saving Word of Jesus Christ. He has led thousands back to the church, and people of all denominations into the Catholic Church. He is known by his fruits. His teachings, as evidenced by one bishop, have never been in error of the doctrines and precepts of our Faith. May God grant him a swift vindication from these charges.

June 29, 2011 at 3:24 pm
(16) Sharon says:

@Lea – If you are still thinking that Corapi has not left the priesthood, then I suggest you read the following statement issued by the SOLT:
http://www.soltnews.blogspot.com/2011/06/official-solt-statement-on-behalf-of-fr.html

It clearly states – “In the midst of the investigation, the SOLT received a letter from Fr. Corapi, dated June 3, 2011, indicating that, because of the physical, emotional and spiritual distress he has endured over the past few years, he could no longer continue to function as a priest or a member of the SOLT.”

June 29, 2011 at 4:44 pm
(17) Debbie says:

Then, based on both statements, everyone must be aware of the level of conflict happening here. The only accurate media report regarding this scandal (that I have heard or read) was by Raymond Arroro on EWTN this past week. I suggest everyone go to EWTN’s website and get an accurate unbiased account, without a blogger’s biased adjectives slanting and using continuous contradictory terms that only keep confusing. Raymond Arroro & EWTN work very hard to get it right and wait until they can offer correct information before releasing anything coming out from their camp. You will get the truth from EWTN. You deserve nothing less than that.

June 29, 2011 at 9:48 am
(18) Sharon says:

Scott: I have seen some others comparing Corapi’s story to Fr. MacRae’s. I understand the emphasis is on the flaws in process; however, Fr. MacRae was accused of a criminal act while Fr. Corapi is not. Wouldn’t the process be handled differently by the bishops in Fr. Corapi’s case. There is no need to involve the civil authorities in Fr. Corapi’s case. I’m just trying to understand why this comparison is being made. Once a charge of criminal conduct is made against a priest, are the bishops obligated to turn the investigation over to the civil authorities?

June 29, 2011 at 12:16 pm
(19) Salvy says:

Don’t mean to sound so overly self-rightious here, but, isn’t using illegal drugs still technically a crime, which was one of the accusations? Albeit, in most cases a misdemeanor? Furthermore, isn’t it somewhat different and clearly a more serious thing if it’s a Catholic priest–especially a real preachy well known celebrity Roman Collar like Father Corapi, compared to some o’l unknown Catholic Joe Sixpack like me? Just throwing out these few profound questions.

June 29, 2011 at 3:11 pm
(20) Sharon says:

@Salvy – I totally agree with you. I’m just trying to understand how we can even compare the situations with the two priests as far as how the bishops may have handled the individual cases. I am just so tired of hearing so many people insist that Fr. Corapi is innocent of the allegations brought against him. We have NO way of knowing if he is innocent or guilty. In a civil case a jury is responsible for making that judgment after hearing all the facts in a case. We don’t have all the facts and most of what we have been told have come from Fr. Corapi – the accused.
I have to wonder how those who have insisted that he is innocent would treat a case in which similar allegations were brought against the average person – such as you or me???
Also, in regards to the civil case that Fr. Corapi has brought against his accuser. One thing that I have not heard anyone (or maybe I missed it) bring up is the fact that Fr. Corapi first claimed that he was NOT given the name of his accuser, but he could guess who it was. If he was never given the name of his accuser then can someone please explain to me how he could file a civil case against her??? Just doesn’t make any sense to me. But then, I am just an average person.

June 29, 2011 at 4:54 pm
(21) Debbie says:

You are so right, Sharon. Both SOLT & Fr’s statements are in agreement and have made clear concise statements regarding this.

June 29, 2011 at 12:18 pm
(22) John Matits says:

Dear Scott:

I have enjoyed your comments and insights for a long time.

and, I do believe that bishops and priests are bound to tell the truth. However, we sometimes forget that they are human and do not always tell the truth, Also, in this situation they are not teaching on faith and morals; but, are enacting essentially a Church ‘quasi-legal’ procedure.

love,
John

July 1, 2011 at 8:44 pm
(23) David Biessener says:

John,

First, I second your thoughts regarding Scott – although I just recently have been reading his articles.

Second, thank you for pointing out that Bishops and Priests are human, and are “poor sinners” like the rest of us.

Third, I agree they are ‘enacting’ a Church procedure, but I just don’t think the phrase “quasi-legal” is accurate. Church ‘law’ is the law of the Church, and is embodied in canon law, and this is a specific area of law in which there are canon lawyers. It is not secular ‘civil’ or ‘criminal’ law, which is I think what you are expressing, but it is law.

From what I have researched – and I am not a canon lawyer – the procedures spelled out by the U.S. Catholic Bishops are being misapplied and in violation of canon law, and may be in violation of canon in letter as well as application. Essentially, by canon law, penalties can not be imposed on a priest until an investigation has yielded a conclusion, or ‘verdict’, if you like. The suspension, or “administrative leave”, that has been imposed upon Father Corapi and many other priests across the U.S., prior to a ‘verdict’ or even a determination of the veracity of the accusation, is in opposition to canon law. There, however, exists the Bishop’s authority to take action to avoid scandal. I do not believe the good Bishop has the authority in this case, however, to take the action that he did (administrative leave), as the specific case of accused priests is spelled out in canon law, and any priest accused is a scandal whether the accusation is true or false. There are no extraordinary circumstances that demand an immediate suspension of Father C’s faculties.

God Bless you, and please pray for all involved.

June 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm
(24) Susan says:

Hey Scott,

I’m not a proponent of the death penalty and not because I dwell on a higher moral plane than most. I’m not for it because I believe people have died for crimes they didn’t commit. If it were possible to know with 100% certainty that a crime was commited by someone and it was deserving of the death penalty, then, I’m all for it. But we’re not there yet.

There are flaws and problems with the process of investigation and claims of misconduct among priests. Many, many priests are guilty; but, not all.

If I were Father Corapi, I’d have every reason not to trust in the judicial process of the church or the state. The man is potentially facing jail, and he insists he’s innocent. Most of us have never been, nor ever will be, in a situation like this. We can’t even imagine a scenario in which it could happen. It does happen, though. Sadly, too often the church (read: bishops) is frightened and because it is, it make very poor decisions, which can have catastrophic impact on the lives of those involved.

Don’t want to believe that Father Gordon MacCrae is innocent? Okay. Don’t want to believe that Father Corapi is innocent? Okay. But it’s within the realm of possibility/probabilty that some priests who have been falsely accused have had their lives ruined.

None of us know what we would do if we were John Corapi. We don’t know what Jesus would do if He were in this situation. For sure though He’d be praying and imploring others to pray.

Thanks, Scott, for your thoughtful insights.

June 29, 2011 at 7:17 pm
(25) Nina H. says:

I have no dog in the Corapi fight (no pun intended…) as I never particularly cared for the man beforehand and I am quite taken aback by the unusual nature of his “announcements” and the “black sheepdog” moniker now, but I wanted to comment on the false accusation question.

The problem now is that no one trusts anyone in the Catholic Church anymore, and that is the direct fault of the hierarchy of the Church. Had pastors and bishops done the right thing from the very beginning, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Because of the criminal negligence of some pastors and bishops regarding the worst sort of abuse — the abuse of innocents — now we don’t trust our priests, we don’t trust the hierarchy, and others don’t trust the victims and the victims’ support groups.

I suspect, had Corapi really cared about the Church more than his personal glory, he would have used his situation — which he claims is based on false accusations — to help illuminate the flaws in the process and to re-establish trust among Catholics. To me, he seems to be more about his personal glory than anything else and, as a result, is only adding to this lack of trust that is causing serious damage to the Church.

And, of course, all of this — all of the sins of the past and the present — are ultimately the work of Satan. The abuse, the negligence, the distrust, the arrogance, and even Corapi’s mess, are the work of Satan one way or another. I guess I just don’t see Corapi being willing to stand either against Satan or for the Church at the moment.

June 29, 2011 at 11:06 pm
(26) Susan says:

He’s just frightened. He needs prayer. Lots of it.

June 30, 2011 at 12:38 pm
(27) Barbie C says:

If the allegation that the Bishop of Texas actively campaigned against Father Corapi and forced their somewhat unwilling hands, alarm bells ring for me; the term personal vendetta springs to mind. I agree wholeheartedly that Satan is at front and centre of the “Diabolical Disorientation” [Sister Lucy of Fatima] within the hierarchy of the Church. However I find that some of the judgemental comments are worrying considering we are not in full possession of the facts. Maybe I would feel better if the Church had been as active and scrupulous in their dealings with child abusers. I pray for all involved, that their decisions will be guided by truth, justice and respect.

June 29, 2011 at 8:34 pm
(28) Ryan A. MacDonald says:

I found Fr. Gordon MacRae’s article to be riveting. Unfortunately, as a prisoner he does not have the luxury of online access so he cannot respond to these comments. Scott Richert’s remarks about this article were spot on, but I feel compelled to shed light on some of the comments about Fr. Gordon MacRae himself. The exculpatory story that is now finally being told is not MacRae’s alone. In 2005, The Wall Street Journal investigated this case and exposed it as a fraud. Since then, it’s been like falling dominoes. None of the accusers had a comment for the WSJ articles. More than one of them fled. The brother of another went on record saying that it was all a fraud for money. Another accuser has recanted describing how he was lured into falsely accusing this priest with the promise of money. Over the last two years, two professional investigators have been reviewing this case. Not one of the accusers would agree to talk. I have also written extensively about this case. Here is the link: http://www.thesestonewalls.com/truth-in-justice/.

Lastly, I want to express my horror at the remark that all allegations should be deemed credible until proven otherwise. That is clearly the statement of someone whose freedom has never been threatened. We cannot suspend the Bill of Rights and the Constitution just for Catholic priests. What that writer suggests will turn justice on its head.

June 30, 2011 at 6:48 am
(29) Kirt Higdon says:

Credible simply means believable, but most people take it to mean true or in all probability true. Almost all lies are believable; otherwise no one would bother telling a lie. To put the burden on the accused by saying that a credible accusation must be “proven otherwise” means the accused must not merely prove the accusation untrue, but prove it impossible. It is the accuser who in justice must bear the burden of proof.

June 29, 2011 at 11:42 pm
(30) Susan says:

@Ryan A MacDonald

If ever there were a more compelling case, I can’t think what it is. I’m crazed when someone calls into question Fr. Gordon MacCrae’s innocence. I guess I have to accept that some will not/cannot look at the facts of his case dispassionately.

The horrors commited by some priests against children cannot be made right by wrongly accusing and sometimes convicting innocent men.

Thanks for sharing about FGM. If anyone reading these posts has not gone to the website “These Stone Walls,” please, please visit the site and take time to read background info.

June 30, 2011 at 12:51 am
(31) Jerry G. says:

I love you Fr. Corapi. God Bless. Praying for you.

June 30, 2011 at 2:34 am
(32) Charlie says:

With the way Father Corapi has talked about the modernist, liberal priests within the Church, and their most eager desire to change the Church, doesn’t anyone think that there’s the possibility he’s been set up by these priests?

I don’t know if John Corapi has fallen from grace or not. As another poster had said, how can we be 100% certain? But there are many truly evil ones within the Church, gay and having same-sex relationships with adult companions, whether they be other clergy or laypeople while under the oath of celibacy. These priests get away with such profanity against our Lord and no one says a word! But as far as Corapi goes, crucify him!

Yes, the satan worshippers have gotten their claws and hooves inside the Church, but we all know how the story ends. We must pray for these DELIBERATELY sinful priests. Be very wary of them, however, for they are intelligent and do not plan on vacating the Church any time soon. They want change and they will preach inconsistencies to misteach the faith to the parishioners. A little truth mixed in with lies. Cunning, sly, evil. Not afraid to take someone out if they are a hinderance to their plans.

Pray for John Corapi, who worships God and has only tried to warn us of the evils within the Church. God bless him and pray that we all can be as unafraid to stand up for the faith and against the false teachers. Amen.

June 30, 2011 at 8:28 am
(33) Salvy says:

Someone asked me recently that, if they let priests get married that that would take care of the problem of all the sex abuse and crimes we’ve heard about by Catholic priests.
Without hesitation I shot back no it wouldn’t. I said the vast majority–it’s been stated even by the church that around 80 to 90 percent of the cases involved homosexual sex. I said if I was in charge I wouldn’t allow homosexuals to be priests anymore, and right there that would get rid of the bulk of this terrible and horrendous problem.
Of course homosexuals of every stripe are most welcome to become true Christian Catholics and attend our churches on a regular basis. That’s what were about–loving and helping all sinners.
And by the way, it’s the Catholic agencies within the church who are the biggest health care providers in the world for AID’s patients from what I understand–which is great. Everyone knows that these male homosexuals go for the young and they’ve got a hard time keeping that thing in their pants. Letting priests marry a women isn’t going to solve this type of problem. My philosophy is that since the priest swears these vows of celibacy, and if he finds he can’t and won’t keep his word on that, then he should then do the honorable thing and quit. That’s my opinion.

