The man formerly known as “Father John Corapi” was known for being a bit dramatic. His voice and even sometimes what he said has always been a bit suspect to me. But, because he was preaching orthodox Catholicism and had a profound, positive impact on those who listened to him, I just passed it off.
In a move that surprised even Corapi’s opponents, who are mostly liberal “Catholycs,” Corapi announced via his website and YouTube video (see below) that he would no longer be refered to as “Father” John Corapi. (I need to preface this next statement by clarifying that I am NOT kidding.) Corapi now wants to be referred to as “The Black Sheep Dog” John Corapi.
Mark Shea, Catholic writer and blogger, said, “John Corapi sets world record for most passive-aggressive manipulative self-aggrandizement ever squeezed into 8 and a half minutes.” He also called Corapi’s followers “suckers.” He later apologized for “loosing his temper” in his comments.
Shea has a point, though. Corapi let the investigation go on for all of about 4 months before calling it quits to his priestly vows. Not only does it make him look as guilty as O.J., but it also makes him look as though he is using this opportunity to sell more product and make more money (the first post on his new website was about a sale in honor of his ordination anniversary).
The video post of Corapi’s self-pitying groaning has almost 70,000 views just two days after it was posted. But the negative response to his bizarre action is going viral at a much greater rate. Even the comments on the video are not supportive.
People are confused about a number of things:
1. Why quite so early? It makes him look guilty and flippant with his role as a priest, and like he is desperate clinging to his role as a wealthy speaker.
2. Why treat your accuser like dirt, then wish them well? He isn’t consistent about what he thinks of the accuser. At the very least, you can say that he failed in his pastoral duties to those who follow him, and to the accuser.
3. Why go so hard after the Bishop leading the investigation? The Church is criticized for not taking such accusations seriously enough. Corapi turns around and spits in the face of that sensitivity. He also makes statements that the Bishop cannot. During such investigations Bishops and those conducting the investigation have to remain tight-lipped the entire time. Only after all of the proceedings (which can take years) can the public be made aware of some of the information. That is done, in part, to protect the priest from having information released that he cannot defend first.
The last, bizarre aspect of his video, is the new name he has chosen. The Black Sheep Dog? Really, John? You expect Catholics to take you seriously with a name like that? A name like that makes the accusation that he is a drug user again all the more likely. Only a person in a distorted state of mind would think that going from a respected Catholic priest to a black sheep dog would be a smooth move. Again, the viral backlash has been more powerful than his statements–which is unusual for this former heavyweight in Catholic apologetics.
What do you think? Was this a smart move for “The Black Sheep Dog?”
If you want to watch the video I’m talking about, check it out: