Father John Corapi Open Thread

Friday, July 8, AD 2011

Father John Corapi released a statement on his Black SheepDog blogsite basically denying some, but not all, of the allegations put against him by his order, S.O.L.T.

I won’t get into what who said what or not since this will be an open thread, but I don’t recall Padre Pio resigning from the Capuchins for the restrictions placed on him from the many allegations levied against him at the time.  And if I recall correctly, he was under these restrictions for ten years.  Plus, after they were lifted, there were still restrictions to when and where he could practice.

Yes, we are all not perfect, but Jesus did ask us to be perfect as he is perfect, ie, strive for perfection.

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38 Responses to Father John Corapi Open Thread

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  • In his latest video, Fr. Corapi says he’s pretty much done speaking about the controversy/scandal. If I were falsely accused of something, I would not back down from declaring my innocence and the falsity of the charges. But Fr. Corapi’s not doing that — his denial was very reserved and incomplete. I can’t be sure, but it seems to me like he’s deciding not to say anything more on the matter because he doesn’t want to lie (and deny things that are true) or admit to wrongdoing.

  • At best, it’s a battle of who said what.

    As difficult as this may sound, he should of waited for the SOLT investigation to end to prove his innocence. In the end, it’s Gods will.

  • I saw the video – this isn’t the same man wtih whose preaching I fell in love.

    🙁

  • It’s disappointing to see this happen, he was a great speaker. The comments on that thread are seemingly endless. I scrolled through about 50 of them before I realized I scrolled down about 3% of the page 😯

  • I thought that a great many of the comments at “The Black Sheep Dog” blog site were in favor of Fr. Corapi’s return to obedience. He’s not listening.

    One commenter described himself as a cop – retired or not I don’t recall – and said that Fr. Corapi’s abnormal jaw movements were something he had seen before. I am not certain what this means. Whatever the case, the man in the video isn’t the man I saw preaching all these years.

  • The bigger scandal news is of Fr. Corapi’s self-demolition derby. He makes Jim Bakker look like a piker, a raw recruit 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. I thought no one rails against sin as much as the former sinner and so I took him for an Augustine. Someone too enthusiastic as a reaction and in repentance for a former self. Well sometimes the sinner rails against sin too. It makes me wish he was still on the air since I’d like to see how I could so colossally misread him. I’d want to look for clues in his talks.

    Ah but the pleasure of the flesh. They return, ‘eh? He always said he had a terrible past, but it was hard to believe given how he seemed to come through the drugs and everything and still was articulate as hell. Turns out he was on them and still articulate as hell! Reminds me of HK, how she went through years of incredible bodily abuse and here, on the other end, can write rings around me.

    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 must be to be holy – 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.”

  • Sorry, meant to edit that. It’s a cut and paste from an email to a friend!

  • Oh boy… Paul you are so correct he is not the same guy. And What is up with the look? One of the accusations was that he bought a motorcycle and he is wearing a harley jacket. Sheesh it is sad to watch. Lord help this man receive humility.

  • I think T is right… I have my reasons… but I believed He con us for at least 10 good years if not more… but God was merciful – to us and him and he got caught.

  • Humility is Christianity. Obviously Corapi is not…Christian.

  • What jumps out at me is this startling sentence fragment: “…the process used by the Church is grossly unjust, and, hence, immoral. ”

    Strong language.

    In the words of Shakespeare, “He doth protest too much.”

  • It is very difficult for me to see Father this way. He appears to be a broken man. My heart goes out to him. I am still trying to hope that all of this untrue and somehow Our Lady will intervene and help this poor man. My prayers go out to him. God still loves Father; so do I. Just because one priest (if true) has fallen astray, that does not mean the Church is not where Catholics ought to be. Indeed, remain closer to the Church. On another note, why can’t this go to Pope Benedict? Wouldn’t he set the record straight?

  • “On another note, why can’t this go to Pope Benedict? Wouldn’t he set the record straight?”

    If this goes to the Pope and the Pope does anything publicly about it, then that will only feed Fr. Corapi’s ego – his predicament and hence he himself are so important that this matter went to the Pope. That’s the last thing he needs right now.

  • I’m a convert of 25+ years. I knew who Fr Corapi was but was not particularly a fan of his preaching style. However…

    The nastiness of Catholics in general gets to me on an occasional basis, but it’s been hitting the ceiling the last few weeks. I’ve never heard such a pile of self-righteous rule-mongering craziness in my life as I’ve heard over the John Corapi thing. There are a hell of a lot of Catholics who aren’t Christian–that’s the only conclusion I can come to. Listen: We are all sinners from the get-go; we all hypocrites. So lay off the man. Pray for your own salvation and get with the program. It’s time my fellow Catholics heard that from someone.

  • “rule-mongering craziness”

    Expecting a priest, especially one as prominent in the public eye as Corapi, to not shack up with a prostitute, use illegal drugs or engage in any of the other sins he appears to have been quite fond of, is not “rule-mongering” but rather holding someone to a fairly minimal standard of behavior that should be expected of a priest of Christ. Saint Paul in his epistles was quite willing to call a spade a spade in regard to the bad behavior of the clergy and laity of his day. Somehow in our day the one unforgivable sin in the eyes of many appears to be calling someone who is engaging in wretched behavior to task for it.

  • I never really saw or heard Fr. Corapi on EWTN – so this is the first time. What a difference from the glimpse I had of him once…I kept wondering why he was looking off to the side as he spoke…the whole situation is sad. SOLT should have brought him home a long time ago. Was there no one with the discernment to see that Fr. Corapi was straying? That he needed help? Having a powerful ‘charism/charisma’ is a dangerous thing – one can use it for God’s glory or one’s own – sometimes, it’s a bit of both but hopefully we have others who can challenge us to get back to the center -Christ. Looking at and listening to Fr. Corapi’s talk today made me think that he knows he will not have the following he had before, as a practicing Priest…and now, what excited him before will only lead to emptiness and misery – and that, hopefully, will lead him back to his community and his vocation. And so we have to pray for him and for all Priests ….

