Fr. John Corapi,
Years ago, your words and the clarion call to to live a life of holiness were a great encouragement and ministry to our family when we crossed the Tiber. The Tiber waters were often rough as we exchanged friends and a comfortable, predictable spiritual life for a new future filled with questions and anxieties. Your sermons helped to open our hearts to the beauty and majesty of the Catholic Church, reminding us of what it means to follow Christ's voice--even when the voice calls us to hardship.
Part of what it means to be Catholic is to appreciate that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves. In short, it's not about us; it's about Him. As someone who received a letter once from an imprisoned priest, I think I have the tiniest inkling of what you (and other priests and bishops) face in trying times such as these.
Still, it seems that something within your response and your declaration to leave the priesthood adds credence to your accusers and those vocal critics--the ones saying that they knew this was coming, for instance. Worst still perhaps, your departure means that priests facing real persecution for preaching the Gospel have one less earthly model to look to for comfort and encouragement.
We are not your fans. We are fellow followers of Christ in battle for our own spirtual well-being as well as the souls walking beside us each and every day of our lives. We don't know these people most of the time, but, as C.S. Lewis wrote, each one of these strangers is an immortal soul--destined to spend eternity in one of two places. Is what's being done to you unfair and unjust? Perhaps so, but why would you leave the priesthood over mere accusations? If it is untrue, aren't we called upon to fight untruth with every fiber of our being?
You seem to be surrendering a battle long-fought. I would encourage you, instead, to offer the pain up to Christ and His Holy Mother Mary and take up your personal cross to fight the good battle of faith. If you do so in humility and grace, your brothers and sisters in Christ will welcome you with open arms.
I pray that the love of God rest with you always. God bless.
PS. In a completely different vein, please see the announcement at Tristan's Travels.