Former Catholic priest, Father Alberto Cutie, isn’t satisfied with the fifteen minutes of fame he “earned” in 2009 when his very illicit affair with a woman became public. After being confronted by the Archdiocese, Father Alberto confessed and promptly made the rounds on the talk show circuit. Subsequently, he abandoned the Catholic Church, “switched collars,” and joined the Episcopal Church which permits non-celibate priests. After so much publicity, one would expect Father Alberto to quietly get on with his life and do his best to create a new ministry.
Father Oprah loves the spotlight too much to do that. Instead, he married his lady friend, had a child, and wrote a book inappropriately titled “Dilemma, A Priest’s Struggle With Faith and Love.”
Father Oprah’s “dilemma,” according to his narrative, was his secret life loving a woman while serving the church as a should-have-been-celibate priest. He has blinders on! His ignorance of his true dilemma, whether or not to honor the vows of the priesthood, displays a talent for rationalization, and his severe criticism of the Catholic Church reveals a misguided desire to lay blame anywhere else other than squarely on his own shoulders.
“Despite all I had been taught by the church that these feelings (for his present wife) were sinful for a priest to have,” Father Cutie writes, “I knew that this love was so good that it must have come from God.”
Huh? What sort of screwy theology is that? Father Cutie may believe his own rhetoric, but all I hear is a flimsy attempt to dismiss temptation.
While all good things come from God, that doesn’t mean that all that feels good comes from Him, too. Surely, Father Cutie is not the first priest to notice a pretty girl; a cleric’s collar does not make a man a saint. In becoming a priest, Father Cutie freely accepted the challenge of his humanity and vowed to uphold his celibacy. He should have left the priesthood, perhaps joined the Episcopal Church, when he first felt the stirrings of his “dilemma.” Doing so would have been admirable, truthful, righteous. Choosing a lie over the truth, living in sin, and jumping ship when outed was meek, dishonest, disgraceful. Father Cutie cannot blame the Catholic Church and its policies for his own actions. He exercised his free will. He chose the lie. He chose the spotlight. He made the mess, and now he has written a tell-all to clean it up and sweep larger issues under the rug. The Father Cutie scandal is not about celibacy in the Catholic Church. It is not about Catholics wrongly equating the Church establishment with faith, nor is it about the difference between religion and faith. Bottom line: it’s about a man making a promise to his Church and very publicly breaking it.
What’s next? Father Oprah, the Movie? Rated R?