Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bishop Gracida on Fr. Corapi and Process for Accused Priests


Bishop Rene Henry Gracida has posted a calm and rational explanation of the most recent abuses of power by prelates.


The procedure operates something like this. A person accuses a priest of sexual misconduct (again, not involving a minor). The priest is immediately suspended from active exercise of his priestly ministry while an investigation is launched into the truth or falsity of the accusations.

There is no need for a public announcement to be made that gives the name of the priest and the fact of the accusation and the suspension, and yet, all to often such a public announcement is made. Such public announcement by a diocese almost always results in media exploitation of the news in a sensational manner to the detriment of the Catholic Church and its priesthood. It seems that rarely, if ever, is mention is made in the announcement of the name of the accuser.

The investigation may take days or months or years to complete. In the meantime the priest’s reputation is effectively destroyed and perhaps he is ‘thrown out on the street’ with no means of support. The accuser, on the other hand, enjoys anonymity and suffers no loss of reputation or negative material consequences and in the case of an accusation later proven to have been false the injustice to priest is great.

In cases where the priest is accused of having used force (rape or some other form of involuntary abuse) there is some justification for not publishing the name of the accuser. But, where there is reason to believe that the alleged sexual misconduct was effected through mutual consent there is no justification for not publishing the name of the accuser.

Under the present procedure it is too easy for a person to allege sexual misconduct (again not involving minors) for a variety of possible unworthy motives: revenge, hope for monetary gain, hostility to the Catholic Faith, etc. Such is reported to have been the case of the accusation against Father Corapi. The only safe way to guard against damaging the reputation of individual priests and the Catholic priesthood in general is to not publish the name of an accused priest until an investigation has proved beyond doubt the guilt of the priest.


Let an investigation take place first, that is all we are saying. It should take no more than a month to interview the accuser and the accused and witnesses. No announcement should be made unless there is reason to suspect that the allegations have merit.

With the exception of someone who is emotionally and spiritually disturbed who is then taken advantage of, there is no need to protect jilted women licking their wounds and self-esteem by outing her consensual sexual relationship.

Adult women who engaged in a mutually enjoyable sexual relationship with a priest and goes on to regret it after she gets dumped when he returns to God should not be afforded anonymity because she wants compensation for the sex she had. The priest needs counseling to see if he is committed to celibacy. Followup includes mentoring under a watchful eye. The woman needs guidance on boundaries and how to recognize an available man and healthy relationships. It is what it is and the fact that it did not end happily ever after doesn't make it an abusive situation.

Of course, if he has a series of women, that is another story. But if it happens once, lumping this category of situations in with pedophiles is unjust and hysterical.

There are a lot of people who have personal or spiritual disorder, gripes against the Catholic Church and a need for vengeance that are helicoptering over the Fr. Corapi situation.

There are people with low self esteem who are envious of the attention people with talents receive. There are people who are jealous over other people's possessions. These people have stepped forward all over the internet to make owning a home or a boat, having a following, a tan or dying our hair a covert indication they are sexual abusers.

There's another group of individuals who claim pleading innocence and using your own situation to expose injustice is evidence of guilt.

For example, police now take complaints and do an investigation to see if it has merit before they arrest somebody. If they changed the system to arresting people 'just in case', people protesting their innocence and saying this process violates civil rights, truth and justice - to this group of people, this is an evidence they a guilty. One individual told me this week that this would be a 'lack of humility' and 'obedience'. It is humble to let our brothers and sisters suffer injustice.

A regular humanitarian he was. I'm willing to bet if we started a discussion on the lack of humility of people complaining about waterboarding, he'd be all over us.

This same individual explained to me that the process was supposed to be secretive and Fr. Corapi violated the ethics of 'obedience' to episcopal secrets. I didn't think there was anyone left who thought what the Bishops cook up in their secretive processes is the product of the Holy Spirit, but as luck would have it, I ran into the dinosaur.

As you can imagine, edification did not accompany his retreat.

The system is still raping our children, women, young homosexually attracted boys. They will go so far as to kill them for a profit and lie about it. There is no internal system for removing them and they are all laughing all the way to the bank...

The focus is the pursuit of truth, not silence in the face of corruption, which Chancery rogues like to call obedience.


He also said that the testimony of coworkers of Fr. Corapi and the woman at Santa Cruz Media should be inadmissible to any fact finding missions.

Really?

These are the same people who were making demands that HLI report what they witnessed about Fr. Euteneuer. Back then, they said coworkers must have seen or heard and they demanded to know what it was. After HLI came out with their statement, they considered Fr. Euteneuer's coworkers accountable.

Naturally, this makes sense. If you've ever worked with a drug addict is hitting on and sleeping with numerous women, their conduct is as plain as the nose on your face.

Oddly enough, when coworkers stepped forward to give their testimony on what they witnessed with Fr. Corapi and what the woman said and did (including beating them up and threatening to destroy Fr. Corapi after getting fired), it shouldn't have merit because they are violating the Bishops secrets? And, they lack "humility"?

