Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How Father Corapi is an excuse for my sparse blogging.

If you have been hanging around the Catholic neighborhoods of the internets, you may have come across the story of Father John Corapi, a very talented preacher, who has become embroiled in an accusation of impropriety from an employee and has since renounced his priesthood. I don't know all the details of his case, and make no judgment, but suspect it will cause many to lose faith.

I think that this affair underlines the dangers of being a public Catholic. If you evangelize, you must be aware that you will be a target of powers and principalities. If you are successful, then you will be even more of a target. I've seen it happen with priest friends of mine who have fallen away from their vocation, with former pastors, and with stars of the Catholic "blogosphere." I remember one young man who had a marvelous blog detailing his attempts to live a chaste Catholic life despite of a same-sex orientation, who was so upset at the failure of another online Catholic evangelist's marriage, that he abandoned all of his efforts. I have another friend, a former Catholic priest and pastor, who has left his vocation and joined the United Church of Christ because of an inability to keep faith. Another had a blog about his journey to monasticism, but lost his vocation and I believe also his faith. All of this was made worse because it was public. In hindsight, none of these people should have been living their lives of faith in such a public manner, because of the spiritual dangers. Furthermore, because all of these people were to some degree well-known, their spiritual failures don't just affect themselves, but everyone who followed them. If these people can't do it, one thinks, then how could I?

The faith certainly needs defending, and you should defend it, if you are able. But be very careful. Pray always, and let Jesus Christ be the story, not yourself. Don't put your interior castle on Facebook. Keep your temple of the Holy Spirit off Twitter.

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