Thursday, July 7, 2011

Black Sheep Dog or Beloved Child of God ?

"Far worse than a good man who falls are the vultures who prey on him."

This post has nothing to do with Father Corapi's guilt or innocence and everything to do with our response to his situation. I read a comment left on someone's blog today that said, "Trial by blog is a curious thing. Personally, I would prefer trial by Canon Law."  I have to say, after reading a few articles about Father Corapi (one of which has been removed) that this comment well describes what often happens in the Catholic blogosphere whenever a new scandal arises. To be truthful, I am often more scandalized by the lack of mercy which is often aimed at those who fall than the fall itself. All that I can surmise from some of the comments that lean toward the cruel side is that - either the person making the comment somehow escaped the repercussions of the fall of Adam and Eve and has never fallen into sin or that they are so angry that they can't be impartial when they read about these scandals. My greatest fear is that a few of the negative comments may stem from glee over a man's possible fall from grace. The way a few are worded certainly can leave one with this impression.

Father Corapi may be guilty of the accusations against him, I do not know. What I do know is that this man should be "prayed for" rather than "preyed on". If the accusations are true, does this negate the incredible work this priest has done and the thousands of souls he has brought to Christ? Are there many who have listened to him  that have NOT been moved into a deeper relationship with the Lord through his words? Are we really surprised that satan unleashes huge attacks on priests? I am not defending Father Corapi's actions if he is guilty, I am saying that Jesus loves Father Corapi and died on the Cross for him and all the rest of us sinners. Father Corapi is a sinner, I am a sinner, you are sinner and as Jesus said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

Prayer should always be our response in these situations. All priests need heavy duty prayer support. During this month devoted to the Precious Blood may we ask the Lord to cover these shepherds in a special way and may we plead the Blood of Christ upon each and every one of them.

"Am I my brother's keeper?" Gn 4:9

"So on we go, his welfare is my concern
no burden is he to bear, we'll get there.
And the load doesn't weigh me down at all.
He ain't heavy...he's my brother."  

(Lyrics by The Hollies)                   


  1. AMEN eloquently said. ~Theresa

  2. Mary,
    Satan is having a field day with this and many are allowing him to do so. I couldn't agree more with all you said here. His innocence or guilt is not for any of us to decide.
    The one thing that does bother me is that from reading some of the comments on his sheepdog site, many seem to be following the man instead of the message of his preaching. He always preached Jesus- that is the only One anyone should be following. I'll stop there :)

  3. I agree. I just think the Black Sheep Dog thing is sort of creepy, but things get way too out of hand sometimes in the blogging world. People feel free to say things they would never say aloud, let alone to a person's face. It's too easy.

  4. Mary,

    Your thoughts on the matter of Fr. Corapi and the way others have become so eager to join the executioner are spot on.

    There are so many times in life when we are quick to judge...why???

    Does my harsh judgement of another somehow cover up the sin within myself? I can only wonder.

    Mercy given is mercy received....Christ called us to be merciful. If we are to be imitators of Christ them we must heed his example....hard as it may be at times.

  5. Karin,
    Yes, I noticed this too - another reason prayer is much needed. Christ must be the center. I am praying for both Father Corapi and the whole situation.

  6. Theresa,
    Rather than pick this man's bones clean we can intercede for him and help him through our prayers. A lot more will get accomplished this way :)

  7. Maria,
    I think Father Corapi is hurting very much inside and has thrown up his arms in defeat. Whether he is innocent or guilty we really need to pray that the Lord gathers him back into the flock where he belongs and pray that Father Corapi heeds his call and doesn't wander further away out of fear or anger. Jesus loves "black sheep" - I should know, I used to be one of them :)

  8. Well said, DG. When we focus on the sins of others it keeps us from paying attention to our own sins. Father Corapi must be aware of all that is being said about him - I hope that he is also aware that many, many, people are praying for him.

  9. Yes! I'm baffled, saddened, and all that about what is going on. I am no better than Fr. Corapi - I choose to do so many unloving things w/out chemical influences (if, indeed that charge leveled against him is even true). I stand to accuse myself, and only myself, before God. I am a weak person and in need of my brothers and sisters prayers, too. Lord, have mercy on us all.

