Thursday, January 25, 2024

No Evidence John Corapi Returned to a Monastery

Back in 2015, we wrote a post about the claims presented by amateur journalist Matt Abbot. Abbot has claimed for over a decade that former priest Mr. John Corapi was returning to ministry. Despite his claims, nothing happened. 

 His articles made bare assertions without evidence. He relied on anonymous sources to push his claims. In our post, we showed evidence of why it was doubtful that Corapi would return to ministry. We presented the accusations presented against him by women and his religious institution. 

However, the nail in the coffin, so to speak, was the professional LinkedIn page we presented that was created by John Corapi. A few fanatics of Corapi attacked us claiming the page was fabricated, but any intelligent person would see that the credentials posted there could only have been known by Corapi himself. Moreover, the private photos of him could only have come from him. There was no other source for them online. 

You can see our post here: https://www.sacerdotus.com/2015/11/john-corapi-is-back-returned-to-faith.html. Abbot is now at it again making a new claim. He writes in a new article that Catholic lay evangelist, Jesse Romero told him that Corapi returned to his religious community and is now living a life as a monk via penance. As with previous claims, no evidence was provided. We are left to believe Romero and Abbot at their word (see: A friend of Corapi speaks (renewamerica.com)).  For the rational person, this is simply not enough. 

As our previous post shows, Corapi was accused of serious things. He was sexting, having a sexual affair with a woman, using drugs, and living a life contrary to his vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. He refused to return to the religious institution that had been there for him and allowed him to become the great preacher he was. Once again, Corapi was facing serious charges which were substantiated with hard evidence. In light of this, there is no way the Church via a diocese or order would take him back. 

It is extremely rare for the Church to bring back a wayward cleric or cleric who was laicized. The Catholic Church is an institution that is concerned heavily with optics and has a deep interest in controlling finances. This is why many dioceses or orders discriminate against people with disabilities, of age, and of social class when they claim to have a vocation to the priesthood, diaconate or religious life. These people are often rejected on the grounds that they are a financial burden for the diocese or order. There are just some of the canons in Canon law about wayward clerics for you to get the idea of how seriously the Church takes abuse of the priesthood: 

 TITLE V. OFFENCES AGAINST SPECIAL OBLIGATIONS (Cann. 1392 - 1396) 

  • Can. 1392— A cleric who voluntarily and unlawfully abandons the sacred ministry, for six months continuously, with the intention of withdrawing himself from the competent Church authority, is to be punished, according to the gravity of the offence, with suspension or additionally with the penalties established in can. 1336 §§ 2-4, and in the more serious cases may be dismissed from the clerical state. 
  • Can. 1393 — § 1. A cleric or religious who engages in trading or business contrary to the provisions of the canons is to be punished with the penalties mentioned in can. 1336 §§ 2-4, according to the gravity of the offence. § 2. A cleric or religious who, apart from the cases already foreseen by the law, commits an offence in a financial matter, or gravely violates the stipulations contained in can. 285 § 4, is to be punished with the penalties mentioned in can. 1336 §§ 2-4, without prejudice to the obligation of repairing the harm. 
  • Can. 1394— § 1. A cleric who attempts marriage, even if only civilly, incurs a latae sententiae suspension, without prejudice to the provisions of can. 194 § 1 n. 3, and 694 § 1 n. 2. If, after warning, he has not reformed or continues to give scandal, he must be progressively punished by deprivations, or even by dismissal from the clerical state. § 2. Without prejudice to the provisions of can. 694 § 1 n. 2, a religious in perpetual vows who is not a cleric but who attempts marriage, even if only civilly, incurs a latae sententiae interdict. 
  • Can. 1395— § 1. A cleric living in concubinage, other than in the case mentioned in can. 1394, and a cleric who continues in some other external sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue which causes scandal, is to be punished with suspension. To this, other penalties can progressively be added if after a warning he persists in the offence, until eventually he can be dismissed from the clerical state. § 2. A cleric who has offended in other ways against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue, if the offence was committed in public, is to be punished with just penalties, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state if the case so warrants. § 3. A cleric who by force, threats or abuse of his authority commits an offence against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue or forces someone to perform or submit to sexual acts is to be punished with the same penalty as in § 2. 
  • Can. 1396— A person who gravely violates the obligation of residence to which he is bound by reason of an ecclesiastical office is to be punished with a just penalty, not excluding, after a warning, deprivation of the office. 