  • Donald,

    But all this business about religious orders & expectations and peoples’ private prejudices running rampant, and faulty beliefs about religious life etc is. Catholics have weird and crazy expectations of each other, you know that? It’s warped about 90% of the time. Weird.

    SOLT isn’t a religious order. It’s a little organization of the faithful someplace in Texas.

    I’m always shocked about how many Catholics don’t also seem to be Christian, but I guess I shouldn’t be after 25+ years as a convert. What a mess.

  • T says:

    He always said he had a terrible past, but it was hard to believe given how he seemed to come through the drugs and everything and still was articulate as hell..
    ===============================
    You obviously haven’t heard Fr. Don Calloway’s story. Zowie! Lucky to be alive. Now he would understand!
    __________________________________________________
    midwestlady says:

    I’m always shocked about how many Catholics don’t also seem to be Christian, but I guess I shouldn’t be after 25+ years as a convert. What a mess.
    ===============================
    Yeah, looks like it takes other sinners to bring out the sins of the self anointed elitists!

    Something that is obviously missing here is comprehension of or experience with addicts. You can tell by the total lack of compassion. The guy appears to be (and historically was) an addict. Once an addict, well, you should know the rest. Not surprising since that kind of chemistry and behavior to model was also in his father. Heard of that before o ye lacking of street smarts and knowledge of genetically transferred weaknesses? And guess what else….when habit is involved the complete involvement of the will isn’t.

    I’m shocked that with all the superior knowledge of the rubrics of the Faith that fact hasn’t been mentioned. I guess that might interfere with the jealousy of such a weak person who was still able to get to the main points of the faith better than most today. Yes the Church (all of us) is being purified, using her own – sinners – to awaken the fears and pharisaical type of correctness in the comfortable and obviousy proud!

  • Father needs prayers. A lot of them.

  • To those who decry what they preceive as “judging” Fr. Corapi, please consider:

    http://www.catholicthinker.net/its-un-christian-not-to-judge/

    As that blog points out:

    “In John 7:24, Christ says, ‘Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.'”

    “Paul’s words from 1 Cor 5:9-13: ‘I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you.'”

    That being said, I think we should all pray for Fr. Corapi, and for all our priests and bishops. Maybe this sad affair would not have happened if we prayed more – a whole lot more. But saying it’s un-Christian NOT to judge is to take Matthew 7:1 out of context, ignoring the last part of 7:5:

    “…then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”

    In my case, however, I don’t think I see all that clearly anyways. This whole affair scared me so much that I have “up’d” my 12 step meeting attendance, because if a man like Fr. Corapi is vulnerable, then what hope do I have? (Speaking rhetorically, of course.)

  • to be honest,,,I think he may have slipped a cog 😥

  • Mr Primavera:

    AA’s 11th Tradition states:

    “Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.”

    Your divulging your being a part of 12 step program giving your full name certainly goes against this tradition.

  • “but I believed He con us for at least 10 good years if not more… but God was merciful – to us and him and he got caught.”

    what did he con us into? Becoming Catholic? Following the cathecism?

  • Anonymous, is quoting from the Big Book at a blog failure to maintain anonymity at press, radio or films?

    This is not the press. Nor the radio. Nor films.

    Furthermore, I am not and do not promote myself.

  • Tito or Donald, maybe you had been delete my quoting from the Big Book above. There are always going to be some people that will object because of the 11th Tradition (which doesn’t reference blog sites but if written today could be interpreted to mean blog sites). Can’t please all the people all the time. 🙁

  • Paul:

    This is a public forum and the 11th Tradition clearly encompasses this venue.

  • Anonymous, you’re right. I screwed up. I’m sorry. I asked for the offending post to be removed. It isn’t. To other readers, the point is that anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all AA’s Tradtions, ever reminding its members to place principles before personalities. I did not do that.

    However. in the case of a person like John Corapi who used his recovery from cocaine addiction to restore his business success, and who capitalized on his charismatic personality, an exception may be made. From Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento, John Corapi alias John Coradi was convicted of driving while intoxicated in November of 1999:

    https://services.saccourt.com/indexsearchnew/CaseNumberList.aspx?SearchValues=CORAPI%2CJOHN%2CANTHONY%2C3634107

    If this is the same John Corapi that we all know about, then he has been fooling us for a very long time indeed.

  • I knew many people in AA in DC back in the ’80’s, because I attended meetings with a friend in the program. Some divulged their full names. It is my understanding that AA does not require that its’ members remain anonymous.

    Instead of venting your anger against Paul Primavera, you should instead be upset about Fr. Corapi’s betrayal of his vows.

  • “One of the accusations was that he bought a motorcycle and he is wearing a harley jacket. ”

    Oh, come now, that’s the very least of it. I really don’t care if a priest wears a harley jacket. Consorting with a prostitute and using drugs – well, that’s a bit different, isn’t it?

    I can’t believe Catholics have lost the ability to discern differences between degrees of sin.

  • I admired Fr Corapi. I am still stunned by the difference between the eloquence of his teaching and its orthodoxy, and the seeming reality of his behavior. He often said something along the lines of “When Satan strikes down the shepherd, the sheep will scatter” Clearly Satan worked through Fr Corapi’s weaknesses and dragged him down. Tragic! Personally, I am deeply saddened. I continue to pray for him, but differently now that certain revelations seem undeniable. I pray the accusations are wrong, but know they probably aren’t. I pray the Blessed Mother brings him back.

  • Well, Paul we all fail at times to put principles before personalities. Thanks be to God you have the humility to own up to it.

    I do agree with the thrust of what you say about Corapi. If he is drinking and using again (and it seems to be the case that he is, given his strange behavior) he will be where he would have been if he had drank and used during all the time he was clean and sober. If this is the case, he will probably be dead within a few years.

  • I think that SOLT shares a lot of the blame for this situation. Given Fr. Corapi’s past, which surely they knew about, he should not have been allowed to live independently, on his own. The temptations out in the world can be quite strong for someone who has had problems with drugs.

