Diocese confirms Fr. Corapi ‘suspended’ pending investigation of sexual allegations
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX, March 21, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Fr. John Corapi, a much-loved priest in the pro-life movement, has reported on his official website that he has been accused of drug addiction and sexual involvement with several women. As a result of the accusation he has been placed on “administrative leave.”
“On Ash Wednesday I learned that a former employee sent a three-page letter to several bishops accusing me of everything from drug addiction to multiple sexual exploits with her and several other adult women,” Corapi said in a note on his website.
“All of the allegations in the complaint are false, and I ask you to pray for all concerned.”
LifeSiteNews (LSN) spoke with Mary Lou at the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), the order to which Fr. Corapi belongs. She confirmed that Fr. Corapi was suspended in consultation with Corpus Christi Bishop Michael Mulvey and requested prayers of the faithful for the situation.
Marty Wind, communications director for the diocese of Corpus Christi, told LSN that Fr. Corapi is not a priest of the diocese and that thus SOLT is carrying out the investigation. Wind stressed, “Fr. Corapi is innocent until proven otherwise.” The diocese, he said, is also encouraging prayers for Fr. Corapi as the investigation proceeds.
SOLT superior Fr. Gerald Sheehan is to arrive at their headquarters in Texas later this week.
As a young man Fr. Corapi lived a life of addiction, sexual immorality, and went from riches to rags. His radical conversion to faith in Christ brought him freedom from his vices and his example and preaching have led thousands to follow his road to recovery. His straight-talking and powerful presentations on the truths of life, family, faith and culture have endeared him to pro-life and pro-family activists regardless of religious denomination.
In the note on his website, Fr. Corapi also took issue with the Church’s process for responding to allegations of misconduct, which he said amounts to an assumption of guilt until proven innocent.
The following is the full text of the note:
A Call for Prayer
On Ash Wednesday I learned that a former employee sent a three-page letter to several bishops accusing me of everything from drug addiction to multiple sexual exploits with her and several other adult women. There seems to no longer be the need for a complaint to be deemed “credible” in order for Church authorities to pull the trigger on the Church’s procedure, which was in recent years crafted to respond to cases of the sexual abuse of minors. I am not accused of that, but it seems, once again, that they now don’t have to deem the complaint to be credible or not, and it is being applied broadly to respond to all complaints. I have been placed on “administrative leave” as the result of this.
I’ll certainly cooperate with the process, but personally believe that it is seriously flawed, and is tantamount to treating the priest as guilty “just in case”, then through the process determining if he is innocent. The resultant damage to the accused is immediate, irreparable, and serious, especially for someone like myself, since I am so well known. I am not alone in this assessment, as multiple canon lawyers and civil and criminal attorneys have stated publicly that the procedure does grave damage to the accused from the outset, regardless of rhetoric denying this, and has little regard for any form of meaningful due process.
All of the allegations in the complaint are false, and I ask you to pray for all concerned.