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The Father Cutie Scandal

cutie9Given the recent publication of Fr. Cutie’s self-justifying book, I thought it worthwhile to publish these revised reflections at my BLOGGER PRIEST site:

There are some critics who contend that the scandal in Miami with Father Alberto Cutie is providential. While God can certainly write straight with our crooked lines, I would stress that he never directly intends evil. There I have said it. I have used the big “e” word, EVIL. I am not judging anyone’s soul. However, I can make a judgment upon scandal and the actions of people in the public square that might lead good Catholics astray. I am not entirely sure what happened with Father Alberto Cutie. He appeared on the news with details we did not need but which have further confused and complicated matters. Now he writes a “tell all” book which attacks the teachings and disciplines of the Catholic Church.

He insisted that for twenty-one years he absolutely preserved his celibacy intact and was not sexually intimate with anyone. That is fine and dandy. But then, what happened? During one TV interview he said he “believes” he has fallen in love. He said he “believes” that God might be calling him to marriage. He said he “believes” that celibacy is a good thing and does not want to be the poster boy for married priests. He denied a sexual relationship, told one interviewer he had been intimate with the woman in the photographs, but not sexually and yet he apparently said in another news program that he had been sexually intimate with her. He said that he did not go out of his way to make trouble for the Church. He said that he and the woman he cared about were almost alone on the beach and that they were not there long. But the compromising photos were taken, despite attempts at stealth. Okay, but still he sought to hide a romantic relationship to which he had long ago given up any right to have.

He preached and gave one message in his parish and on radio and television; but he lived another. Had he been an ordinary parish priest, there would have been a local scandal, but it would not be international news. It would not be the stuff of tabloids and anti-Catholic videos. After he was censured, this priest continued to speak about the matter in public. The problem grew. He gave countless interviews in both English and Spanish. He just would not stop talking. He still has not stopped.

A Reflection on Celibacy

What can we say to the enemies of compulsory celibacy for priests? Priestly celibacy is not outdated. It is a powerful sign of contradiction that neither the devil nor the hedonists of the present age can stand. They malign it as a fantasy or cover-up for hordes of homosexual and/or pedophile clergy. Priests forgive the sexual transgressions of other men and women all the time. However, if a priest should fall, there is only recrimination and exile.

There is nothing wrong with men and women expressing love to one another. It is natural and beautiful. But sexual congress belongs to the state of marriage alone. Priests like all men can make mistakes; but, unlike most men, the majority of priests in the Roman Rite are pledged to a lifetime of celibate love. Yes, while celibacy is a discipline, it is also a manner of loving others, albeit in a single-hearted way. The celibate priest knows a special solidarity with the brokenhearted, the poor, the suffering and those who are alone. His celibacy says that he belongs to the people he serves, without reservation or distraction. He does not belong to another person or even to himself. He belongs to the Church in which he serves. He demonstrates his love for God in how he pours out his life for others.

One early interview was particularly disturbing when it was asked if he would stay or leave the Catholic Church. He admitted that he was currently weighing his options. I was saddened. I thought to myself, if a charismatic priest, regarded by some as the Oprah of the Church, should defect, the harm he would inflict upon the Church could be enormous. He had been instrumental in drawing many people back to the practice of their faith. This scandal could further explode and cause an exodus of souls from the true Church.

He was handsome and seemingly filled with vigor and love of the Church. Such things are contagious in a good way. But hero-worship of any sort, particularly with celebrities, has a dangerous flip-side. They can do much good. But, they are also capable of terrible wrongs and damage. Younger people who easily related to him might now view the rules of the Church as arbitrary and heartless. They might say to themselves, if someone like Father Cutie can no longer tolerate the Church, then why should I?

Critics contend, “Isn’t the Father Cutie scandal just further evidence that it is wrong and dangerous for Catholic priests to suppress their natural desires for sexual intimacy with women?”

The priest in question admitted he had a long-standing serious struggle with his sexuality and need for a wife and family. It may be that he sought ordination without open full deliberation and resolution of this concern with those to whom he was entrusted for formation. He may have been chaste in his behavior for many years but failed to surrender dreams and hopes for a family of his own. The man who would be a priest must let these things go. His hopes and aspirations should revolve instead around his prayer life and his goals and service as a pastor of souls. Men in seminary must also be realistic about their drives. As St. Paul reminds us, it is better to marry than to burn. Priests must also be very wary of their fantasies regarding choices not made and how other men might live. The grass might seem greener on the other side of the fence; but priests must not trespass where they do not belong. They freely embraced celibacy so as to enter into holy orders and become priests. Had they become married deacons, they would still be clergy in the Church. They could have lived saintly lives as laymen. But they made a choice. They made promises. These promises should be kept. Before ordination is the proper time for deliberation and soul searching, not afterwards.

The business about Father Cutie should have no meaning beyond this one poor priest, himself. He is not representative of the thousands of other priests in the United States who have never compromised their promises or their celibacy. The impression from the question is that men cannot be expected to have any semblance of self-control. This is silly and shows just how far our society and its views have been contaminated and distorted by excessive nudity, immodesty, and eroticism. We even dress our little girls like whores and then wonder why there is child abuse. Teenagers have their bellies exposed and shorts up to their crotches. Parents sometimes object but then cannot find decent stuff in stores. Television and movies celebrate fornication and give us scene after scene of simulated sex acts. Pornography has gone main stream and sexual gratification is viewed as a necessary rite of passage. It is into this mix that we find the celibate priest. Mothers want their sons married because they cannot see how a man might otherwise be happy. Fathers want their sons married because otherwise everyone will think they are gay. The truth is that celibacy can be very rewarding and liberating. Celibacy is not a denial of love but a special way of loving.

The priest promises perpetual celibacy but even married men promise a fidelity to a spouse which will require periodic chastity. Those who follow Natural Family Planning would understand how one must be creative in love, perhaps reverting back from time to time to the romantic and chaste acts of courtship during fertile periods. Celibacy is not merely a matter of priests suppressing their sexuality; rather, it is redirected to a love of God and a love of neighbor in sacrificial service. Priests, who say their prayers and stay busy, have neither the time nor the interest to pursue an exclusive relationship. If men in general cannot be expected to control themselves, then what happens when a spouse is sick or incapacitated or away? If the husband has military duty abroad or the wife has to travel back home to care for an ailing parent or there is an extended business meeting, would the man control his sexual urges or be compelled to commit adultery? If his wife is sick and cannot have sex with him, does he necessarily turn to her pretty nurse as a proxy? An over-sexed society suffering from an epidemic of fornication, perversion, adultery, pornography, prostitution and child endangerment can hardly speak in a credible way about priestly celibacy and marriage. The trouble with these fallen priests is not the Church but the fact that they themselves are formed and affected more by the fallen world around them than by the Gospel. Secularists and hedonists criticizing priestly celibacy are like inebriated boozers telling teetotalers to take a drink.

Where Does a FIRED Catholic Priest Go?

Before he made his jump, I read one critic who argued that Father Cutie could defect to the Episcopalian Church, get married and continue his parish and media ministry. I wrote: “Yes, he could do this, but he might forfeit his soul in such a move. The moral state of people who were raised in the Episcopal or Anglican Church is one thing; the state of those who abandon Catholicism to join their ranks is another.”

The original Protestant reformers may have paid a terrible price in their break from Rome. They should have known better. The same cannot be said for those who were raised in the Protestant traditions. This is all they know. Those elements of Catholic faith preserved after the break may very well be meritorious for our Protestant brothers and sisters. However, those very same elements may convict former Catholics who were supposed to remain steadfast within the body of the Church and in the profession of all that we believe as true. Ignorance of the truth does provide some measure of excuse. Catholics in general and priests in particular, would have a more difficult time. They were one with the true Church. They professed its faith and received its sacraments. The conviction from the Fourth Lateran Council, Trent and in the margins of Vatican II cannot be escaped: there is no salvation outside the Church. Those who know, perfectly well, that the Catholic Church is the true Church, and then refuse to join or leave its ranks, might lose their place in the heavenly kingdom. In addition, the Holy Father has insisted that Protestant churches are ecclesial communities but not churches in the full Catholic sense. The Anglicans like to see themselves as a branch of Catholicism, but this sentiment is not shared by the successor of St. Peter. There are serious questions about apostolic succession and its priesthood and Mass. Non-Catholic communities suffer from many dire errors in teaching. Yes, the Episcopalians have married priests, but they also have openly gay clergy and (women) priestesses. They tolerate abortion, sodomy, fornication, contraception, divorce and remarriage, etc. I doubted Father Cutie could stomach such a so-called church for long; I guess he is proving me wrong.

