Messages and Messengers!

As was recently reported, Fr. Corapi has been suspended pending an investigation into an accusation made against him about inappropriate conduct. The majority of comments being made either vilify or vindicate him, as if public opinion were the judge and jury. The reality is that opinions mean very little at this point and all should refrain from judgment one way or another in order to let those who have the facts, which should remain private, help all those concerned.

What is missing at this point are discussions about the message he preached, that is, discussions on whether or not his message is consistent with the Gospel and Church Teaching. His programs, homilies, and writings together constitute a message and the veracity of that message should remain the key focus of all public discussions. Thus, we need to ask, did he preach the Truth or not? His conduct and evidence of holiness of life can certainly support that message but the message is not dependent upon it. Such discussions can further the Gospel message, which was the focus of his preaching and teaching.

As Jesus reminds us of the religious leaders of His time, “Do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.” This is not a statement about whether Fr. Corapi has done anything inappropriate at all but one that reminds us that ALL preachers are sinners. All of us have a fallen nature and all need to repent. Even so, we are responsible to the Truth. With regard to the Gospel, the message is not dependent on the messenger as its Truth exists apart from the messenger. If such were the case, the Church would not be here today.

Unfortunately today, especially in America, we are led to believe that message and messenger are mutually intertwined. Too often in discussions, attacks are made on one’s character in order to discredit his or her message. Some attacks are justified and some are not but in all cases the messenger’s character is not the gauge of veracity. In times past, academic pursuits where just that -- a pursuit of Truth. It is only in modern times where winning at all costs has supplanted honest academic pursuits. Thus, it is time we return to the pursuit of Truth in all our discussions, which exists despite our fallen nature.