SOLT Bombshell (Updated)

Update I: The press release is now up on the S.O.L.T. website.  Thanks to reader Wellington for alerting us to that.

Update II: Read the Catholic Blogosphere’s reactions to the S.O.L.T. Bombshell on ThePulp.it here.

Update III: Fr. Corapi has responded. Let’s just say that I find the response less than convincing.

[Editor’s Note: I have just gotten off the phone with the editors of the National Catholic Register and they have confirmed that this is a genuine press release from Father Gerard Sheehan of S.O.L.T.  They, S.O.L.T., are unable to take phone calls or respond to emails because they have General Chapter meetings until July 21, ie, reclused.]

Jimmy Akin links to a press release from Fr. Gerard Sheehan, who was Fr. Corapi’s religious superior in the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT).  It rehashes some of the things we’ve already heard about the investigation of Fr. Corapi, but then concludes with this:

SOLT’s fact-finding team has acquired information from Father Corapi’s emails, 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 Father 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 Father 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 Father John Corapi as fit for ministry.

Wow.  I’m sure this is far from the last we will hear about this.

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Dante alighieri


  1. May God bless everyone involved, especially Mr. Corapi and his many fans who have been so scandalized.

    I am so saddened, but unfortunately not surprised. We all slip and fall. May our Blessed Mother take Mr. Corapi by the hand and lead him back into grace and back to his calling as a Priest.

  2. Matt,

    I understand your trepidation, but then you’ll have to wait two weeks from now for it to be validated enough for you.

    By then it’ll be a foregone conclusion.

  3. Like Tito, I understand some people’s skepticism. This is one of those rare occasions where there is a non-zero chance that the conspiracy-minded could be right. However, it has been several hours since this press release has been publicized, and were it not the genuine article SOLT would have certainly issued some kind of statement by now.

  4. I am NOT judging Fr. Corapi. I write the following from personal experience – bitter, poisonous, sickening experience. I am darn sure going to my Meeting tonight. Nobody is exempt from a SLIP – you’ll see what the acronym means as you read on. And if I am wrong, then I shall apologize and hang my head in shame. Yet for me the moral of the story is the same: Nobody is exempt from a SLIP.

    Among other things, this release confirms that Fr. Corapi “…did have sexual relations and years of cohabitation …repeatedly abused alcohol and drugs…recently engaged in sexting activity with one or more women in Montana…”

    Now none of us know the details of this sad story, and if any of the following is true, the Fr. Corapi will have to do his own “confession” as it were. But by his own admission and as recorded within CDs of his life’s story, Fr. Corapi was addicted to cocaine. Addiction is a permanent disease for which there is no cure. One never ever stops being an alcoholic or drug addict. There is only a daily reprieve contingent on one’s spiritual well being, as the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states. And once one is addicted to one drug (e.g., cocaine), then one is automatically predisposed to addiction from any mind-altering drug, including but not limited to alcohol. One cannot quit using cocaine and assume that one can begin normal drinking. One cannot quit drinking alcoholicly and assume one can smoke marijuana with impunity. Yet one can be a functioning alcoholic or addict for years and years, as many people in Twelve Step meetings will attest. However, in almost every case, one of three things happens:

    The addict returns to the drug of his choice
    The addict uses the new drug with eventually the same alcoholic fervor as he had used the old drug
    The addict uses both drugs

    The addict or alcoholic then become powerless over his drink or drug, and his life becomes unmanageable (law suits, orders of obedience, national public scandal – that’s pretty darn unmanageable), as the First Step states. The only alternative for the alcoholic or addict is Twelve Step Meetings: Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or Cocaine Anonymous. At meetings one is NOT a great televangelist. or priest, or bishop, or senator, or congressman, or judge, or lawyer, or professor, or policeman, or nuclear engineer, or astronaut, or corporate executive, or whatever. You get the idea. One is an alcoholic or addict, period. Meetings are the great leveler, reminding everyone attending that no one is unique, no one is immune from a fall and everyone is dependent on God’s mercy.

