Tag Archives: Canon Law

John Corapi — “Thrown out like yesterday’s garbage…” Full Text/Video

John Corapi: Special Announcement. June 17, 2011

About the Black Sheep Dog… 

THE BLACK SHEEPDOG
On June 17, 2011, Corapi released an audio announcement on his Facebook page, YouTube channel, and his company, Santa Cruz Media’s, website proclaiming his new movement towards “The Black SheepDog.”  Combining the personified characteristics of “a black sheep,” and the “sheep” and role of a “sheepdog,” Corapi claims his newfound mission is the same, delivering messages of ‘hope’ and ‘truth,’ but now to a wider-audience.  He launched a blog-site: http://www.TheBlackSheepDog.us to allow his fans to begin establishing a ‘home’ where they can be in touch with him, directly.  A member from his media team shared “this is a very exciting move for John and his fans, as for the first time, in a long time, John will be directly in touch with this fan-base by way of social networks.”

Video announcement…

Written announcement….

This Sunday, June 19, 2011, is both Trinity Sunday on the Catholic liturgical calendar and Fathers’ Day on the secular calendar. It is a day I’ll never forget, and sadly so. It is the twentieth anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood in the Catholic Church. For twenty years I was called “father.” I am very thankful for those twenty years. I could have easily died any number of times, any number of ways in my life before that, so I consider it all a bonus, an undeserved bonus. To all of you that have communicated support, ordination anniversary congratulations, and other kind sentiments, I am greatly thankful, and I do not take that for granted.

All things change, only God stays the same, so I have to tell you about a major change in my life. I am not going to be involved in public ministry as a priest any longer. There are certain persons in authority in the Church that want me gone, and I shall be gone. I have been guilty of many things in the course of my life, and could easily and justifiably be considered unfit to engage in public ministry as a priest. The present complaint that you have heard about is, as far as I know, from the one person that I can honestly say I did more to help and support than any human being in my entire life. I forgive her and hope only good things for her. I am not going to get into a back and forth or argument with the Church or anyone else about this matter.

Suffice it to say that I love the Catholic Church and accept what has transpired. Unfortunately, the process used is inherently and fatally flawed, but the bishops have the power, apparently, to operate anyway they see fit. I cannot give a lengthy explanation of what has transpired, but I can tell you that the most likely outcome is that they leave me suspended indefinitely and just let me fade away. They can’t prove I’m guilty of the things alleged because I’m not, and they can’t prove I’m innocent because that is simply illogical and impossible. All civilized societies know that. Certain leaders in the Catholic Church apparently do not.

I accept moving on, but I am not ready to be altogether extinguished just yet. In the final analysis I have only one of only two viable choices:
1. I can quietly lie down and die, or
2. I can go on in ways that I am able to go on.

I did not start this process, the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas ordered my superiors, against their will and better judgment, to do it. He in fact threatened to release a reprehensible and libelous letter to all of the bishops if they did not suspend me. He has a perfect right to do so, and I defend that right. Bishops aren’t bound by civil laws and procedures in internal Church matters. I agree with that, and would defend to the death the Church’s right to proceed as they see fit. He is the bishop and he has the right to govern as he sees fit. It isn’t an easy task. Many forces besiege him, including pressure from other bishops.

My canon lawyer and my civil lawyers have concluded that I cannot receive a fair and just hearing under the Church’s present process. The Church will conclude that I am not cooperating with the process because I refuse to give up all of my civil and human rights in order to hold harmless anyone who chooses to say defamatory and actionable things against me with no downside to them. The case may be on hold indefinitely, but my life cannot be. Some of the things that might surprise you about the way some of the bishops treat accused priests are as follows:

1.    The identity of the accuser is not revealed. You can guess, but you don’t actually know. Nor are the exact allegations made known to you. Hence, you have an interesting situation of having to respond to an unknown accuser making unknown accusations (unknown to the accused and his counsel).

2.    The persons chosen to investigate the allegations normally have no qualifications to do so. They certainly didn’t graduate from the FBI academy, nor do they have any other background to qualify them to interrogate or otherwise interview witnesses.

3.    There are no set rules of evidence or norms of procedure.

4.    You are for all practical purposes assumed guilty until you can prove you are innocent. This one is truly baffling. No civilized society operates that way. If you are accused of something you are considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

5.    The accused and his counsel have no right to obtain and review any of the evidence against him.

6.    The accused and his counsel are not provided the names of witnesses, nor are they permitted to cross-examine them.

7. There is a general unwillingness or outright refusal by certain of the         bishops to abide by applicable statutes of limitations, both in canon and civil law. There are good reasons for these statutes. Time has a way of clouding memories and distorting perceptions.

