July 7, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In response to an explosive statement released by his religious order this week, accusing Fr. John Corapi of sexual impropriety, drug and alcohol abuse, and improper financial practices, Corapi has now released a statement denying most of the allegations.
In their statement, signed by Rev. Gerard Sheehan*, the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) had said that they had formed a team of three investigators who found evidence that Corapi was guilty of “years of cohabitation” with a former prostitute, repeated drug and alcohol abuse, “sexting,” and amassing a large amount of real estate, luxury vehicles, and other expensive commodities.
SOLT said that their evidence came from “e-mails, various witnesses, and public sources.”
Prior to Corapi’s sudden exit from public ministry, he was much beloved for his persuasive style of preaching and doctrinal orthodoxy, particularly on matters of life and the family.
Corapi was suspended from public ministry in March, after a former employee sent a letter to his bishop outlining multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and substance abuse. The priest has strenuously denied the allegations.
Read Corapi’s complete statement below. Read the full statement from Corapi’s religious order, SOLT, here.
I am going to answer in a simple, straight forward way what seem to me the main elements of the action taken against me by the Diocese of Corpus Christi and the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity.
Regarding my personal financial situation—From the earliest days (more than twenty years ago) the Founder of the Society of Our Lady, Fr. James Flanagan, encouraged me to support myself and the Church as well. He said they could not afford to support my ministry and me personally because of the unique nature of the mission. At every step of the way, through the entire past twenty years, the Society of Our Lady’s leadership knew of my financial independence. As Fr. Flanagan encouraged, I have supported SOLT and myself from ‘day-one.‘ I have never relied on the Society for shelter, clothing, transportation, medical care, or legal counsel and instead, using my history of success in business, set up my mission as any savvy business man would, meanwhile continuing to support the Society and many other Catholic Charities.
Regarding the charge of sexual impropriety—This song of greed has been sung many times before. I have never had any promiscuous or even inappropriate relations with her. Never.
Regarding the investigation—As standard practice, my legal counsel advised me not to cooperate with the investigation until I was able to determine that the Commission’s process was fair and I had adequate rights to defend myself. Questions that certainly qualify the validity of any legal case have never been answered by the so called “fact finding team.” They refuse to reveal, and therefore utilize, any of the so-called evidence perhaps because if ‘the bad guy’ were truly revealed it may be revealed that he is really not that bad. Clearly, as my legal counsel has portrayed, the evidence supplied by the accused (of which my counsel is not permitted access to) must not have any substance.
Regarding ‘hush money’—I never paid anybody off to remain silent. On two occasions there were standard severance agreements executed with former employees and independent contractors. These agreements contained very common non-disclosure provisions. Any attorney who would not include such provisions in such agreements would rightly be guilty of negligent and actionable conduct.
Regarding my resignation—I resigned because the process used by the Church is grossly unjust, and, hence, immoral. I resigned because I had no chance from the beginning of a fair and just hearing. As I have indicated from the beginning of all this, I am not extinguished! If I were to commit to the suggestion of the Society, then I would essentially crawl under a rock and wait to die. However, I can not deny this desire to share aspects of Truth and Hope with all those willing to hear. This is what I shall continue to fight for! Many are not going to appreciate this decision, and I respect that. For those who can accept it, onward!
*This article originally stated that the SOLT press release was signed by Fr. James Flanagan. This was incorrect. It was signed by Rev. Gerard Sheehan. We apologize for the error.