    I note with dismay that sex is involved and that is so typical for the alcoholic or addict (there’s that darn personal experience again). Behind every skirt is a SLIP – Sobriety Looses Its Priority. And invariably this starts with pride. The limelight is so dangerous for the alcoholic or addict (more personal experience). It boosts the EGO – Edging God Out – while providing nothing of spiritual value. That almost always spells doom. Let us pray for Fr. Corapi:

    Av? Mar?a, gr?ti? pl?na,
    Dominus t?cum.
    Benedicta t? in mulieribus,
    et benedictus fr?ctus ventris tu?, I?sus.
    S?ncta Mar?a, M?ter De?,
    ?r? pr? n?b?s pecc?t?ribus,
    nunc et in h?r? mortis nostrae.

  5. He’ll always find good company with Swaggart, Bakker, Coontz, et al, who make a nice living off Christianity. All you need is the gift of gab, a good back story, a gullible audience with dollars to share and you’re in business. Been proven time and again.

  6. Paul, no doubt, but priests and other clergy should be held to a higher standard. Even Bishop Sheen said so. Given their calling and sermonizing, the hypocrisy level is much higher when they’re exposed. This sorry episode only dampens what little faith I have in returning to the fold.

  7. Joe, you are 100% right. Ezekiel 34:1-10 holds clergy to a higher standard. But far from dampening my Faith, this event scares the pants off me. If a man like Fr. Corapi can fall, then what hope do I have? So I am getting my fat behind to a 12 Step meeting tonight (I was going to blow it off, but not now), and I am going to Confession this Saturday.

  8. Just one question, Paul. Why do many if not most Catholics insist on calling him “Father,” when he has left the Church and been suspended by SOLT. Seems to me Corapi does not deserve any honoric, least of all a priestly one.

  9. Joe, God doesn’t remove the indellible mark that ordination into Holy Orders leaves on the soul. Whether Fr. Corapi, however, deserves the honorific “Father” or not isn’t the question (actually, no human being does). He needs our prayers, and we need to straighten up our lives and get our hearts right with God. I speak for myself, and for me this is a daily exercise which you know from reading my stuff I fail at all too often.

  10. ” This sorry episode only dampens what little faith I have in returning to the fold.”

    Why Joe? I recall Christ being betrayed with a kiss by one of his hand picked Apostles. The fact that a priest commits sins is no more an argument against the truth of the Faith than a virtuous life of a priest is an argument in favor of the truth of the Faith. The Gospel of Christ is true or false independent of either human weakness or strength.

  11. Joe, I can think of at least two episodes that are more sorry than this. Both men were Bishops. Both failed miserably. One man sought and found forgiveness from the Lord and was reinstated as a Bishop. The other killed himself when he realized what he had done. The first, of course, was St. Peter. The second was Judas. This episode with Fr. Corapi is indeed sobering for any person of good faith. Ultimately it strengthens, not dampens, my faith in Christ’s Church. Or to put it another way, “Lord, to whom shall we go.”

  12. Because, Don, as I said to Paul, priests should be held to a higher standard. As a young boy I looked up to them while studying my cathechism. I respected them and held them in awe. Yes, I realize the are human beings and have feet of clay. I read Bishop Sheen’s autobiography, “Treasure in Clay” in which he expounds in the opening chapter on the “awesome power” of the priest as well as his fragile human side. Sheen wrote there were “thousands of men” he knew who would be better priests than him.

    I admired Bishop Sheen for his humility. He quoted Cardinal Newman as follows: “I could near even bear the scrutiny of an angel; how then can I see Thee and live?”

    I do not nor did I ever see any humility in Corapi.

  13. “Because, Don, as I said to Paul, priests should be held to a higher standard.”

    Why Joe, if there is no God? Of course without God any standard is meaningless in the great scheme of things since all human hopes, desires, concepts of justice, virtues and vices simply disappear into the maw of endless death. If Christ is God then a priest of Christ certainly should be held to a higher standard. If Christ is not God then they are merely deluded or charlatans and should be pitied rather than held to a higher standard.