    Yet he was encouraged to go out on his own, and preach. Not a good idea, in hindsight, anyway. I think that Fr. Corapi has some resentment toward SOLT and others, which I can understand. Still, it seems that SOLT knows that they were in the wrong to let him be out on his own, but they should admit this outright – that they made a big mistake. If they do this, Fr. Corapi might be more willing to be obedient in the matter.

  • No one said wearing a Harley jacket is a sin. It IS a mistake in a video response to accusations of excessive materialism in the form of a motorcycle. Ugh.

    Question: Is it OK to judge people as judgmental? Or is that judgmental too?

  • I have a hard time blaming SOLT for one man’s sins. I hope the Lord does too.

  • There is a lot of confusion on both sides of the coin. It is tough to make an honest judgment on the merits of the case.

  • Y ou should not judge father corapi because he or anyone other catholic wears a leather jacket -or by their dress period.I liked father corapis sermons -he seemed genuine -as if the holy spirit was in his heart and he was simply reciting back what it had told him.But let us not forget what he himself told us “the enemy (satan) is strong always waiting to find our weak points expose them to take us away from the light of the lord.”Pray for father corapi -God will lead him through the forrest like a lost child back to the road of righteousness.

  • Wow! Did not know about Fr Padre Pio. Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

SOLT Bombshell (Updated)

Tuesday, July 5, AD 2011

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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56 Responses to SOLT Bombshell (Updated)

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  • Very disconcerting news if true.

  • Why is not the press release carrying Father Gerard Sheehan,signature.
    Thank you.

  • Nancy,

    Read the Chief Editor’s Note that has been added to the top.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • Lord Jesus, have mercy on us, and especially on Fr. Corapi. 🙁

  • 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.

  • Won’t believe it until Fr. Sheehan confirms he sent it.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Let’s all pray special prayers for the spiritual welfare of Father Corapi.

  • That should end any conspiracy theories.

  • 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.
    ?m?n.

  • 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.

  • Joe, this happens to agnostics and atheists, too. Nobody is exempt.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • honorific, I meant.

  • 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.

  • ” 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.

  • 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.”

  • 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.

  • “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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Wrong that I use the sins of others as a “crutch” to stay away from the Church.

  • “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.

  • 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.

  • “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.”

  • 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….

  • God will bring goodness from this horrible mess.

    Pray for us, oh Holy Mother of God

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • John Corapi became the person he warned us about…. how sad

  • 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.

  • “Read the Catholic Blogosphere’s reactions to the S.O.L.T. Bombshell”

    No thanks.

  • My heart weeps.

  • But for the grace of God – There go I…

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • I thought the same thing, Paul Z. 🙁

  • 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.

What The Week Long LeBron James Ego Charade Can Tell Us About The State Of the World, As Well As The Catholic Church

Friday, July 9, AD 2010

UPDATE  Check Back On Monday To See What Time The Scheduled Appearance On The Al Kresta Show Will Take Place. Al Kresta Is Heard On EWTN Radio ( Over 100 Affiliate Stations) Check Your Local Listings Or Click Here To Listen Live

The LeBron James saga was particularly painful for those of us who live in Ohio and are Cavaliers fans. However a cursory glance at some of the national columnist’s reaction, to the week-long ego charade broadcasted by ESPN, gives me hope that many others have seen through this smoke screen as well. (Check these columns here here and  here.) What we witnessed Thursday night and the excuses made for it, along with sucking up by some of the national powers that be, gives us some insight on a world full of instant gratification and the desire to party on in South Beach, rather than roll up their sleeves in places like Cleveland. Talk about a metaphor for the Catholic Church.

For years now many faithful orthodox minded Catholics have painfully watched friends and loved ones leave the Catholic Church for either the local hoopty do mega church (Mother Angelica’s words,) or for no church at all, claiming they needed to feel better. They didn’t like a Church who couldn’t get with the times, had too many sinners in the pulpit, or talked to much about sin and not enough about heaven. Perhaps the LeBron James fiasco has given us the perfect recipe for what we should do; give it right back to them.

I grew in a small town (or city depending upon your classification) full of hard working class folks (and farmers who came into town from the outlying areas) where flowery words were few and far between and one would be easily called out for his actions. Now we all know the Church has had some difficult times in the last few years. However, this is because we wanted to be liked, instead of doing it God’s way, whether that was politically correct or not.

Today we have a new crop of orthodox-minded young seminarians, priests and women religious who are pious, but not above calling people out concerning their phony excuses for not taking their Faith more serious by not practicing it, or leaving it all together. In my book, The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism, I outline the increase in vocations, especially in dioceses which are more openly orthodox in their approach. The Father McBrien’s and Kung’s of the world are being replaced by younger versions of Father Corapi and Father Pacwa. Though these two priests have different approaches, they are not above calling out the phony reality show world we often seem to celebrate in our culture and religion.

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20 Responses to What The Week Long LeBron James Ego Charade Can Tell Us About The State Of the World, As Well As The Catholic Church

  • LeBron will be lucky to get any contracts to endorse anything outside of Miami. The last athlete to fall this hard was OJ Simpson. No good comes from stabbing people in the back.

  • Strange the comments were about Lebron and not the comparing of the event to so called ‘catholics” in the pew, who have forgotten or have been swayed by the glitter of change and culture. They have forgot or never understood, our Lord did not give us rules that were elective in nature, but tenets that were set for all eternity regardless of occurences or changes in our world and scripture that fully explain what occurs when we forget that fact.

  • I read the letter to the Cavs fans by the owner guaranteeing that the team will win a title before LeBron does. If that happens, he’ll be left feeling like the Prodigal Son, ashamed of himself for letting greed and glitter get the best of him.

  • Lebron who?

    re: getting people back on the road to eternal life. The Pelosi-Obama-Reid regime may be a blessing in disguise. Tens of millions of unintended consequences of their misrule and the devastations of the economy and our way of life may bring people to realize that this glitzy world is a chimera and their true home is Holy Mother Church and in Heaven after repenting, confessing, doing penance, amending their lives and through good works glorifying Almighty God, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior, in the Unity of the Holy Spirit.