By the way, Canon Law does not dictate this. They choose to selectively ignore or violate both Canon Law and Civil Law, as they deem appropriate and or expeditious. Once again, they apparently have the discretionary power to do this, and if that’s the way it is I have to accept that as reality.

The bottom line is that the only way a just outcome is likely, in my view and that of my counsel, both civil and canon lawyers, is by accident, rather than as a result of the process.

I will not try to fight this irrational and unjust situation for the simple reason that I don’t want to be placed in an adversarial posture against the Church. For 20 years I did my best to guard and feed the sheep. Now, based on a totally unsubstantiated, undocumented allegation from a demonstrably troubled person I was thrown out like yesterday’s garbage. I accept that. Perhaps I deserve that.

I can’t do what I can’t do. I can only do what I can do. I shall continue, black sheep that I am, to speak; and sheep dog that I am, to guard the sheep—this time around not just in the Church, but also in the entire world. I am, indeed, not ready to be extinguished. Under the name “The Black Sheep Dog,” I shall be with you through radio broadcasts and writing. My autobiography, “The Black Sheep Dog,” is almost ready for publication. My topics will be broader than in the past, and my audience likewise is apt to be broader. I’ll do what I can under the circumstances.

Please don’t bother the bishop or complain because it will do no good and it wastes valuable time and energy, both his and yours.

I hope you stay with us and follow us into our new domain and name of “The Black Sheep Dog.” Through writing and broadcasting we hope to continue to dispense truth and hope to a world so much in need of it. For those of you who choose to part company and go away from us, we wish you well and thank you for your many kindnesses over the years. We’ll miss you in our usual meeting places, but assure you that there will be new places for us to meet, just like in “the good old days,” so for now,

God bless you, God love you, and goodbye.

John Corapi (once called “father,” now “The Black Sheep Dog”)

What’s up with Fr. Corapi? – Santa Cruz Media Update…

“While we are not at liberty, at this time, to comment on the accusations against Fr. Corapi or the process of the investigation, the future will be, as Fr. Corapi said, “A New Chapter.””

After posting our announcement regarding liquidation of some of our inventory here at Santa Cruz Media, it became apparent from your many questions that a further explanation is in order. While we are not at liberty, at this time, to comment on the accusations against Fr. Corapi or the process of the investigation, the future will be, as Fr. Corapi said, “A New Chapter.” As such, Santa Cruz Media must transition into that new chapter with Fr. Corapi. He is currently working on completion of his autobiography, and we expect to launch his new web-radio broadcast, “The Black Sheep Dog” in the coming weeks. Our goal of preserving our current employees’ jobs here at Santa Cruz Media requires that we begin focusing our attention on new endeavors and that we phase out some aspects of our current operations. Sadly, this will mean that many of Fr. Corapi’s DVD and CD titles will be discontinued over the course of the next several months. Rest assured, our commitment has always been to further Fr. Corapi’s mission, and that remains unchanged.

Bobbi Ruffatto

Santa Cruz Media

[FULL TEXT] Father Corapi on Administrative Leave – An Update from Rev. Michael Sullivan, J.C.L.

“Several Catholic media sources have removed Fr. Corapi from their outlets. This is over and above what is required by canon law and the Dallas Norms…”

Fr. John Corapi has been suspended from priestly functions because of an accusation against him from a former employee. There seems to be a great deal of speculation and confusion regarding what this entails.

When an accusation arrives at the desk of a Religious Superior or a bishop, the procedure calls for a quick, confidential assessment as to the veracity of the accusation. With the advent of the Dallas Procedural Norms the necessary pieces of information required before imposing administrative leave varies from diocese to diocese and Order to Order. In most cases, if an accuser knows the name of the priest, the location at the time of the alleged incident and the year the priest was serving, the accusation is considered “credible.” The accused is supposed to be provided with the opportunity to respond to the accusations in a face-to-face meeting with his Superior prior to the imposition of suspension or administrative leave. In Father Corapi’s case, this never happened.

When a priest is on administrative leave he is to refrain from any public actions as a priest, such as offering Mass or hearing confessions, or from dressing as a priest in any public forum. The decree from his superiors clearly spells out limitations upon Fr. Corapi, but does not preclude him from speaking publicly provided he does not dress as a cleric and does not offer Mass publicly. Fr. John Corapi has observed these directives. Church bodies are to observe these limitations, though the order does not apply to lay organizations or Church organizations beyond the scope of what has been decreed.