    I of course believe that priests should be held to a higher standard because I believe implicitly in the Church established by Christ, although it eludes me why someone who does not believe this should hold them to such a standard. I do not hold mullahs for example to a higher standard because I view their religion as false. The fact that Carl Sagan was apparently a bounder in his private life does not cause me distress because I expect little else from someone who creates for himself a cosmos without God.

  14. This does not strike me as appropriate information to release to the public.

    It is unnecessarily scandalous, will likely irreparably at least in the long near term further encourage anger and retaliatory behavior in Fr. Corapi and I hope, Rome intervenes and requires a formal public retraction of this information and requires the resignation of the people who authorized this disclosure.

    Just awful. The abuse of truth does serious harm.

    The Church is in dire straits. May God leave us enough pieces to try to restore it.

  15. Joe,

    Fr. Corapi’s sins have been shown for all to see. Fr. Corapi has himself said that priests should be held to a higher standard. I have listened to Fr. Corapi’s preaching and I have heard him tell the story of his descent into drugs and debauchery when he was a single man in Los Angeles, and how he lost everything and ended up homeless, and after his mother rescued him with the help of one of a very few friends he had left, he then spent a year in a VA hospital.

    Fr. Corapi had plenty of humility – at one time. At some time in his life, he lost that humility. Fr. Corapi is a cocaine addict and will always be one, just as an alcoholic will always be an alcoholic.

    His order allowed Fr. Corapi to live alone, travel alone and engage in business alone. While we don’t know all the details, SOLT allowed Fr. Corapi a great deal of independence – a greater degree of independence than one would expect from a priest.

    At times, Joe, it seems you can’t get over yourself. It is as if you expect priests and bishops to be sinless and when they are not, you use that as a crutch to keep yourself away from the Church. That attitude will not go over well when you face Judgement. Only two people in all of humanity are sinless – Jesus Christ and his mother. Priests, nuns, bishops, cardinals, brothers and sisters are in need of our prayers every day. Satan tempts them as he tempts all of us. Holy orders don’t make anyone immune to sin.

  16. Don, I have not ruled out God’s existence; merely have my doubts, as is well known. However, granting that He is, then those who purport to represent Him are, yes, to be held to a higher standard.

    In my humble view, although the standard remains constant, the increasing number of priests who fall short gives rise to skepticism, even cynicism.

  17. Penguins Fan, you’re wrong. I know I am basically “filthy rags,” but have the courage to admit it. I’m not worth saving. I do not say this out of self-pity. I just feel human beings — all human beings — except for Jesus, as far as I can tell, are sinners, some more than others. Man proposes, God disposes. I’m ready to take my punishment.

  18. Wrong about what? Bashing priests? Do you think Jesus wasn’t disappointed in Peter – or the rest of the Apostles? More than once?

    He did not give up on them, even when they gave up on Him.

  19. “In my humble view, although the standard remains constant, the increasing number of priests who fall short gives rise to skepticism, even cynicism.”

    I am rather too familiar with Church history Joe to share your cynicism. I was recently reading a biography of one of the great saints of the Counter Reformation, Peter Canisius. He was unsparing in to how low a state of ignorance and sin the priesthood of his day had fallen, far worse than in our own time I believe, and throughout the history of the Church it tends to be the great saints who are most willing to expose the rot within the clergy and the laity. The Church is always on the verge of collapse due to the sins of those who make up the members of the Church here on Earth, and yet she endures, defying the corrosive power of time, and ceaselessly preaching the message of Christ to all who will hear.

  20. Yes, Don, there always seems to be just a sliver of hope no matter what. BTW, I am especially despondent because I just lost my 11-year-old hound and 2 years ago her brother, who was nearly 13. Now for the first time in 30 years I am without best friends. I know this will sound terrible to you and others, but I actually love dogs more than people, something God would not like to hear.

    Kipling wrote in “The Power of the Dog”…
    ‘Brothers and sisters I bid you beware, of giving your heart to a dog to tear.’
    And the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda wrote, “Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom where my dog waits for my arrival waving his fan-like tail in friendship.”

