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The Fall of an American Idol, Season 2

This is the New Oxford Note we didn’t want to write.

We had been hoping against hope that the accusations against Fr. John Corapi, the popular, charismatic radio and television evangelist, were unfounded. We truly wanted to believe him when he asserted his innocence. He was, after all, a man who, by the grace of God, was lifted out of a life of drug abuse and debauchery, who reverted to the faith under the guidance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was ordained a priest by Pope John Paul II, and who went on to preach the Gospel with an infectious passion and always in an unapologetically orthodox fashion. His gift for evangelization was unparalleled in our time: He was often likened to a modern-day Fulton Sheen. Nobody else was in his league. He was dynamic yet very human: the epitome of man redeemed.

Fr. Corapi was, by all appearances, a true fighter for the faith, a beacon of light in a time of creeping darkness and confusion. Through his broadcasts and personal appearances he touched the lives of innumerable people, often reaffirming the faith of those in distress and calling into the sheepfold the lambs lost in the American wilderness.

John Corapi’s conversion story was an incredible testimony to the grace of God even in the darkest of circumstances: he a homeless substance abuser on the streets of LA, while his mother prayed fervent rosaries on his behalf back at his childhood home. Here was a sinner among sinners who at his lowest point was rescued by heavenly intervention. What hope his story brought to the faithful whose friends and family members had fallen away!

Imagine the devastation among his dedicated followers when the façade cracked.

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