June 30, 2011 at 8:51 am
(34) LuannD says:

@ Salvy – “I said if I was in charge I wouldn’t allow homosexuals to be priests anymore,”. I didn’t know that a litmus test had been invented to definitively point out gay from straight. I see a Nobel Prize in someone’s future!

July 1, 2011 at 12:50 pm
(35) Nina H. says:

Actually, the ratio is about 70% male-male abuse and 30% male-female abuse w/in the Church.

Also, gay men are far less likely to be child molesters than straight men. That’s a long-proven statistical fact.

Allowing a return to a married priesthood (which is what Christ Himself established) wouldn’t de facto end all abuse. What it would do is bring sexually healthier men into the mix, the watchful eyes of mothers into the mix, and a genuine understanding of true marriage and fatherhood, and all the responsibilies, worries, joys and concerns of marriage and fatherhood into the mix. That’s a better recipe for a genuinely good and holy hierarchy, and it would do a lot to prevent these serial predators and the bishops who protect them from getting away with their evil deeds.

July 3, 2011 at 1:44 pm
(36) Charlie says:

Someone once said the same thing to me and I basically said what you said, that it’s homosexual abuse. Of course I was assuming that this person was talking about heterosexual marriage being allowed, but now that I think back and think how this person appears to be very liberal, maybe they meant marriage for homosexual priests as well.

The [Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with Regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in View of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders] says that while we’re supposed to respect gay people,”the Church cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders these who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or suport the so-called gay culture.”

As you and LuannD discussed, how is one supposed to know who’s lying when they come into the faith and who’s not????? And I agree with you that if any priest cannot follow through with their promise of celibacy, then they should get out of the priesthood.

If Father Copapi needs to be with women, then he should bow out. No pun intended (initially) to his black sheep’dog’ persona.

Anyway, he’s been a strong contender for the faith, and until he’s actually proven guilty, I will support his innocence.

June 30, 2011 at 8:41 am
(37) LuannD says:

I may not be understanding this entire situation correctly, but the mention of Fr. Corapi spending jail time confuses me. What has he done to deserve this sentence? Sexual allegations by an adult female? The use of illegal drugs? [I certainly hope you are joking about this]. The decision to leave the priesthood? I see nothing that this man has done that 95% of the male population [albeit leaving the priesthood] isn’t doing or has done in the past. Let’s hang ‘em all!

June 30, 2011 at 4:55 pm
(38) Ryan A. MacDonald says:

I want to thank Susan and some of the other commenters for their sense of justice and fairness to priests accused. There are many in this picture who have tried to use the scandal to further agendas of their own. It is not only the rights of priests that are at stake. If we’re ready to surrender their rights, who’s to say our own won’t be next? Fr. Gordon MacRae wrote an excellent article about just how scary it is to be falsely accused and wrongly imprisoned. It’s entitled, “Walking Tall: The Justice Behind the Eighth Commandment.” In it, he quotes famed Sheriff Bufford Puser: “If you don’t speak up against this, you give them the eternal right to do the same damn thing to anyone of you!” Here is the link:

http://www.thesestonewalls.com/gordon-macrae/walking-tall-the-justice-behind-the-eighth-commandment/

June 30, 2011 at 8:25 pm
(39) Salvy says:

And thanks to you Ryan for your contributions here. The information you bring is very eye-opening.

July 1, 2011 at 12:54 pm
(40) Nina H. says:

–In it, he quotes famed Sheriff Bufford Puser: “If you don’t speak up against this, you give them the eternal right to do the same damn thing to anyone of you!”–

And the abused who were ignored or silenced or called liars could say the same thing.

July 1, 2011 at 12:55 pm
(41) Nina H. says:

In it, he quotes famed Sheriff Bufford Puser: “If you don’t speak up against this, you give them the eternal right to do the same damn thing to anyone of you!”

And the abused who were ignored or silenced or called liars could say the same thing.

July 1, 2011 at 8:54 pm
(42) David Biessener says:

Nina,

Nobody here has suggested that the abused who were ignored or silenced or called liars should be mistreated in any way. Nor has anybody suggested that those cases did not happen. We all know of, and are appalled by, the injustices suffered by the abused, both at the hands of their abuser and by mistreatment by authorities – both secular and in the church. I am still angry to this day by those in and outside the Church that chose CYA rather than justice.

Unfortunately, the Church overreacted, and now priests are denied their rights, and they are left wide open for any false accusation, and are harshly penalized and have their lives destroyed, before any determination is made EVEN of the veracity of the accusation – they are denied due process and their civil rights. It is the denial of justice that is equally dangerous whether it is the denial of justice for the accuser or the accused, as in each case, it becomes the denial of justice to the victim which further victimizes the victim.

God Bless you Nina, please pray for all involved

July 1, 2011 at 9:15 pm
(43) David Biessener says:

Scott,

Thank you for continuing to write on this topic. Although I disagree with some key points you make, you also engage in discussion and make room for differing opinions, mine included.

I do believe that Father Corapi is being obedient, and have found no factual statements or canon law to the contrary. In my opinion, he is being “heroically obedient” to the Church, as the accusations, the Church’s response, and his actions in response (e.g. theblacksheepdog.us, ‘resigning from’ public ministry, bold statements regarding his case and others about the source of the evil and the damage it causes, the choice to reenter the public forum without his faculties, etc) have resulted in terrible, vociferous public savaging of his person. I believe that this is the cross that our Lord has chosen for Father C to catalyze change in the Church process that is so unjust and contributes to and outright destroys priests’ public ministry, their lives, sometimes their sanity and even their physical freedom.

If I am wrong, well, God is still in charge, and is still allowing evil in order to create a greater good.

God Bless and keep writing!

David

July 1, 2011 at 10:31 pm
(44) Salvy says:

Scott,

I too want to sincerely thank for covering this story in such an excellent way, and letting everyone pretty much write out their own thoughts such freely and openly.
And, I hope you can continue to do what you’re doing by analyzing all the critical aspects in connection with this case.
I believe the implications of this story are vastly significant and far-reaching , much bigger and deeper than what many people realize.
Scott, I know you’re a busy busy man extra busy lately so I miss all your insightful responses.
God bless you and your family and let’s all go out this 4th of July weekend and celebrate what little independence we have left.
Like David says…”God Bless and keep writing!”

July 2, 2011 at 7:35 pm
(45) Jean says:

Before you assume that Fr. Gordon MacRae is innocent, you must do a little research on this man. He is not who he claims to be. He is a convincing personality, however. Scary convincing.

Start here and read #10 and #19 in this deposition:

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/NH-Manchester/archives/MacRae-2.pdf

Then, if you are still wondering, read:

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/docs/manchester/macrae/doclist.htm

July 4, 2011 at 10:12 pm
(46) Salvy says:

Jean, thanks for furnishing that. I only to read some of that very extensive report to see this man has or had some deep-seeded serious problems–unfit to be a priest for sure.

July 11, 2011 at 11:42 pm
(47) Ellen says:

Thank you Jean. It is shocking to me how MacRae has used the Corapi case to promote himself and his narrative – and how some are uncritically absorbing this – even going to so far as to define MacRae as a “falsely accused” priest – no questions asked.

July 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm
(48) Jeremy says:

There is a lot more to the story of Father Gordon MacRae than you know. I want to tell you about the real Gordon MacRae. I spent five years in prison with him, but we didn’t know him as Father anything. Just G. I was 19 years old when I went to prison and most people thought I was 16 or 17. Every young kid in prison is very aware of predators and prison is filled with them. A tiger can’t change his stripes and a man who is a predator on the streets can be a monster in prison.

G is far from a predator. He was the only person any of us could trust. He treated with nothing but care and respect and challenged us to leave prison better than when we came in. In all those years I never saw, heard, or felt anything that made me believe G ever belonged in prison.

There’s something else you need to know. There was this big, tough man on our cell block who everyone feared. I was a pretty tough kid and could handle myself , but one night this guy told my roommate to be somewhere else. Then he came in my cell and demanded something despicable from me. When I refused he dragged me from my bunk and started beating me. I fought but was no match for him and he pinned me to the floor. All the upstanding convicts fled to their cells and blocked their ears.

Then the beating stopped and i realized someone else was in the room. It was G. The man stood up and demanded that G leave. G just said, “I don’t jump on your command.” Then this beast just lunged at him, but G stood there and didn’t move. When this guy saw that g wasn’t backing down he walked past G and left. G made sure I was okay. This man never came near me again. He never even looked at me again.