Father Alberto Cutie Defects to Episcopal Church

I grieve for the Church. It was bad enough that Father Alberto Cutie was living a secret life. He seemed more apologetic about being caught than about having his scandalous doings with his lady-friend photographed on a Florida beach. But next we are told that he joined the Episcopal Church. My heart droped at the news.

The wayward priest spent his designated “retreat” time hanging out with his girlfriend. He did not even try to reform. We have all been deceived. While he asked forgiveness and said that he did not want to be the poster-boy for married priests, he has abandoned the true Church entirely. He has done the very thing which he promised he would not do. He has brought both Church doctrine and discipline to ridicule. He has hurt the faith of simple people. Given his popularity as a pastor and as a widely-known media priest, the danger of his defection is incalculable. Who knows how many will follow him out of the Catholic fold?

The Episcopal Bishop Leo Frade should be deeply embarrassed by his disrespect to the priest’s legitimate bishop, Catholic Archbishop John Favalora. Bishop Frade was not Father Cutie’s true spiritual father, but rather of a robber who came to steal from the flock. In this case, he did not get away with sheep but with the shepherd. Ecumenism was dealt a serious set-back. I was surprised not to see lightning bolts from heaven about this travesty. The good Archbishop would have us pray for his prodigal son in the hope that he might return to the fold.

Quickly defecting after the news of his infidelity broke, he was unwilling to give the matter the proper amount of time and distance for sober reflection. I have to wonder how much of this was premeditated. There was even speculation that his girlfriend may have had some prior involvement with the photographer on the beach. But I think it is reaching to suppose he was setup to force his hand. Regardless of the machinations behind the scenes, the blunt of the blame must be borne by Father Cutie.

Although supposedly orthodox in his teachings, this latest act shows quite the opposite. He broke trust with his bishop and brother priests but now refers to Episcopalian priests as his “many brothers… [who] serve God as married men and with the blessing of having their own families.” This act sickens me. Episcopalian priests may be good Christians, but he sees no difference between the authentic priesthood of Catholicism and the empty shell of Anglicanism. He is not the first. But, almost every one of them abandoned Roman Catholicism, not for deep-seated doctrinal reasons, but because of the desire to bed a woman and still retain a public or ministerial persona as a spiritual guru.

Catholicism receives many Episcopalian priests into her ranks, but they are drawn by doctrinal permanence over fluctuating instability, moral absolutes over relativism and humility coupled with obedience to God and his Church over a selfish and earthbound liberalism. Those who become Catholic often sacrifice much in the way of salary, standing and home. While a few married Episcopalian priests have been ordained in the Catholic Church; many have sacrificed their ministries entirely to be a part of the Catholic family. They placed a higher premium on divine truth than upon a capricious religion easily swayed by the fads and fashions of the day.

How could he give advice about faith and relationships to others on television, radio and in writing when he was so personally messed up? People came to him for life-giving water; but he was really an empty well. Many of his supporters seemed more “on his side” than in harmony with the mind of the Church. He made disciples, inadvertently I suppose, less for Christ and his Church and more for himself. Sometimes I think the Church should rotate clergy in media settings. Left too long in front of the camera or on the radio– and a personality cult frequently develops. We should not hero-worship our clergy. If a popular priest should fall, he might take many souls with him. This business with Father Cutie has re-ignited the married priest debate even though most active priests prefer the status-quo in favor of compulsory celibacy. Who knows how dire this will continue to be for the Church in Miami?

A television station showed parishioners of St. Francis de Sales Parish marching around their church in support of their former pastor. Evidently they did not care that their pastor had broken his promises and had lived a lie. When interviewed they compared Father Cutie’s transgressions favorably against the terrible crimes of pedophiles. The real comparison is with good and faithful celibate priests.

The situation was intensely precarious. Later it became a great deal worse. The woman was identified as Ruhama Canellis. She stood by his side at Trinity Cathedral where they both entered the Episcopalian church. The Episcopal bishop and priests in attendance dressed up for the event. They pulled all the stops. Even priestesses were in attendance. He was planning to marry his lover and to become an Episcopalian priest. He has now realized these aspirations. I suppose it is fitting. King Henry VIII stole the English people from the Catholic Church so that he might divorce and remarry. Canellis is a divorced woman. Did Father Cutie miss the class in seminary on basic Christian morality? Are not fornication and adultery still sins? This should matter to them both. In addition to these concerns, he is now a renegade Catholic priest. If he accepts Protestant teaching, and plans to expound upon it, then he will be a heretic as well. He is digging a big hole for himself. My fear is that thousands might fall into it with him.

Well, it is a sad thing, but if the Episcopalian church wants our rejects then that is their trouble. Look how quickly they grabbed this fallen priest. We would have taken more time with one of theirs. His legitimate Catholic bishop was not even notified about his reception into the Episcopal “church.” That shows how little respect Father Cutie had for him and the ROMAN Catholic Church. The Episcopal diocese should be ashamed of itself. But given the current fragmented status of the Episcopal communion, are they even capable of shame? This was all quite sleazy and I suspect it was in the works for some time. I have no respect for men who do such things.

Father Cutie described his new faith affiliation as “a new family” and yet we do not subscribe to any form of religious relativism. Father Cutie disowned his family. That should be the real headline. All churches are not the same. The Holy Father was clear. The Catholic Church is the true Church; Orthodoxy is a defective church; and all Protestant groupings are ecclesial communities, but not properly CHURCH. Many Protestant communities claim no priesthood or Eucharist; Episcopalians claim both but the Catholic Church judged their orders invalid and their Eucharist as false.

SEE APOSTOLICAE CURAE (Pope Leo XIII, 1896)

They are not a branch of Catholicism but a foreign misbegotten creature that has delusions of grandeur while feigning a pedigree it does not really possess.

What clouds the issue is the presence of former Catholic priests in the Episcopal community. They are still priests, even if in mortal sin and excommunicated. Father Cutie says that he will continue to proclaim God’s Word; but what is a Catholic priest apart from the Catholic Church? Will he preach the Word of God or the word of Cutie? Father Cutie is rejecting the Pope, the authority of his lawful bishop, the seven sacraments as clearly defined by Catholicism, our view of priesthood, our moral teachings on sexuality and marriage, the prohibition against divorce and remarriage, and the basics of Catholic ecclesiology. Will he be happy? Can he close his mind and heart to the many differences we have with Episcopalians? He will be obliged to accept women priests, gay bishops and same-sex unions, a tolerance for abortion, artificial contraception and divorce with remarriage. He is leaving the Church of commandments for the church of anything goes. He says, “I will always love the Catholic Church.” But, he did not love her enough. The Church was his bride. Now he has traded her for two paramours: the divorcee and the mistress church of Henry VIII and Cranmer the despoiler.

5 Responses

  1. Fr. Cutie sounds off about the Fr. Pavone business, and in so doing, he attacks how bishops treat their priests. But who is he to speak? He himself lied to his people, violated his promises of obedience and celibacy and disrespected his bishop with an unannounced defection. He is just trying to do what cannot be done, find justification for his hypocrisy and rejection of the Church instituted by Christ.

  2. Do you want to know what’s incredibly ridiculous?
    Fox is now going to have “the Father Albert Cutie show”. A talk show of sorts. It is said that the first show will air in July. He is still actively looking to be in the limelight. Ugh.
    I was sent an email by the producers of this new show where I was asked about my opinion of father Albert. I quickly sent a reply saying I disagreed with what he did and will never watch the show. They contacted me back and want to bring me in for further interviewing and possibly even be a guest speaker on the show to voice my opinion (and the opinion of Catholics) about this matter. This blog has helped me immensely. Fr. Joe, you really have a way with words. Now I feel truly equipped to stand against Albert Cutie and say a few things to him. I don’t know how he sleeps at night. Having to be ok with same-sex marriage? Abortion? After being Catholic for so long?? Come on now.
    Thank you and God bless!
    Nothing will ever destroy the Catholic church. The one true church! Woohoo! Love my church!

