Skip to comments.Priest's confession: I'm in love (Forget the vows. Don't forget to barf!)
Posted on 05/09/2009 7:10:56 AM PDT by IbJensen
Speaking extensively to reporters for the first time since a celibacy scandal broke, the Rev. Alberto Cutié said he is considering marriage and a family.
After confessing his love for the mystery woman he was caught with on a South Florida beach, the Rev. Alberto Cutié says he is ready to consider taking the relationship to the next level.
Marriage and children are a definite possibility, he told The Miami Herald late Friday.
''I'm not going to rush into marriage. I know all about that,'' said the man who has counseled countless couples preparing for weddings. ``But I would like to have a family and at the same time serve God.''
Does that mean he will leave the priesthood?
''My struggle has gone on for close to a year. It wasn't a matter of if, it was a matter of when,'' he said. ``You cannot be a married priest in the Roman Catholic Church. I have friends -- Episcopalian bishops, Baptists, friends in the American Bible Society -- and they have shown me that it is possible to do both.''
Cutié said he finally broke his silence Friday, speaking first to Univisión co-anchor Teresa Rodriguez, because he wanted to protect his girlfriend. She has been identified in media reports as Ruhama Buni Canellis, 35, a divorced mother living in Miami Beach. Cutié would not confirm her name, saying he wanted to protect her privacy and noting she is not a public figure.
''There have been so many rumors, and the paparazzi outside her door,'' Cutié said. He added that he's sure he wasn't set up by his girlfriend or anybody else, as many have speculated, when he ended up in a liplock -- and worse -- in the pages of the Mexican magazine TVnotas. ``People have gone as far as to say that I set it up. That would really be stupid. I didn't set it up and she didn't either.''
Earlier Friday, Cutié told Rodriguez he has few regrets about engaging in the relationship, even though the romance has jeopardized his mediagenic career.
''Do I feel bad, horrible, about it? . . . No,'' he said emphatically during the televised interview, adding: ``I will never say I'm sorry for loving a woman.''
The interview, excerpts of which were broadcast Friday evening, comprised the first extensive public comments from Cutié since the scandal over the illicit liaison exploded on Tuesday.
Univisión's viewers nationwide were treated to the unusual sight of a beloved Catholic priest, in his clerical collar and black suit, confessing his love for a woman to the world.
Cutié, 40, made it plain he was not seeking absolution, even though he did say he felt sorry to have hurt and disappointed God and his followers, and worried about the consequences of breaking his vow of celibacy.
''I can say, sincerely, that she's a woman I love,'' he said in Spanish, noting he had known the woman for nearly 10 years. He first saw her in church, Cutié said.
''From the moment I saw her, I knew I liked her,'' he said. He did not specify when the romantic relationship began.
He did not discuss the relationship in any detail in the excerpts broadcast Friday. The full interview will be broadcast Tuesday night at 10.
The Archdiocese of Miami had no reaction to the interview. ''No further comment,'' spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta said.
Cutié is scheduled to appear on CBS' The Early Show at 7 a.m. Monday. Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez, a former anchor at Miami's WFOR-CBS 4, will do the interview.
Canellis, meanwhile, issued a statement Friday afternoon pleading with the media to leave her alone, but she did not disclose the nature of her relationship with the priest.
''As a single mother, I ask that the members of the media respect my privacy and the privacy of my 14-year-old son,'' the statement said.
Canellis, originally from Guatemala, is a divorced mother with custody of her 14-year-old son, public records show.
She and her ex-husband, David Hope Norton, have been in and out of court dealing with child-support issues since the 1996 divorce.
Cutié was relieved on Tuesday of his duties at his parish church, St. Francis de Sales in South Beach, and at the Archdiocese of Miami's radio and television arm, which he oversaw.
In the Univisión interview, Cutié insisted the sabbatical was voluntary. In response to Rodriguez's remark about his wearing his collar, Cutié noted he remains a priest, and that even those who leave the church are still considered priests.
Cutié accepted blame for the scandal and acknowledged that in hindsight he might have handled the matter differently.
''I am the only one responsible for that,'' he said. ``It was never my intention to hurt anyone.''
He said he suspected photographers had caught the couple on the beach, which he said was a solitary spot north of Miami.