I don't much care for duplicity.

When you see the helicopters overhead, remember that lots of people have agendas that have nothing to do with protecting children, serving Christ's Church and the pursuit of truth and justice.

Here's my free advice: Test everything.

Have a great day!

13 comments:

Kelly said...

Thank you. I couldn't say it better.

Anonymous said...

Is Fr. Corapi a victim of "shoot first and ask questions later"?

According to a March 28th Catholic New Service item(http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1101226.htm), Fr. Corapi was put on administrative leave without any effort to corroborate the charges. Any investigation is yet to start, with Fr. Corapi's order (SOLT) awaiting clarification from the the diocese of Robstown, Texas, concerning the appointment of priest-investigators to conduct the probe.

Au contraire, re: a priest of the diocese of Rochester, New York, put on leave for sexual abuse dating from the 1960s (http://cleansingfiredor.com/2011/03/update-on-fr-panepinto-suspension/):

...[A]fter the diocese was contacted by the alleged victim, a private investigator looked into the situation, as well as the diocese’s review board which is comprised of mental health professionals and members of law enforcement. The review board decided that the accusation is credible, and the bishop contacted Fr. Panepinto on Friday to inform him that he was going to be placed on leave.

carmine said...

Well then Bishop Gracida would you relate this message to Fr.John Corapi...
That we are announcing to all of you that on April 6th let's call this day... ''Your Mother Wears Combat Boots Day''. On this day we should all ask the blessed mother to intervene in our prayers for accused and the accuser... Change your FACEBOOK profiles for one week and use your favorite photo of Fr.John Corapi. We would think that Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Rene Gracida, would also announce our prayers and Prayers of his parish on Wednesday for our beloved priest Fr. John Corapi... mentioned during mass. Please don't ignore this message my brothers and sisters. Remember that we are All called and part of ... the Holy Catholic apostolic Church. We are united as brothers and sisters and we owe this to ALL our priests. On this day let's have the Heavens Hear Us... Loud and Clear that we are united Catholics!!!
Can I hear... AMEN???

TheLastCatholicinBoston said...

Carol,
I love you blog but I am amazed at how differently we see the Catholic world sometimes. In this case how we see the role of Priest in the body of Christ.

...mutually enjoyable consensual sexual relationship with a priest.

...they need counseling to see if they are committed to celibacy...

..of course if he has a series of women, that is a different story.

I just wonder where are you coming from on these things? Priests are a special category of man, they have apostolic succession and holy orders. The tradition of avoiding 'innocent' chumminess with Priests that went out a generation ago served as a protective wall against a MAN'S concupiscence.
The fruit of this 'hanging out with the padre' mentality since V2 continues to harm the dignity of the priesthood, and continues to lead to the fall of many holy men.
I'm not sure if there is anything here to debate, it is just we clearly have a different perspective.

Carol McKinley said...

LCIB,

You've been reading here for quite a while -- I'm surprised you don't know where I'm coming from but I'm happy to spell it out.

When I used each of these phrases, I was simply being straightforward because the context is now being categorized in with pedophilia. I believe that women who would do such a thing have to take accountability for it. They need to woman up. Take accountability for their sin and repent.

Some women like to act like a victim after they've slept around with a man who has not committed to them in a relationship bound by marriage. They don't want to see that they have 100% ownership. When they do it with a priest, this phenomenon is magnified.


The first phrase you clipped, I'm being straightforward about what the women whining after they get dumped actually did. Instead of going postal, they need to see it for what it is. Pointing it out, doesn't mean it's activity I approve of - or even take lightly.

The second one and third phrase, a priest who finds himself emotionally and sexually entangled with a woman, has lost the discipline of keeping his emotions reserved for Christ. This results in loneliness. In that loneliness, he let a woman cross a boundary. Yes, the woman is also culpable, this is why I pointed out that culpability in the first phrase you pointed out. However,the priest is going to need spiritual counseling and mentoring to help him be aware of what what wrong and how to apply the discipline in the future.

With that being said, we sometimes find the priest is incapable of reserving his emotions for Christ and will go on in the future violating his vow of celibacy = or worse - a jerk has been ordained. In these situations, we want the to send him moseying on down the road.

Often, they stay, because there aren't many decent paying jobs that a degree from the seminary can transition into and so they rid it out and continue to do what they want to do thinking they'll never get caught. The Church needs to be proactive about this.

In other words, the second phrase is about seeing if a priest can be or wants to redeem his vocation -- and how the situation is handled functionally. Getting it out into the fresh air, doesn't mean I approve of them. It means I do believe when something is going awry in a vocation, he can slip and that slip can be redeemed.

Have you ever known anyone who cheated on their spouse when the emotional life in the marriage became detached and then they realized it and worked on and redeemed the marriage?

The baby does not always have to be thrown out with the bathwater. Celibacy is a very, very hard discipline for a man. Yes, they have holy orders and yes, they have apostolic succession. But being a man, when their vocation gets played with by the devil, the devil is going to toy with his mind, heart and... libido.