    Oh and does it include self-love??? God being the source of love and all…

  3. COMMENT BY CATHOLIC GIRL

    Father, I appreciate your post so much. The idea that a person cannot be celibate is a joke. My brother and I are both in our early 30s. Neither of us has found “the one” and both of us remain celibate. Both of us briefly considered taking vows prior to realizing we could not be admitted for health issues. We’re both college graduates, normal with an active social and volunteer life.

    For some reason, friends and mainly protestant family act as if this is “unnatural” and we have been told more than once that we must be hiding that we are “gay” or need “medication.” I personally think the people who feel that one can not follow how Jesus Christ himself lived or the idea that we are “animals” who cannot control lust as “unnatural.” After our parents divorced, our parents never remarried and remained celibate. Perhaps we had better role models in sexuality?

    I personally found Father Cutie’s first interview on Spanish television filled with machismo. He showed no remorse, appeared in collar and was angry – almost like a teenager rebelling against a parent. He actually admitted that he’d been with the young woman for TWO YEARS. He said it was ‘okay’ because he’d admitted it in confession and could not apologize for “love.” What about his vow and love for God and the Church?! What about the scandal he caused and his supporters who viscously beat up the man who appeared outside of the church supporting the Church’s teaching on priestly celibacy?

    I personally feel he liked his celebrity too much and thought he could have it both ways. While I pray for his vocation, I would much rather see him leave the Priesthood then continue to cause scandal by conducting interviews admitting to having sex as a priest.

    We need to put forth more lay men and women and priests who are living their faith. There are Catholics who follow the Church’s teachings and remain celibate until marriage just as there are priests and nuns who remain faithful to God’s promise.

    If someone professes to disagree with the Church’s teachings then aren’t Catholic! Why try to change the church? It is 2000 years old and Christ said that he would be with the church until the end of time. What the church binds on Earth is bound in Heaven. Would it not be better for Bishops to take a stronger stand and encourage a smaller, more faithful flock?

    Thank you again for your blog. It continues to encourage me on my faith journey and reminded me that there are real Catholics out there.

    DISCUSSION WITH KALA

    KALA: The Fr. Cutie scandal raises at least two matters. One is the celibacy requirement of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church and the other is the fact that this priest broke his promise of celibacy and committed fornication. I wish to speak of the second matter.

    FATHER JOE: I am still not clear what transactions have taken place between them other than the scandalous photos. His statements have confused me. I cannot say I have followed it closely. The details do not interest me. I am just concerned for the Church and am hoping that he will reaffirm his commitment to celibacy and resume his priestly duties. I do suspect that his days as a media priest are over. But there is plenty of parish work to do.

    KALA: If Fr. Cutie, who placed himself in a proximate occasion of sin for eight years before committing fornication, decided that celibacy was not for him he could have left the priesthood, applied for laicization and then married the woman with whom he is having an affair. Fr Cutie, who speaks of this woman as a woman of faith, has placed his lover in the position of being an accomplice in their act of fornication.

    FATHER JOE: Priests should bring people to spiritual healing, not harm. Yes, about this you may be right. If you really love someone than you should do all you can to insure that person stays in the good graces of God.

    KALA: Confession would probably not have been valid, for both of them, because the resolve of not committing the sin again doesn’t seem to have been present, and he and she are placing their immortal souls in jeopardy.

    FATHER JOE: The resolution could be there, albeit somewhat weak. Imperfect contrition would suffice, too. Priests of all people should fear God. I suspect that priests will be judged more stringently than others.

    KALA: I don’t know if this woman has had any children by Cutie but if she hasn’t have they been practicing artificial contraception as well as everything else?

    FATHER JOE: I would not speculate.

    KALA: He has scandalized not only the Hispanic community but all who have heard him speak on EWTN and who have admired his apparent orthodoxy. None of these matters seem to be discussed in his plethora of interviews on TV.

    FATHER JOE: He does seem to like giving interviews.

    KALA: EWTN must be doing much good work for the devil to work so assiduously at dragging priests affiliated with the network into the mire.

    FATHER JOE: The devil hates all priests. I do think it is especially dangerous for priests to become media celebrities.

    KALA: We need to pray for Fr Cutie, for the woman, for all priests and for the people whom this weak man has scandalized.

    FATHER JOE: Father Cutie can be forgiven. But here has to admit is wrong and change his life. He must also accept whatever penance the Church will give him, particularly giving up his media ministry and refraining from interviews. He must also tell the woman in question, GOODBYE FOREVER.

  4. Here was an early dialogue when the scandal first broke:

    COMMENT BY DAN

    I hope that Fr. Cutie will take a very long & reflective retreat somewhere. I am worried that he might throw away his vocation (or worse) and then find out that he isn’t such an attraction without the “fame” and priestly vocation. He might end up losing his vocation AND the girl. Of course, I don’t think that he should have allowed the relationship to have gotten as serious as it seems to have become.

    It’s a shame that this relationship wasn’t stopped in the beginning when it would have been much more emotionally easy.

    About where a fired priest is to go – I agree that the Episcopalians don’t seem like much of a choice, but then there is the Orthodox Church…….

    RESPONSE BY FATHER JOE

    And if the girl is not free to marry? Without laicization, any attempted marriage would be rejected by the Catholic Church as invalid. He might join an Eastern Church, but that in itself would not resolve the state of his soul. Of course, a priest can offer the sacraments, even if he, himself, is in mortal sin and commits sacrilege. He has promised and bound himself to our laws, regardless as to what civil law might permit and what regulations a “defective” church of the East might allow.

    COMMENT BY KALA

    “I doubt Father Cutie could stomach such a so-called church for long.”

    Fr. Cutie has apparently convinced himself that sex outside marriage is the way to go and I think he would stomach anything as long as he could continue having sex and still be in the limelight.

    RESPONSE BY FATHER JOE

    Did he say that he was having unlawful relations? I am confused by his statements about intimacy. I would hope that he would just shut up about it. The pictures are bad but they would not necessarily sink his priesthood. We do believe in repentance and amendment of life. But the more he talks, the worse this situation becomes. The public is going crazy in this media frenzy and the majority of voices are critical, not of him, but of the Church. People have it backwards! That is why I have made blog entries in support of the Church’s stance.

    COMMENT BY THE CATHOLIC GIRL

    I saw both of his interviews and he said point blank that he had been having sexual relations with the woman for over two years. He said that while he “understands” celibacy that he feels it should be “optional.” He said that he “loves” the woman and that he feels it is unnecessary to apologize for falling in love. He said that he wants to marry her and understands he cannot be a priest if he does so.
    As I said in the other post, as a celibate young woman I feel that the Church is correct and that Father Cutie’s interviews in the face of the scandal he has caused has brought great harm to the church.

    The Catholic Church in America is under attack. 70% of people in one diocese said that they don’t believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist! Bishops must take a stand and say enough is enough. Only 70 Bishops spoke out about the Notre Dame Scandal. Now a new report shows that Notre Dame’s president Father Jenkins is on the board of an organization that supports condom distribution in Africa! His blatant refusal to obey the Church should be cause for some discipline!

    I find myself, as a Catholic, avoiding websites and media because there is never anything good printed about the Church and I become angry. In particular there seems to be a lot of Catholics who don’t know their faith, some that do and refuse to obey (Biden, Pelosi, etc) and Bishops afraid of disenfranchising their flock.

    We need more Priests and Bishops to take a stand for the Church for a smaller, more devout flock. We also need some serious reeducation of our believers.

    DIALOGUE WITH ANDY

    ANDY:

    Father Joe,

    I don’t know why I keep reading your blog. I do, though. Maybe I am just a glutton for punishment. I don’t know.

    Anyways, I don’t understand why you always feel the need to attack other churches. You come out swinging against The Episcopal Church in this post. Why? What good are you doing? Why would someone like me, a proud Episcopalian, ever want to join your “true” church when you are just so filled with hate? I am starting to think that everyone in the Roman Church is like this. Yikes!

    FATHER JOE:

    I would not consider my statements as attacks. However, churches are not the same and I feel that certain ones pose real dangers to Catholic Christians. The fact that the Episcopal “church” shares so many external elements makes it a particular problem. The substance of faith and morals is really not the same. Even the Holy Father has sympathized with conservative or traditional Anglicans who feel that their communion has been stolen from them. Catholics struggle with ecumenism on one hand and an utter rejection of religious relativism on the other. My statement was somewhat qualified, “The moral state of people who were raised in the Episcopal or Anglican church is one thing; the state of those who abandon Catholicism to join their ranks is another.” There are elements of the truth still remaining in the Episcopal churches, like the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the sacrament of baptism. However, the Catholic negative verdict against their Eucharist and Holy Orders has never been rescinded. A Catholic priest has no business, if he truly thinks with the mind of the true Church, in straying into the ranks of the Episcopal church. This is not meant to be mean-spirited. It is just a statement as to how I see the facts.