  10. Sarah,
    Haven't we all done this in our lives? We all need to pray for one another AND pray for our priests. Every single one of us is dependent on the grace and mercy of God. Prayer draws down many, many graces! Thanks for commenting, Sarah :)

  11. We should never be surprised by the sins of others. There go I but for the grace of God! All of us are weak. God is a good and merciful God. We are suppose to pray for one another and cooperate with the grace He gives striving to be perfect as He is perfect.

  12. I was a little surprised when I saw the title of that you were going to cover this, but you covered it so gracefully!

  13. "So on we go, his welfare is my concern
    no burden is he to bear, we'll get there.
    And the load doesn't weigh me down at all.
    He ain't heavy...he's my brother."

    Amen Mary!

  14. Just before He uttered the words "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Jesus wrote something in the sand with His finger.

    We are not told what He wrote.

    I think He wrote "Dear God, will they never learn?"

    We still haven't.

    God bless.

  15. Rebecca,
    So true! Human nature is very fragile but this fragility that we so despise is also the door God often uses to open our hearts to Him. There is no such thing as a sinless person (excluding Jesus and Mary)so we should not be surprised when someone falls but we SHOULD certainly be there to help them up in whatever way we can. I love the quote "There go I but for the grace of God." There's a lot of truth in these words!

  16. Rebecca,
    That was me - I forgot to sign in :)

  17. Colleen,
    I debated whether to even bring up the subject but I have been praying for Father Corapi at Mass this week and I felt that I couldn't just ignore his plight regardless of his guilt or innocence. He is a child of God despite the name he has taken on recently "Black Sheep Dog". This name seems to speak to me of a heck of a lot of hurt and pain in this man's heart.

  18. Ros,
    This song has very deep meaning for me and I've sung it to the Lord many times. I often sing after intercessory prayer and this song came to my mind as I was praying for Father Corapi and other priests. It seemed fitting :)

  19. Victor,
    You may be right about that :) We often make the same mistakes over and over again. We should be thankful that the Lord is so patient!

    I think He started listing their sins on the ground and as each man's heart was convicted he walked away.

    God bless you, too, Victor!

  20. The anger is righteous outrage. His continued actions of defiance are upsetting everyone who loves Christ and His Church. If he would just demonstrate an ounce of humility, I think people would be kinder to him. You can't have God's mercy without being open to it.

  21. Credocatholic,
    Anger is an emotion given to us to propel us to correct a situation not to rip apart a man that is already on the ground. Our job is to pray and to reach out a hand of hope to someone who is in trouble. Can you imagine if Jesus had claimed righteous anger as a reason not to save us? He truly had this right for none of us is without sin. Yet, He poured Himself out on the Cross and even begged forgiveness for us with his dying breath...yes, even for those who physically crucified Him.
    We do not know what is going on in Father Corapi's heart right now - this is between him and the Lord. What we do know is that Jesus loves him and is even now reaching His hand out to him. My prayer is that Father Corapi grasps it- for I have no doubt it is being extended to him.
    I know a mother who personally forgave a young man who had killed her child. Father Corapi, if what we read is true, had done a lot less than this. I suggest we all pray for Father and at the same time keep in mind all the good he has done. Remembering this may take deflate people's anger a bit.

    God bless!

  22. People are being misled by him. That needs to be dealt with. This is a scandal. Our Lord Himself turned over the tables in the temple because his house was being made profane by opportunists.

    I have not seen people "ripping him apart", (but I only visit the sites that I have developed a trust for in providing good and balanced information). I have seen people trying to point out where he is wrong for the sake of those who might be misled. He himself rejected the opportunity for a canonical process, because he decided that the Church would not give him a fair trial. Does his obstinancy not undermind trust in the Church? Are we not to respond to this with adamant rejection?

    Why is this any different than speaking out against a politician who is pro-abortion or votes for legislation that would allow so-called gay marriage? Fr. Corapi is publicly making statements that are misleading, and it is tearing down people's faith in the Church. Silence is not an option.

