Latest gossip on the Father Corapi affair

A  blog for Dallas Area Catholics reports: I got the following update last night from a Montana resident who claims to be in the know.  They say Fr. Corapi lives in a gated community in Whitefish, Montana, on Whitefish Lake.  He is seen about riding his Harley.  He never wears clerics or any religious garb.  He is not known to be active in any parish.

Editor’s note: The balance of the post, as well as the various reader responses, shed little or no more light on the subject, which is still an emotional one for many, almost two years after the original incidents.

Summary of all Fr. Corapi articles posted here, to date

Summary of the current status of the Father John Corapi case

The Timeline

  1. Tamra Sexton was fired in September 2009, for cause. This is known because of the court filing in Montana by Corapi, made public on the blog of Jimmy Akin, reporter for the National Catholic Register, earlier this summer.
  2. Her husband, Matt Sprinkle, had his contract with Santa Cruz Media terminated in the middle of 2010, which is also in the court filing.
  3. Corapi also initiated foreclosure proceedings on a home and property occupied by Tamra and Matt in 2010, near Corapi’s own home in Kalispell, Montana.  There is a pregnant pause between mid 2010 and early 2011, then:
  4. Accusations were made by Tamra Sexton Sprinkle on or about Ash Wednesday, 2011.
  5. SOLT made the allegations public, along with declaring that Corapi was being put on administrative leave.
  6. Corapi issued a statement stating he doesn’t like the canonical proceedings, but will cooperate.
  7. SOLT assembled a three person “fact finding” team to investigate Tamra’s allegations.
  8. Bishop Rene Gracida, retired bishop of Corpus Christi, and Father Flannagan, founder of Corapi’s society SOLT, contacted Corapi to inform him that the current process of suspension was usually not just in the Church now, and that he would be better served by pursuing a civil case.
  9. Corapi and Santa Cruz Media files the civil suit.
  10. Fr. Sheehan of SOLT states publicly that the canonical process has stopped because of the civil lawsuit. We will find out that in private, however, the investigation went on.
  11. Corapi resigned from public ministry, stopped referring to himself as “Father,” adopted the name he gave himself for his autobiography – the Black Sheepdog – and also resigned from SOLT on or about June 17, 2011.
  12. Fr. Sheehan of SOLT shortly thereafter acknowledged Corapi’s resignation and SOLT will work with him in his time of transition.
  13. Not a mere three weeks later, on July 5, 2011, SOLT issued a letter, unsigned by Father Sheehan and apparently written by someone else, since it refers to Fr. Sheehan in the third person. It stated that all of the allegations made by Tamra Sexton are true. SOLT warns the faithful not to associate with Corapi. It then, strangely, orders Corapi to stop foreclosure proceedings against Tamra Sexton, drop his lawsuit against her, and lastly orders him to return to community in Corpus Christi.
  14. Corapi did not comply.

Link

Official Statements Regarding the Current Status of Father John Corapi

Statement from Rev. Gerald Sheehan, Regional Priest Servant

Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity

18 March 2011

Today, as Regional Priest Servant for the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, I have the unhappy responsibility to announce that Father John Corapi, SOLT has been placed on administrative leave from priestly ministry, in accordance to the Code of Cannon Law of the Catholic Church.  We have received an allegation that Father Corapi has behaved in a manner unbecoming of a priest and are duty-bound to conduct an investigation in this accusation.

It is important to keep in mind that this action in no way implies Father Corapi is guilty of the allegation.  It is equally important to know that, based on the information we have received thus far, the claim of misconduct does not involve minors and does not arise to the of criminal conduct.  Consequently, this matter will be investigated internally, and unless and until information suggests otherwise it will not be referred to civil authorities.  In the event that we learn of any occasion where the criminal civil law may have been breached we will immediately refer the matter to civil authorities.

Statement of Bishop George Leo Thomas, the bishop of the Diocese of Helena

“It is important to accord Father Corapi the principles of due process, including the assumption of innocence, until a full investigation is carried out by his superiors. More importantly, I appeal for prayers on behalf of everyone involved in this very complex situation.” Father Corapi has a personal residence in Kalispell, Mont. He does not hold priestly faculties in the Diocese of Helena, said Diocese of Helena Chancellor Father John Robertson.

Thanks to Pat Archbold, NCR