The controversy became public this week when Spanish-language magazine TVnotas published the compromising pictures. The magazine's cover showed the priest on his back in blue shorts with a long-brown-haired woman in a dark bathing suit wrapping her legs around him.
Public reaction to Cutié's removal from his parish and the published pictures, especially in South Florida, has been strong. Though many Catholics have expressed indignation, the scandal has prompted debate over the church's strict policy of celibacy for priests, with many people supporting the cleric and criticizing the church's stance.
On Friday night, after broadcast of the interview, a handful of people showed up outside Cutié's parish church to show their support for the embattled priest.
Virginia Londoño, who also attended a larger support rally Thursday, said she still believed after hearing his explanations that Cutié did nothing wrong. He still has the right to wear the collar, she said.
But Noemi Guzman, a Cutié supporter, said the priest erred in not publicly confessing sooner. ''The people would have accepted it better,'' she said.
Miami Archbishop John C. Favalora, in a prepared statement earlier this week, said Cutié violated the church's position on celibacy.
Experts in Canon Law, the internal rules of the Catholic Church, say it is extremely unlikely the archbishop will allow Cutié to stay an active priest while he is in a relationship.
Cutié told Univisión on Friday that he succumbed to human passion only after long efforts not to.
''I'm a man,'' he said. ``Under the cassock there are pants.
At least he didn’t turn to little boys. There are worse sins than succumbing to being human.
Are you delirious?
No MAN should be denied the love and joy of a good woman.
That’s what I was thinking. It appears that it’s OK for priests to be pedophiles, defile little boys, and remain in the priesthood. But what could they possibly be THINKING to have a normal heterosexual relationship?
The Oath he took was for life long celibacy
If He was not prepared to do this
He should never have taken the Vow
If he was entertaining breaching the vow
He should have revoked it, in advance
I'm a Physician
To breach the Hippocratic Oath
would require revoking the pledge
at which time
I am no longer a Physician
Sending a young, good looking priest to live and work on South Beach was their first mistake...
The Church didn’t hold a gun to Cutié’s head, or any other man for that matter, and force him or them to seek ordination.
Apparently *pledges*/vows are made to be broken. As an example, I give you the divorce rate in America and every *doctor* who performs an abortion.
Is there a point to such torture?
I know for sure the Catholic Church forgives sinners. (people who happen to change their minds)
Because you lack the ability to discern.
Celibacy is a discipline. The Latin Rite prefers to adhere more closely to the teaching and examples of Christ, the Apostles and St. Paul. The 21 Churches in the Eastern Rites do not. Bishops are chosen exclusively from celibates in the Eastern Rite Churches and while the norm is to ordain married men, once ordained a single Priest may not then marry. Also, if the spouse of a Priest precedes him in death, he must then adopt the discipline of celibacy for the remainder of his life.
The question shouldn't be why does the Latin Rite Church follow the discipline. The question should be why don't the other 21, as well as all of those "bible believing" protestant denominations, follow the discipline.
Following the examples of Christ, the Apostles and St. Paul isn't right? That's absurd. I suppose next you'll be suggesting that the Church do away with the Ten Commandments.
Is there a point to such torture?
Only people who allow their genitals to dictate the way they live their lives consider it torture.
Better than his Superior, Rev. Ricardo Babemagnete
He can do what so many like him have done before -- leave the ministry. But I wonder: was her prior marriage annulled?
But the Vow / Pledge is never broken
without breaking the person doing it
Witness that this Priest sees nothing wrong
with his behavior, and I would dare to say
his future life will be a downhill spiral
As he has blinded himself to his Sin
-— without repentance -—
It is not for naught that it is taught that
The Wages of Sin is Death
His inevitable moral decline will be but a
microcosm of what happens to each of us
when we disobey God's Laws.
Or in his case
A self imposed Personal Law
This is what an Oath is
Give me a break O’perfect ones.
Those of you without sin, cast the first stone.
Ya’ll have bigger problems.
I’m sure that priests have their trials in dealing with human urges, but this is not the way to go.
He is obviously conflicted, and thus, needs to leave the priesthood.
For the record, this is a small part of why I believe priests should not marry. Imagine if this had been a married priest, talking about the urge to have an affair.
No doubt this is true
But I didn’t make the rules that
He is breaking
He made his own rules
when he took the Oath
And he breached his own standard
They aren’t denied by outside forces. It is a conscious choice that they make of their own free will.