  • Source: https://www.vatican.va/archive/cod-iuris-canonici/eng/documents/cic_lib6-cann1364-1399_en.html#OFFENCES_AGAINST_CHURCH_AUTHORITIES__ 

So as you can read here, Canon Law is serious about priests committing offenses and disrespecting the office of the priesthood. That being stated, there is no way the SOLT congregation or any diocese would take Corapi back after all he did. As we have seen with priests who have abused children, especially McCarrick, the former cardinal, these former clerics are stripped of everything and practically shunned. Many times the idea of mercy gets lost in this where sinners and criminals are just thrown out like trash. This is the unfortunate truth. What are we to make of Corapi? 

Well, because neither Romero nor Abbot have backed up their claims we need to go to the actual evidence. First, we see the LinkedIn page by John Corapi shows the best evidence that he has not returned to the Church. As stated before, some have claimed the profile is fake. But let us examine the facts. Corapi was quick to sue people for defamation, yet nothing has been done against this profile on LinkedIn. If this profile is false, Corapi would have gone after it by having it removed, yet it is still up. Corapi definitely has the money to hire lawyers to sue or get the profile removed, yet it is still active. We can surmise that this page is in fact authentic and belongs to him. Moreover, all over the internet, we can see property records and addresses in Montana linked to John Corapi. Here are some examples:

    On Patrick Madrid's website, a commentator wrote this: 
    John2 says: March 26, 2011 at 6:51 pm Poor people of America ! Cast your so deeply embedded naivete aside ! Though your collective naivete is pitiable, it borders on folly, and thus unpardonable. The posts on this and other sites reporting this story are truly frightening. They go to the very heart of what is wrong with the church in America. Any independent observer, upon reading the comments here, or upon visiting the man’s website, will immediately be struck by the combination of: 1. an unhealthy cult of the individual the man has cultivated amongst his naive followers, combined with 2. naked self-promotion, buttressed by the powerful marketing machinery behind the Corapi “brand” (i.e. Santa Cruz media) 3. A murky “credibility” which has been established by his “touching” story of personal “conversion”. How so many of you fail to see the evident and deeply-rooted character flaws of the man, how you blindly place so much trust in “servants of God” who so evidently use the gospel as a vehicle for personal advancement and enrichment is incomprehensible. One needs but visit the man’s website, look at his videos and “products” to see that he is a shameless self-promoter, a peddler of cheap and poor taste spiritual wares, all designed for vainglorious and economic puposes, though wrapped in a cute little spiritual wrapper, which sadly, albeit predictably, the vast majority of Americans fail to see through. One need only watch his videos to shudder at the strange voice, the brazen self-confidence, the evident lack of prayer life and absence of holiness that are so immediately apparent. How so many of you fail to see this is beyond me. People, I make an appeal to you: read the statement by a certain Bobbi Ruffato, Vice President of Santa Cruz Media, Fr Corapi’s marketing engine, and see therein the number of red flags, which should alarm you. Do not be like the SEC which was blind to all the red flags surrounding Madoff ! Mr Ruffato writes: 1. “We are a secular corporation and not affiliated with the Catholic Church in any way. As such, we are not under the jurisdiction of any bishop or other official in the Catholic Church.” FASCINATING ! Let’s pick this statement apart, dear people. So the marketing engine of a Roman Catholic priest’s cheap spiritual wares is a “secular corporation” which is not affiliated with the Catholic Church in any way? Since when has the Church’s message, her truth and her ministry been funnelled through “secular corporations”? People, does that not strike you as odd? Does it not equally strike you as odd that the Vice President of this “secular corporation” deems it within his remit to criticise the procedures of the church – as the corporation is not deemed to be an organ of the church – and mix into a letter of legalese some vague statements which have spiritual connotations, like signing off “yours sincerely in Christ”, even though Santa Cruz Media has no affiliation with the Catholic Church? Finally, are you people not alarmed by the fact that the marketing engine of this “priest” claims it does not come “under the jurisdiction of any bishop or other official in the Catholic Church”? Is it not deeply frightening that the way a “priest” should “evangelise” his people is through the medium of a “secular organisation” which claims to be free of any ecclesiastical authority, in other words, giving the charlatan total free reign? Poor people of America ! When will you understand that ANY priest who draws attention to himself (Fr Corapi being a prime example), and who makes a cult figure of himself, is, in all likelihood, a fraud, a charlatan, and an instrument of Satan? 2. According to the Montana Electoral Commission, John Corapi is listed as CEO of Santa Cruz Media, Inc, a company incorporated in Nevada (where Fr Corapi used to have business interests) but with its primary address in Montana (where Fr Corapi is known to live), with John Corapi being listed as Agent for Santa Cruz Media, Inc, with a registered address in Whitefish, Montana. Property tax records also show that Fr Corapi owns numerous real estate properties in addition to Santa Cruz Media Inc., including a $70,000 dock at Eagle Bend Yacht Harbor, a large 10 acre home, several Tamarack Center Condos. 