  • Goodbye Clevland.
    Turn down the rock and roll
    Turn out the light.
    Goodbye Clevland.
    Goodbye, Good luck and goodnight.

    ~ Robert Earl Keen

  • Sorry, I have not been following the Lebron thing, and don’t follow basketball in general. But I don’t see much of a comparison between Lebron and the state of the Catholic Church.

    Lebron left because apparently he believes the Cleveland team is not good enough to win a championship. He decided that winning one was important to him , so he left for team that he thinks could get him there (an he could get them there). Has Lebron played for several teams for short periods of time? Has he hopped around a lot (I don’t know)?
    I can’t blame him – how many of us would leave their current job for one they felt was better (either better pay or better conditions, or maybe both?)? More importantly, how many of our employers would keep us around if we started sucking at our job? How long would the Cavs have kept Lebron if he suddenly started to suck (and how many fans would be clamouring for him to be cut)? Loyalty is a two way street my friend, and Big Sports, like any other big business treats it one way only.

    In the end, Lebron’s situation is an employee/employer one, not anything having to do with loyalty to one’s faith (employer/ee loyatly died decades ago). Just completely different situations.

  • LeBron who indeed.

    What an appalling waste of time, energy, effort, talent, and other human resources, speculating about the fate of a ball tosser.

    Enjoy it on your own time, have a beer, cheer when your team scores, boo when the other guys do, fine. To get this involved in a sports game and a sports figure is… I can’t use the word I’d like to use, but it begins with f, ends with ing, and is followed by ridiculous.

    Our Church is in crisis, and our government is out of control. Our southern border is menaced by marauders, Europe is being overrun by Islam, and the US is on the verge of another Great Depression.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19205.htm

    “If the world is unwilling to continue to accumulate dollars, the US will not be able to finance its trade deficit or its budget deficit. As both are seriously out of balance, the implication is for yet more decline in the dollar’s exchange value and a sharp rise in prices.”

    Worry about that. Not where some ball player decides to continue putting the ball in the net.

  • A couple of points. Yes, the whole LeBron fiasco is pretty ridiculous, which is what the article was attempting to point out. However, we don’t live in the world of our choosing, we have to deal with the cards we are dealt. Perhaps, this is why St Paul used sports anologies. If he didn’t, he would have been just another egg headed itinerant preacher in the 1st Century Roman Empire. Geeks by their very nature don’t attract crowds, perhaps this is why St Paul among many others through the centuries, including our present Magesterium have brought in sports anologies. Our own beloved Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI used the World Cup in his remarks to highlight the need for teamwork in the realm of Faith.

    This blog is revelant because it addresses many current issues, I believe Tito and myself have thrwon in sports anaolgies simply because sports is a mainstay of our society, and yes we enjoy it.

    The second point: As for why LeBron James. He is a Akron St Vincent-St Mary’s grad, a historic Catholic high school in northeast Ohio. He has donated money to the school and helped to promote. In addition, he received one of his NBA most Valuable Player Awards at his high school, something that I believe has never happened.

    The point I was making about his shameless treachery of self promotion is very pertinent in our world where faith takes a back seat to me first promotion. Sadly, it seems LeBron has taken that road, a road he promised he would never take. As much I detest all of this pop culture nonsense, to ignore it, or pretend it doesn’t exist would simply be sticking our heads in the ground. We are not called to be Essenes but to live in the world, just not be of the world.

  • Dave,

    You certainly make some valid points. But this goes too far:

    “The LeBron James saga was particularly painful for those of us who live in Ohio and are Cavaliers fans.”

    Painful? Really? It caused you pain?

    St. Paul may have used sports analogies (where was this exactly?), but he never endorsed the gladiator games at the Colosseum. I’m not saying you endorsed the modern equivalent, but when I look at the madness that overcomes sports crowds – especially in a time of political, economic and social crisis – I don’t see a bunch of regular people enjoying sports.

    I see the bread and circuses of Rome, with which the people were distracted while civilization collapsed. A pacifier, a placater, a sedative – followed by irrational emotional outbursts and torrents of rage, all directed at some ridiculous non-event instead of at the people who are imposing a new tyranny upon us.

    I agree fully with the need to relate to people and their interests. I’m no ivory tower intellectual, I detest alienating and obtuse language, esoteric jargon, etc. But at a certain point, people do need to be slapped in the face with the truth, and they need to be told bluntly that every second of real and genuine PASSION they waste on a sports figure subtracts from the struggle they could be mounting against the growing threat to our liberties and security as citizens.

  • Joe, a very interesting post. I shall do my best to answer questions. With regard as to do I really feel pain regarding LeBron James leaving the Cavs. Yes, I do. Now pain comes in many stages for example; I have been stung on my left hand by a bee and that was painful but rather scant compared to the pain experienced when I broke that hand some years later. I hope you get my drift. I recently felt a sad pain when a fellow Catholic told told me that his business partner, also a practicing Catholic, took liberties with the business and the money causing great scandal and hardship. I felt pain for the injured and the knowledge that some non believers would get a kick out of the matter. To say that one can only feel pain when something major happens to them or some great tragedy in the Church, nation or world sounds rather cold and Dr Spock like to me.

    As for the whole Roman bread and circuses analogy first floated by the American Left in the early half of the last century and floated again by the likes of Libertarian Alex Jones, it just doesn’t make sense. The Roman population was by and large illiterate and caught up in violence and warfare. Are your really saying that modern sports fans want to see others torn apart in their local stadiums?

    The interesting assertion made is that intelllectuals in Europe are not sports minded and therefore Americans are rather ignorant. As a matter of fact TV ratings for soccer’s World Cup dwarf that of the US Super Bowl American TV ratings. Henry Kissinger has often commented that European intellectuals, espeically in Germany and England often treat World Cup defeats as some sort of national period of mourning and or deep period of introspection abou their place in the world.

