Friday, April 8, 2011

Father Corapi on Administrative Leave - An Update from Rev. Michael Sullivan, J.C.L.

Update from

Fr. John Corapi has been suspended from priestly functions because of an accusation against him from a former employee. There seems to be a great deal of speculation and confusion regarding what this entails.

When an accusation arrives at the desk of a Religious Superior or a bishop, the procedure calls for a quick, confidential assessment as to the veracity of the accusation. With the advent of the Dallas Procedural Norms the necessary pieces of information required before imposing administrative leave varies from diocese to diocese and Order to Order. In most cases, if an accuser knows the name of the priest, the location at the time of the alleged incident and the year the priest was serving, the accusation is considered “credible.” The accused is supposed to be provided with the opportunity to respond to the accusations in a face-to-face meeting with his Superior prior to the imposition of suspension or administrative leave. In Father Corapi’s case, this never happened.

When a priest is on administrative leave he is to refrain from any public actions as a priest, such as offering Mass or hearing confessions, or from dressing as a priest in any public forum. The decree from his superiors clearly spells out limitations upon Fr. Corapi, but does not preclude him from speaking publicly provided he does not dress as a cleric and does not offer Mass publicly. Fr. John Corapi has observed these directives. Church bodies are to observe these limitations, though the order does not apply to lay organizations or Church organizations beyond the scope of what has been decreed.

Several Catholic media sources have removed Fr. Corapi from their outlets. This is over and above what is required by canon law and the Dallas Norms. Nothing in the order placing Father Corapi on administrative leave precludes distribution of previously recorded materials. Santa Cruz Media is in full compliance with Canon Law and the administrative leave under which Fr. Corapi is functioning.

Fr. Corapi is doing all in his power to cooperate and work with his Religious Society to see that this allegation is quickly cleared up and he is allowed to return to full ministry. The length of this administrative leave is strictly up to the Society and their process of inquiry before a decision is rendered.

We continue to ask everyone to pray for Fr. Corapi, for the accuser and for a quick resolution to this matter.

God bless you,

Rev. Michael Sullivan, J.C.L.

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