Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fr. Corapi Acts Unfatherly This Fathers' Day Weekend

At first I wasn't sure what to make of this announcement. That lasted about five seconds. Since the news of the accusations against Fr. Corapi surfaced and his ensuing suspension, like some others, I adopted a wait and see attitude, not wanting to root for the accuser, or the accused, to be guilty of grave sin, or in need of significant psychological help.

Now we have the news that Fr. Corapi is leaving the priesthood. While I can accept easily that in the wake of the priest sex abuse scandal, the field may have tilted too far against the accused, as he suggests. But I fail to see how this action is the proper response for anyone, much less a priest, who loves the Church. I am not alone. He created a false dichotomy and made a choice. I would have preferred he had taken a different course.

That within only three months he is abandoning the priesthood, has an autobiography ready to be published, and is launching a global new media presence, is most curious, to put it kindly. It almost seems orchestrated. But that would uncharitable. I will just wait and see on this one, too.

Nevertheless, today is Trinity Sunday and Fathers' Day. All across the land there were homilies describing how the Holy Trinity is a fancy description of how God is Love (thank you, Mr. Chesterton) and in that, we, particularly fathers, can find an example for how to live. Today's Gospel reminds us that God so loved the world he gave his only Son. Likewise, we fathers, need to be prepared to give of ourselves. To be for our wives; to be for our children.

And if we find that difficult to picture, we can always turn to the saints for an example. One such example, of course is Padre St. Pio. But instead today we have an example for how fathers ought not to act in the public persona of Fr. Corapi (I'm adopting the "once a priest, always a priest" stance). Perhaps this is a case of the Lord moving in mysterious ways.

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