Fr. Corapi's order finds him guilty
Robstown, Texas, Jul 5, 2011 / 03:13 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Father John Corapi’s religious order has found him guilty of substance abuse, sexual activity and violating his promise of poverty.
A July 5 press release from the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) said that while Fr. Corapi was involved in public ministry he had “sexual relations and years of cohabitation with a woman known to him, when the relationship began, as a prostitute.”
The investigative team also found that he “repeatedly abused alcohol and drugs,” “recently engaged in ‘sexting’ activity with one or more women in Montana,” and holds legal title “to over $1 million in real estate, numerous luxury vehicles, motorcycles, an ATV, a boat dock, and several motor boats.”
His religious order said it is concerned “Fr. Corapi is now misleading (many) individuals through his false statements and characterizations.”
“It is for these Catholics that SOLT, by means of this announcement, seeks to set the record straight.”
A fact-finding team created by the order “acquired information from Fr. Corapi’s emails, various witnesses and public sources,” in response to a signed letter from a woman who is well known to Fr. Corapi.
The Society said in the news release that Fr. Corapi, under his vow of obedience, has been ordered to “return home to the society’s regional office and take up residence there,” and to “dismiss the lawsuit he has filed against his accuser.”
The order added that its “prior direction to Father John Corapi not to engage in any preaching or teaching, the celebration of the sacraments or other public ministry continues.”
As the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity sought to carry out its investigation into the allegations against Fr. Corapi, it found that its fact-finding team was hindered by a civil lawsuit the priest had filed and by sweeping non-disclosure agreements he had negotiated with his accuser and other witnesses.
The civil lawsuit argued that his principal accuser had committed slander and breach of contract.
Fr. Corapi refused to dismiss the lawsuit and the team discovered many other contracts that prevented “key witnesses” from speaking.
“Many of these witnesses likely had key information about the accusations being investigated and declined to answer questions and provide documents,” the order said.
The fact-finding team was composed of a priest-canonist, a psychiatrist and a lawyer, two of whom were members of religious orders and one a lay Catholic.
The statement notes that two were men and one was a woman, all with a “national reputation and substantial experience in ecclesiastical processes related to priest disciplinary issues.”
Fr. Corapi expressed his desire to leave the Society and the priesthood in a June 17 statement. He said he felt he was being “unjustly accused,” and that “(t)here are certain persons in authority in the Church that want me gone, and I shall be gone.”
Fr. Corapi has not yet been released from his vows.
“Catholics should understand that SOLT does not consider Father John Corapi as fit for ministry,” the statement concluded.