John Corapi, aka “The Black Sheep Dog”

Yesterday, a statement was released attributed to John Corapi filled with anger, hurt, woundedness and ambivalence. It essentially announced he was permanently leaving public ministry as a priest but was not “extinguished” and was going to take as his stage “the entire world.”

I feel deeply sorry for him and I fear him now. I fear he may become an instrument of division within the Church, act out his anger and ambivalence to harm the Body of Christ.

From only reading the text of the statement it strikes me of a man who has a wounded pride. He seems to be lashing out, and seeing himself in some way now as the defender of truth in the world. He doesn’t actually say that, but it leaves that impression in my mind.

I hope he has not lost his sobriety, his chastity, his love of God or of God’s holy people. I hope he continues to see in the Catholic Church the Body of Jesus. I hope he nutures her.

He ended his statement with, “John Corapi (once called “father,” now “The Black Sheep Dog”).

I hope he refrains from continuing to refer to himself as “The Black Sheep Dog.”

Read his entire statement at: Corapi.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota.
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15 Responses to John Corapi, aka “The Black Sheep Dog”

  1. Dcn Scott says:

    Bob:

    As always, I appreciate your prudent and charitable insights.

    I also like your new look very much.

    Scott

  2. cecelia says:

    Let’s not forget that the devil’s intent is to slay the priesthood. Remember no priesthood, no Eucharist, no Eucharist no Incarnate Christ in the presence of bread and wine, no true presence, no Catholic Church, no Catholic Church, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, becomes memory,open to endless interpretation, with the truth unable to be passed on from generation to generation. With that said, we Catholics have to step back and look at what Satan is doing to our priests. He’s removing the virile: Father Francis, Father Cutie, and now Father Corapi. In addition, our Church is becoming more and feminized, and the culture is becoming more and more accepting of homosexuality. In other words, men, whether they be priests or laity are under attack. Masculinity is under attack, the traditional man’s role is under attack. Satan wants masculinity to become extinct. So when we pray, we must pray for masculinity to be preserved — for our men to be men, our priest to be priest. It’s not by accident that the most masculine of priests: Cutie, Father Francis, Father Corapi are fallen away. Without the husband, the bride of Christ is weakened. Satan is clever, and Satan battles with all he has. The Church Militant must recognize the fight that we’re in–between principalities and powers. We must marshal all our resources and join with the Church Triumphant and the Church Suffering to defeat this rapacious enemy.

  3. Nan says:

    Deacon Bob,

    I share the very same fears as you! Thank you for your posting.

    Peace and prayers,
    Nan

  4. Deacon Bob says:

    Cecelia, I don’t know if I would describe it in the way you have. I don’t think, either, that what is happening with Corapi has to do with the Church “becoming more and [more] feminized.”

    I do think the traditional family structure is under attack today, especially with so many people trying to redefine marriage. But that is a whole separate issue from what is happening with John Corapi.

    I too believe that Satan has his hands in all of this, making the most of it to advance his agenda. I don’t think Corapi is evil and I don’t know if Corapi is “fallen away.” But I pray for healing in the Church, healing in Corapi’s heart, healing for all who have been a part of this sad event for so many.

  5. Michelle Rifenberg says:

    I’ve listened to Father Corapi nearly everyday for years because he was on of the few people willing to teach those things that others won’t. I don’t like the subtle implications regarding his sobriety, chastity etc. You don’t know and it is unfair to speculate or even bring it up. No one has done a better job of fearlessly teaching the truths of the Catholic Church. The lack of this kind of teaching from the pulpits in this ever increasing secular society has been one of our greatests failures.
    Fearing that his continuing to teach is somehow going to cause division is again unfair speculation. Vacuous, stitting around the fire holding hands homilies that are all too common over the last several decades haven’t been shining examples of unity either.
    This idea that we are going to always assume guilt when it comes to church men must stop.
    We need to make sure that accusation, speculation, etc. doesn’t cause paralysis. Swinging the pendulum the other way plays into the hands of the secularists and the evil one who would find great delight in preventing the truth from being heard.

  6. Deacon Bob says:

    Thanks for the post, Michelle. I want to be clear about something, though. I do not assume he is guilty of anything. I don’t think we will ever know for sure. Also, I am not saying that his preaching was divisive. It was effective preaching. I too think he spoke the truth.

    What I am saying is if he is resigning from the priesthood, and if the statement attributed to him expresses his thoughts and intentions, then I would fear if he were to present himself as representative of the Church in whatever teaching he may engage.