    So, despite the promise that He will “wipe away every tear,” I do not think there will be dogs in heaven. And if that’s the case I don’t want to go there.

  21. “I know this will sound terrible to you and others, but I actually love dogs more than people, something God would not like to hear.”

    My sincere condolences Joe in regard to the loss of your canine buddy. They truly do become members of the family. I have rarely been without a dog and I remember with a pang still when our 17 year old Cock-a-poo Baby passed away in 1999. We had her for 8 years before my wife and I were blessed with kids and she truly was our “Baby”. Don’t be too sure about no dogs in Heaven. A God that “marks the sparrow’s fall” has much in Heaven that “eye has not seen, and ear has not heard.”

  22. Rainbow Bridge by unknown author:

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

  23. So, despite the promise that He will “wipe away every tear,” I do not think there will be dogs in heaven. And if that’s the case I don’t want to go there.
    I remember hearing the story of what one father told his son. Inconsolable after his dog died, he asked his father if he would see his dog again in heaven. Wise Dad replied: “Son, if you need your dog in heaven to be happy, then God will make sure he’s there.”
    Don’t know what to think about Fr. Corapi, except that God’s not finished with him yet. I found his preaching very helpful.

  24. I am deeply sorry about all this. I have been praying for Mr. Corapi and for all those who were drawn into this with him, the women he was involved with. Scripture says that the love of money is the root of all evil but I have always felt that the love of oneself and the misuse of the gifts God gave us are a great source of evil. We can choose to use our gifts in the service of others and for the glory of God or for our own benefit and glory. There has always been and will always be, scandal and betrayal. We all learn from our mistakes. But we also need to avoid temptation. I think SOLT has learned that Priests need their communities and a Priest with a past like Mr. Corapi should never have been turned loose to develop a fan base, make hundreds of thousands of dollars, live in luxury – how could he have possibly been expected to avoid falling into his old ways? You don’t send an alcoholic to work in a bar or a diabetic to work in a bakery. Priests in our society are under so much pressure and surely get stressed out – and they need community!! We need to pray for our Priests and that Pastors and other leaders in the Church grow in the gifts of wisdom and discernment – may the Lord bless us all, especially our Priests.

  25. Unfortunately, it appears that John Corapi used the Church as a means to recover the wealth he squandered on drugs and vice only to end up a recidivist. How disappointing for the thousands of good Christians who followed his ministry and teaching. He always spoke out about the sex scandals in the Church, but he has one-upped all the other priests combined.

  26. Paul – I have been in recovery too for a couple of decades. I just feel that if a drunk is trying to use a means that is based on staying sober on the will – it is no different from eating a box of ex-lax and expecting not to use the rest room… With God all is possible but for a drunk like me I need to identify with another drunk. I don’t know why but I do know it works. I found that to be a successful solution and in Fr. Corapi’s case I see a pattern of addiction progressing through the life of yet another soul who is not God and may have thought he didn’t need the help of another drunk.

  27. I think Fr. Z’s take is the best of all of them.

    Corapi has an immortal soul. He is need of a Savior just like the one writing this and you who are reading this. And I would remind you that you, dear reader, are not sinless and neither am I. Many people who admired Corapi will want to know what happens in his case, but I urge you to examine your consciences for your motives. Those who didn’t like him, consider first your own state of soul and God’s mercy. In any event, pray for him, who seems to be very troubled, and for all the people who have been harmed in the matter.

  28. Agreed, Robert, which is why I made my meeting tonight instead of blowing it off.

    I also agree with Paul Z’s quote from Father Z.: “…consider first your own state of soul…”

    If the state of my soul is so darn great, then why do I still need help? I dedicated this night’s Rosary for Fr. Corapi, not because I am special or holy or an example or anything like that (well, I am an example, of what NOT to do). I did it because I am just one drink or drug away from a relapse myself.

    Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.