Several Catholic media sources have removed Fr. Corapi from their outlets. This is over and above what is required by canon law and the Dallas Norms. Nothing in the order placing Father Corapi on administrative leave precludes distribution of previously recorded materials. Santa Cruz Media is in full compliance with Canon Law and the administrative leave under which Fr. Corapi is functioning.

Fr. Corapi is doing all in his power to cooperate and work with his Religious Society to see that this allegation is quickly cleared up and he is allowed to return to full ministry. The length of this administrative leave is strictly up to the Society and their process of inquiry before a decision is rendered.

We continue to ask everyone to pray for Fr. Corapi, for the accuser and for a quick resolution to this matter.

God bless you,

Rev. Michael Sullivan, J.C.L.

Fr. Corapi SOLT — Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Rene Gracida, comments on injustice suffered by accused priests from bishops and religious superiors

Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Rene Gracida, lays into the flawed procedures of disciplining priests accused of wrongdoing…


IT IS A MATTER OF JUSTICE!

IT IS A MATTER OF JUSTICE, THE DISCIPLINING OF PRIESTS ACCUSED OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT WITH AN ADULT, BUT UNFORTUNATELY GRAVE INJUSTICE IS FREQUENTLY DONE TO INDIVIDUAL PRIESTS AND TO THE CATHOLIC PRIESTHOOD BY INDIVIDUAL BISHOPS AND RELIGIOUS SUPERIORS.

The public controversy over the announcement of the accusations against Father John Corapi, SOLT, and his suspension from exercising his priestly ministry offers an opportunity to reflect on the flawed procedure apparently being followed in too many dioceses of the United States these days in the case of a priest accused of sexual misconduct not involving minors.  The procedure is flawed because it inflicts grave injustice on the priest and serves as a deterrent to young men thinking of offering themselves as candidates for the priesthood…. Read More

via ABYSSUS ABYSSUM INVOCAT / DEEP CALLS TO DEEP

[FULL TEXT] Statement of Santa Cruz Media, Inc. Relative to Fr. Corapi’s Suspension

“There is no evidence at this time that Fr. Corapi did anything wrong, only the unsubstantiated rant of a former employee, who, after losing her job with this office, physically assaulted me and another employee and promised to “destroy” Father Corapi…”

Fr. John Corapi

 

The following is a statement from Santa Cruz Media, Inc., found on FatherCorapi.Com:

Santa Cruz Media, Inc. is the owner of all of Fr. John Corapi’s intellectual property and the DVDs, CDs, and books that flow from it. We are a secular corporation and not affiliated with the Catholic Church in any way. As such, we are not under the jurisdiction of any bishop or other official in the Catholic Church, although we have the utmost respect for Church authority.

We fully support Rev. John Corapi in this terrible trial, not surprisingly having begun on Ash Wednesday. Through the sacrifice and struggle of the desert and all of the dark moments that this entails, we are confident that the glory of the risen Lord will shine forth from the power of the Resurrection and Easter.

We have consulted with a number of canon lawyers. They have assured us that the actions of the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas are, on several points of canon law, illicit. It is our fervent hope that The Dallas Charter will be changed because of false accusations like this. There is no evidence at this time that Fr. Corapi did anything wrong, only the unsubstantiated rant of a former employee, who, after losing her job with this office, physically assaulted me and another employee and promised to “destroy” Father Corapi. We all continue to pray for this person, and we ask you to do the same.

We sincerely believe that the work Fr. Corapi has done is of greatest value to the Church, hence hated by the devil. We fully intend to make Fr. Corapi’s material available as a service to the Church and the world for as long as we possibly can.

The Church provides no financial support to Fr. Corapi. He has to pay for his own legal representation, medical costs, food, housing, etc. We have never accepted donations or charitable contributions of any kind. We are supporting Father’s efforts to defend himself. Your purchase of products from Santa Cruz Media helps provide the funding for Father’s continued work as well as the legal expenses he continues to incur as a result of these malicious allegations.

Father Corapi and all of us here at Santa Cruz Media, Inc. greatly appreciate your kindness, support, and prayers. Please continue to pray for Father Corapi and his accuser, as well as all priests who find themselves in this unfortunate situation.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Bobbi Ruffatto
Vice President of Operations
Santa Cruz Media, Inc.

END OF POST

Dershowitz comes to the defense of pope and church

Most important, this tragedy should not be used as an excuse to attack a large and revered institution that does much good throughout the world…”

Alan M. Dershowitz

In Defense of the Pope

by Alan M. Dershowitz

Having criticized particular Catholic cardinals for blaming everything–including the Church’s sex scandal–on “the Jews”, let me now come to the defense of the Pope and of the Church itself on this issue.  To begin with, this is an extraordinarily complex problem, because the Church has at least five important traditions that make it difficult to move quickly and aggressively in response to complaints of abuse.

