Today you would think that I would be all up in arms about the Casey Anthony Verdict. I would like to be but I can't. Much like my feelings about the OJ Simpson case, if I had been on the jury I would have really really really wanted to convict OJ or Casey but the prosecution did not make their case.
No, I want to take a moment to reflect on the statement issued by the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT).
Read the statement here.
SOLT is the order that Father John Corapi belongs to - still - and their investigation into the allegations brought against this famous and illustrious preacher have uncovered some very disturbing things.
Sorting through our emotions surrounding the situation has caused friendships to shatter, well meaning Catholics to rush willy-nilly after the woman who brought the accusations and bombard her with messages on FB and others to attack the integrity of the Bishop of San Antonio.
I have written about this situation (I hesitate to call it a scandal because, quite frankly, Father John Corapi is just not that important in the grand scheme of things) and talked with the woman involved (briefly - through FB). Let me say that I have no insider knowledge, no first hand accounts and certainly my opinion is just that - an opinion.
I have read the badly worded articles written by people like Wayne from Modesto. He insists that these kinds of situations could be avoided if only Rome would change the celibacy requirement for Latin Rite priests (I don't mean to sound derisive but this is the same guy who is insistent that Rome killed MILLIONS of innocent Baptists in the third century under Constantine and that the book River of Blood is good scholarship. When I pointed out to him that the book had been renounced by its own author, he called me names and told me to repent.). After all, it seems logical to allow a man who suffers from Alcoholism and Drug Addiction and, under the influence, has sex with prostitutes to get married BEFORE he takes his priestly vows. Shoot, maybe if we let all priests have the option to marry, the pedophiles could father their own victims, thereby sparing the surrounding community, right?
ANYWAY - off track...sorry. I get a little fired up sometimes.
OK, so here is what I wanted to address:
I am going to assume for the moment that SOLT knows what they are doing and that they are not involved in a large-scale clandestine attack on Father John Corapi for whatever reason. I am going to assume that the allegations have been proven and that he is in dire need of treatment for his illness and he needs to have his chain yanked big time before he does something even more spectacularly stupid, like Father Cutie, and end up smoking crack on the beach during Spring Break with 16 year olds wearing bikinis. Then he would have to become an Episcopalian priest too.
(oops...now I have to go to confession for being snarky...mea culpa).
Anyway, I am going to assume all this for right now and ask myself a question:
WHY ARE YOU A CATHOLIC, LESLIE?
Like St Thomas Aquinas approached the question "Who is God?" I am going to start with why I did NOT return Home to Rome 19 years ago.
I am not a Catholic because of one priest's incredible talent for preaching the Truth.
I did not come Home to Rome because of Karl Keating's website.
I did not come Home because Jimmy Akin is a great apologist.
I did not come Home because of Pope John Paul II.
Ultimately, I came home because I had no where else to go.
I am a legitimate seeker of Truth. I know it does not lie solely within me and so had to reject the Eastern Philosophies that concentrate on inner meditation. I know there is a God and it is not ME.
I sensed that there was really only two ways to go in terms of religiosity: Judaism and Christianity. The ancient Pagan religions are cute and funny but fall apart after a strong rainstorm blows 'god' over. The idea of a Creator being in the heart of every woman and man as well as the demonstrations of how that Creator reached down to His creatures just has a deep ring of TRUTH to it.
So my journey had to be discovering TRUTH, not just looking for a church with a great preacher or a rocking Christian band or lots of great parties in the Hall. I searched and searched and found the philosophers of Christianity pointing over and over to the IDEAL we need to achieve...and never really can while on this earth.
THAT is what intrigued me - the idea that this is what I need to do: Love one another, help one another, forgive those who persecute me and try to hurt me and do all of this in the name of Someone Bigger than ME! Oh, and don't forget to go against every human instinct for comfort, for sex, for prosperity and fortune and fame in order to get something better - both inside and in the next life. Remember too, Leslie, that you will be ridiculed for remaining celibate because you are not married, told you are believing in a Fairy Tale because you accept Holy Scripture as the Word of God and a homophobic hater because you accept Church Teaching on homosexuality. Your own family will reject you and shake their heads over your sudden Religious Fanaticism.
Oh and remember, Leslie...understand that while you really want to be a good Catholic you will never do it well for any extended period.
Of course I also know that, while I can end up in Hell if I reject Him, He promised not to leave me an orphan. He said He will give me the means by which to achieve the impossible - but YOU, Leslie, will have to be open to the idea that the means will work and the impossible can be attained.
I will give you a CHURCH and SACRAMENTS and a BIBLE and a MAGISTERIUM to help you...and I will give you the ability to be the best Leslie on the planet, if you just keep trying one day at a time.
Father Corapi did not live up to his part of the bargain, but the amazing thing is that the Holy Spirit used this sinful, alcoholic drug addict to spread TRUTH....he never spoke falsehood. Like a Borgia Pope, incapable of striking at the heart of TRUTH, he could not alter or profane or otherwise mess up in his actual preaching....and that is where the challenge is going to be for his followers.
But for someone like me, who follows CHRIST, this is just a sad and awful situation. It is not the end of the world. Father Corapi is not the first and will not be the last man to profane his priestly office....and yet, on and on goes The Church.
Because Jesus did not say, "You are Peter and upon this Rock I shall eat my LUNCH".
Thank you, Lord for my life today....and keep me walking towards You.