  29. I heard John Corapi speak years ago right after the whole priest sex scandal. He brought me to my knees when he said, “People come up to me now and ask, “Father how could this happen?” He replied, “it’s my fault.” He then said, “When I said that they look at me and and say, “You Father how can it be your fault? I tell them, Because I did not pray hard or enough for my fellow brothers.”

    My God, my God what have we done?

    Do we all pray hard and enough for our priests?

    John Corapi NEEDS our prayers. Imagine the joy Satan is feeling at expense of our priests, now imagine his despair when these men come back fully into their priesthood and live as God intended them to live.

    PRAY, PRAY, PRAY…in this time of trial and Gods great Mercy.

  30. Karl,

    It is unnecessarily scandalous, will likely irreparably at least in the long near term further encourage anger and retaliatory behavior in Fr. Corapi and I hope, Rome intervenes and requires a formal public retraction of this information and requires the resignation of the people who authorized this disclosure.

    I would imagine that this was only released because (with Corapi’s encouragement) people kept insisting that the accusations against him were the result of some sort of sinister cabal. It is better that people realize that this whole mess is the result of Corapi’s fall, and pray for his redemption, than for some group of deluded souls to wander off into the wilderness convinced that they are following a wronged prophet. Had Corapi not made himself an idol, he would not have had to be knocked from his pedestal.

    I would hope that now that it’s clear that there is substance to the accusations against him, that both he and his fans can move on in a better direction. After all, we’re here to follow Christ and His Church, not particular people who preach in His name.

  31. I agree with you, Darwin. I am sensitive to the sin of detraction, but scandalous truths should be revealed when sufficient reason exists, and in this case I think that the failure to reveal these truths would have been wholly unjust to those admirers of Corapi who were promoting false conspiracy theories under his encouragement.

  32. I am a worse sinner than the subject amateur.

    I listened to a little of his stuff on TV. I thought it was good. His being “bad” does not detract from the message he “mouthed.” I don’t need to know whether he was doing otherwise.

    Do not put your faith in man. Pray constantly. Pray the Rosary. Deeply meditate on the Mysteries of our Redemption which are found in the Holy Rosary.

    Pray for Divine Assistance. Pray for the grace, courage and insight to repent of your sins, Confess, do penance, amend your life and through good works glorify Almighty God. Pray for the grace of Final Perseverence.

    Pray for strength to avoid the “near occasion of sin.”

    And, if you fall. Get up and to Confession; and start over. For we are all sinners and we must not stay in despair despite our horrid failings. For Our Lord, Jesus, got up three times under His Holy Cross and went on to His Glory to save us who are so totally unworthy of Him.

  33. A little historical perspective. We have chaste Popes for quite some time now.
    From the time Luther was 9 years old til he was 30 years old, two Popes during that time had nine or ten children while they were Cardinals and one, Pope Alexander VI had a 7th child while a Pope with a young married mistress whose mother in law gave permission for that arrangement. Pope Julius II had 2 or 3 daughters as Cardinal. David in the Old Testament killed Uriah circuitously in order to take Bathsheba. Their child was killed by God in punishment.
    We have had chaste Popes for centuries now. That is beginning to stun me whereas I took if for granted for so long. We have had chaste Popes for centuries now.

  34. FWIW, Fr. Corapi has responded. Let’s just say that I find his denial less than convincing, and dare I say Clintonian:

    “I have never had any promiscuous or even inappropriate relations with her.” (Emphasis mine). Well does that mean you had inappropriate relations with others? And what of the other charges?

  35. It is interesting to note that Ft. Corapi’s pre ordained life was one of great sin by his own admission. This shows a personality disorder. Temtations are greater to some of us less in others. This is the Divine Protocol as a result of the Fall. We see in the priest scandal as men with homosexual tendancies were allowed into the seminary. Church officials must take note the holy life of one entering the priesthood. Fr. Corapi could have gone into a secular ministry and done fine. He should not have been admitted into the priesthood.
    God save his soul. God save all our souls.
    Ralph Briggs,
    C.M. , N.A.

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