It was less than a year ago when I was using my satellite TV remote to check out the programs on the various TV channels, as I was hoping to find a good movie.
One channel that attracted my attention, however, was a Catholic TV channel in which Fr. John Corapi was preaching. I do not remember the subject of his preaching, but I do remember that I found his words to be so mesmerizing that I could not change the channel for at least a half hour.
I thought to myself, this is the most inspiring Catholic priest I have ever heard. He reminded me of Rev. Billy Graham's inspirational preaching several years ago. I also thought, was Fr. Corapi going to become as popular as Billy Graham someday?
I later learned that Fr. Corapi was indeed watched by millions of people worldwide, who had also been attracted to his exceptional -- and almost effortless -- ability to present an inspiring message.
Unfortunately, Fr. Corapi's fame ended abruptly last March when he was placed on administrative leave, as a result of a former female employee's accusation that he had sexually abused her.
Last week, Fr. Corapi announced he will not obey an order from his superior in the Society of Our Lady of Holy Trinity (SOLT) to leave his private Montana compound and live with other members of the community.
Apparently angered by Fr. Corapi's decision to disobey SOLT's order, Fr. Gerard Sheehan -- SOLT's regional priest servant -- shamed Fr. Corapi by saying that he is "not fit for ministry."
Fr. Sheehan also revealed that an investigation of Fr. Corapi's affairs found a pattern of misconduct, including sexual relations and cohabitation with a woman, abuse of drugs and alcohol, and a lifestyle that was "a serious violation of his promise of poverty."
Although I do not approve of the lifestyle that Fr. Corapi may have lived, I do believe that Fr. Sheehan's publicly airing of Fr. Corapi's "dirty laundry" has significantly disgraced and damaged the Catholic Church. Indeed, Fr. Sheehan should have known better.
After all, the primary objective of the Christian Church is to instill love in its people, not hatred.