The first tradition involves confidentiality, particularly not exclusively the confidentiality of the priest with regard to the penitent.  But there is also a wider spread tradition of confidentiality within the Church hierarchy itself.

Second, there is the tradition of forgiveness.  Those of us outside the Church often think, perhaps, that the Church goes too far in forgiving.  I was shocked when the previous Pope immediately forgave the man who tried to assassinate him.  But this episode and other demonstrate that the tradition of forgiveness is all too real.

Third, there is the tradition of the Church regarding itself as a state.  The Vatican is, after all, a nation state.  The Catholic Church is not big on the separation of church and state, as are various Protestant denominations.  The Catholic Church, like Orthodox Judaism, believes that matters affecting the faithful should generally be dealt within the church, without recourse to secular authorities.

Fourth, the Vatican prides itself on moving slowly and in seeing the time frame of life quite differently than the quick pace at which secular societies respond to the crisis of the day.

Fifth, the Catholic Church has long had a tradition of internal due process.  Cannon Law provides for scrupulous methods of proof.  The concept of the “devil’s advocate” derives from the Church’s effort to be certain that every “t” is crossed and every “I” is dotted, even when it comes to selecting saints.

None of these explanations completely justify the long inaction of the Church in coming to grips with a serious problem.  But they do help to explain how good people could have allowed bad things to happen for so long a period of time.  Nor is the Catholic Church the only institution that has faced problems of sexual abuse.  Every hierarchical body, especially but not exclusively religious ones, has faced similar problems, though perhaps on not so large a scale.

The problem of hierarchical sex abuse has only recently emerged from the shadows.  Singling out the Catholic Church, and for stereotyping all priests  is simply wrong.

Pope Benedict, both before he became Pope and since, has done a great deal to confront the issue.  He changed the policy that kept allegations of abuse within the authority of local bishops, and he acknowledged that the local option had encouraged shifting abusive priests from parish to parish, thereby hiding their sins from potential new victims.  He also met with abuse victims and recognized their victimization.  Nor has he tried, as other members of the Vatican hierarchy have, to publicly blame the problem on “the Jews”, “the media,” and others.

It is obvious that despite Pope Benedict’s good efforts, more must be done, and not only by the Catholic Church but by all institutions that have experienced hierarchical sexual exploitation.  They must create structures that assure prompt reporting, a zero tolerance policy and quick action, so long as these processes are consistent with due process and fairness, not only to alleged victims but to the accused as well.  It’s easy to forget, in the face of real victims with real complaints, that there have also been false accusations as well.  Processes must be put in place that distinguish true complaints from false ones.

Most important, this tragedy should not be used as an excuse to attack a large and revered institution that does much good throughout the world.  Blame must be placed with precision and praise should be given with precision as well.  The eleventh Commandment, Thou Shalt Not Stereotype, must never be forgotten.

SOURCE: FRONT PAGE MAGAZINE

END OF POST

Waking up to Good Friday — Boston Cardinal O’Malley’s need for guidance on pro-abort Catholic politicians reception of holy communion

 “We have not had the kind of clear response that we need…”

Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston     

Vice President Joseph Biden (L), Sen. Paul G. Kirk Jr. (D-MA), Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) (2nd-R) and Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  

EDITOR NOTE: I woke up to the following angry e-mail on this first Friday of Lent:      

Since when has Cardinal O’Malley been concerned about Catholic politicians who support the killing of unborn children not being allowed to receive Communion? He even gave Ted Kennedy a saint’s send off, as he presided over his funeral services. Kennedy, a man who not only supported the killing of unborn children, but even while they were being born — the barbaric and excruciating painful partial-birth abortion.     

If that wasn’t enough, you have Kennedy’s support of homosexuality. Two of the greatest sins in the Bible are killing and homosexuality and Kennedy supported both of them.     

O’Malley wrote in a blog that he disagreed “in the strongest terms” with those who argued that Kennedy did not deserve a Catholic funeral, and he said such critics do “irreparable damage to the communion of the Church.”     

No, O’Malley, it is YOU who have done irreparable damage to the communion of the Church. You claim that Canon Law is not clear in denying Communion to Catholic pro-abortion politicians.     

I don’t know how it can be any clearer: Canon 915 of the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law states, in part: “Those…who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Communion.”     