    We must remember because of social engineering, sports is one of the few places where honest to goodness competition can take place, which is perhaps why Europe with all of their Social Democratic-Statist governemnts likes sports so much.

    I can’t help but think of the Saturday Nighr Live skit (of all things circa December 2000) when the presidential outcome was still up in the air. The skit consisted of a spook of the future if each of the candidates, GW Bush or Al Gore were elected. The future showed a relentlessly sighing (remember those odious debate sighs) Al Gore bemoaning the poor performance of Americans on his interactive quiz results. He would leture the public for hours on end concerning Western Civics, Economnics and the Environment and still not everyone was up to his standards.

    Joe, do you really think the problems in the Church and the world of politics would be solved if everyone was as smart as you think they should be? Perhaps this why Jesus said the poor will always be among us when Judas and some of Apostles threw a hissy fit at the pentitent woman use of the expensive perfumes on Jesus. Perhaps it was the Jesus’ way of saying; don’t think your way can fix every problem. Even if everyone watched TV news, read a plethora of newspapers and websites; the problems would remain. Perhaps this is why the late WIlliam F Buckley said he would rather be goverened by the first 1,000 names in the Boston Phone book, than by the Harvard Faculty.

    Whether it is Faith or Governance, it isn’t all about knowledge, it is courage and perserverance and lots of prayer that are needed for success. For example, General McClellan graduated 2nd in his class from West Point, while General Grant graduated in the bottom half of his class. However, as Shelby Foote noted; General Grant had 4:00 in the Morning Courage and General McClellan had none during the Civil War.

    The Church is going through a tough time now, but it has been far, far worse. After the Reformation, many Northern European cities had few if any priests to administer the sacraments. Check out the life of St Francis DeSales; when he arrived in Geneva as bishop he was treated to rotten fruit being thrown at him and few if any little old ladies in the pews. When he died, half of Geneva had come back to the Church. I am sure had he convened a strategy session of the best and brightest; they would have said your talents would best be served in a more receptive location. Well, just some of my thoughts on what you wrote.

  • Since we’re engaged in a spiritual battle for souls, it’s only fitting that sports analogies be used. The recent firing of the Catholic professor at the University of Illinois is one example of the intelligentsia putting down the “small people” for wanting to take the path that is hard and narrow but leads to life in Christ rather than the path that is wide and easy but leads to destruction–or in the case of the French soccer players who don’t do hard work, a trip back home in coach class.

  • Dave,

    On your personal pain: different strokes, I suppose. But you didn’t quantify it originally. A “small” amount of pain is fine. The utter grief that some appear to be going through is, in my view, a disproportionate response.

    You say of the bread & circuses argument:

    “it just doesn’t make sense”

    Well, it does make sense, and you don’t seem to be arguing against the “sense” of it as much as you are its mere existence.

    ” The Roman population was by and large illiterate and caught up in violence and warfare.”

    Our population isn’t illiterate by Roman standards, but it is less educated by the standards of the developed world. And there is plenty of apathy to go around, even if people have basic reading skills.

    As for violence, have you paid no notice of our sex and violence saturated entertainment “culture”? It’s everywhere, it’s a constant feed of increasingly horrific stimuli.

    “Are your really saying that modern sports fans want to see others torn apart in their local stadiums?”

    The rioting that takes place on occasion suggests that at least some are. So is the immense popularity of professional wrestling, “ultimate fighting championship”, and other increasingly bloody “sports” contests.

    In any case, the main argument is that people are distracted. I don’t have to prove that they are violent, or potentially violent, in order to show that they are investing time and resources in sports that would better be invested in politics.

    Frankly I think the American founders would be horrified at the cult of sports in this nation. Entertainment, or what the founders in their classical republican worldview called luxury, was considered to be the enemy of moral AND civic virtue. The extent to which the people indulge in games and vices is the extent to which they diminish as the sort of responsible citizens that a free republic needs to exist.

    As for Europe: I couldn’t care less. I’m not hung up on Europe, I don’t idolize Europe. I don’t see the relevance.

    Please don’t compare me to Al Gore. I don’t want to bore people with lectures. But as student of Aristotle’s “middle way”, I recognize that there is another extreme we want to avoid, which is hyping people with meaningless distractions.

    We have to appeal to both the passions and the intellect. In fact I’m much more about appealing to passions right now than I am intellect, because many issues are over-intellectualized. But I want to direct that passion AWAY from sports and entertainment, and TOWARDS politics. Politics can be as passionate and competitive as any game or any concert – and it is precisely because of this truth that these other distractions are dangled before the people.

    So I think you misunderstand my aim, especially when you ask,

    “Joe, do you really think the problems in the Church and the world of politics would be solved if everyone was as smart as you think they should be?”

    It is NOT about intelligence, so no, I absolutely do not think that. What I think is that people, regardless of their intellectual abilities, should care more about politics than they do sports or the media-created popular culture. One does not need intellect to participate in politics, any more than they do religion.

    ” Even if everyone watched TV news, read a plethora of newspapers and websites; the problems would remain.”

    I submit that they would be less severe with a politically active populace, and this was the unanimous opinion of the founders of this republic. This is what self-governance means. This is what liberty requires. Slavery and oppression are the defaults of this fallen world; freedom is rare and must be actively fought for and maintained.

    “Perhaps this is why the late WIlliam F Buckley said he would rather be goverened by the first 1,000 names in the Boston Phone book, than by the Harvard Faculty.”

    I think he said it because the elites at Harvard, moreso now than even in his day, are self-hating, self-destructive, and isolated from the people. I agree with his sentiment entirely – but in order to govern, those 1,000 names would have to put down the beer and the remote.

    It is precisely because I DON’T want an elite to run our lives that I DO want the people to stop focusing on nonsense and become better citizens. Don’t you see that? You can’t just say that sovereignty lies with the people, and expect it to stay that way without their involvement. If the people don’t exercise their power, others – the elites – will do it for them. Nature abhors a vacuum. If the people create one through the abrogation of self-government, then the masters will step right back into their comfortable position.

