Trust Not In Men – Trust In God (John Corapi Continued)
In light of the recent news (which can be found here) that has been released from the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), I felt another blog needed to be written concerning the case of John Corapi – The Black Sheepdog.
In my previous blog response to Corapi’s announcement of departure from the Roman Catholic priesthood, I spoke up for the need for charity in the midst of a twisted and confusing situation. His official press release, declaring his departure, caused Catholics and non-Catholics across the world to question, “What’s really going on here”? I still believe in what I have said before insofar as the greatest need in the situation was and still is charity. The Catholic bloggersphere became like a pack of wolves, bloodthirsty and looking for a way to defame even more, the name of John Corapi. Torches and pitchforks are not the tools of Catholics, and I still stand by this belief, even in light of the recent news concerning Corapi’s line of conduct. No matter how you slice it, we have a man down. The three central virtues that Team Orthodoxy stands for is “Caritas, Humilitas, Veritas (Charity, Humility, and Truth)”. It is from this approach that I wish to begin this blog.
I am impressed, to say the least, with this recent release. Though it is not the full story, and I believe there are gaping holes that still need to be addressed, one thing is for certain – SOLT has called John Corapi’s bluff. If Corapi is telling the truth, and SOLT released this info (knowing full well that Corapi is not a man who abides by canon law), SOLT would be risking their reputations and opening up the possibility for Corapi to sue them for defemation of character. On the other hand, if Corapi is lying, he may have believed that SOLT would not divulge the information concerning his improper conduct, for fear that it would bring down the gauntlet on their community as it puts them into question concerning the governance of his finances and investments, which technically belong to the community. This truly does put their community into a precarious situation as he was a priest, who made a vow of poverty. Why is the money in Corapi’s hands? His ministry technically belonged to SOLT, though he had his own catholic company, in charge of releasing his materials. For a priest with vow of poverty, living in community, to own a company with no accountability to the Order to which he belonged, is questionable at least and negligent at best. Perhaps SOLT needed to count the cost of their silence and come right out, knowing it would bring heat on them because the truth needed to be heard. If this is not the case, SOLT may be in for a world of pain. I highly doubt this is the case however, because the bottom line comes down to dollar signs. They would not have played this card without knowing full well what the consequences would be in the end. Your move, Black Sheepdog.
Now that I have dealt with that, comes to the whole point of this blog, which I hope all who read it will take it to heart.
“Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save” ~PSALM 146:3
Too often have I found myself placing false hopes and expectations in people, especially clergy, believing they have some innate ability to conquer their sinful natures better than us sinners in the pews. I have in the past discovered, always to my great dismay and overwhelming heartbreak, that priests are human, and many times, have not curbed their vices as well as I hoped they would. I have worked with different priests in the past who have been considered “the best out there”, but learned quite quickly that they can be easily deceived and follow their own selfish whims just as much as the next guy. I analogize: a priest is like a car. The Oil of Ordination is poured onto his hands, and like a car, oil is not meant to clean the car, but to make the engine run smoother. We cannot rely on one oil change to ensure the car will run properly. Constant attention must be given to ensure the car doesn’t break down. The car needs to be taken to the mechanic frequently. The truth is under the hood. It also needs to be regularly cleaned externally to prevent rust and deterioration. Many things go into making the car run right and look right. We must recognize that we ourselves can fail quite often at keeping ourselves always in check. The priest is the same, and dare I say, more likely to get himself distracted because the enemy himself is bent on the destruction of the priesthood, just ask St. John Vianney. We must not rely on the faith, integrity, holiness, of other people. “All is grace”, as St. Therese of Lisieux says, and because of that, it can be given as quickly as it can be taken away, as it is all a gift from the Blessed Trinity.
“The scribes and pharisees sit on Moses seat; so practice and observe what they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach but do not practice” ~Matthew 23:2-3
This is the point. Our Lord warns us to not place our trust in the clergy. Why? Not because they are bad people and you should never speak with them. No, because they are imperfect and bound to fall. It makes sense why we shouldn’t place our trust in men with fallen natures.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me” ~John 14:1
Jesus is clear that we should only place our trust solely in the Blessed Trinity. This trust takes surrender. However if we place our trust in our Blessed Lord, we are assured to not be put to shame. We will watch as clergy and other so-called catholics fall in the heat of battle around us, but if we keep our eyes fixed on the Captain, remaining in a state of grace, we will be assured a seat at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb in our Heavenly homeland. Don’t give up, and do not lose heart fellow Catholics. Rest assured even more will fall from the faith, like the house built on sand that cannot stand when the rain and wind comes. Remain faithful, planted firm on Jesus Christ and His Church, and keep on pressing on. The crown of victory awaits, and the Blessed Mother is ready to place it on your head.
In the Immaculata,