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Friday, March 25, 2011

Update on Fr. Corapi

Statement of Santa Cruz Media, Inc.
Relative to Fr. Corapi’s Suspension

Santa Cruz Media, Inc. is the owner of all of Fr. John Corapi’s intellectual property and the DVDs, CDs, and books that flow from it. We are a secular corporation and not affiliated with the Catholic Church in any way. As such, we are not under the jurisdiction of any bishop or other official in the Catholic Church, although we have the utmost respect for Church authority.

We fully support Rev. John Corapi in this terrible trial, not surprisingly having begun on Ash Wednesday. Through the sacrifice and struggle of the desert and all of the dark moments that this entails, we are confident that the glory of the risen Lord will shine forth from the power of the Resurrection and Easter.

We have consulted with a number of canon lawyers. They have assured us that the actions of the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas are, on several points of canon law, illicit. It is our fervent hope that The Dallas Charter will be changed because of false accusations like this. There is no evidence at this time that Fr. Corapi did anything wrong, only the unsubstantiated rant of a former employee, who, after losing her job with this office, physically assaulted me and another employee and promised to "destroy" Father Corapi. We all continue to pray for this person, and we ask you to do the same.

We sincerely believe that the work Fr. Corapi has done is of greatest value to the Church, hence hated by the devil. We fully intend to make Fr. Corapi’s material available as a service to the Church and the world for as long as we possibly can.

The Church provides no financial support to Fr. Corapi. He has to pay for his own legal representation, medical costs, food, housing, etc. We have never accepted donations or charitable contributions of any kind. We are supporting Father’s efforts to defend himself. Your purchase of products from Santa Cruz Media helps provide the funding for Father's continued work as well as the legal expenses he continues to incur as a result of these malicious allegations.
Father Corapi and all of us here at Santa Cruz Media, Inc. greatly appreciate your kindness, support, and prayers. Please continue to pray for Father Corapi and his accuser, as well as all priests who find themselves in this unfortunate situation.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Bobbi Ruffatto
Vice President of Operations
Santa Cruz Media, Inc.


Matt C. Abbott said...

Hmm. Well, this statement raises certain questions about the whole situation, as did Father's original statement.

I guess we'll have to see how it all plays out.

Anonymous said...

I greatly respect Fr. Corapi and his teaching but this statement raises more questions that should be answered transparently.

Who owns Santa Cruz Media?

If it is a private corporation who profits from it?

Why doesn't his orders hold the proceeds from his talks and lectures?

Why does Fr. Corapi not live in community with his brothers in his order?

Anonymous said...

If Father Corapi did do this, why does't he just admit it?? Why isn;t his order helping him out? What good does it benefit a man to gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his soul? The rest of us sinners would certainly understand this. Isn;t the Catholic Church a place where you fall, then get up again? Why does he think he has to be perfect? Jesus came for sinners.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

If Fr. Corapi didn't do it, there is nothing to admit. And he says he didn't do it. The most sensible thing is not to speculate and wait patiently while the investigation takes place. Judging from some comments, Fr. Corapi has been judged guilty by being accused and now has to prove his innocence. And that's what he said in his original statement. It's devastating to a person's reputation.

Anonymous said...

A google search shows Santa Cruz media to be a $500,000 a year company of 1-4 people, that appears to exist for the sole purpose of selling Fr. Corapi's merchandise. This thing is starting to stink, to me. Why have this Bobbi Ruffatto, the vp/ops, and not the president of the company putting out this weird statement that first declares it private and under the authority of no one, and then goes into very religious language. Is Fr. Corapi the president of the company? It's just weird. It comes off not like some kind of "proof" of a frame up, but like a company worried about it's profit margin. And it's weird too that this comes out just as the story is dying down and people are getting calmer, like it's trying to get the troops worked up again. I don't like this statement. I felt better about this story before I read it. Now I am unsettled.

Blackrep said...

I, too, am wondering why his order does not benefit from his tapes... what's up with that? In the past, I've noted that they are VERY expensive sets... and I have justified their cost because I assumed they supported his order. Please tell me this is wrong.

It's not like Corapi needs the money. He won a three million (or more) dollar settlement in 2005, so its not like he's poor. Where did all that cash go?

In addition, if I hear one more Corapi supporter draw another saccharine allegory to the Lenten persecution of Jesus and this priest, I swear I'm going to puke. Jesus did not go kicking and screaming through his Lent, spinning to the media and trying to throw his superiors and the Church's process under the bus. All this protestation and spin outside the proper channels of redress just makes this thing even crazier.

Ellen said...

Isn't Fr. Corapi himself the CEO of Santa Cruz Media?? That's what Deacon Greg Kandra has discovered!

