I had never heard of Fr. John Corapi until just a few days ago when I read of him on pal Inigo Hicks blog. A man who had had a wild time of it in his life, Corapi later found religion, was ordained a Catholic priest (by Pope John Paul II, no less) and attracted a large and devoted following (always dangerous for a priest) via the media and his website. Fr. Corapi got into hot water recently over accusations he had violated his vows by engaging in improper relations with a female employee. His bishop thus suspended him from priestly duties pending results of an investigation. Apparently the investigation was not going favorably for him and on June 17 Fr. Corapi announced, on blog and YouTube, he was quitting the priesthood.
At this point only God, Fr. Corapi and, we hope, his confessor know the truth in this affair. Fr. Corapi might have, however, better served his interests by issuing a short statement along the lines of: "I am withdrawing from the priesthood and public life until charges against me have been resolved. I ask your prayers." By instead posting a bitter, recriminating and rancor-filled diatribe against accusers and bishop, Corapi obviously has not learned from the recent tawdry example of Rep. Anthony Weiner that noisily going after one's accusers neither makes them, nor their accusations, go away. Furthermore, by quitting the priesthood the investigation of Fr. Corapi will cease immediately, I should think, and we may thus never know the validity of the charges against him.
Should the charges against Fr. Corapi turn out to be true, and I truly hope they are not, I hope he will not follow the example of another popular, and now former, Catholic priest and media star, also with a large, mostly female following, Fr. Alberto Cutié. After flagrantly carrying on an affair with a divorced woman, Fr. Cutie, also noisily (and without required permission from his bishop), resigned his orders. Shortly afterward, with great fanfare and media hoopla, he was received and later priested into the Episcopal Church. Despite the media circus over Cutié's conversion, however, by coming into a declining church whose dioceses' souls frequently number fewer than that of the typical Catholic parish, Cutié has, unsurprisingly, quickly faded into obscurity, which, given his loud and angry departure from the priesthood, might be the best thing for Fr. Corapi, too.
UPDATE: After further thought I have altered the last paragraph in this post to make it a bit less snarky. Fr. Corapi is obviously going through a horribly difficult time, whatever the circumstances; we must pray he has the strength and faith to get through it intact.