Written only as Dymphna can, I’ve not a word to add. Full cross-post, with permission.
Be extremely careful with any layman who makes his entire living from writing and talking about the Faith. Those Elmer Gantry’s will not give you Our Lord in Communion. They are not the ones who sit with you as your child dies. They are not the ones who hear your confession on the side of the road because you were so happy to see a priest. They are not the ones driving miles to get to outlying villages to provide the sacraments. They are not the ones who listened to you pour out your fears and gave you courage to do the right thing about a particular situation, and they are not the ones who come to the rescue when somebody in your household messes with the occult.
The layman professional Catholic will take your money and if you pay enough of it, you will have access to their designated fan only email in-box or phone line. Oh boy! Doesn’t that make you feel special! These grifting vipers post photos of their fabulous vacations…err.. pilgrimages and their tastefully decorated homes that you helped pay for and the foolish will fancy that they have relationship with these people. The other extreme is the professional Catholic who cries genteel poverty and use guilt to manipulate you into donating to them because they are really being brave and sacrificial to bring their “apostolate” to you. They piously turn up their noses at their tacky neighbors and the consumerism of the masses but somehow– thanks to donors—manage to make it to Europe without bilocation, (notice these people never go to Kibeho, Calcutta or the Catholic areas of Nigeria) on a regular basis.
Some guy with a theology degree and the ability to write well is not your spiritual father or your friend. What you do with your money is your own business but I’ll plead with you. Stop fattening frogs for snakes. Before you hit the patron button do your own research. Find out where these guys have their businesses registered. Go to the state corporations site and look up their organizational documents. If they are registered as a charity then look up their IRS Form 990s. Read how much of the money goes to salaries and what the true expenses are then make an informed decision for yourself. If you can’t find any business or charity documents on their “apostolate,” that could be a very bad sign. If you ask flat out, in their comment section or private e-mail, “Who funds you?,” and get a hostile or evasive answer that’s a ten foot tall neon bad sign.