Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Recent Downfall of Popular Religious Figures.

Two big stories in both the Protestant and Catholic world recently: First, the end of the Crystal Cathedral (it's going to be knocked down and turned into apartments by an Orange county developer- Babylon the great has fallen, salvation belongs to our God, hallelujah!).  Secondly, Father John Corapi has been dismissed from the Eternal Word Network for habitual drug use and having sexual relationships with several women over the years.  About the later part of the accusation, yes, I know what joke or sarcastic quip you the reader were thinking of.  But I'm not going there!  So don't even try!

I actually don't feel terribly sad about the Crystal Cathedral (who would!), but the Corapi story kind of does make me sad.  This is true for a number of reasons:  First, I have a certain amount of fondness for Corapi because it was from him that I learned my popular Catholicism and my Catholic catechism.  When I was at Marquette, I sought to educate myself by reading the Summa Theologiae and the Summa Contra Gentiles in their entirety.  I also watched a 24 part series on the Catholic catechism, which featured Corapi as the speaker (it was part of their library of spirituality.  From the checkout cards I discovered that I was the only one to have ever watch it!).  He would bellow about the evils of birth control or putting vanilla in bread that was going to be consecrated for the Lord's Supper and it was all very entertaining- even if I disagreed with it and found some of the things he obsessed on rather odd.  He could also been irritatingly legalistic at times, but I think that goes with the territory.  

Secondly, he had a very compelling story.  He had been a millionaire and cocaine addict who had eventually became homeless, returned to Christianity and then earned a doctorate in theology.  I'm not certain if the story is true (he still claims it's not), but it would be in keeping with him falling back into old habits.  On the other hand, having had some friends and relatives who have been falsely accused of things in the past, I now take everything I read in the media with a grain of salt. Let's hope that it's not true.  If it is, let's hope that God uses it was a way to finally teach him about justification by faith alone! 


  1. One might wish to see the end of the Crystal Cathedral, but I can find no article stating that the church will be "torn down".

    The bankruptcy plan, apparently yet to be ruled on by the bankruptcy court, calls for the ministry to lease back the church's core buildings, including buy back rights.

    Have a blessed day!!

  2. I shall miss Father Corapi's teaching on EWTN. I found it quite enlightening to listen along with his instruction, CCC in hand, while applying Lutheran doctrine to the instruction. My prayers for repentance and absolution be with him.

  3. John- They interviewed the guy on Issues, etc. who said they were destroying it. That's where I got my information. Perhaps wrong, but I thought it was pretty reliable.

  4. I also heard that the LA archdiocese was making a bid for the building. But your info might be more recent.