Much of what I know about Christianity I originally learned through Fr. Corapi. I’ve since expanded my knowledge from many other sources, but his way of distilling complicated, vague, and/or controversial ideas into crystal clear messages allowed me to quickly understand concepts that otherwise would have been daunting. And I know I’m not alone — countless people cite him as a key influence in their decisions to convert or “revert” to orthodox Catholicism. His body of work is priceless. If you were to create a pie chart of “modern speakers who explain the true Catholic faith in a clear and palatable way,” the portion with his name on it would take up a sizable chunk.
As the news continues to break about the situation and the blog posts continue to pile up one after another, I feel free. Because the truths that Fr. Corapi led me to are separate from Fr. Corapi himself, I’m freed of the need to know whether the accusations against him are true or false. I’m freed of the need to speculate about all the how‘s and why‘s and what if‘s behind all the decisions that have been made by the various parties in this situation. I’m free simply to pray for him, for everyone else involved, and to leave it at that.
An analogy I keep thinking of is that of the great photographer Ansel Adams. On a much smaller scale, he was also a big influence in my life. His breathtaking black and white images of the Grand Tetons and other mountain ranges awakened me to the grandeur of nature, and stirred something within me that had never been there before. Though I wouldn’t have thought of it this way at the time, the moments I spent gazing at his photos were some of my first experiences of God. If Adams had ever been involved in a professional or personal situation I found unsettling, I would have been similarly free not to let it trouble me, other than out of concern for him as a person. Because while he had an incredible talent for conveying the majesty of the mountains, he did not create them. Though the way he captured them led me to a startling awakening to their beauty, it was not he who made them beautiful.
– from Jennifer Fulwiler’s “Conversion Diary” blog
Father Corapi wasn’t as influential on my Catholic faith as he seems to have been on yours, but I always enjoyed listening to his excellent sermons on Catholic radio and miss him now that the radio station has decided not to play the sermons anymore. Which seems kind of wrong for the very reasons you explain in your blog post — Corapi spoke the Truth, with a capital “T” and no one can take that away from his talks, even if it turns out that he has been a terrible sinner all these years. The Church has always survived its human sinners, because it is more than a human institution — it represents God’s Truth on Earth. I too will be praying for him and for all involved in this sordid episode, but I hope people continue to listen to Father Corapi years from now and learn about the “true Catholic faith in a clear and palatable way”.
P.S. I just added you to my blogroll — I like your work!