Monday, March 28, 2011

Update on Corapi Story: Tom O'Toole on Corapi-Euteneuer Ties

Another quick update to the Father John Corapi story: yesterday, Tom O'Toole blogged at the Renew America site about some of the connections between Corapi and Father Thomas Euteneuer, about which I knew nothing when I posted several days ago about some of the parallels between the Corapi and Euteneuer stories, and the models of priesthood both men have been promoting (and see also here).  In fact, until a reader of the two Bilgrimage postings to which I've just pointed readers--ClevelandGirl Margo321--told me that Corapi was Euteneuer's spiritual director, I had no idea of that fact, when I first began to recognize strong parallels between their stories and their models of pastoral ministry.

And now from O'Toole's posting, I'm learning much more about the strong ties that link these two rock-star priests of the talk circuit of the American Catholic right.  O'Toole tells a sensational story: not only does he confirm that Corapi was Euteneuer's spiritual director, but he claims that in that capacity, Corapi encouraged Euteneuer to burn a diary of the woman Euteneuer has admitted molesting under his pastoral care.

If this is true--and I'll emphasize that I'm reporting here what Tom O'Toole has just said on his blog*--this is disturbing information, and it possibly has criminal implications.  Readers will remember that it was O'Toole who broke and kept pushing the Euteneuer story, and who published a statement by the parents of the young woman Euteneuer admitted molesting on his Fighting Irish blog.

Once again: to me, one of the fascinating developments of both the Euteneuer and Corapi stories is the willingness of conservative Catholic bloggers to pursue these stories.  In the past two days, I've had some visits (and comments) here from outraged worshipers at the Corapi altar, calling me everything from a meddling busybody to an idiot.  

If those folks want to be angry at anyone, they might want to consider turning their wrath towards some fellow Catholics who, in general, share their conservative slant on Catholicism.  But who, to their credit, have integrity, the integrity to recognize and talk honestly about the truth when it's staring them in the face.

One troubling fact we all might want to keep in the forefront of our minds as the beatification of John Paul II approaches: unless I'm mistaken, it was John Paul who--directly! (and how did this happen?)--ordained Father John Corapi to the priesthood. The rock-star, manly-man model of Fathers Corapi and Euteneuer has historical precedent in the previous pope himself.

*And note the comment of Jeannette O'Toole following this posting, emphasizing that what Tom O'Toole is reporting about the destruction of the diary is what Euteneuer's victim said Euteneuer told her--and so it needs to be emphasized that Tom O'Toole is not claiming to be reporting something he or anyone else (other than Euteneuer) has claimed Corapi said.

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