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that Father Corapi has refused to exist under the "tax exempt" status of most clergy. In this way he has been able to speak the truth without fear. While not an expert in tax law, I would guess that he had to organize Santa Cruz this way so that he had some sort of income which is separate from his order (which is tax exempt). I had tickets to his talk which was scheduled for today and subsequently cancelled. All of those proceeds were to go to Catholic Charities.

Tito Edwards said...

"Anonymous" is correct that Fr. Corapi chose to form Santa Cruz media as a for-profit enterprise so he could speak the truth without being beholden to squishy clerics.

Father Corapi said this in a talk a few years ago.

As for the other 'anonymous' that is smearing his name by saying this is starting to "stink", that is wrong for not knowing all the facts.

And for the other anonymous that is quoting the Bible about selling his soul, that is also disingenuous and untrue.

These 'anonymous' that are not revealing their real name show their own true colors by attacking the reputation of Father Corapi.

Find out the facts before casting aspersions on others.

Father Joe said...

I am rather confused about this matter, is Fr. Corapi a secular or a religious priest? Secular or diocesan priests receive salaries and are under a bishop. Religious clergy take vows of poverty and everything belongs to the order or religious community. If he is the latter, he is not permitted to be the CEO of a business distinct from his community. If he is the former, any such operation must have the approval of his ordinary. The charges may be false, but it seems to me that it is time for the Church to reel this priest home, back into a parish or a religious house where he belongs.

Priests are men under authority. They cannot play games with their promise of obedience and others should respect this. If Father Corapi's faculties have been removed and his ministry suspended, then EWTN was morally required to take the action they did. Hopefully the matter will be resolved and he will be restored to his place on television and radio. Having said this, the sale of media (audio, video, web and print) would also fall under "ministry." Given the situation, Fr. Corapi could (and should) certainly require Santa Cruz Media, Inc. (an extension of his ministry) to suspend sales and distribution of his materials. Indeed, in the case of another priest, Fr. Ken Roberts, such was clarified by his bishop as a lawful demand. I suspect that the good priest is innocent, but there is much to which we are not privy. Prayer is our proper posture at this time, not ridicule of episcopal jurisdiction in the Catholic Church.


Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Many of the things being said here about order priests could equally be said about Fr. Paul Marx and his ministry to the unborn.

Let us presume that Fr. Corapi had the blesing of his order (SOLT) to do what he was doing. As for the money, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with making a profit. Obviously there are people who worked for the media apostolate whose salaries are being paid. Someone mentioned Father sending proceeds from his talks to charity. If you don't have any proof otherwise, why speculate?

I have no axe to grind. I've never been to one of Fr. Corapi's talks. I've seen bits and pieces on the internet. But I think jumping to conclusions (negative ones at that) is rash judgment. Take a deep breath and hold your tongue.

I do agree with Fr. Corapi about the Dallas initiative. I think it was developed to divert all the responsibility for the sex abuse crisis from the bishops to the priests and laity. Note, they exempted themselves from the rules they apply to the priests. Hence we get the immediate presumed guilt of accused priests and all the "safe touch" programs and fingerprinting of the laity.

The irony is that the "cadillace" of safe touch programs (VIRTUS)makes money for some of the very bishops who covered up abuse because they own VIRTUS. The program teaches that homosexuality was not part of the problem even though 80% of the abuse was homosexual abuse. But the parent group (Catholic Risk Retention Group) brags every year about how well VIRTUS performs in bringing in the bucks.

With all due respect, Father, I don't think criticizing the bishops' policies on this is "ridicule" of their "episcopal jurisdiction." Priests do have rights and they've been run over roughshod by the bishops in many cases. Sometimes bad bishops use the policies to punish troublesome orthodox priests.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

By the way, Father, I visited your website and found it very interesting with plenty of food for thought. I'm linking to you in my priests' section.

Ray Schneider said...

In the context of the questions about profit and loss and CEOs of corporations and Fr. Corapi, isn't this similar to what Fr. Fessio did with Ignatius Press?

There is a difference between being an order priest and starting a for profit corporation. So long as you are not deriving profit from it for yourself I'd think that it would come under the vow of poverty. I know at least one Jesuit who is a relative who remains a Jesuit and works for various corporate entities. I think it is likely between the order and Fr. Corapi. But I don't know and am just wondering about the similarity between his organization and Ignatius Press which I thought Fessio started.

Asshole said...

This statement is about the bottom line.

Anonymous said...

Dear Diane @ 5:15 p.m.,
Thank you for writing that about VIRTUS! I've often wondered about it, and I know from my own experience that their material assumes that true pedophilia is the main problem. I even wrote them once asking for clarification, and they actually said that there is no statistical preponderance of homosexuals in the abuse crisis. Truly incredible!