    As for yourself joining the Catholic Church, I would prefer you did not if you did not believe in all that the Catholic Church holds to be true. Your own blog makes clear that you hold various liberal positions. We have enough dissenters already; why should we want more?

    ANDY:

    And, furthermore, how is it that you get so upset when others attack your church but then you go and do the same to other churches? Others aren’t ever allowed to criticize the Roman Church but you are free to criticize any other church any time that you want? This is not right.

    FATHER JOE:

    Did I say that I play fair on my Blog? I get the last word. But I did not say that Episcopalians are going to hell. I disagree with a number of its new teachings and reject the general efficacy of certain Anglican sacraments; however, I have a deep respect for the discipleship of many of its adherents. You are the one who comes to my Blog all hot and bothered. You really are not very tolerant of what you see as Catholic intolerance. Hum, is that somewhat circular?

    ANDY:

    I really should just stop reading your blog, but I probably won’t. It’s not because I like what you have to say–it’s more that I think you are a joke and that what you write is a joke. I don’t think that you actually believe all that you write. Deep down I bet that you really wish that Roman priests could marry. And I bet that you think it would be nice to see women ordained to the priesthood in your church.

    Thanks for the laugh. Andy

    FATHER JOE:

    I cannot say what Spirit moves you to read my Blog. Could it be providential? Maybe it is simply the surprise that not everyone shares your view of religion and the relationship between churches? Coming from someone like you, I am proud to be regarded as a JOKE. I would rather be a fool for Christ and an authentic priest of the true Church instituted by Jesus than a man swayed by human convention in the ecclesial community founded by Henry VIII.

    As for married priests, we already have them in small numbers (particularly in the Eastern rites of Catholicism). Our permanent deacons are clergy and are both married and single. There is talk that if the conservative Anglicans are received as a group into the Catholic Church, they will be permitted to retain their discipline for both married and celibate priests. But, my preference is that mandatory celibacy be retained in the Roman rite of the Catholic Church. I think it best serves our needs. As for priestesses, there is no such creature except in the false pagan religions. However, as I would generally reject the validity of the Episcopalian priesthood, the subject becomes largely mute in your regard. But, I must say that externally sometimes your liturgies are very beautiful, even if they are largely a matter of dress up and pretend. (Oops, okay, now that was nasty… apologies!)

    ANDY:

    Father Joe,

    Thanks for the reply. I appreciate you and your blog–I really do (and I am not being sarcastic when I say that). I don’t agree with you or the Roman Church, but I respect you and your church. I have many friends who are always very rude when it comes to talking about the RCC. They like to make ridiculous claims like all priests are pedophiles and so forth. I defend your church because I know this to be foolish. I like your church. I like your pope (although I must say that I liked JPII a little more). Heck I even like you. You are a good priest–I can tell.

    I say all of that to say this: I want to apologize for my last comment. I don’t think that you are a joke nor do I think that your church is a joke. In fact, I think that your church is quite wonderful. With that being said, I am still a proud Episcopalian and I will remain so for the rest of my life. I don’t like everything that the Roman Church has done, but that is ok.

    I hope that when I am ordained to the priesthood in the next couple of years that I will be a good priest like you. You defend your faith and you defend your church–I like that. I don’t agree with you on a lot of things, but I like your tenacity.

    So again I say I am sorry. I don’t apologize for what I believe, but I apologize for mocking you. It was uncalled for on my part. Just take it easy on us Episcopalians even if you do think that we are liberal nut jobs (which many of us are)!

    Peace,

    Andy

    FATHER JOE:

    It’s okay Andy, I was having a little fun at your expense at the end, and I probably should have restrained myself. Yes, we do have serious differences. But I will keep you in my prayers– that you will grow ever deeper and deeper in love with the Lord. There is much that divides us, but Christ makes himself into a bridge for those who obey his great commandment, to love one another. Believers are joined with him in this world and with the saints who await us on the Promised Shore. Hit the books hard, be mindful of your prayers, and chuckle at the irony that a roly-poly priest of Rome is praying for your holiness and success. Peace!

    Father Joe

    DISCUSSION WITH JAKE

    JAKE:

    Fired for being a normal man who fell in love with a woman!!! The so-called ‘church’ moves pedophiles around like the cup and ball trick knowing they will continue to brutally [expletive deleted] little children but fire a man because he loves a woman. What a sick demented system. The priesthood is a custom made haven for pedophiles and homosexuals and these obscene freaks dare to judge ANYONE?! What is even worse is the fact that the simple minded dimwits that call themselves catholics fund, feed and house these hucksters. Unbelievable!

    As long as there are people stupid enough to buy into this con I would say they are getting what they [expletive deleted] deserve but my heart breaks for children who are forced into this revolting religion of evil. It should be considered child abuse. No church has the right to tell anyone how to live and thankfully with the internet information that the church once guarded and forbid people to read is being made available. Only hopeless fools will continue in the prison and slavery of lies known as religion. Read Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason online free and get a [expletive deleted] clue.

    Nostradaemus prophesied that the RCC would fall someday and be exposed for the evil system is it and I hope it comes to pass in my lifetime. The lives that were snuffed out and children who have been savaged by these [expletive deleted]s are too numerous to number and the ‘followers’ are too fearful and too [expletive deleted] stupid to research the history of this twisted venomous blood sucking cult.

    FATHER JOE:

    Vulgarity, bigotry and ignorance are sometimes its own rebuttal. I do not know what is wrong with you or who hurt you, but I will keep you in prayer.

    LADY GODLESS: Did you used to be Catholic, Jake? What are your beliefs now?

    JAKE: “Christ is present in the Eucharist”?????? I have but one question. Does he taste like chicken? Haven’t you sheople eaten all the leftovers by now?!

    FATHER JOE: You mock a great mystery and show little respect to the faith of others. That is not very mature. Yes, we believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist, both in his person and in his activity. The accidents or appearances (like taste) are not changed. There is no exterior alteration to the bread and wine. However, we believe there is a substantial change. Our Lord’s flesh and blood cannot be exhausted because he is never diminished. We believe that every drop from the cup and every crumb of the host is the complete and whole Jesus, risen from the dead, body, soul, humanity and divinity. He gives us himself so that we might have a share in his life.

    JANINE: Jake, May I ask if you were abused by a priest? Your anger and outrage knows no bounds. Please tell us what brought you to this point of absolute loathing of the Catholic Church.

    JAKE: Yummy, Jesus crackers and Jesus juice. Cannabalism and Vampirism all in one service.

    FATHER JOE: You remind me of a poor sick person who desecrated the Blessed Sacrament and placed his disgraceful sins on YouTube. I have already made a distinction between a sacramental presence and the graphic physical. The Eucharist is a clean sacrifice. There is no visible corpse and no drained blood. The appearances of bread and wine remain but there is a substantial change. Catholics believe the risen Jesus gives us a share in his life.

    JAKE: Hell no, I am not and never was part of the RC cult! I may be one of the few who was never [expletive deleted] by a priest of the ‘infallible church’.

    FATHER JOE: If you have never been a Catholic at least that is one disgrace for which no one can blame the Catholic Church. Again, look at what you say and what you are doing. Lacking specificity, you condemn the good with the bad.

    JAKE: All religions are lies but the RCC is by far the most vicious and blood thirsty. What a [expletive deleted] sick history!

    FATHER JOE: A lot has happened in 2,000 years. If you really want to know what the Church is about, look at the lives of the saints. That is where we most see God’s grace working in the Church throughout human history.

  5. COMMENT BY MARY O

    I think we should all pray for Father Cutie as much as we are able. He is being sorely tempted by Satan. No doubt he now thinks himself in love with the woman. I saw some of the photos and they say otherwise. No man behaves this way with a woman he loves. He would protect her from the eyes of others, not fondle her so intimately and openly in broad daylight where others might see. Whatever he may feel for this woman, it is not true love which puts the good of the other first. Maybe now that he has fallen, he sees no way to get back up but thinks he can’t live anymore without that which he obtained illicitly. Also too, he may feel that he has been treated unjustly because he lost everything when priests who have affairs with men or who openly subvert the teachings of the Church are often not disciplined, but even rewarded.

    Father Cutie reminds me of Bishop Sheen. Both are or were charismatic speakers and physically attractive men. It must have been difficult for both of them to resist temptation at times, even if the strongest temptation was to pride, and not to lust. But Bishop Sheen spent one hour a day, every day of his priesthood, with the Blessed Sacrament. He told everyone that this was the source of his strength and he urged all priests to do likewise. Let us all pray that Father Cutie will embrace his cross, turn his back upon the easy way, and realize that he cannot get back up on his own; but that Christ will lift him up and also that, so long as he has not lost Christ, he has lost nothing of value.

    DISCUSSION WITH DAVID

    DAVID: Celibacy is a gift from God?

    FATHER JOE: Yes, celibacy is a gift from God. It has tremendous value and was praised by St. Paul.

    DAVID: Why then did he make sexual attraction so powerful?

    FATHER JOE: Remember that concupiscence is the result of original sin.

    DAVID: The Catholic Church is kidding itself.

    FATHER JOE: No, the Catholic Church protects important and lasting truths in a fickle world.

    DAVID: I was baptized and raised Catholic and, therefore, did not experience any other religion by choice until I was in my late twenties. I can tell you, my beliefs changed.

    FATHER JOE: Did you go to Church every Sunday? Did you say your morning and evening prayers? Did you go regularly to Confession? Did you study your faith beyond that of child or did you presume to know it all and allowed a secular world to form you instead? I find that many Catholics who abandon the Church were only superficial believers, hardly Catholic in mind or heart at all. If we do not cooperate with the gift of faith, it can sour and die. You were fortunate to be given the Catholic faith. But you turned your back on it. There is no authentic Christianity without the Church. And, those religions that reject Christ and the prophets are far from the revelation of God to men.

    DAVID: Fr. Cutie and I are the same age. When I was 18 (as he was when he entered the seminary) and 26 (as he was when he was ordained) I had different beliefs.

    FATHER JOE: Different or no beliefs at all worth talking about? Did someone help steal you away from Christ’s Church or was your defection something you did all by yourself? Many who leave the Church have a pretty shallow faith. Yours did not last long. Did you read the catechism? Have you studied the spiritual classics? How often did you offer the rosary? Again, it is my bet that you allowed your catechism to be taught by those unsympathetic to the Church.

    DAVID: I can relate to him when he says he is a different person now than he was then.

    FATHER JOE: People say that after being married, too. It is a pathetic excuse. We all change as we get older, but we are essentially the same people. I find that people really change very little from the time they are about 12 years old onward. They might get bored or develop bad habits. But these are sad reasons for abandoning a vocation.

    DAVID: I wish him the best. May he make the correct decision for himself. As for me, I still believe in God, however, I do not believe in religion. It is the cause of too much trouble.

    FATHER JOE: Would you wish him the best if he says goodbye to the girl and resumes his celibate life as a priest? Separated from the Church, any belief in God becomes nebulous and lacks focus. Such a belief is likely more an agnostic philosophy than a religion. Do you pray? Obviously, you no longer worship God. Who or what do you think God is? Read the Creed and come back to Mass before it is too late. The Church is the only safe port in this turbulent world. By encountering the Church, you meet Jesus Christ.

    COMMENT BY ANNA MARIA

    Fr. Joe— A big AMEN to you from this person in the pew who completely agrees with the text you have authored at this post and all the other related posts regarding this matter of Fr. Cutie and the priesthood in general!!!!!!!

    Please, Fr. Cutie, enough already with the media interviews/expose’! Is there no shame? Could the sacred priesthood appear more plebeian than this? Some silence and discretion would speak volumes to a very unbelieving world.

    QUESTION FROM MARY O

    Hello Fr Joe, it’s Mary again from the other blog from a similar subject, but I won’t re-open that can of worms again (by the way, your advice to me on priests and relationships with women parishioners, is still a great help)!

    My question is this: Fr Cutie was only 18 when he went into the seminary. Several priests I know went in at 14. Isn’t it now a requirement to enter the seminary at an older age? It seems that 18 and esp. 14 would be much too young to make a solid choice…… Thanks Fr Joe!

    ANSWER FROM FATHER JOE

    I was a teenager out of high school when I entered seminary. While the older men can make great priests, recent high school graduates are still the ideal. This best permits the eight to ten years or more of formation and education. Remember, they do not get ordained at 18 but in their mid to late 20′s. There is plenty of time to change one’s mind. Many candidates will not make the cut. In days gone by boys entered the seminary at 12 and 13 years of age. There are only a few of these seminaries still in operation.

    COMMENT BY FREE SPIRIT

    I agree with Mary, if Fr. Cutie really loved the woman and vice versa, then they would not be in such a compromising situation. I’m saying this based on experience, at 19 I had fallen in love with a priest. At that time, I was a very active parishioner and volunteered in some apostolates working hand in hand with this priest. At 19 I was so stubborn, I didn’t even listen to my parents who kept on nagging at me not to be so close with this priest. The priest and I eventually became good friends, and we would enjoy good chats from time to time. Until one day, things blew out of proportion, gossips started steaming in the parish, and people started thinking that something was going on with me and the priest. He then seriously talked to me about the issues. I remember him asking me, if things were to go on, would I like to live in misery all my life? I’m just glad that this priest did not take advantage of me being so naive and stubborn and instead he helped me find my path. I may have hated him for some time but now at 33 looking back at what happened 14 years ago, I just really feel blessed that it happened that way. Otherwise, I would have lived my life in great regret.

    COMMENT BY SARA

    I love and appreciate the dialogue between Fr. Joe and David. As a practicing Catholic, I have to remember something that Fr. Cutie said “We have faith in God but God also has faith in us.” I will pray for Fr. Cutie, that he remember that our God is a forgiving God and if he made a mistake, it’s time accept it and move forward. But the television interviews need to stop. He has asked for forgiveness from all the Catholic community, he should now focus on making a decision…making things right with God…either way. May God bless him and keep him safe.

    COMMENT BY REINA

    Father Alberto should go to hell. He is in California – Venice Beach having a honeymoon with his lover. The world is praying for him and “he is laughing at the Catholic Church.” I wish he burns in hell. I know I should not be wishing anybody the worst in this world. The “Catholic Church” has done nothing to him, but he has laughed all the way to California. He does not have ethics or morals!!!!!

    I invite all of you to see the new photos of Padre Alberto Cutie with his lover in California – living as a marriage couple.

    FATHER ALBERTO CUTIE IS THE MOST HYPOCRITICAL PRIEST. I HOPE THE POPE WILL EXPEL HIM OUT OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, RIGHT-A-WAY.

    PLEASE, SEEK THE NEW PHOTO OF CUTIE IN VENICE BEACH – CALIFORNIA IN THE INTERNET.

    RESPONSE BY FATHER JOE

    The damage that Father Cutie has done is difficult to calculate. However, no matter what he has done we should not damn him. Our response as faithful Catholics is to pray for this prodigal son. He was received into the Episcopal Church this afternoon. This upsets many of us more than we can say. It is a terrible scandal. Who knows how many will follow him and be lost from the true Church. But please, do not hate or curse him, please!

    COMMENT BY SANDRO

    I think that Father Alberto should leave this woman and resign from the priesthood. It’s so obvious that this relationship is unnatural and I sincerely doubt that it’ll be long lasting if you take into consideration all the circumstances; he should know that. I pray that Father will take time out of the spot-light for a while (at least 18 months), mediate and if God wills it, share his experiences in a book perhaps. I definitely think he should return to the media at some point; although newly converted and repentant. He could continue serving the Lord as a Lay-Catholic Evangelist and continue teaching the truths about the Church. Although God indeed has the power to forgive him and he should humbly and publicly work out his salvation in fear and trembling. What better way than living out his life as the prodigal son who is come back home. God Bless.

    RESPONSE BY FATHER JOE

    A priest cannot be a lay-evangelist. He can only be a priest.

    COMMENT BY DAN

    Apparently Fr. Cutie didn’t take much time for reflection. Seems as though he has already joined the Episcopal church. It makes me wonder…. if he believes in the Church’s teaching on transubstantiation, then he must believe that he is turning from the actual presence & person of Christ in the Mass… and if he doesn’t believe… that is terrible too… as he has been acting as a priest at the Mass & teaching the faith that he doesn’t believe…. either way it’s terrible.

    COMMENT BY MARY

    I am very saddened that Father Cutie has joined the Episcopal Church. I am curious to see if his marriage will last. If he could not keep his church vows, why would he be able to keep marriage vows? There are also several issues that are disturbing as well that many people don’t mention: Yes, he had an adult relationship but, (1) he broke his church vows. (2) He had sex outside of marriage. (3) He had sex with a divorced person. (4) He will marry someone who is divorced (unless her marriage is annulled). I don’t know if it is or not, all the while professing his Catholic faith. I am very saddened. It would have been less scandalous if he had left the Church when he knew he couldn’t keep his promise.

    COMMENT BY VICTORIA

    Alberto Cutie has left the Catholic Church and will become an Episcopalian minister.

    COMMENT BY CATHOLIC GIRL

    Father, it is hard not to be angry at someone who has intentionally lead Catholics astray. Obviously, he only became a Priest because he liked the attention he was getting from it. When the Bishop told him he would be permitted no further public ministry, he left. As his Bishop said, he didn’t even have the grace to notify the Church or his decision (neither did the Episcopalians) and that may have actually set back ecumenical relations in the area.

    Obviously, he didn’t believe in the Church enough to ask to be laicized so that he could marry. Instead he went and got married (according to Spanish television) while he was still a Priest.

    Perhaps we should wait until Priests are of a bit “older” age – or at least with more maturity – to take on a public life that might be tempting with power?

    COMMENT BY ANNIE

    Welcome to the REAL world. Unleash the beast… it’s a Jungle. Be happy Father Alberto Cutie.

    Most of the people know that a forbidden relationship is attractive. The poor Priest didn’t know what was sex or love… in Spanish we say “lejos de la paila” (far away from pan) and I strongly believe that he is infatuated, not in love. I wish him THE BEST and I hope it was worth-it! I am praying, especially because there is a strong battle inside every one of us each day. The thing is that he lied and behaved like a 15 year old. Giving communion, talking in the media about morals, confession, etc., in my opinion he acted irresponsibly. Heaven and hell are around the corner, it is life! Let’s face it; we cannot condemn him, but we cannot admire and celebrate the way he did things. He is “in love” fine… say good bye to the Roman Catholic Church and do whatever you want, but don’t lie for two years and behave like a moral person. “Predicando la moral en calzoncillos” (preaching about morals in underwear).

    But hey … GOOD LUCK!

    COMMENT BY ANGIE

    I am very sad by the actions of Alberto Cutie. He was a role model for many people. He lied. It is upsetting that he appears defiant and not fully aware of the implications of his action. Some support him, but from what I hear, the majority does not support his lack of honesty. His behavior “on the beach”, “on the streets of Miami Beach” has not excuse. He has hurt the Roman Catholic Church with this “circus”, but, I think that mainly he has hurt himself. It is an incredible fact that the joined another church and abandoned what he has been preaching for so long. Adding to all this, I hear and read (univision and telemundo sites) so many negative comments about this woman. Who likes her? She is perceived as a very low class person. I personally have a few words about her that I rather do not say here. He has chosen to make a mess out of his life. But now, he is more famous and will probably make a lot of money with this scandal. I hope he does not marry this woman; that will be just “just too much”. He seems to be blind about her. She is Satan. He is Judas. Shame on you Alberto Cutie!!!!!!

    COMMENT BY ROSARIO

    How is Father Alberto going to reconcile with the Episcopalian or Anglicans beliefs in abortion, euthanasia , same sex marriage and homosexual priests that is common practice in that denominations and very different from the Roman Catholic Church?

    I know we should not damn him but I think that he is doing that to himself.

    I only hope that he realizes what he is doing, not only to the Church but to himself.

    I would like to know your opinion.

    Thank you.

    RESPONSE BY FATHER JOE

    I cannot reconcile the conflicts. I cannot begin to understand. The weakness with a woman is one thing, but to abandon the Catholic Church… I would sooner die.

    COMMENT BY TERE

    Goodness…..there is so much beauty in the royal priesthood here on earth… I feel very proud to be fathered by a wonderful Magisterium…

    How could you leave a field of gold for a field of tin?

    Thank God for Roman Catholic Church that is my refuge, my garden, my feast, my joy…oh…eternal home what a splendor you are!

    COMMENT BY JENNIFER

    We should all pray for Father Cutie’s conversion no matter what happens. There is always hope. Jesus said to Saint Faustina (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska – Divine Merccy in My Soul) – #723, “The greater the sinner, the greater the right to My Mercy.” And on #687 Jesus said, “Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy.” We should always remember to pray for our priests, and pray a Chaplet of Divine Mercy for them. On #796, Jesus said, “By this novena (Novena of the Divine Mercy), I will grant every possible grace to souls.” On the second day of the novena for priests, we should pray for our priests and thank them for all the sacrifices they make. “No priest, No Eucharist.” There is always hope for conversion. I myself was a cradle Catholic but had not been practicing my faith for a few years, and then there was a very hard time in my life/suffering, which involved my son. Slowly by praying the rosary, watching EWTN, Eucharistic adoration, I came back to God, but my conversion is a daily conversion and I keep on praying to God and asking for His forgiveness. Let us unite our sufferings with the sufferings of Jesus in the Cross and offer it to God for salvation of souls and conversion including for Father Cutie. On #1032, Jesus said “Join your suffering to My Passion and offer them to the heavenly Father for sinners.” Also we should pray “O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the heart of Jesus as a Fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You” for Father Cutie’s conversion. Even the greatest sinners can become the greatest saints (like Saint Paul).

    COMMENT BY NORAH

    Yes, of course we should pray for Alberto Cutie but let us not blind ourselves to the fact that this man has scandalized many, could possibly lead Catholics out of the Faith, had been in discussion with the Episcopalian bishop for two years and would have entered the Episcopalian denomination at the end of the year had not the publishing of the scandalous photos brought the jumping ship forward, had not told his bishop of his desire to leave the barque of Peter and enter the Episcopalian denomination. He had placed himself in a proximate occasion of sin for ten years and had been in a ‘serious relationship’ with a woman for two years all the while celebrating the Sacrifice of the Mass.

    “Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy.”

    So what is the guarantee for this? Recitation of the chaplet one year before death, two years, two minutes? Does the hardened sinner also have to confess his sins or does the recitation of the chaplet take care of that also? This makes the recitation of the chaplet of Divine Mercy sound like a magic charm. It is private revelation binding only on the recipient. Jesus’ mercy does not deny His justice.

    RESPONSE BY FATHER JOE

    Not only would he have to go to Confession and receive absolution; such intervention would have to come from his archbishop and the Holy See. Censures have been imposed.

    COMMENT BY MARY

    Well, it looks like Fr Cutie got married…….this is very disappointing……

    RESPONSE BY FATHER JOE

    He was never released from his promises by the Holy See. Thus, he can only “attempt” marriage. Any “attempted” marriage has no standing before God.

    COMMENT BY FAB

    I was friends with Fr. Cutie in high school and worked closely with him in a Miami parish. He lived and breathed the Catholic mission; humility, love, giving, selflessness, and the love of the Eucharist. What is most upsetting to me is the fact he can turn his back on the body and blood of Christ so easily. In high school we would stand guard at Communion lines making sure the Eucharist was not taken by “santeria” people many times. I cannot fathom how he can dismiss the transubstantiation after being so devout. I know his family must be suffering and praying for them. I hope the Holy Spirit and Our Blessed Mother help him realize the grave mistake he has made, swallow his pride, and come home! We are not perfect and I believe that correcting our inappropriate actions is seen as a glorification of God in itself. It is a fact that not all holy men are able to live the lives of priests, but they are still able to stay true to their calling in the Divinity of Christ.

    RESPONSE BY FATHER JOE

    It is very sad and increasingly hard to understand. Today he attempted marriage to his divorced girlfriend before a Miami judge. I guess civil marriage takes precedence over the sacrament as well, or even a feigned sacrament. According to the Catholic Church, he is still a priest who has not been released from his promise of celibacy. By his own choice, short of a laicization and release from his vows by Rome, he cannot marry. As for his lady-friend, she is a divorced woman and the Church does not recognize divorce. Given that there has been no annulment, she is still married to someone else. Father Cutie must know these things. He once taught the permanence of marriage! He once spoke out against fornication! He once lamented the tragedy of infidelity and adultery. But no more, no more, no more!

    COMMENT BY DAN

    It really is beginning to seem as though he is purposefully and aggressively attempting to challenge the Church. I could understand leaving the priesthood…… I could accept, unwillingly, his “conversion” to the Episcopal church in order to retain a kind of priesthood….. but I cannot fathom why it was so necessary to get married by a judge…. he didn’t even get married in his new church! It doesn’t make any sense, and really hurts the Catholic faithful.

    COMMENT BY ROXXY

    What a bunch of crazy freaks you all are. Leave the man alone, he was only doing what’s normal and natural… At least he’s not a pedophile!

    RESPONSE BY FATHER JOE

    No one said that this business was unnatural, only immoral. The contrast is not between a fornicating adulterer and a child molester, homosexual or not. Rather, the tension is between a priest of this sort and a celibate one who keeps his promises. Celibacy is also natural. We also are praying for him. On top of your false parallel and allusion to the crime of child molestation, you rudely come here and call me and others “a bunch of crazy freaks.” Where do you get off criticizing people who keep their promises and would hope that all priests might avoid hypocrisy and deceit?

    COMMENT BY RUTH

    I am not sure how I found this blog concerning Father Cutie, and I really don’t know much about him. I find it interesting that so many people seem to have all the answers, and forget there but for the grace of God go all of us, and he that is without sin cast the first stone. All of the comments and criticism will not change what happened. Believe me when I say the entire situation gives me a terrible feeling of sadness for all concerned, I wish it never happened. Keep in mind, everyone makes choices throughout their lifetime, some good some bad, for the bad there is always a price to pay and it’s something to live with until death, it is a heavy burden. I would think any priest that makes a choice as Father Cutie will live with remorse and much more. We, as the people of God need to pray and pray for a fallen priest while also praying for all the faithful priests that continue to serve God and His people, that they may live their lives walking hand in hand with Jesus, living in the world but not of the world.

    RESPONSE BY FATHER JOE

    The tragedy here is amplified by the fact that he is a learned priest who should have known better. He said one thing in public while living a lie in private, in other words, the height of hypocrisy. Priests give an important public witness. That is why there are so many comments. God might forgive him, if he repents, but the damage he has done to the Church is real and lasting. Speaking for myself, I would prefer to be struck dead before causing any such scandal.

    COMMENT BY REMEDY

    From Genesis to our modern times, the woman is always the temptress. She should have left this priest dedicated to God alone. The priest succumbed to the forbidden fruit. I know of a priest here in Northern California who got married to a divorcee, fathered a child, and then was given divorce papers when the daughter was in her teens. The marriage DID NOT worked out as “from death do us part.”

    COMMENT BY RUTH

    Father Joe, I am in agreement with you! I am not very good at explanations but the actions of Father Cutie are tragic. We have been taught when we truly love someone we should never do anything to harm them in body and in soul. Father Cutie has to know his actions and that of the woman will have an overwhelming price to pay, he especially because as you said he knew better —resist the devil and he will flee. I would think when he closes his eyes, especially at night, he will remember his vows to God, and the remorse will be tragic. He has compromised what he knows to be truth, for what? Pleasure that is fleeting, very sad! I have a question, if this situation was going on for a few years, where were the Bishops or those in authority that didn’t stop this earlier? It reminds me of the priests that abused children and others, from what I have heard or read, those in authority knew some of what was going on, but did nothing until it was brought out by the media etc. This is another sad story.

    RESPONSE BY FATHER JOE

    Did others know? Did the archbishop know? The news I have heard is that he did not talk with his archbishop and secretly lived in sin. You can’t fault his Ordinary for what he did not know.

    COMMENT BY A DAUGHTER OF THE KING

    I am a young Catholic woman in the Archdiocese of Miami. Although I don’t know Fr. Cutié personally, he and I have many mutual friends and I am saddened and at a loss over how this could have happened. I wholeheartedly agree with Archbishop Favalora whose sentiments can be summarized as follows: although we can in no way condone Father Alberto’s behavior, should he choose to repent and come back, we will welcome him with mercy and joy like the forgiving father welcomed back the Prodigal Son. I pray that God grant Fr. Alberto the grace of deeper conversion and lead him back home.

    Pope Benedict couldn’t have declared the “Year for Priests” at a better time….. We, the Faithful, really, really, really need to keep our priests lifted up in prayer: the faithful and fervent ones as well as the lukewarm and unfaithful ones. Our priests have been given to us by God for our needs, so we must continue to pray for them and theirs!

    COMMENT BY NORAH

    “…should he choose to repent and come back, we will welcome him with mercy and joy like the forgiving father welcomed back the Prodigal Son. I pray that God grant Fr. Alberto the grace of deeper conversion and lead him back home. ”

    While we are all praying for Alberto and planning the ‘welcome home’ party let’s also spare some prayers for his bishop, his fellow priests, the thousands he has scandalized and those who followed him as a cult figure and may leave the Church. His was no spur of the moment decision. He had been planning to leave the Church for two years.

    COMMENT BY GABRIELLE

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/06/17/father.cutie.married/index.html

    Did he think so little of the Catholic Church; he couldn’t wait to be dismissed of his priestly duties? Or maybe he knew it would be a long, questionable process. So sad that he and others like him, make it seem impossible. What bothers me is that he seemed so devout in some ways but the whole time was living 2 lives. Many people do that, but when priests do it, it hurts in a different way, because they, after all their training and vows, don’t really believe it.

    COMMENT BY REMEDY

    To those questioning the “vow of celibacy,” have you ever wondered that if the Catholic Church did not have this discipline, it would have the problems of divorced priests, alimony, broken families-relationships, infidelities, financial issues, etc?

    To the true Church founded by Christ, “many are called but few are chosen.” Father Cutie was called but now he chose not to be included among the few. He rationalizes and exercised his free will. Will he keep his marriage vows to this divorced woman? What if the woman won’t as she did on the first marriage? History repeats itself. Only time and the all-knowing God can tell. He struggled with celibacy for years but this time he compounded it with marriage struggles, not only to please God foremost but to please his wife.

    COMMENT BY RUTH

    Father Joe,

    Regarding your reply to my last blog I would have to say “The grapevine in a church grows rapidly” good or bad, it’s difficult to believe this situation was kept secret for two years, only between the two people involved. In my blog it was not my intent to make accusations toward anyone, the thought of Alberto going to his superiors NEVER entered my mind. I have to believe “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.” I cast no stones. I would have given my life to stand up for priests and sexual abuse believing in their innocence, we have learned differently. Many times the superiors were aware of inappropriate behavior, instead of bringing it out in the open and doing something positive, the offenders were moved from parish to parish only to repeat abuse; that left innocent children to pay a price for the rest of their life. Hearing I’m sorry from the pulpit or monetary payments can never correct the deeds done. I am sad for Alberto and all people that make bad choices. I pray we always hear the call of The Good Shepherd and find ourselves in His arms. Blessings to all!

    COMMENT BY WILLIAM

    All the nutcases out there who believe in the “Immaculate Deception” are still living in the Dark Ages. Please tell me how in the hell a man who has never lived the life of a married man is qualified to advise married couples.

    Go Father Cutie and live life to the fullest. I am sure you are not going to rot in Hell. The Catholics believe this [deleted] with totally closed minds.

    RESPONSE BY FATHER JOE

    You attack the sinlessness of Mary. You attack the value of a celibate clergy who devote their lives to Christ and his Church. We are trained in seminary and then as priests we meet our people in all the joys, sorrows, strengths and weaknesses of their lives. That is why we are able to counsel others. Despite his transgressions, the Catholic Church has not said that Father Cutie will suffer hell. That judgment rests with God. You condemn the Church and her good priests, but you applaud the actions of a man which include deceit to his Church and parishioners, disrespect to his bishop, and presumably acts of both fornication and adultery. This says a lot about what kind of person you are.

    COMMENT BY MARY

    I know this is an older blog, but it seems “Father” Cutie’s wife is “speaking out” now regarding their relationship…..hmm…….I do have a hard time believing that he is not grieving what he had and what he had to give up………Fr Joe, I don’t know if you remember, but I spoke frequently about an attachment I experienced with a wonderful priest that our family has known for years. After all of the press with Fr Cutie, I thought long and hard about my situation, and thought, what another problem for him if I had attempted anything. That’s the last thing he would need is another problem parishioner to add to his many issues during the day. Plus, I cannot even imagine the pain and scandal that would have been created if I had pursued my own selfishness. I would never be able to live with myself. I still struggle at times with this anchor, but whenever I can I visit a 24 hour chapel and sit in front of the exposed Eucharist and converse with Christ. I know he won’t abandon me. He has been giving me the strength I need when I feel the neediest for human companionship.

    COMMENT BY NORAH

    Please tell me how in the hell a man who has never lived the life of a married man is qualified to advise married couples.

    Please tell me how in the hell a man who has never had a baby can be a gynecologist and give advice to a married couple?

    Please tell me how in the hell a psychologist who has never had a mental illness can treat someone with a mental illness?

    COMMENT BY RACHAEL

    I admire Father Alberto.

    He writes: For a long time, I endured a tug-of-war between something that was good – my love of God – and another thing that was good – my love for the woman I wanted to honour and cherish in marriage. Now I believe that both were given to me by the same God, who is ultimately the source of all love.

    I hope that the Roman Catholic Church learn from this. Celibacy should be optional – it is a personal calling from God, and not living in celibacy should not stop people serving in ministry.

    1 John 4… God is Love.

    RESPONSE BY FATHER JOE

    Many things called “love” are not love. Genuine love means fidelity and sacrifice. This priest abandoned his spouse, the Church. He broke his promises for a woman who had broken hers.

    There are goods and there are apparent goods. Goods can become evils if taken to extremes, out of context or misappropriated.

    Celibacy is optional in Roman Catholicism in that one can get married or stay single. Single people have no right to sex or the marital act. Priests of the Western rite are not forced to be ordained or to be celibate. They freely pledge a celibate life as part of this calling in the Church. Those desiring to be married and in Holy Orders can seek out the diaconate. Deacons are largely married and can preach, baptize, perform marriages and take communion to the sick.

    You say that you admire Fr. Cutie, and that is your business, but I set my sights on men of true integrity.
    This man to whom you look up had a secret affair with a married/divorced woman. He has also recently been charged with having a previous unnatural relationship with someone else. He only came forward about his mistress when he was caught on camera. Given time for a retreat and introspection about his hypocrisy, he instead ran off to the local Episcopalian bishop and jumped ship. His real bishop found out by watching the TV news.

    I cannot admire deceit and hypocrisy.

    I cannot admire such utter disrespect to his lawful bishop to whom he had pledged obedience.

    There is nothing of repentance about him. Indeed, his new book attacks the Catholic Church as he tries to rationalize his sins.

    COMMENT BY RACHAEL

    Father Joe, I wish not to argue with you, but simply to respond from what I feel within.

    Father Cutie was in love. And as he so rightly said, God is the source of all love. And natural humanity calls so many people into these relationships in marriage. Fr. Cutie left because he wanted to be able to love his God and love his wife.

    You say there is nothing of repentance about him, but he had nothing to repent for. He may have lied out of fear of the ways in which so many would see his acting in leaving the Roman Catholic Church, but there is nothing bad at all in his decision to love a woman and love his God. As St Francis said, if your love for a woman will distract you from your love of God, know that you can love both. Ignoring your love for a woman to love God will only make you sad and distracted, and God wants you to be happy and to live in love. You don’t have to be celibate to love God. Celibacy is a personal call.

    Fr. Cutie loves his wife and is in a healthy relationship, now with a daughter. He is not sinning in any way. He is loving and all that is of love, is of God.

    Fr. Joe, God is Love. And those who live in love live in God because God lives in them. Fr. Joe, Fr. Cutie loves his wife, loves the people in his congregation, loves his God. God is Love. And Fr. Cutie’s love for his wife is a very genuine love, and it most certainly is good. It is not evil, and it does not have any kind of falseness about it. The love of a man, of a priest, towards his partner, his wife in this case, is completely natural, healthy, and of God.

    Love is God. God is Love. Love comes in so many forms. And Fr. Alberto Cutie shows us one of those forms. His love is not an evil thing, it is a beautiful thing.

    His book attacks the Roman Catholic Church yes, but with a very fair point.

    And Fr. Joe, our Anglican church does not, as you have said, replace truth and morality with a whim of desire. As a Liberal Anglican I recognize the need for love, for openness, for the truth of the joy that Christ brought into every life. His Ruach, his breath in all things. Fr. Cutie’s love is truthful, and moral. Fr. Cutie’s love was also his desire for his wife. But it is no whim. It is Love. Pure, open, Love.

    RESPONSE BY FATHER JOE:

    Dear Rachael,

    I certainly appreciate how you might feel. And I respect that. But as a priest myself I feel very differently about my renegade brother priest. I can also appreciate love. However, I associate love with fidelity and sacrifice. I became a priest because of love. The celibacy of Western priests is an expression of intense love, both for God and his people. Love often includes feelings but is so much more. Fr. Cutie attempted marriage with a woman who was pledged to another. Apart from an annulment (of an invalid bond), I believe marriage is until “death do thou part.” If feelings are all that matter, then we can change spouses and obligations like a woman changing shoes. It may be that the poor priest will remain faithful to the woman with whom he had an affair. The statics are frightening. Most priests who leave ministry for a woman will eventually have marriage troubles and many divorce. Broken promises often lead to more broken promises. I had hoped that the priest would have reformed and returned to his ministry. Otherwise, he could have sought laicization and after her annulment (if possible), he could have married her in the Church. He remains bound by the rules of Catholicism despite his defection, and I believe that our Lord will judge him as such. I pray for him, although I am unsure now how such a business can be truly healed. He has burned so many bridges. Fr. Cutie is right that God is the source of love, and yet, I am at odds as to how he could counsel others and yet be so confused about it, himself. He taught the Catholic catechism but seems to suffer from amnesia today about the teachings he was pledged to preach and uphold. He did not have the right to trade in one love for another. If a man falls in love with another man’s wife, he does not have the right to abandon his spouse for a love that is nothing more than adultery. If he truly loved with the mind of Christ and his Church, he would have been more concerned about this woman’s soul than her body. He knows full well that in the eyes of the Catholic Church he is not married and that he has placed both himself and this woman, whom he says he loves, in a state of mortal sin. If he truly loved her, he would have made distance and preserved their mutual chastity and holiness. Sometimes real love means not embracing. Both celibate love and married love are natural. Both are beautiful. Here we have neither, despite the appearances to the contrary.

    You are very wrong about his lack of need for repentance. He was a grown man and freely made his choices. He broke his promises and lied about it. Everyone admits this. He made this poor woman his accomplice in sin and now he rationalizes away his culpability. It is shocking that the Episcopal Church would steep so low as to embrace such a man and parade him as their ordained poster boy against Catholicism. I know many Anglicans who also thought it was highly improper.

    Fr. Cutie answered a call to the priesthood and even once defended the celibate priesthood. But all his talk was talk and now he is a scandal to himself and all who follow him. It may be that some small part of his conscience bothers him and that is why he attacks the Catholic Church. Such defectors often do this, to justify to themselves what they have done. He was not raised an Episcopalian and I suspect he will be nagged by his damaged Catholic conscience for years to come. Of course, I might be wrong. He might have lied when he first promised celibacy as a deacon to his bishop. He might have lied when he first promised obedience as a priest to his bishop. His new bishop should take this to heart. A man who lies in the past might lie in the future— indeed, he might be lying right now.

    As for Anglican doctrine, it seems to vary as to which Anglican I ask. Some as in Australia do not even believe that priests are necessary for the Eucharist. Yours is the Church of priestesses, same-sex blessings, artificial contraception, toleration of abortion, sanctioned gay clergy, and serial polygamy with one marriage and divorce after another. Some say communion is Jesus and others that it is bread and grape juice. High and low, much is tolerated, and truth is the ultimate victim.

    Catholics have their problems. But when it comes to Fr. Cutie, we have one less and you have a new one.

    Maybe I speak too harshly to a young girl? I apologize. This is a matter upon which I have deep personal feelings of my own. Love is important, but no less so than obedience.

    Faithfully yours in the love of Christ crucified,

    Father Joe

    COMMENT BY RAY

    Fr. Joe— on your reply to Rachael Eliz…Thank you! I myself needed that response for my own rationalizations. May God bless us all…Ray

    COMMENT BY LADY GODLESS

    Rachael wrote: “Father Cutie was in love. And as he so rightly said, God is the source of all love.” Does that include self-love?

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