Is not supporting killing a grave sin? I guess not, to O’Malley.   

***     

Let’s simplify with some questions: On January 2, 1960, John F. Kennedy officially declared his intent to seek the Democratic nomination for Presidency of the United States of America; if at that time he declared to do so on a plank supporting homosexuality and the killing of unborn children, including those being born, would he have:     

1. Won the Democratic nomination?     

2. Become President?     

3. Been allowed by his bishop to receive Holy Communion if found obstinate in promotion of such grave moral sin?     

So, what has changed?   

For Cardinal O’Malley to claim confusion in this matter is something akin to Moses retracing his steps back up Mt. Horeb in order to re-confirm with the All-Holy God on the religious and moral imperative to follow the 5th Commandment… 

Geth·sem·a·ne (gěth-sěm’ə-nē) Meaning:  Oil press.   

A poem for the sleeping…    

  

Down shadowy lanes, across strange streams  

Bridged over by our broken dreams;  

Behind the misty caps of years,  

Beyond the great salt font of tears,  

The garden lies. Strive as you may,  

You cannot miss it on your way.  

All paths that have been or shall be,  

Pass somewhere through Gethsemane.  

All those who journey, soon or late,  

Must pass within the garden’s gate;  

Must kneel alone in darkness there,  

And battle with some fierce despair.  

God pity those who cannot say,  

“Not mine but thine,” who only pray,  

“Let this cup pass,” and cannot see  

The purpose of Gethsemane.  

—Ella Wheeler Wilcox  

This story from Peter J. Smith at Life Site News explains the holy anger on this first Good Friday of Lent…   

WASHINGTON, DC, February 17, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The best way for the Church to ensure pro-abortion Catholic politicians do not receive Communion would be through a change in the Church’s Canon Law, or an official directive from the Pope himself, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston told LifeSiteNews.com.      

LifeSiteNews.com caught up with O’Malley in Washington, DC last month, where he was among the concelebrating bishops for the Vigil Mass for Life at the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. LSN asked O’Malley what he considered the appropriate pastoral response to pro-abortion politicians receiving Communion.       

“Well, I think that the only way that that solution [denying communion] should be invoked is if there were a large catechesis or if it was universal for the whole church,” the cardinal responded. “You can’t have people doing things in one parish and another, you would only divide the Church hopelessly.”       

(To view the full LSN interview transcript with Cardinal O’Malley, click here)       

For several years, the US Catholic Bishops have actively engaged the problem of how to correct the scandal of pro-abortion politicians receiving Holy Communion – but developed no consensus on a uniform pastoral approach. Many orthodox Catholics continue to protest against pro-abortion politicians presenting themselves to receive the Church’s holiest sacrament, yet the practice is widespread.       

O’Malley said an official papal directive or change in Canon Law would be “the only way it is really going to work.”       

“That would be helpful if they did it,” he continued. “But if it is not done – to make it look like it’s an individual bishop sparring with the people of particular parties is only going to divide the Church in a very terrible way. Then you’ll have some priest who will obey and others who won’t, other divisions of the Church, more scandal, and undermining the authority of the bishops.”       

O’Malley revealed that he had been concerned about the issue for a long time, and asked Pope John Paul II for guidance when the pontiff was soliciting input from bishops for his pro-life encyclical Evangelium Vitae.       

“I wrote to him and asked him to please give us very clear direction on how to deal with politicians who will be pro-abortion and will be Catholic,” related O’Malley.       

“We have not had the kind of clear response that we need.”       

However, it seems the Vatican has already attempted to give the US bishops guidance on how to deal with the issue, through a 2004 letter from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – now Pope Benedict XVI – entitled “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion: General Principles.”       

The memo states that, once persistently pro-abortion Catholic politicians had been warned by their respective bishops not to approach the altar, they “must” be denied Communion.       

Unfortunately, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) never received the letter as Ratzinger intended. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, chairman of the USCCB task force on the issue, only referenced the document as an afterthought in his 12-page report to that committee.       

Later – in what may have been a Vatican end-run around McCarrick – Ratzinger’s letter hit international headlines after being leaked to Roman media.       

In the end, the US Bishops task force put out more generalized guidelines in the document “Catholics in Political Life,” which leaves the appropriate pastoral response towards pro-abortion politicians – including denial of Communion – to the prudential judgment of the individual bishop. Ratzinger would later affirm to the USCCB that the document was “very much in harmony” with his general principles.       

(To view the full LSN interview transcript with Cardinal O’Malley, click here)     

POEM CREDIT: LIVING SACRIFICE BLOG  

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