The outcry over Fr Corapi’s suspension on the web is astounding. In every combox I have seen support for him is overwhelming, and often his accuser is attacked, sometimes viciously. To many Father is already canonized, and anyone questioning this is in league with the devil.
It strikes me as unwise to the extreme to rally around someone like this, an indication that his superstar status has eclipsed common sense. It is important to remember that if you know only someone’s public persona you do not know him at all. I learned this lesson early on, when several people I looked up to let me down, but one would think that Catholics, of all people, would have taken this to heart by now. From Fr Ritter to Fr Roberts to Fr Maciel and on and on one has seen popular priests fall. Caution and prayer would seem wise at this point.
This is not to say that Fr Corapi is guilty of the charges. Only he, his accuser, and God know that.
As I have noted, I was skeptical about him to begin with. Some may attack me for this, but I am under no obligation to believe tales that sound far-fetched, as some of Father’s do, and I am also by nature put off by the trappings of celebrity, and by some his recent claims as well: that he is being stalked, that he is receiving death threats. Again, I am under no obligation to believe this, and I await verification. And it bothers me that he is reported to carry a gun.
And not least, I am put off by Fr Corapi’s mercenary preaching: tickets for his appearances can run upwards of $100 on the internet. Personally,I find that this is scandal enough. Can you for a minute imagine the Apostles selling tickets? Or Francis Xavier? Or John Wesley? Or any of the great preachers of Christian history?
Again, however much you may be moved by Fr Corapi’s preaching, you do not know the man. He may well be innocent of these charges. But for now just pray for him, for his accuser, and for the truth to prevail. And pray that if indeed he is innocent that he may rethink his approach to his vocation as a preacher, eschewing the trappings of superstardom and giving his gifts freely, rather than selling tickets on Ticketmaster.