Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Father John Corapi spoke at St Thomas before 1,600 Men

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What a Saturday in the Saintly City. The Rev. John Corapi in the morning and afternoon. Daniel Ellsberg in the evening.

These two guys are outspoken and passionate mavericks who probably won't see eye-to-eye on some issues, both secular and sacred.

That's life. But there's always common ground, if we choose to look for it. Both touched on a common theme in separate presentations: moral backbone. Both believe there's a lack of it and a great need for it now.

Corapi, 60, is a blunt-speaking Roman Catholic priest who embraces traditional teachings in a charismatic, old-school way and makes absolutely no apologies for it.

In fact, he believes that he is not saying anything of worth if what he has to say doesn't offend anyone at all or doesn't "ruffle some feathers.'' He has developed a rock star-like following through his lectures on the EWTN cable channel and a Web site that draws substantial daily hits.

Ellsberg, 76, is a former Marine and Pentagon analyst who set in motion events that led to the downfall and unprecedented resignation of a sitting U.S. president more than 30 years ago.

Both men spoke before to vastly different audiences this past weekend. Corapi appeared before a sold-out audience of 1,600 men inside the field house at the University of St. Thomas.

Ellsberg's crowd was much more intimate: about 50 of the Twin Cities' mostly DFL elite crunched into a cozy living room at the St. Paul home of noted attorney and infamous "Minnesota Eight" member Bill Tilton.

Corapi centered his lecture on leadership in general and the meaning of manhood in the Catholic faith.

"Poor leadership is the kiss of death,'' said Corapi, a wealthy CEO who became an ordained priest after struggling with drug addiction and homelessness.

Leading by example, not by words alone, being willing to do first what you ask others to do, and standing your ground even in the face of death are attributes of real leadership, he said.

"Without a moral spinal column, you cannot stand for anything. Without it, you will fall for everything,'' Corapi said. "Being a Catholic is not easy.'' [...snip] Pioneer Press

The author of this PPD article drew some interesting parallels between Father Corapi and Ellsburg. One being the size of their audience. But he he missed a more direct one. "Whistle-Blower" Ellsburg's story is well-known and he deserves credit for what he did.

Father Corapi, during a routine medical examination in California was told that he needed triple bypass heart surgery --- that day. Having felt perfectly fit before the examination, the diagnosis scared him, but he had a scheduled mission he needed to attend so he put it off and spoke at the parish where he was scheduled.

The following week he was in Nevada and visited a cardiologist he knew and asked for another examination. The cardiologist could find nothing wrong with Father Corapi's heart. Father ultimately reported his California doctor for Medicare fraud. He had been engaged in this all over northern California. When he was ultimately convicted and fined, Father Corapi's Religious Order, the Society of Our Lady of the Trinity, was rewarded handsomely (7 figures) for his "whistle-blowing" deed.

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