    At this point, no one knows exactly what happened, but his conduct following the accusation cannot be dismissed.

  23. Credocatholic,
    I agree with a number of the points you address here. In my post I mention that this is not about his guilt or innocence but rather about our duty as Christians to lift this priest (who is a man with a fallen nature) up in prayer and pray that the Holy Spirit leads him back to the right path. You mention in your 1st comment that people would perhaps treat him more kindly were he to show more humility and perhaps in time he will if we pray for him. God's grace can do amazing things. Father Corapi has been a great blessing to our Church and I do not want to take away from the good he has done by totally focussing on the scandal that has erupted. There is nothing wrong with speaking out if it is done in the right manner but this is not always the case - often a man is hung before bloggers are even in full possession of the facts as we can see by the number of negative posts that came out BEFORE Solt even issued a statement. I am not the only person to notice this - as well as a few others have spoken out about the attacks on Father Corapi.

    I have read a number of well written unbiased posts about Father Corapi, too. I did not say that all bloggers were treating him unmercifully. I believe that he has many people praying for him and this is the route I believe Catholics should take. I am of the belief that it is always best to err on the side of mercy especially when we do not know all the facts.

    I understand your concern over Father Corapi's reaction to the accusations - he ran and we know that obedience is very important in religious vocations especially to avoid further scandal. Yes, I think he decided that the Church would not give him a fair trial. I read an article on a website that discussed this in detail. I think it's here that I saw it but I can't remember which blog.

    I considered Jesus' anger in the temple before I left my earlier comment but I have to say that I'm not sure that this fits Father Corapi's case. Solt had to be well aware of the financial aspects of Fr. C's ministry for a long time and surely they kept tabs on him and had to be aware if there were other problems - drug use is rather obvious. Father Corapi's fall, if SOLT is correct is one of personal sin and a weak nature. Did they try to help him when they first noticed the problems? Did they reach out to him as soon as they noticed something was awry? This is a question many people have. My hope is that he lets go of this whole "Black Sheep Dog" thing and deals with this matter in the proper manner.
    As for this being different than speaking out against abortion and the like: in this case we are in full possession of the facts while in Father Corapi's case we are not yet in this position. Silence hasn't been the case here - on the second link I posted above there are a number of posts about this entire issue. A number of them are unbiased and charitable while at the same time not condoning Father Corapi's actions.

  24. Prayed for and not preyed on.

    What great advice, and so eloquently put. I've been guilty of this (not in blog land but in thought) - and will try to remember these words.

    Thank you for the kick in the pants.

    God Bless.

  25. I think you are right on. On one hand, I do understand Fr. Corapi's reaction: 50% of the allegations against priests in California have later been found to be trumped up in order to get money, and the Catholic Church has willingly paid and ruined the lives of good priests. On the other hand, I don't understand the Black Sheep Dog approach. The bottom line, though, as you point out, is that no one knows what has happened except the people involved and, more important, this is not between us and Fr. Corapi but rather between God and all the individuals involved. It is not for us to judge. What we need to do is pray for all those involved.

  26. Michael,
    Intercessory prayer is powerful. I have seen it at work and I am always stunned by the immensity of God's mercy. Prayer should always be the first step. I have a long way to go in my walk with the Lord but this lesson about always turning to God first is one that I learned fairly quickly despite my other failings :)

  27. Elizabeth,
    Amen. All I have to do is think of a man in my own state who is imprisoned behind "These Stone Walls" to realize that all is not as it seems at times.

    I don't really understand the whole Black Sheep Dog thing either. It seems to be a symbol of the separation he already feels from God's flock. I told Jesus this morning to " please, go get that black sheep (which he is not) and gather him back in" :) Many people have been praying for him. I have no doubt that Jesus is already reaching out to Father Corapi and all Father has to do is grasp that holy hand. My prayer is that he will do this. At this point Father Corapi needs a lot of prayer whether he is guilty or not guilty - it is obvious that he is deeply troubled at this time.