h/t Christopher Blosser
Fr. Gerard Sheehan, the religious superior of Fr. John Corapi has spoken with National Catholic Register. In the report (and in a promised forthcoming statement from the Society of Our Lady of the Holy Trinity, henceforth SOLT), Fr. Sheehan offers some evidence that is, to say the least, very disturbing.
1.) Fr. Corapi knew who his accusers are, in direct contradiction to his "BlackSheepDog" statement. He knew because he had originally paid them to sign a non-disclousre agreement, expressely prohibiting them from speaking about any activities during their employment with his company Santa Cruz Media.
2.) This action seriously compromised the ongoing investigation SOLT was conducting into the allegations of sexual misconduct and drug abuse raised against Fr. Corapi. As a result of it, many witnesses they wanted to speak to they could not. This very well could have created the uncertain proceedings Fr. Corapi complained about.
3.) In light of the allegations made, Fr. Corapi is now suing the accuser (who he claimed to not know of) for an alleged breach of contract, not for character defamation or anything else. This civil suit further complicated SOLT's investigation.
4.) Due to 1-3, SOLT attempted to conduct their investigation without speaking to any of the principal witnesses, which was almost impossible.
5.) Fr. Corapi was given an offer to return to his religious community and live with them in prayer, but declined. Fr. Sheehan states that such a move would have neccessarily involved Fr. Corapi giving up his lifestyle and not having access to a good portion of his wealth. One can also speculate it also meant no public ministry (speaking engagements or the like) for a long period of time.
6.) After this refusal, Fr. Sheehan attempted to meet with Fr. Corapi without success. Fr. Corapi's decision was made in a private letter "resigning" from the religious life and public ministry. SOLT has confirmed that if this is what Fr. Corapi wants, they will help facilitate that process.
7.) One can only guess that this also means he wishes to leave the priesthood and would be laicized shortly after.
I said in a previous post on the matter, I said it was very hard to presume Fr. Corapi's innocence in light of his statement. In light of these facts, the hill becomes Mount Everest. Could he be innocent? Perhaps. Yet paying off witnesses to enter into an NDA doesn't look like the behavior of an innocent man.
I also raised questions about the propriety of how funds were managed. In light of his celebration of 20 years as a priest, a substantial discount was offered on all merchandise. No doubt some money was also donated to Santa Cruz Media. If the individuals who contributed/purchased were doing so with the intent of supporting a good priest, that money should be immediately returned. Such questions are now intensified. One has to wonder, how much of the money used to silence these witnesses came from those donations? This isn't a matter of civil law, or maybe even canon law. It is a matter of moral law if such funds were used.
We have to continue to pray for all involved. Yet the revelation of these facts makes a happy ending near impossible.
UPDATE 4:17 PM
Posted without comment. There's really nothing that can possibly be said in reaction to this.
UPDATE 9:42 PM
We now have the statement from his religious superior.
1.) The suspension was standard procedure, and they foresaw it would be lifted after the investigation
2.) The decision was made on June 3rd, by Fr. Corapi and Fr. Corapi alone, to leave the priesthood.