By PDMACpayday loans
Fr. Corapi has been put on administrative leave, pending investigation into the allegations leveled against him. In the brouhaha that has resulted, I find a horrible rush to judgement involved.
However, unlike many commenters at various places around the internet (the judgement is in the comments, not the posts for the most part), I don’t think the rush to judgement came from whomever it was who placed Fr. Corapi on leave. No, the rush to judgement is being done by those fervently defending the good Father. While I understand the desire to believe that Father has done nothing wrong, that he is being falsely accused, we have no way of knowing. We have no real information other than that letters were sent to several bishops (per Fr. Corapi’s note), and that he was placed on leave.
The first rush to judgement that jumps out at me is the accusation that due process was not followed, that there was no determination of credibility of the accusation. This is fueled, in part, by Fr. Corapi’s statement (“There seems to no longer be the need for a complaint to be deemed “credible” in order for Church authorities to pull the trigger on the Church’s procedure”), but to me appears to be a baseless complaint. Fr. Corapi was made aware of the letters and allegations on Ash Wednesday. He was placed on leave just this past weekend. That’s 9 days, give or take, from the time he was informed, but we don’t know how long the information was in the hands of the bishops (or his superiors) prior to Ash Wednesday. Thus, we have no way of knowing what type of investigation went into determining the credibility of the accusations. It was at least a week, probably more. So accusations that a finding of credibility was apparently not done in this case are mere conjecture. And those accusations are flying against anyone and everyone who could have been involved: the Bishops, the Regional Priest Servant, whoever, overreacted by placing Father on leave without checking the credibility of the accusation, or they’re taking down a popular priest because he challenges their authority, or whatever. Fr. Corapi is a popular public figure, a strong and powerful speaker, and as such we should hope that his superiors take due care with any accusations leveled against him. It’s important to presume that Fr. Corapi is innocent, but we must also give the benefit of the doubt to those who made this decision.
The second rush to judgement is Fr. Corapi’s absolute innocence. Again, we have no way of knowing this. We should presume his innocence, yes, but we aren’t a jury that has been given all of the information in the case. Citing Father’s holiness, and how much good work he has done, and how much he has helped so many people, is a fallacious argument. Look at Fr. Maciel. Fr. Corapi is a man, and as a man he is fallible. No amount of good works can change that, and no amount of evidence of his holiness makes him invulnerable to temptation. So he is presumed innocent, but stands accused of something deemed sufficiently seriously (and apparently credible) to warrant administrative leave. I hope and pray that Father is innocent. But ignoring an accusation because of his popularity is a bad idea.
A third rush to judgement is the guilt of the accuser. The accuser becomes the accused. And not just accused, but presumed guilty of lying. Just as Fr. Corapi is to be presumed innocent, so must she. An odd thing on this point is this: I’ve seen various people note that the accused should have the right to confront his accuser, which is a valid position. But they then go on to basically demand to know the accuser’s name. A note to those offering such a line of reasoning: YOU ARE NOT THE ACCUSED. You have no right to know who leveled the accusation, and no need to know who leveled the accusation. Your only obvious motivations in knowing who made the accusation are either for your own titillation or so you can “research” her history and see what dirt you can dig up, so as to help defend Father by destroying her. If the latter is the case, then you’re either looking to attack a lying woman who is sure to be found out anyway, or you’re going to attack a woman who is telling the truth, probably by trying to destroy her reputation.
Speaking of reputations, that’s the fourth judgement: that Fr. Corapi’s reputation is irreparably harmed by being placed on administrative leave. I acknowledge that damage has been done, but I disagree with it being irreparable. As one commenter at another site noted, look at Padre Pio’s history.
I know what it’s like to have a respected priest accused. The priest who celebrated my wedding Mass, who counseled Heather and me prior to our wedding during some turmoil caused by my own failings, who baptized our second child and counseled us with regards to medical concerns about our third, was accused of impropriety and placed on administrative leave. The action would have been legal at the time it is alleged to have occurred (30+ years prior to the accusation), and thus there was no criminal investigation, yet it would still have been immoral and a clear violation of vows. Many at my parish were shaken (he was our former pastor), and several were vociferous in their adamant belief that there is no way he could have done anything like he was accused of. While I completely respect him and believe that he is innocent, I also know that he’s just as capable of sinning as I am. I chose to presume his innocence but be patient with the process.
As a final thought, play a mind game with me. What if the accusation against Fr. Corapi is true? What if he admits it, asks for forgiveness, offers reparations? Will you turn away in disgust, that such a respected priest could have fallen so far? Or will you understand his failings, his susceptibility to temptation, and continue to honor, respect, and support him?
I made my decision on that two years ago. Even if they fell. Especially if they fell.