I was really, really sad to read about Fr. Corapi's decision over the weekend. My faith has frequently been renewed by many of his talks on EWTN radio, and I have very mixed feelings over this "move" he is making.
It appears he is abandoning his vow, his vocation, and is choosing the public life over the religious life. For many reasons, I am disappointed in his decision, if it is, in fact, what it appears to be, but mostly because I just don't think good can come out on top, no matter what.
For one, I think any one who is as dynamic as Fr. Corapi will have a following. If good Catholics leave the Church, or even go astray within the Church, because they follow him -- after all, he claims to be a "sheepdog" -- that will be tragic, and the dark side wins.
If he is not leaving the Church, but just moving on to become a public speaker, there will be plenty of priest-bashers on the sidelines to disparage the Church because of his move. Yup, dark wins again.
If it is true that "misguided" bishops in this country wanted him out, and they have achieved their goal with this move, then, I hate to say it, but dark wins there, too.
And dark wins for the simple fact that Fr. Corapi as Father Corapi was a bright light for Our Lord Jesus. No matter how good a public speaker he is, as a regular man, his light just isn't quite as bright as it is in persona Christi, in my opinion.
I read through this rather long, but very interesting, blog post and I agree with much of what the author wrote. All the reasons the author gives for Fr. Corapi's move seem plausible to me, albeit weak reasons for such a drastic change of heart.
It's hard for anyone to know what is in Fr. Corapi's heart, and if he feels called by God to make the move he is making. I find it hard to believe God would call a man away from the priesthood. Just as in marriage, the priesthood is for better or for worse. No one who gets going when the going gets tough is worth following, no matter how good a sheepdog he claims to be.