Not to back or not back Father Corapi, or any other itinerant preacher, but I’ve been in an arguement with someone on some message board who thinks that Fr. Corapi should be ashamed, ashamed, I tell you, to have been charging fees for people to hear him preach!
This is not about Fr. Corapi. It’s about the economy of the Church.
The best way to explain this is that, like anything else in this world, everything costs money. In your parish, it costs money for the screw that holds down the pew. It costs money for the missalette, the hymnal, the bulletin, the lectionary, the sacramentary, the organ, the piano, the light bulbs, the sacramental hosts and wine. It costs money for vestments, thuribles, not to mention electricity. It even costs money to feed the priest(s).
The point is that diocesan priests have a salary, and every time your parish has an event, there’s an expense.
If you go see a lay evangelist like Tim Staples, it likely cost $2000 plus expenses to bring him. So it should be no surprise that Father Corapi, who was neither paid nor funded (the Church doesn’t pay any of his overhead expenses-shelter, food, utilities, health and legal costs, and so on) by anyone but by his own endeavors, charges fees to appear.
This, in no way, excuses that he may have had luxury, but it seems that his order does not take a vow of poverty. Father Corapi’s living situation may seem irregular. No denying that. But it was the situation he agreed to, and his order agreed as well.
Personally, I believe any priest needs a support structure of people, a family, so to speak. And Father likely failed (if, indeed, he did fail) because of his lone wolf situation.