Tuesday, June 21, 2011

When priests don't meet our criteria...

I was very moved by this quote on the Corapi situation from a priest named Fr. Frank. A grateful nod to Sancte Pater for the quote. (The author link doesn't seem to be working but I'll include it anyway.)

"I guess it bothers me reading the constant comparisons of Fr. Corapi’s to saints like Padre Pio and St.Gerard Majella. There is no one-size-fits-all template for holiness. Jerome was arrogant, bombastic, ...self-referential, and obnoxious. The objects of his venom were men like Augustine. Yet he recognized this weakness of character, and became a saint. I have no idea of what the truth is regarding Fr. Corapi, but I hate seeing any man dismissed simply because he does not as yet appear to show the signs of heroic sanctity. Why do we even remember Sts. Pio and Gerard? Because men like them are so bloody scarce in the Body of Christ! As scripture says, “the Lord is glorious in his saints.” Still, the day to day work of the Church is sadly not, for the most part, done by Pios and Gerards, but by men who deeply love Jesus, but also have big mouths and egos, kick themselves in the butt when they get home to the rectory at night over the dumb things they’ve said and done that day, and then pray for mercy and amendment of life. Please don’t compare Corapi, or me, or any other priest to the saints. That’s not why they’re there, and can only lead to being pharisaical about priests who don’t meet your criteria. Rather, let each one compare our own soul to the great saints so we can learn to say from the heart, “God, be merciful to ME — a sinner.”  ~Fr. Frank


  1. I really like this. It refocuses the attention back to ourselves. We've been talking about this in our house this week because of the daily readings from yesterday. Be the best I can be and work on my own sanctification...and with God's good grace, we will all become saints in heaven.

  2. I guess I don't agree. The saints are there for our imitation. We won't necessarily be a saint or saintly all the time, but the Church canonizes them as our role models. And no matter how rare they are, we are still called to be saints. Sometimes the example seems very hard indeed, but it's a matter of striving.

  3. I agree with you, Jennifer, that we are all to strive to be like the saints. What I like about this reflection is that it reminds us that we are not yet saints but "working out our salvation with fear and trembling." That means we are to treat each other with dignity and mercy just as we hope to be treated on our journey. None of us has made it yet. This is just another reminder to be gentle with one another even when we struggle with hurt.
    Thanks for the comment... it's good to have these discussions.

  4. This whole situation just leaves me so sad. So utterly sad. For Father Corapi, for his followers, for his superiors, even for his detractors.

    I don't condemn or condone his decision. I just say that we cannot overlook the devastation caused by any vocation that is broken. Whether that be in laicization of Priest or in the divorce of a lay Catholic. It breaks our sacred covenant with God, and tears at the very fabric of our human life...

    I know some of you will say that he's still a Priest. So many questions...Why did he use his title in this new "black sheep dog media" then? Why is it listed only as John Corapi? When we all grew to know and love him as Father?

    So so so sad:(

  5. Melody, *thank* you for your comments about this, here and elsewhere; they were a gentle and welcome breath of fresh air! :)

  6. (Whoops... forgot to subscribe! Thanks again! :) )

  7. Paladin- And I am also grateful for your comments, here and elsewhere. God bless!


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