    It is vital that you and others understand this.

  • Joe, I think you are completely missing the point here. No one that I have heard is saying that people shouldn’t take their civic responsibility seriously. Believe me, I have spent 20 years in Catholic education, not to mention the five years I have been doing writing and speaking (all of which at little pay) to answer a call that I believe God has for all of us to be involved with Church and State. However, that doesn’t mean that all of the problems will be solved if we all get involved.

    It seems you don’t understand what I am saying about sports and entertaintment. First of all professional wrestling is not sports, it is entertainment which is why the World Wrestling Federation had to change their name from that to World Wrestling Entertainment. The reason people like sports is that our culture is so involved in social engineering that it has taken away our God given talents and the right to compete with them.

    The pop culture silliness such as who Paris Hilton is dating has nothing to do with competition. She hasn’t done anything with whatever talents God have her; she has merely been born to enabling parents who let her do whatever she wants. There is a big difference between that and the field of athletic competition.

    The three men most attacked by the intelligentsia for their lack of supposed intellect were President Truman, President Reagan and President GW Bush. Do you really think the nation would have been better served with the likes of Governor Dewey, Vice President Mondale and Vice President Gore?

    I am for civic participation, I have spent my life doing it and teaching the necessity of it. However, I am under no illusion that by simply doing it, we will live in a better world. According to your line of thinking the state of Vermont and the US citiies of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Berkeley, California and the Dutch city of Amsterdam would be the greatest places to live, because they have one of the highest civic participation rates in the world.

  • Dave,

    I wasn’t aware that there was only one point – I tried to address all of your points.

    “However, that doesn’t mean that all of the problems will be solved if we all get involved.”

    Who said it meant that? Certainly not I.

    And it just doesn’t matter. See, I think you’re missing the point with things like that. It doesn’t matter whether or not all problems will be solved, such a guarantee is not and never should be the requisite of political participation – the bottom line is that no problems at all will even be addressed by an inactive citizenry. That’s certainly what the elite wants.

    You say I don’t understand your argument about sports. I submit to you that I do understand it, and disagree with it.

    “There is a big difference between that and the field of athletic competition.”

    Insofar as both serve as a distraction from issues that matter, there is no difference. Other differences may exist, but they are not relevant to me.

    “Do you really think the nation would have been better served with the likes of Governor Dewey, Vice President Mondale and Vice President Gore?”

    Why are you asking me this? I invite you to read my previous post for the answer to this question. Carefully, perhaps, this time.

    “ccording to your line of thinking the state of Vermont and the US citiies of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Berkeley, California and the Dutch city of Amsterdam would be the greatest places to live, because they have one of the highest civic participation rates in the world.”

    I’m not sure what “civic participation rate” is, or measures – you can break that down for me if you like.

  • Joe, this could go on and on. However, I think we can agree that our western culture is too pop culture oriented and more people should attend Mass, know what the Catholic Faith is all about, and become more participatory in our civic responsibilities. However, to say that sports and entertainment holds too much sway on our society is bordering on nanny statism and eggheaded pontification. I am sure you wouldn’t suggest the following. However, it could lead to some actually thinking that if Broadway, Hollywood, Major League Baseball, the World Cup and the National Football League and college football took the rest of the year off, and everyone went to town hall meetings to resolve the various problems plaguing our country and world, the world would be a better place.

    Sadly, some people don’t care about their souls, or the state of the world or country, try as we might and pray as we might, they all won’t change. I have tried to illustrate this in my previous posts, using examples from all over the world. I will throw in a couple more. In the last five years or so, my writings have taken me to see and hear many great things happening in the Church. As you can probbaly figure out from the title of my book, “The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism,” I am an optimist. However, I am a realist as well. Some people just don’t care and some people who claim they care, just want to control others.

    For example, you asked about what I meant by participation rates in reference to my statement that the state of Vermont and the cities of Cambridge, Massachuseets, Berkeley, California and the Dutch city of Amsterdam have high participation rates. What I meant was voting participation and membership in civic clubs, neighborhoood groups, school organizations etc.

    These whacky far left locations would hardly be my cup of tea. Their foil of civic responsibility is really a foil for state control and the opportunity to attack religion, i.e. the Catholic Church at every turn.

    Some people chose to be ingorant and or commit various sins ad nauseam. The late Bishop Sheen spoke of a man he met in Paris (I believe it was the 1920s.) This man, (who was British) played piano in the lobby of the hotel that then Father Sheen was staying. They chit-chatted during one of his breaks and the British piano player agreed to have dinner with Father Sheen. The piano player seemed to boost to the future famous bishop that women couldn’t keep their hands off him, some had even left their husbands. The piano player went on to say that after a few months he gets bored with each woman and then moves on to another. Obviously Bishop Sheen was shocked so he met with the man for the next few days. When the time seemed right, he took him to Sacre Coeur to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. The man stayed all night and thanked Father Sheen for his insights, prayers and time. The piano player said he was a changed man. A few days later they agreed to meet again for dinner. When they did, the piano player came with another woman on his arm. It has happened again the man explained. Father Sheen pulled him aside to see what was really happening and the man explained the sinful life was far more enjoyable, even if it could result in a horrible end for his soul. What I am trying to say is that not everyone does what they should.

    Jesus was faced with two similar situations. The first occurred when the penitent woman poured perfume over him and Judas and some of the other Apostles protested saying it could have been sold and helped many poor people. Jesus answered; “The poor you will always have among you.” It was his way of remdinding the Apostles that though we should help everyone we can, it still doesn’t mean that it will be solved the way we think it should be. One more example involves the parable about the rich man asking to go back from (hell or purgatory) and tell those other rich relatives and friends of his to change their ways lest they end up in the same horrible predicament that he was encountering. Jesus told him that they wouldn’t listen to the prophets, why would they listen to him. Joe, I think we can agree that we should all be more involved in Church & State affairs. However, trying to tell people that sports and entertainment should be severely curtailed when so many of our saints and Holy Fathers were involved with both sounds a bit over the top.