I am out of prison today because of G. All I learned about courage and integrity and honor I learned from G.

December 23, 2011 at 6:26 am
(49) Marie Butler says:

I understand why Fr. Corapi has said what he did. How can we, people who believe in his innocence, help this situation?

December 31, 2011 at 4:34 pm
(50) thomas says:

i pray for fr. corapi as i do for all priests.
may our blessed lady watch over them

January 23, 2012 at 9:56 pm
(51) Maria says:

I believe that a family never judges or condems a family member. A family can only love and discipline those who are loved and at this point SOLT is not doing such thing. May God grant father Corapi the graces needed, those whom no one has ever asked for to remain in the most intimate of Jesus Heart. God is first love. Give Him a break to prove it once more!

February 25, 2012 at 5:18 am
(52) sean says:

To Jean: Do you understand the huge assumption you are making?

From what you have offered up a “evidence”. If a priest goes for help for celibecy problems, sexual down falls, porno,etc,etc,. HE IS A PERSON THAT WOULD MOLEST A CHILD,TEENAGAER?— How many people with ” issues” would you let be found guilty of being a preditor for their sinful down falls (aka “issues”). IF FR. GORDAN WAS A PEOPHILE THEN SHOW THE ACTUAL CRIMINAL COMPLAINT REPORT( rebuffing a minor prositute(male or female) is a matter of subjective decernment — at most :yeah he was drunk looking for sex gratification(wow what a shock in todays hyper sexed world)– if he proceeded to plead guily to soliciating/engaging in sex with a minor(who may or may not have disclosed age(Idon’t imagine a john would ask a prostitute for id.) that is still a far cry from being a rapists/molester. YES A PERSON THAT NEEDS HELP/COUNSELING,ETC—but you seem to make it a slam dunk that he was a molester(how many cheating spouses could be held to that sstandard? for a night in vegas, nyc.,la?—The police reports have a similar,too coincidnetal verbage,statements to everyone of the detectives arrest patterns.—-I think the priests that may have been had far more real dangerous”issues” than FR.Gordan let him be the sacrificial lamb to take the heat off “other priest in the region”— I am a falsely accused father of abuse(children/ ex spouse) for the sole motive of getting a green card(illegal aliens that have fraud / criminality in their past can overcome deportation by saying they were abused by AMERICAN CITIZENS(Catholic church is heavially involved in this scam to”help illegals”—I know what it is like to be falsely accused and past “issues” are not the template for abuse(ST.PAUL HAD PAST “ISSUES” AS ZELOT MURDER!!— Thank you for letting me have my say—if further evidence is revealed I would gladly change my opion

May 8, 2012 at 11:51 am
(53) Phyllis Mae says:

I am a victim of sexual abuse. The abuser was my father. Having lived with this for 47 years of my life, I can attest to the fact that abuse DOES affect you for the rest of your life. The priest abuse scandal has disturbed me so very much for several reasons. First being that many of the accused priests were deceased and had absolutely no voice in their defense. Second, the accusers were handed cash! How many people came forward “claiming” abuse simply to receive cash? Being a victim of abuse, I would never want cash in my pocket to “make up for” the abuse I suffered! I am certain that if the accusers were given free counseling as a settlement, or cash donated to an abuse program as their settlement, there would have been FAR fewer accusers!! Really I wonder how anyone who suffered abuse could even spend a nickle of cash from a case. We also MUST realize what the world was like years ago. Sexual abuse was NOT talked about. The psychiatric community also proclaimed that with a little counseling, they could “cure” this malady. Treat people with this problem and then send them back into the world “cured”! Of course, we know now that this isn’t the case. I know from first hand experience that it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to “prove” sexual abuse occurred. And I am so saddened to realize that many priests were probably accused and branded who were innocent! I pray for them often and trust that God has a plan for these innocent priests.

June 29, 2012 at 3:20 am
(54) uju says:

Father Corapi, we love you and will continue in our prayers for you.

January 14, 2013 at 3:02 pm
(55) DOTTIE says:

FATHER CORAPI WE WILL KEEP OUR PRAYERS GOING FOR YOU,WE MISS AND HOPE FOR YOUR RETURN TO US SOON.PLEASE DONT GIVE UP,OUR FAMILY LOVES YOU AS DOES OUR BLESSED MOTHER AND HER SON OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. WE NEED YOU TO COME BACK||||.

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