Most priests recognize it far before it gets to a sexual relationship and stop it. Once in a blue moon, somebody drives their libido off the cliff. I don't necessarily believe all in that category need to be defrocked.

I'm interested in hearing your perspective on it though. What are your thoughts?

TheLastCatholicinBoston said...

Thanks for your thought.
I believe I do understand where you are coming from and I also believe we have two very different perspective on several counts.

1. "Celibacy is a very, very hard discipline for a man." Manhood thanks you for understanding our carnal needs and biological urges. Say's manhood next...Want to hook up? (its a myth, it is perhaps harder on women -See St. Claire and St. Francis)

2. The phrase 'the women was taken advantage of.." Has been in the vernacular probably for hundreds of years. The phrase 'Cougar' has been around to my recollection about 5 years. The 'rules of engagement' between men and women has changed radically in our now post-sexual revolution world. The acceptance of sodomy as a virtue is a case in point.

3. Occasional loneliness is part of the human condition. .../"the priest is going to need spiritual counseling and mentoring to help him be aware of what went wrong and how to apply the discipline in the future."/ The priest knows what went wrong; its called sin. What they need is a good confession with some strong penance and some fraternal correction. They need to feel the pain of good old fashioned guilt. They need to know their salvation and vocation is on the line.

4. I do not know anyone who cheated on their spouse 'succefully'. It is never ever the same.

5. "Somebody drives their libido off the cliff." What is this 'Catholic Spring Break - the movie'?

Carol McKinley said...

LCIB,

I see we do indeed have different perspectives.

Perhaps it is because you are so irresistible that you experienced what I believe is an anomaly of women who had more trouble with celibacy than men. Normally speaking, women's libidos are built by a very deliberate fire. It's an emotional response to emotional intimacy that has been groomed. Men's libidos are set off by their eyes, sometimes even by a stranger or somebody they barely know.

2. It is sadly true that the culture has bred women to be receptacles for semen and there are more of them than there were 20 years ago.

3. Sin is the right word for it - but when we're on the path to sin, our intellect and judgment are clouded. If you're amending your life, part of that process is learning how to avoid the near occasion for sin. That is a process and a lot of times, we have to figure out what flags we missed so we can be more on our toes next time. It's helpful to be around a mentor who has celibacy under control. This is the same dynamic that makes AA successful. You're around people who want to stay away from the vice and temptation. They teach you a trick or two. They inspire you.

4. I agree the marriage is never the same but if there is a situation where a woman has checked out emotionally and physically and ignore the needs of her husband and marriage and he finds solace somewhere else -- and they are mature enough to realize that two people contributed to the situation -- and they both want their marriage back, it can still turn out to be good and even great.

5. ha ha. :O)

TheLastCatholicinBoston said...

1. I don't know, you could be right about that irresistible thing. I defend you right to theorize about men's libidos as Cosmopolitan magazine does, but trust me I've got one, I know how it works - thank you very much.

2. That's gross
I'm serious, that's gross.

3. Sexuality is not strong drink. For a man infidelity is not complicated at all. "You play with fire you are going to get burned" pretty much covers it. Come on, get real. What is this 'clouded' stuff?
Here's a trick; a cold shower will take the starch out of it.

4. Kind of like a get-out-of -monogamy free card?
"a woman has checked out emotionally and physically and ignore the needs of her husband"
When I find a man who has NOT described his wife this way to other men many times, I'll get back to you. Let me give you a hint, its cyclical. Sorry, I can't relate at all.

- This may clarify something. And i may have posed this question before.
I have found that there was a period of time (70's- 80's) in some Boston parishes that it was taught that sex outside of marriage or fornication was NOT a mortal sin. this was taught to confirmation age kids.
Please comment.

carmine said...

It's finally here... Wednesday ''Your Momma Wears Combat Boots Day''… Pray the Rosary!!! It’s powerful. Remember to change your profile on Facebook with Fr. John Corapi PHOTO... We will pray for the accused and the accuser. Immaculate heart of Mary we place our trust in you!!! Let's have the heavens hear us loud and clear on Wednesday, April 6th, DO I hear AN Amen???

Jeanette O'Toole said...

Father Corapi definitely needs prayers; so do all involved in this case. So does Carol; so do I. So does my husband, etc. and so on ... but "Receptacles for semen" Carol? Where did that come from? Gross.

Book 'em, bishop; is Fr. Corapi santa cruz-in' for a bruisin'?

Carol McKinley said...

Jeanette,

It came from a very well-known priest. I find it to be an accurate portrayal of what they've groomed women to be.

No intimacy.
No accountability.
No commitment.

It is what it is.

Anonymous said...

"Men's libidos are set off by their eyes, sometimes even by a stranger or somebody they barely know"

Thats very true Carol. You understand men very well.

"I don't necessarily believe all in that category need to be defrocked."

I agree.

Jasper

Anonymous said...

Great article! Bishop Gracida, and it is "right on the nose".