Sunday, 10 July 2011

Corapi and Catholic tribalism

I saw this at Mark Sheas blog.
I think the response, at least initially, to Fr Corapi's fall from grace, did highlight a double standard amongst many conservative, orthodox catholic bloggers who had seen Corapi as one of their own.

When he was first suspended a comment I left on a blog was deleted because it was thought that it "may cause scandal",or "detraction"or words to that effect.
The blogger was convinced of his innocence and was also upset that EWTN had dropped him.
My offending comment expressed the view that when a priest dyes his beard and talks about his female personal trainer something is very wrong. Those two things were massive red flags for me.
They were also very public, Fr Corapi wasn't hiding his new black beard, and he openly spoke about his personal trainer.
I also got an anonymous comment telling me to "go to hell" after I had left a similar comment somewhere else.

Michael Voris of thevortexwhereliesandfalsehoodsaretrappedandexposed excoriated , the nasty uncharitable bloggers who had been critical of Corapis disobedience to his superiors. 
And this is the same Michael Voris of thevortexwhereliesandfalsehoodsaretrappedandexposed who routinely criticises bishops for not being obedient to their superior in Rome ( that would be the Pope).
I think the bloggers Voris was denouncing were, in fact, attempting to alert the "Corapians" to the  danger of following him over the edge of a cliff.

Some Catholic blogs seem to find their raison d'etre in Bishop bashing and in fault finding and heterodoxy hunting.
And yet Corapi got a pass, even when his behaviour was getting stranger and stranger and the warning klaxons were going off so loud you could barely hear what he was that melodramatic, manly man stage voice of his.
And yesterday he showed up in a  Harley Davidson leather jacket that screamed "male menopause", and a ridiculous dyed black merkin on his chin, and announced his next big idea for fleecing his sheep.
There's a fire sale at his old Fr Corapi website where you can bag your bargains quick, because when they're gone they're gone.
Oh and there's an autobiography in the works.
And his new website is branded with a dark demonic looking  creature that is  meant to be a black sheepdog, but is in fact a wolf, with an image of lambs reflected in one eye.
I think that says it all.

And so the metamorphosis from Fr Corapi to the grotesque Black Sheepdog  appears to  be complete.
At least it's brash and not subtle.
I'm thinking that Fumare's post of last year, comparing his new look to that of Anton LaVey was closer to the mark than any of us knew.


  1. Clare, as you know, I was the blogger who deleted your comment and it was in the very early days of the scandal when little or no real information was available. I felt it wrong to comment in any depth and from any standpoint then, especially when the comments were very personal. I do not plan to post on the issue as there is more than enough comment floating around and I still do not know what really has taken place.

    Several bloggers, at the time, were making what I deemed gratuitous remarks about his appearance without any inside knowledge.
    Of course, as a traditionalist, I am deeply upset by the whole affair as must any Catholic be (I cannot imagine anyone being pleased about his downfall).

  2. Clare, The warning bells rang for me several months ago when I heard him on one of the internet radio stations sounding very bitter about a priest who had lost his status "just because of one case of abuse he was found guilty of from twenty years ago" - it left a very nasty taste in the mouth! - the implication being that if you're a "good" priest you should be allowed to get away with abuse especially if it was "only the once"!! (This was late at night UK time, but obviously going out in the USA in the evening.)

  3. Richard

    I think the remarks about his appearance were very valid. It wasn't a trivial thing.
    I'm not sure what "inside knowledge" would ever justify or explain the need for a man in his sixties to dye his beard and his eyebrows black.
    If he was a married man I would wonder if he was having an affair.
    Ditto if he is a priest.
    For a married man, or a priest to have a female personal trainer suggests a lack of judgement. It is completely inappropriate on many levels.
    These were not matters of speculation but matters of clear fact.
    To give a priest a pass on these matters and to gloss over troubling signs because he is orthodox in his preaching is to operate a double standard.

    Say he was instead a woolly liberal lefty priest who wore a tie dyed chasuble and wrote columns for The Tablet.
    How would you feel then about his dyed black goatee and "Gina", his personal trainer?
    Not to mention his business empire which charged you to download homilies.
    All this was right out there under all our noses.
    He got a free pass and nay sayers were sushed and frowned at, because he was Fr Corapi, the conservative Catholic's champion.

  4. Epsilon
    Too right.
    And when those warning bells sound we need to pay attention.
    And btw, you still don't have a feed thingie on your blog. I can't get you in my Googlereader.