  • Dave,

    You’re simply wrong. I don’t know if it is a logical or a rhetorical issue. Only you do.

    “However, to say that sports and entertainment holds too much sway on our society is bordering on nanny statism and eggheaded pontification.”

    It really is no such thing at all. Stating what I believe to be a mere fact in no way necessitates a nanny-state, and it is hardly an observation limited to the ivory tower.

    I could just as well say that ignoring the sway that these forces hold over society is to engage in bad citizenship and willful ignorance – but I don’t.

    To fail to participate is NOT an intellectual failure – IT IS A MORAL FAILURE. All but the mentally handicapped are culpable for their moral choices, regardless of their intellect.

    So you’re really barking up the wrong tree with this constant accusation of eggheadery. If intellect is the requisite for voting, then we have no business with a democracy or even a republic – we need Plato’s philosopher king. But it isn’t. It is virtue, not intellect, that is the primary requisite for voting. It is a free choice made by individuals, and not innate abilities, that is responsible for this decision.

    Now, if you don’t get my clearly stated point this time, what else can I conclude other than that you’re making excuses for people’s civic sloth?

    ” if Broadway, Hollywood, Major League Baseball, the World Cup and the National Football League and college football took the rest of the year off, and everyone went to town hall meetings to resolve the various problems plaguing our country and world, the world would be a better place.”

    Language is key. I absolutely believe it would be a “better” place – I don’t think it would become a perfect place, a utopia with no problems. It might be a little bit better, it might be a whole lot better – participation isn’t the only thing that makes a society bad or good. But I’d submit that while it is not sufficient for a good society, it is necessary.

    If it WOULDN’T make society a better place, then it is nothing but a baby’s pacifier granted by the elites to their stupid pets, serving no actual good and right purpose. It would have no rational justification, even if it can be said that voting is, or is the result of, a natural right.

    Is there a rational justification for universal suffrage, or is it just a societal ornament? If there is a rational justification for it, then we can only conclude that a widespread failure to use that right is irrational.

    “I am an optimist. However, I am a realist as well. Some people just don’t care and some people who claim they care, just want to control others.”

    But this is all off the main point.

    Here’s my question to you – is it your view that invoking the drama of LeBron James will politically galvanize folks who otherwise wouldn’t pay attention to anything? They’ll make the transition from sports to politics this way?

    If that happens, and it works, I’ll eat my shoes with ketchup. In all seriousness, I’d be interested to know if that works, or if it ever has. If it has, I say, go with what works.

    ” What I meant was voting participation and membership in civic clubs, neighborhoood groups, school organizations etc.”

    Those are all good things in themselves. It is unfortunate that secular leftists would seem, if your claim is accurate, to have a leg up in that department, since the vision of the founders was for this to be a universal phenomenon.

    I also have no problem with Vermont. I like their gun laws more than I dislike Bernie Sanders. And I say, ultimately, that power belongs to those who take it. Within our political system, Christians have the means to become just as involved, and have their values just as represented. It is simply irrational for them to cede the arena to hostile forces.

    “What I am trying to say is that not everyone does what they should.”

    For goodness sakes, you say that as if it is novel. Who the heck argued otherwise?

    But does this fact somehow absolve us of a responsibility to proclaim the truth, to proclaim what ought to be done? Again, I am with Aristotle. There are two extremes – there is pie-in-the-sky idealism on the one hand, that says anything is possible and people are capable of anything. Then there is fatalism – the view that things are what they are and cannot be changed.

    The rational, position is genuine realism – understanding what can be changed, and what cannot be changed. Understanding what can be influenced, and what cannot. Understanding what your power is, and what the limit of that power is.

    Your view, to me, is closer to fatalism than realism. The Church proclaims that civic participation is a moral obligation. It doesn’t matter if “people don’t do what they should” – people shouldn’t have abortions either, but the Church will never cease to proclaim that it is wrong, and that they should choose life.

    So I will continue to proclaim, along with the Church, and in the spirit of the American founders, the importance of civic virtue and I will continue to denounce those influences that weaken and corrupt it.

    “Joe, I think we can agree that we should all be more involved in Church & State affairs. However, trying to tell people that sports and entertainment should be severely curtailed when so many of our saints and Holy Fathers were involved with both sounds a bit over the top.”

    This is your problem – I said no such thing. When did I say “severely curtailed”? This was a false inference, or, poor choice of words. A fallacy or a gaffe.

    I do not propose to infringe upon ANYONE’s right to be a lazy idiot. But I certainly do propose that we use our first amendment rights to remind people of their moral and civic obligations, and to denounce the garbage that obstructs them.

    Do you understand that it is possible to oppose a thing without violating another person’s right to that thing? If so, then we have no quarrel, sir.

  • Over on another blog I found a list of humorous Twitter responses to the LeBron James announcement…. among them was the following:

    “I wanted to announce my Second Coming at 9 p.m. tonite, but it looks like you all had other plans — Jesus Christ.”

  • LeBron James had every right to leave Cleveland. You talk about his “week-long ego charade” but that entire week LeBron said very little to the media. LeBron made no appearances on ESPN or any other network until his special. You’re blaming LeBron for the fact that everyone on TV was talking about him non-stop. Further more you failed to mention the fact that LeBron’s marketing firm agreed to only do the special if the sponsorship dollars would go to The Boys and Girls Club.

    The reason so many people have left the church isn’t because they want some razzle-dazzle experience when they go to church. No, it’s because of the fact that for the last sixty plus years a small portion of priests and clergy members have been raping and sexually exploiting children around the world. Every clergy member who ever abused a child and every church official who covered it up and didn’t report these people to the authorities should be thrown in jail. So before you start criticizing completely innocent and upstanding athletes clean up your church first.

