Saturday, May 30, 2009

Move over, Padre Alberto! San Juan is behind you.

The fallout from Padre Alberto's decision to join the Episcopal Church has begun. Today's El Nuevo Día reports that five priests from the Diocese of San Juan, Puerto Rico, plan to join the exodus -- all because of celibacy issues. How many more will it take before the Church realizes: Yo, we got a problem here!?

By Sandra Caquías Cruz (translation by Rebel Girl)
El Nuevo Día
May 30, 2009

Not one, not two. Now five Puerto Rican Catholic priests are following in the footsteps of Alberto Cutié in the decision to abandon the priesthood in the Catholic Church to enter the ranks of the Episcopal Church.

All have a common denominator: they are in love with a woman.

Five priests, most from the Diocese of San Juan, knocked on the door of the Episcopal Church to tell Bishop David Álvarez that they were failing to live their celibacy vow and preferred to join his denomination that would allow them to marry.

The five priests took the step, Álvarez explains, after the photos of Cutié were publicized, where the now ex-Catholic priest appears with his girlfriend in romantic scenes on a Miami beach.

"The Diocese of Puerto Rico, specifically five Roman Catholic priests, also primarily because of the mandatory celibacy impediment, are interested in continuing to be priests, so as to be able to marry in the Episcopal Diocese of Puerto Rico. They are in the process," Bishop Alvarez confirmed during a telephone interview from New York with this newspaper.

He explained that of those five priests, two have already completed their entrance into the ranks of the Episcopal Church, but they are not yet working as preists.

"The other three are still in the Catholic Church because they have not yet officially left, but some have already resigned. They are not working [as priests]," Alvarez said.

Where are they from? "Most are from the Archdiocese of San Juan," he answered.

Bishop Alvarez declined to reveal the names of the priests, but he stated that it is not the first time that this has happened.

Archbishop Roberto González Nieves, leader of the Archdiocese of San Juan, did not answer calls from El Nuevo Día.

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