Staying true to God through trials, tribulation

Re “Lessons from the allegations against Father John Corapi” (Openers, April 3).  

I am one of those “cradle” Catholics who came back to the Church recently with a hunger and thirst for God and Catholicism. I stumbled across Father Corapi as I clicked my way through a hodgepodge of way too many TV shows when I stopped at Catholic TV. I saw this priest who was lively, stern and forceful, who was determined to get God’s word out to you. Father Corapi had a profound impact on my utter inexperience and perception of my religion and the knowledge and understanding of God. 

I do see your point on his highly intense supporters. They do believe that this woman who wrote the three-page letter must be employed by the devil himself. Who knows, maybe she is, or maybe she is emotionally unstable, or maybe she is right. 

If we live holiness vicariously through our clergy, then we have done a disservice to ourselves. We look to them as servants of God, just like ourselves, but with a bit more insight and understanding of what we don’t understand. He has been given the Sacrament of Holy Orders. He represents Jesus, but is not Jesus. He is man, and man makes mistakes, even priests. I believe Father Corapi will come out of this just fine. We all have trials and tribulations throughout life. Some of us have even been persecuted in public. If you are true to yourself then you are true to God, therefore, there is no need to worry. 

— Diane Rockwood, via email

Learn facts, then rule 

Father John Corapi is the best teacher of the Catholic faith that I have seen or heard in my 80 years. During the last 55 years I have been an active catechist at many locations around the world. The print and audiovisual materials produced by Father Corapi have no equal.  

The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity did what our Church requires when allegations of impropriety are made concerning a priest. I believe it is best to keep all comments on this matter in a nonspeculative posture. 

I, for one, will be praying for Father Corapi while his order proceeds with the investigation. I am saddened by remarks concerning Father, such as, “... too much of an ecclesial rock-star, too vain ... too popular,” even when they are punctuated with a question mark. He deserves great credit for his work. Allow his religious order to determine the facts and then rule. 

— Bill Bowen, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Priests and confession 

Re Russell Shaw’s “Contraception and confession” (Essay, April 10). Perhaps the main reason for so few going to confession is the lack of importance many priests give this sacrament. At my former parish, the pastor gave us plenty of opportunities for confession. We even had it the Thursday before First Friday. One of the first things the next pastor did was cancel this particular opportunity. The next priest cut the confession times back even more. Priests never mention the importance of confession in homilies. 

My mother’s priest told the new converts that even though they didn’t have to go to confession unless they were in mortal sin, they might want to consider going once a year — perhaps on their birthday. How can parishioners consider it important to go regularly with advice like this? 

— Name withheld, Wichita, Kan.

Union benefits 

Re Stephen Donahue’s “What about Church workers’ rights and benefits?” (Letters to the editor, April 3). 

It is my hope that placing the opinion of Donahue so prominently is not a position taken by your editorial staff. 

I have three loves in life: my family, my faith and my union. Each has provided me an opportunity to live my religion. Donahue fell headlong into a well of falsity and politics when attempting to center on the issue of union versus nonunion employees.  

His argument borders on the hypocritical when he mocks retirement benefits, referring to them as “lifetime benefits.” Need I remind him that throughout the year in most parishes, a special appeal goes out to parishioners for contributions designated in part, to fund pensions and health care for retired clergy and religious. Am I to assume Donahue would deny them lifetime benefits? 

The expedient thing to do in this financial crisis is to blame the victim, as Donahue does. Rather I ask that he refer to Scripture, which, in part, says to those of us who are given much, much is expected. 

The wealth in this country is staggering. Yet if the top won’t pay it, and the bottom can’t pay it, the middle is left to pay it all. Corporations and those who run them can most afford to pay, yet they have shed their moral responsibilities, dodged their tax obligations and now seek to balance their budgets by denying worker rights. 

— Allan B Darr, via email

Apparition is worthy 

Why do I sense that politics was involved in the “judgment” of the Akita affair (“Is Japan’s Our Lady of Akita apparition ‘worthy of belief?’” April 3). Maybe it is because we are all familiar with the shenanigans of the USCCB and are hopeful that [President] Archbishop Timothy Dolan can work around them. You underestimate the knowledge the Lord has given to us all and the intelligence our good Lord gave us. You need to investigate further into the Romanita’ of the passing of the documents. 

— Bill Henzey, JMJ, via email