  • Chris Russo, then how do you account for the fact that many fans are quick to forgive and forget the sins of the Kobe Bryants and Tiger Woods of the world rather than ditch them? I don’t see that happening for the priests who betray their flock, so that says a lot about the effect of pop culture’s alluring but false promises of fame and riches on society, especially those who build their homes on shifting sand rather than rocks. Perhaps LeBron may be like the Prodigal Son and find that his ego got the best of him.

    Thankfully there are many other priests to do us Catholics proud, including superstars like Archbishop Raymond Burke, who certainly wouldn’t pull a LeBron act despite the Creative Minority Report humorously imagining such a possibility: http://www.creativeminorityreport.com/search?q=LeBron

  • ESPN’s ombudsman vindicates Dave, blasting the network for its LeBron coverage: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/post/ESPN-ombudsman-blasts-network-for-LeBron-coverag?urn=top-257681

Res & Explicatio for A.D. 5-8-2009

Friday, May 8, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1.  Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC made some extraordinary claims of how to manage dissenting Catholics such as Nancy Pelosi.  His Excellency believes that Canon 915 does not apply in advancing the salvific mission of the Church which is basically a losing argument because there are no exemptions for Nancy Pelosi in regards to Canon 915.  Archbishop Wuerl is mistaken if he can escape from his episcopal duty to apply Canon 915 to the pro-abortion representative from California.

Dr. Ed Peters responds to Archbishop Wuerls misapplication of Canon 915 here.

To learn what Canon 915 is click here.

2.  Bishop Robert Morlino of the Diocese of Madison continues with his house cleaning of heterodoxy in his diocese.  It was reported earlier this week that dissident ‘Catholic’ Ruth Kolpack was removed from her position of pastoral associate at St. Thomas the Apostle Church.  In addition:

“Kolpack will be barred from all leadership roles in the parish, paid or volunteer.”

The diocese has not said explicitly why she was fired but strongly suggested that it may have had something to do with her opposition to church doctrine in her capacity as a Catholic teacher.  The tide is continueing to turn as more American bishops evanglize boldly as St. Paul and act strongly as St. AmbroseDeo gratias!

For the story click here.

3.  There is more than meets the eye from the Vatican’s L’Osservatore Romano newspaper that showed an article giving a glowing review of President Obama’s presidency thus far.  Apparently anything labeled from “The Vatican” carries magisterial weight, especially if it’s contra the Church’s position.  Let’s get something straight first, a janitor walking out of St. Peter’s Basilica can give an interview and that can be called news from “The Vatican”.  Second, there were glaring mistakes in said article and it was plainly obvious that Giuseppe Fiorentino, who wrote the article, did not know what he was talking about concerning embryo destruction and abortion.  Mr. Fiorentino has fallen under President Obama’s rhetorical spell, just as many dissenting Catholics have, of falling for style over substance.

Austin Ruse of The Catholic Thing breaks it all down for you here.

Continue reading...

13 Responses to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 5-8-2009

  • Archbishop Wuerl is an exemplary teacher, pastor and leader. God bless him and his sanity.

  • Mark D.

    that’s absurd. Why not post a response instead of a bumper sticker?

  • The Miami priest and his girlfriend evidently take his last name, “Cutie, ” much more seriously then they do the inconvienent title which precedes it.

  • In regard to L’Osservatore Romano, the author has been a fan of Obama since at least the election:

    “The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, was published Nov. 5 with an opinion piece headlined “A choice that unites.”

    “In the end, change occurred. The slogan that accompanied Barack Obama’s whole electoral campaign found its expression” in the results of the Nov. 4 election, said the article by Giuseppe Fiorentino.

    “As the president-elect underlined in his victory speech in Chicago, America really is the country where anything can happen,” a country “able to overcome fractures and divisions that not long ago seemed impossible to heal,” it said.

    But, the article said, the vote for Obama was “very pragmatic” because he was the “more convincing” candidate for “an electorate needing new hope, especially for a quick economic recovery.”

    The newspaper said Obama and his supporters know “not everything is roses and flowers,” because of the “huge political, social, economic and moral challenges” the United States is facing.

    Obama must unite the nation, a process L’Osservatore said will be helped by the concession speech of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who referred to Obama as “my president.”

    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0805616.htm

    I’d say the article says a lot about the opinion of Giuseppe Fiorentino and little about the opinion of Pope Benedict.

  • Kolpack fired because of a paper she wrote in college. Unbelievable!

  • Michael,

    The article says specifically the paper itself was not the reason she was fired:

    The diocese later said that a college thesis, by itself, would not be a reason to fire someone.

    If you wish to criticize the Bishop, it would be better for you to extend the courtesy of not misrepresenting him.

  • Archbishop Wuerl is a superb catechist–that is not open to question. And, to his credit, he said he will honor the ban on communion for Kathleen Sebelius imposed by the bishops of Kansas. He’d be a much better pastor if he left denial of communion an open question. Conceding without a fight weakens his voice.

  • If you wish to criticize the Bishop, it would be better for you to extend the courtesy of not misrepresenting him.

    I’m not misrepresenting him at all. I didn’t say “The bishop said he fired he because of a paper she wrote in college.” All the diocese said was that was not the ONLY reason. It was certainly a reason.

    And I find it utterly hilarious that this bishop asked her to recant the views she stated in a freaking thesis. Does he think he’s dealing with Roger Haight? Totally lame.

  • It’s not hard to see why Michael “the Church is heterosexist” Iafrate would be nervous about Church institutions taking an interest in whether people expressed heretical positions while a student.

  • It seems like conservative Catholics are not the only ones who take umbrage at vile screeds against Israel:

    Sheikh attacks Israel, pope walks out

  • It’s not hard to see why Michael “the Church is heterosexist” Iafrate would be nervous about Church institutions taking an interest in whether people expressed heretical positions while a student.

    S.B., you should stop lying about what I, in fact, said. “Anon” is not fooling anyone.

  • I challenge you to show me where I said “The Church is heterosexist.” You are a liar.

    [ed. Permission to defend yourself granted, Michael; but comments may be edited]

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