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Fr. Peter Carota on blogging, fame, and money September 20, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the enemy, Tradition, Virtue.

I have to begin this post with a quick note of apology to “Traditional Catholic Priest,” whom I had misidentified as Fr. Saenz, when it is actually Fr. Peter Carota.  Mea culpa!  Sorry!

Fr. Carota has a really good post that touches on the whole Michael Voris/Catholic personality imbroglio that broke out late last month.  He doesn’t deal with any of the personalities involved, but only discusses the dangers of mixing one’s love for the Church with one’s livelihood, or income.  I like this piece, because Fr. Carota pretty much encapsulates my own views on mixing money and apologetics, while he also has more awesome art, some of which I steal and post here (all emphasis in original, I add some comments):

We traditional bloggers, YouTube-ers and speakers need to have great caution about becoming famous and earning money from our apostolateTuy_Vision Recently we have we have been hearing a good deal about the large salaries of Neo Cat. apologetic speakers.  A little while ago I clicked on a headline of one of these speakers and was greeted with a plea for money.  It went like this: “The summer times are slow and the money is not coming in as usual, so could you send $$$.  It greatly saddened me, because I feel that this person does not need more money and it seemed as if he was using his apostolate to get money.  I strongly believe that we should not be making money from converting people and saving souls.

Again a few days ago, a man told me he watches EWTN and enjoys it, but he added: “They sure do ask a lot for money“.  Yes they need money to run the TV station.  But do they really need to ask so much.  If you watch protestant and non-denominational TV you will see the same thing.  Send money. Send money.  I remember the fall of Jimmy Swaggart and Jim and Tammy Bakker.

Similar to most of you, I would listen to Fr. John Corapi on Catholic Radio.  I especially like that he told it like it was and spoke on the Spiritual Battle with the Devil.  But I knew ahead of time there were going to be problems for him.  At the end of every talk always came the pitch to get a CD from Santa Cruz communications.  I also knew he received large amounts of money for his public speaking engagements.  I also remember him talking about winning the million dollar settlement from the doctor who was going to do un-nessessary heart surgery on him.  All this caused a red flag to go up.  God and money are a dangerous combination.  It can work out, but it has its big dangers.

IMG_0005A mens group in my parish sponsored him to come to Modesto California.  I was the Master of Ceremony at the event.  With his speaking fee, flight and hotel arrangements, (plus paying for the cost for his bodyguard), the event cost $10,000.  At that time I had the opportunity to meet with him and listen to him.  The Sisters of the Cross (Hermanas de la Cruz) had him over to their convent next door for lunch.  Interestingly he told them how he had studied the “spirituality of the cross” by Conchita Cabrera de Armida for his Doctorate.  It was soon after this that he would only speak once in a while at huge auditoriums.  Big bucks. [Interesting tale. Will the Fr. Corapi boo-birds show up?]

Why am I bringing this up?  Not to get down on Fr. John Corapi, but to tell all of us involved in the Catholic world of preaching the Gospel, to watch out for fame and money.  It makes me upset that when you invite a Neo Cat speaker, (and most of the apologetic writers and speakers) to come to a parish, you have to pay a very large speaking fee to them.  They also sell their books and CD’s and DVD’s.  I just can not see Jesus having a fee to come and preach the Gospel.

I have no problem with taking up a collection at the end of the talk or mission. [I know one very well known – and oh-so-controversial! – Catholic apologist/video producer who takes a more or less at-will offering at the end of this talk. Almost all demand an upfront payment.] But what has happened is that we have produced a Catholic job market of ex-protestant speakers and other Catholics who make a lot of money talking Vargas-Gonzalez-funeral030-1on TV and Radio programs and going around to parishes.  We need these speakers, but they should be doing it for free like Jesus. [Do you think that is right?  Do you agree with Fr. Carota that apologists should not make an income off the Church/faithful?  I think as Michael Voris has shown, doing so provides huge avenues for self-interest and outside pressure, perhaps from liberal bishops, to affect the content of the apologetics. I think there might be some room for making income, but it has to be done carefully, and not subject to the bishop’s control mechanism, the sainted, vaunted, absolutely necessary “letter of approval.”  I doubt I could get one!]  Yes, St. Paul said that the worker deserves his keep, but St. Paul also went around working with his own hands as a tent maker so that he would not be a burden to anyone to whom he brought the Gospel.

And then, sad to say, very few of these famous speakers are in favor of the traditional Catholic Mass or questioning of “new doctrines” or what you might call “the evolution of Catholic doctrine”.  They will not criticize Vatican II or bring up the problems that it has caused in the Church.  One of the reasons is that they are mostly new Catholics whom never experienced how great the Catholic Faith was before.  And if you are too critical you will probably not get the paid engagement or get permission to come speak.  [No, it’s a 100% certitude.  Question the Council, criticize the post-conciliar Church, and you’re done for in the Catholic Speaker’s Guild]

The other very very serious danger is that of fame and pride.  How many other great and famous Catholic personalities have fallen from grace recently?  It is of great concern when this happens.  How many great Catholics and non-Catholics were scandalized by the fall from grace of Fr. Corapi?  I was in the Philippines working with the poor some years ago.  Fr Corapi was the favorite of so many I talked to there.  He was helping millions become better christians.  But when we become famous and rich, watch out.  The devil hates the saving of souls and will literally do anything he can to make us fall.

—————–End Quote—————

Sorry, Father, I ripped off almost your whole post. But there is a bit more there, including a very nice conclusion.

As for the below……….sweet!  Ukranian Catholic!



1. glorybe1929 - September 20, 2013

PLEASE TAKE ME OFF YOUR LIST. glorybe1929@gmail.com

On Friday, September 20, 2013, A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics wrote: > tantamergo posted: “I have to begin this post with a quick note of apology to “Traditional Catholic Priest,” whom I had misidentified as Fr. Saenz, when it is actually Fr. Peter Carota. Mea culpa! Sorry! Fr. Carota has a really good post that touches on the whole Michae” >

2. Scott Woltze - September 21, 2013

Fr. Carota often mentions on his blog that he has been black-listed and run-down by fellow clergy, and that it is simply the fate of a zealous, tradition-minded diocesan priest. I can attest to Father’s claim, as I first learned of him after a bizarre experience at a men’s conference in Vancouver, WA.

The keynote speaker, a celebrity priest who does excellent work trying to restore Catholic manhood, kept interrupting his talk to fulminate about his last speaking stop. He kept thanking us for not being like the last crowd, that “Boy, those people are messed up down there”, and “How dare they denigrate my priesthood because I don’t know Latin?” He made some jokes about Latin and the rural character of the parish, and told us twice not to come up to him after the talk and tell him that “the devil hates Latin” (a notion he openly mocked). He also swore quite a bit and made some off-color jokes. Finally, he mentioned that his last stop was in California. Well, I’m the curious type and so when I got home I looked online to see the speaker’s last stop: Ripon, CA, Fr. Carota’s parish.

I’m sorry that the celebrity priest was offended by Father Carota’s words on Latin and the priesthood, but his reaction was troubling. We need to remember not to idolize “celebrity catholics”. That a priest or laymen who writes great books or gives great speeches may be just that: a great writer and speaker but not a holy example.

3. Marguerite - September 21, 2013

Great photo of a Bzyantine Catholic priest. If any of you have never been to a Ukrainian Bzyantine Catholic Wedding Mass, get thyselves to one. It is one of the most glorious ceremonies for a man and a woman this side of Heaven!

4. Michael J. O'Neill, Derby, Kansas - September 21, 2013

Interesting missive on professional lay Catholic evangelists; sadly, after Ven. Bishop Fulton Sheen died in 1979 a cadre of for profit speakers and writers quickly came to fame and fortune.

5. TG - September 22, 2013

Good post. Explains a lot. When I listed to Catholic Answers, I used to wonder why nothing negative was ever said about what’s happening in the church. Speaking of Father Corapi, do you have any latest news. That’s how I found this blog by googling Father Corapi. I was curius as to what happened to him.

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