The official SOLT Press Release is finally posted. Things look pretty bad for John Corapi.

Excerpt from the official SOLT press release:

SOLT’s fact-finding team has acquired information from Fr. Corapi’s e-mails, various witnesses, and public sources that, together, state that, during his years of public ministry:

He did have sexual relations and years of cohabitation (in California and Montana) with a woman known to him, when the relationship began, as a prostitute; He repeatedly abused alcohol and drugs; He has recently engaged in sexting activity with one or more women in Montana; He holds legal title to over $1 million in real estate, numerous luxury vehicles, motorcycles, an ATV, a boat dock, and several motor boats, which is a serious violation of his promise of poverty as a perpetually professed member of the Society.

SOLT has contemporaneously with the issuance of this press release directed Fr. John Corapi, under obedience, to return home to the Society’s regional office and take up residence there. It has also ordered him, again under obedience, to dismiss the lawsuit he has filed against his accuser.

SOLT’s prior direction to Fr. John Corapi not to engage in any preaching or teaching, the celebration of the sacraments or other public ministry continues. Catholics should understand that SOLT does not consider Fr. John Corapi as fit for ministry.

More details about Father Corapi’s relationship with his religious order

The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity is in the spotlight, following the allegations of misconduct against one of its members, Father John Corapi. The Register spoke with Father Gerard Sheehan, regional priest servant, based in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, to learn more about the charism of the order and its rules for members.

Read the article

More on this from the National Catholic Register

The politics behind the Father Corapi affair

WANTED: Two disinterested priest/investigators

By Doug Lawrence

There seems to be an ongoing dispute over precisely who exercises the ultimate “canonical authority” over Father John Corapi and his chosen religious order, the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT).

The statement of Santa Cruz Media appears to place the responsibility on Bishop William Mulvey of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, while Father Gerard Sheehan, the regional head of Father Corapi’s religious order, invites us to infer that the decisions are all his.

Anyone who is familiar with standard church procedure will tell you that the local bishop is always fully engaged in high profile matters of this type, and while religious orders are typically granted wide latitude to run their communities, they nearly always defer to the authority of the local bishop.

So it seems pretty clear that Father Corapi’s people already know who’s really in charge … no matter what the “official line” might be.

Meanwhile, we are advised that, for a number of reasons, the investigation is on hold, while the diocese searches for two properly qualified and appropriately disinterested priests, from outside the order, to head it up.

Nothing has been revealed about Bishop Mulvey’s personal impression of Father Corapi, his work, or his particular lifestyle, but it’s not hard to infer from the Santa Cruz Media statement, that the Corapi camp is worried. And they should be, since (as far as I can determine) no other modern day Catholic priest (anywhere) has ever been granted Father Corapi’s particular level of personal and financial autonomy.

The worst thing that could happen is a long, drawn out investigation, followed by an extended bout of canonical “rope-a-dope” between the diocese and the religious order, followed either by official sanctions … or a significant “reigning in” … for the good of the priesthood … of Father Corapi’s various activities.

This could easily take a number of years to play out … and no matter how things are finally resolved … it’s not likely to be pretty.

But miracles do happen. I’m reminded of an even more serious personal allegation made against the late Joseph Cardinal Bernadin, which the accuser eventually retracted, leaving the good Cardinal fully in the clear. Fortuitously, the Cardinal had substantial financial resources at his disposal … as does Father Corapi.

Thinking of  Cardinals … maybe we can bring Cardinal Bernard Law back from his cushy post in Italy … and perhaps we can bring Archbishop Rembert Weakland back from his comfortable retirement … to lead the investigation?

In short, no matter what the outcome, Father Corapi is in a very tough spot. This has already been a life-changing event for him … with many more changes likely to come … and he’s going to need all the prayers and support we can give him.