This Facebook page lists several properties as belonging to Corapi:




   

This Public Record site lists this address for John Corapi: 




The property is shown on Realtor, see https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/555-Walker-Meadow-Rd_Whitefish_MT_59937_M77123-87072?fbclid=IwAR2hbo8Hrh6AHcQXlt4KH9tqMsueb2QKbwubSfE3pxpvLe7ha9tVrg0I59o#photo0

    * Note that the photos of the inside of the home show taxidermy items. Corapi was known to be a hunter and there are photos of him with taxidermy displays on walls in those photos. See here:








This property is also linked to Corapi (https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/270-Browns-Meadow-Rd_Kila_MT_59920_M70419-72766?fbclid=IwAR1Bty9G51k47ALgyP_ZmkWmbkhHZYdG7RM5vo35HdG8mcFsY-lmii5k-jo#photo39). 

Another Public Record site shows it linked to Corapi: 




Locate People, another public record site shows this information: 


Fast People Search, a public records site shows this information for Corapi:




It seems John Corapi may be living in Colorado now. An address with his details links him to this state as well as his voter registration record.  He is listed as a voting Republican, see:







There is much more you reading this can learn just by using Google or any other search engine. It is not difficult to do. We are not sure why Matt Abbot did not bother to do some actual journalism. As for Jesse Romero, again, he never provided evidence. He claims to be friends with Corapi, but what proof do we have? He never showed text messages, letters, emails or anything corroborating his claims. Moreover, why is he only saying this update about Corapi now and not a decade ago? When Corapi disappeared, why did Romero not give an update back then being his friend? Why is he saying something only now?  Things do not add up. 

Logically speaking, we can dismiss his claims. The absence of evidence is evidence of absence. There is no reason to believe the claims made by Romero and Abbot. 

  1. The claims are bare assertions
  2. No evidence was presented
  3. Canon Law does not allow for wayward priests to go in and out of the priesthood/religious life
  4. Corapi amasses a lot of wealth due to a lawsuit and his earnings as a preacher, why do property and tax records have him linked to properties?  A religious cannot own property.
  5. The SOLT congregation has made no announcement
  6. Why is Jesse Romero giving updates a decade later and never spoke up for his friend back in 2011 to update Corapi's fans? Remember, Corapi came out as the "Black Sheep Dog" claiming his innocence. Why did not Jesse Romero back up his friend by giving updates on how Corapi was doing a decade ago?  Why now?
  7. Matt Abbot presents claims but provides no evidence. This is bad journalism
  8. EWTN, Church Militant, and other Catholic outlets did not even bother to report on this.  We can assume they did not because the claims are false.

As you can see, things do not add up. The claims are not supported by evidence. The logic is not there.  We can easily dismiss them as fabrications based on the evidence and reason.  

Corapi was a famous priest; a celebrity priest. Perhaps Abbot and Romero are using this for their own gain. We must rely on evidence and reason, not bare assertions made by two laymen who offer nothing but their word.  "Take my word for it" is just not going to work. It is not feasible.  

Unfortunately, there are fans of Corapi out there who behave like cult members. They will insist that Corapi is still a priest and will attack those who tell the truth about him, his accusations, and his status as shown by property, public, and tax records.

We at Sacerdotus have been targeted by these cultists a few times on social media.  Nevertheless, we will be on the side of evidence, reason, and truth.  

We pray and hope Mr. John Corapi is doing well and hopefully repented.  His spiritual, mental, and physical well-being is our concern and should be the concern of others.  He has helped many Catholics come to the faith with his firebrand preaching and down-to-earth analogies.  We all sin and make mistakes. He should not be held to account any differently just because he was a priest.  He deserves mercy and redemption as well.  

Our invitation still stands for him to contact us, be a guest blogger to share his side via a post, or join us on Sacerdotus Radio to share his side of the story vocally.  


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