    Regarding mentioning sobriety and chastity, Corapi himself frequently talked about this in reference to himself for years. It isn’t a secret. I mentioned it out of concern for him and what he himself described as a terrible period of time in his life when he was caught up in all that.

  7. karen Q says:

    sometimes the most brilliant suffer the most

  8. berrien says:

    Actually this is one of the most fair-handed and decent comments on this whole business that I’ve seen this morning. The feeding frenzy is in full force. I’m not a fan of Fr. Corapi’s teaching particularly, but I’m astonished at the sheerly ravenous quality I’m seeing in the response to Corapi’s message. It’s scary out here today.

    I’m a Catholic, a convert of 25+ years. Many Catholics aren’t very nice people and that’s regrettable. Thanks for being decent.

  9. Deacon Bob says:

    Thank you for the feedback, Berrien. I am delighted that over 25 years ago you converted to the Church! I have found that some of the most faithful Catholics are adult converts.

    A diaconal blessing on you.

    Deacon Bob

  10. berrien says:

    Thank you, Deacon Bob.

  11. Leslie says:

    The “feeding frenzy” over Fr. Corapi’s announcement is understandable. His firm preaching over the years has been a refreshing reminder of robust, full-strength Catholic teaching – no punches pulled about sin, evil and also God’s grace and mercy. Heaven, hell, death and judgment are not often heard from the pulpit in American Catholic parishes these days and a lot of us enjoyed hearing from Fr. Corapi about Catholic doctrine we could put our back against. He was so clear in his talks about our responsibilities as Christians and God’s expectations of us as the Church.
    Since Fr. Corapi has such a loyal following and high media profile, I think he has a higher responsibility than your average parish priest to demonstrate loyalty and obedience to the Magisterium he embraced when he was ordained. I am sorry for this, but his announcement gives scandal and the “Black Sheepdog” iconography is creepy, dark and threatening. What is he thinking? Meanwhile, let’s pray to the Holy Spirit for Father Corapi and ourselves to sort out this confusion.

  12. Cindy Gourneau says:

    I believe Fr Corapi has been left with no other choice but to do what he is doing. His is not a sin of pride. He has taken a stand against the evil one and refuses to be kept down or cut out. As it was he couldn’t perform any priestly duties and it sounds like his case could go on for years. So he chose to fight. We should all choose to fight. Yes we must continue to pray for the church and Fr Corapi. I also find it a little bit suspicious that as a deacon you are speaking out based on your theology, etc. when in Minnesota many tabernacles of the Catholic Churches are kept out of vision of the parishoners. They are kept in adoration chapels or some other room they think is more suitable than the church where we can all gaze upon our Holy Lord in His presence in all the tabernacles of the world. And I believe this is one reason why the church is coming under so many attacks. If we find reasons to “tuck” Jesus away in a corner rather than display Him for all to gaze upon we are also tucking Jesus away in everyday life.

  13. Michael S. says:

    …..I followed Father Corapi for years, however, I’m not naive, I never attach myself to any human being to be blinded by the fact that they are human. This is fact, not an excuse and “Father” Corapi has a responsibility to God, the Church, and himself to be truthful and forthright………we’ll see what happens…….and of course pray for everyone involved in this mess !
    Yours in Christ,
    Michael S.

  14. Kim Ph says:

    God Bless Father Corapi. The Bishop tossed him out, so he can either be obedient and disappear, or keep preaching the true. Because of his preaching, I became more understand of my faith in the recent years, and brought many friends back to the church. In my 50 years living around the world, I have not seen any priest had that kind of fire in them to bring the loss souls back to God like father Corapi. Only if we have a few priests like him, I can only imagine how strong the church will be. Because of him, my husband I started to say rosary and pray together everyday. I have many priest and monk friends, so I understand the obedient vow. It looks to me that father Corapi just obeying the bishop to not doing his priest duty. What a treasure the church loss from letting him go.

  15. Marilyn Peterson says:

    Father Corapi’s bold,no-nonsense preaching brought me back into the Catholic Church that I had left for over 20 years. I am looking forward to hearing his future preaching particularly addressing the mess this country is in. I agree with Michelle – we are not hearing strong and challenging sermons from our pulpits – and seldom hear the call for Catholics to “learn their faith” . I am most thankful for Catholic radio and tv programs where I am continually able to learn this faith. Yet, when are these programs ever encouraged?

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