Land of the Free

The headline looked promising: ‘Houston Cemetery Bans the Word God from Military Funerals’ – and 30DAYs wasn’t disappointed!

The director of the Houston National Cemetery, Arleen Ocasio, has ordered the burial teams to instruct that religious references, as well as prayer, are no longer to be included as part of the burial services. Requests for messages or prayers can be formally submitted for her approval, but the mention of ‘God’ is not allowed.

Ocasio has also ordered the closing of the cemetery chapel, which used to be available for grieving family and friends to gather and pray. The space is now used to conduct personnel meetings, and for storage.

This being the US of A, litigation has of course already begun and is currently adjourned until 5 August, so we will have to watch this space. Searches on Google to discover Mrs K J Schori’s take on the affair have, unsurprisingly, proved fruitless.

Affluence, sex and insubordination

Still in the USA, where it emerges that one Fr John Corapi, until recently a popular contributor on TV network EWTN, has come something of a cropper.

A member of the missionary community The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), he seems to have sat rather lightly on a number of his vows as a professed religious. A Statement from SOLT sets the scene:

A woman, well known to Father John Corapi, mailed SOLT a signed letter detailing allegations of Father Corapi’s sexual activity with adult women, abuse of alcohol and drugs, improper sacramental practices, violation of his promise of poverty and other wrongdoing.

After receiving the allegation, SOLT formed a three-person fact-finding team to ensure that it handled the matter in accordance with canonical norms, but even as the Society was engaging this team, Fr Corapi filed a civil lawsuit against his principal accuser, contending that she had defamed him and breached her contract.

The contract, he claimed, contained a provision binding the woman to silence about him, in return for a payment of $100,000.

Despite his refusal to co-operate with the investigation, the team has now issued its report:

SOLT’s fact-finding team has acquired information from Fr Corapi’s emails, various witnesses and public sources that, together, state that, during his years of public ministry:

~ He did have sexual relations and years of cohabitation (in California and Montana) with a woman known to him, when the relationship began, as a prostitute.

~ He repeatedly abused alcohol and drugs.

~ He has recently engaged in “sexting” activity with one or more women in Montana.

~ He holds legal title to over $1 million in real estate, numerous luxury vehicles, motorcycles, an ATV, a boat dock, and several motor boats, which is a serious violation of his promise of poverty as a perpetually professed member of the Society. Catholics should understand that SOLT does not consider Fr John Corapi as fit for ministry.

Presumably, we can look forward to his re-appearance in due course as a priest of The Episcopal Church (Proprietor: Mrs K J Schori).

Vain hope

A New Directions reader from Wales emails (in satirical mood) to say that he looks forward to a supportive review in these pages of the hefty theological tome referred to in this press release from the Church in Wales:

The Monmouth group of parishes celebrated the launch of a new book by the Revd Dr Ali Green with a champagne and coffee morning in Monmouth Priory.

On the table with the books was a vase of Florence Li Tim-Oi dahlias. Named after the Revd Florence Li Tim-Oi, the first Anglican woman priest, the dahlias had just bloomed in Ali’s garden, and it was appropriate that they adorned the work of a feminist theologian. A Priesthood of Both Sexes: paying attention to difference follows on from Ali’s first book, A Theology of Women’s Priesthood.

To write it, Ali was in contact with people around the world, and she draws on interviews and first-hand accounts to give a practical account of how a church that is truly committed to the interests of all people lives out that commitment in the inclusivity of its leadership.

What was sauce for the bishop…

As a former Catholic priest who joined The Episcopal Church (Proprietor: Mrs K J Schori) in the early ‘80s in order to get married, the Bishop of Long Island, Lawrence Provenzano, might be expected to be a bit of a liberal. But, with same-sex marriage about to become legal in the state of New York, he has really put his foot down in no uncertain way on the subject of gay clergy who are residing in homosexual relationships.

He has imposed a nine month deadline, by the end of which they must stop living together. Unless, of course, they get married.

Copy for 30 Days should reach the FiF
office by the 10th day of the month: