Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Celibacy Issue in North America: Miami

I have no comment to make on this story except that one would think that a media-savvy celebrity priest like Fr. Alberto Cutié would have better sense than to get caught by paparazzi. Ironically, Fr. Cutié's book is called "Ama de Verdad, Vive de Verdad" ("Real Life, Real Love"). Maybe it's time for him to practice a little of what he is preaching.

Beach photos land priest Alberto Cutié in hot water with church

Miami Herald

Popular Miami priest Alberto Cutié is scheduled to meet with Archbishop John Favalora to discuss photos that appear of the handsome priest in a Spanish-language television magazine, in which he supposedly is on the beach with a woman.

Cutié now faces possible removal from performing church functions at his parish, St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church on Miami Beach. Church leaders believe he violated his vow of chastity.

A source at the diocese, who asked to remain unnamed until a press release is issued, said the archbishop has called for a meeting with Cutié, who hosts a popular radio show on Radio Paz and writes an advice column in El Nuevo Herald.

Favalora issued a statement saying: ``I am deeply saddened by the news surrounding Father Alberto Cutié. I apologize on behalf of the church in Miami to the parishioners of St. Francis de Sales Parish, where he serves as administrator, to the listeners and supporters of Radio Paz and Radio Peace, and to the entire Archdiocese.

``Father Cutié made a promise of celibacy and all priests are expected to fulfill that promise with the help of God.

``Father Cutié's actions cannot be condoned despite the good works he has done as a priest. I ask for everyone's prayers at this time. Scandals such as this offer an occasion for the church on all levels to examine our consciences regarding the integrity of our commitments to the Lord and to his church.''

Isabel Bucaram-Montana, communications director for Spanish Broadcasting System's Mega TV, said that about a month and a half ago a paparazzi came to the station with a video of Cutié and tried to sell it for six figures.

She said Mauricio Gerson, vice president of programming, viewed the tape and it indeed showed Cutié on the beach with the woman, but the station decided against paying for it.

''They wanted six figures, and we were not going to pay,'' Bucaram-Montana said. `We did not feel two or three days worth of ratings were worth it.''

She said the sellers told the station that they had been shopping the video to other local stations.

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