It is, as you say, a money-making institution. But I'm wondering if the money is used for insurance premiums, legal costs, and so forth? Any information you could share would be appreciated.

Fr. J.

Anonymous said...

(P.S., I mistakenly addressed my comment to "Diane" instead of Mary Ann. Apologies!)

Ray Schneider said...

I've been googling around trying to figure out how credible all this Fr. Corapi junk is and so far as I can see, without further information, it sounds like the woman scorned routine. One of the problems is that there are predator women who stalk priests. Now that the bishops are so quick to condemn and slow to reviews this becomes especially troubling.

I see no reason why Corapi's preaching videos and other materials should not continue to be sold. It would be twice destructive to destroy the ministry as a side effect of discrediting him by accusation without review. His materials stand on their own merits.

I think the Church's procedures are disgraceful. A person who is accused of something should have the opportunity to address the accusation quickly. Justice delayed is justice denied. This is some adult woman not a minor. The idea that the priest gets his reputation destroyed before the he gets any kind of a fair hearing is outrageous, especially when we have such a shortage of priests.

This kind of injustice doesn't do anything positive for vocations either.

Patrick Thornton said...

The reason someone would organize as a for profit corporation as opposed to a not for profit corporation, has nothing to do with "speaking the truth without fear." You can speak the truth without fear of repercussions from a not for profit just as easily. The only thing a not for profit corporation does NOT offer you, is the ability to keep your finances private. If Fr. Corapi operated as a not for profit corporation, his organizations tax returns would be public record. As a for profit corporation that is entirely concealed.

I pray that he is innocent. But it is very odd that a religious priest owns a for profit corporation. Usually, when a religious is head of a large non-profit their salary is paid directly to the order itself and not the individual. Perhaps it is that way with Fr. Corapi, but the corporate structure strikes me as very odd.

Paul said...

The nastiness of some of these comments is stunning.

It is not, of course, impossible that Fr. Corapi slipped up (it's not impossible that I should, or anyone else, either). It's not very believable, though.

Rather than rushing to destroy the reputation of what very well may be an innocent man, who is probably suffering anguish we can't imagine right now, I suggest we wait for the investigation to be carried out. I'll be surprised if it doesn't clear him.

In the meantime, I'm going to try to figure out why people who are reading Catholic blogs and who presumably are aware of their duty to display charity, are so signally failing in that duty.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Thanks, Paul, I've been surprised at the leaps to negative judgments as well.

Paul said...

You're welcome, Mary Ann. I appreciated some of your comments on another blog on this subject as well. If people find themselves unable to apply common sense to this matter, they might at least strive for a modicum of charity.

And if they are ever so unfortunate as to find themselves unjustly accused of something, they might view Fr. Corapi's ordeal a bit differently.

Anonymous said...

I somehow feel sorry for all of the other Priests who live in poverty. I feel sorry for the Priest's in his order who strive. I feel sorry for those who didn't get to eat supper tonight because of no food. I feel sorry for a great person who doesn'tunderstand, he can only serve one master. I feel sorry for a person who was granted Priethood, a calling, and then turn around and use it to make money-- If he wasn't a Priest, he'd be like thousands trying to make living out a speaking! I feel sorry for a person , especially a Priest who doesn't understand, the Gospel, talking about how well God takes care of the birds, and doesn't have that faith for himself. Thomas R Hagen, RN Facebook

Anonymous said...

fr. corapi "once the devil gains control of ones motions in life, the unforgiven world will not understand the situation."

Anonymous said...

I would like to see the other side of the story. I don't think it's fair that Fr. Corapi is accused and his accuser is still anonymous. She is not a minor nor a rape victim, but according to what we have been told, a disgruntled ex-employee. Why doesn't she have the balls to step forward in public with her accusations and witnesses? To me, it appears that SHE has something to hide.

H G KUSCHE said...

Unfortunately, the Catholic Church dropped the tribunal of inquisition, which did investigate allegations such as the one levelled against Fr. Corapi. There both parties had their day in court. as it is now, people come foreweard and claim to have been abused as far back as 35 years ago or longer.The remedy to their trauma seems to be money! There is such a thing as the statute of limitations. In some cases the accused has already died - Hans Kusche'

RITASG said...

My conversion to Catholicim 2 years ago was in large part do to hearing Fa C teach on EWTN. I was a lawyer for 30 years, and judge pro tenp, both civil and criminal practices. I have been shocked at the lack of due process priests under accusation are given, let alone, financial support. False accusations of this type are easily made, not just against priets and it is long, difficult and expensive to defend. I amm sooooooo sorry to see him leave. There should be defense fund set up for these priests and most have no money to defend themselves. The horrendous cover ups of past abuse is not an excuse for swinging to the extreme in the other direction. Diana