I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers, by Chloe’s people, that there are rivalries among you. I mean that each of you is saying, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Kephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
Good advice to anyone too enamored
There is a reason why Pride is first on the deadly sin list, every priest no matter how skilled or right should keep this in mind.
In my previous post concerning Fr. Corapi I noted there was no sign that he had left either the church or his orders, I’m pleased to say on his blog he is proving me right:
I think it’s a bit too easy to arrive at an erroneous conclusion when you base it on a fallacious presupposition. For instance, some very kind and fine people assume that I have “left the Church.” Please, understand this, I have not left the Church. I love the Catholic Church and would not “leave the Church.” I have resigned from public ministry, which is rather anticlimactic to be sure since I was out of it anyhow due to the suspension or “administrative leave,” which is tantamount to suspension. There are elements of this that you don’t know about, and that’s not your fault.
Once a man is ordained a priest he remains a priest for all eternity. Holy Orders is one of the three sacraments that imprints an indelible mark on the soul. What the Church can give or remove is “faculties”, which authorizes the person to publicly administer the sacraments. I always cringe when I hear “he’s not a priest anymore.” If he ever was, he still is. What they mean is that he is not functioning in the normal way most priests function, that is, publicly administering the sacraments.
Read his entire post, it might be the wrong move or the right move, but he has not left the faith or the priesthood, and remember what I said before, by his fruits we will know him, hopefully we will see more and it will be good.
…but like the Anchoress I noticed what was missing from this statement was a lot more significant that what was present in it.
There’s nothing here about the movement of the Holy Spirit, or God’s will; Corapi is not talking about this in terms of God “writing straight with crooked” as some might expect. Nothing about prayer, struggling, his personal anguish, Mary, his confreres (he seems always to have been a bit of a lone wolf), or the Rosary, or hope. It all seems pretty earthbound, to me.
As St. Paul’s appeal to Caesar shows us, one need not take a situation like this passively or lying down in order to be a follower of Christ and the use of the term “sheepdog” does imply the following of Christ, Christ as the Shepard and he as the sheepdog.
It is not clear from the statement on the site or the video that Fr. Corapi is leaving the priesthood (note the “black sheepdog” site is says Fr. Corapi IS a priest, not was a priest) or the Church itself. It is also unclear what this new focus will be Christ centered or not. Will he be addressing protestant groups? Secular groups? Will he still be talking God and Christ? None of this is currently answered.
Fr Coropi is 64. He may have many years ahead of him, he may have few and until we actually see what he does we won’t know what he is actually doing but lets look at two different commentaries by people who are actually priests, lets start with Fr Longenecker:
I conclude therefore that the Padre Pio example is the one to follow, and every priest who in these terrible times is just waiting for the phone call saying he has been accused, should plan that route rather than the Corapi posturing and pride. One is the way of the cross –which we have all been promised. The other is the way of the world.
A fair point, there is a reason the sin of pride is first on the list, next Father Z:
The enemy hates priests and bishops. Let me say that again. The enemy hates priests and bishops. When priests and bishops start making inroads, they will be attacked with intensity.
But priests and bishops remain men and remain sinners. We need the support of prayers especially regarding the primary goal of saving our souls. We must, for the love of God, help each other.
I will keep Fr. Corapi on my prayer list, and will remember him in a special way, hoping that through the help of the Holy Spirit, who bends the rigid and heals the broken and consoles those who are in pain, he will have some peace whether he is able to return to active ministry or not, whether he wants to or not. He is a priest forever and he is my brother in that indelible mark received from Christ the High priest. And because he is a priest forever, the devil will not relent in attacking him until he dies. Nor will the devil relent in attacking anyone who has authority over him.
It is what we signed up for, but sometimes it can be very hard.
I’m reminded of what a Catholic Lay preacher once told me in private conversation, if God calls you it doesn’t matter your state, you are obliged to answer.
As Christ said, a tree is known by its fruits. If the fruits of what Fr. Corapi does it positive, and encourages people toward Christ in general and the Church in particular then this will work out fine. If it instead encourages schism, rejection of Christ and the Eucharist, then we will see that too, but I also can’t get these lines from the TV series Sharpe’s Rifles out of my head:
Man in Black: You say you are an Irishman. Why should you be loyal to the British dogs, who want to take you to Lisbon to shoot you?
Patrick Harper: Jesus, you took the words right out of my mouth.
That is the temptation, Why should you be loyal to the administration that has suspended you and accused you. The offer is sweetened thus
Man in Black: I will give you one hundred guineas in gold, and safe passage to America.
Patrick Harper: America? That’d be nice. But you see, the King of England, owes me last month’s wages. And I’d never sleep easy in America knowing that that bastard owes me a shilling!
Man in Black: You would die for a shilling?
Patrick Harper: That’s what I signed on to do.
Man in Black: You will have to do it.
Patrick Harper: [hefts his rifle] It’s a grand day for it!
That is what is going on in a nutshell. Will this be a tour of inspiration or of accusation. Of encouragement to those who need it or to enrich him personally. Will the fruits be of Christ or of the world and when the investigation continues and concludes will it have the same ending as Harper had?
Lt. Sharpe: Fall in Rifleman Harper
Rifleman Harper: Yes sir. Thank you very much sir.
Maj. Blass Vivar: Wait, don’t you wish your officer to give you some high honors?
Rifleman Harper: Oh but he did, he told me to fall in
The best advice? Prayer for all concerned. Let’s hope that Fr. Corapi, those who support him and those who do not take that advice to heart.