Archives for May 29, 2009

{iStyle} Etsy me, please.

By Bonzi via Etsy

By: Jenn Ortiz, guest blogger

I recently ordered my first item from Etsy. When it finally came in the mail, it was beautifully wrapped in a brown paper envelope and twine with printed cloth label that had a key attached… and it came from Ireland. What? Ireland? I was surprised. I had not really paid attention to where it was coming from. There was no excessive [Read more…]

Episcopalian PR success: Father Oprah’s Redemption

Alberto Cutie photo via Sose News

In our original article, Sins of the Father: How Padre Alberto Cutié could be good PR for Catholic Church, we talked about how this scandal could have worked in the Catholic Church’s favor should they have chosen to keep the Father on.

Well, folks it is official, Padre Alberto Cutié is now an ordained Episcopal minister.

Whether what you think he did was wrong or right, moral or immoral is not the issue. We are talking about straight black and white business. How can the Episcopal Church make this work in their favor?

In a service presided over by the Right Reverend Leo Frande, Bishop of the Diocese of Southeast Florida, Padre Alberto Cutié became an Episcopalian.

His decision to leave the Catholic Church was announced on May 28 after weeks of speculation.

The choice was determined after photographs of the Padre, via the Mexican rag TVnotas, leaked depicting Cutié in compromising positions with a mysterious woman.

The woman has since been identified as Ruhama Buni Canellis and she is now his fiancée.

  • I come to you with open arms

The offer was made to the Padre directly after the scandal broke, documented as early as May 8, that the Episcopal Church was willing to accept Cutié, marry him and give him all the benefits, to the best of their ability, he enjoyed previously as a Catholic Minister.

That’s a lot of talk.

So said, so done.

This small olive branch now paves the way for other ministers and followers who feel ostracized or claustrophobic to enter the Episcopal Church freely and easily.

What better way to spread “your word” than to show utter and complete transparency. Or at least the appearance of it.

  • His followers will follow him wherever he may go

Said before, and said again, the man has celebrity status. In his world of Hispanic, telenovela-like religious brouhaha, he is as his name prescribes: Cutié is a cutie.

His television followers know him from Cambia tu Vida con el Padre Albert which debuted on Telemundo in 1999. Telemundo is the second-largest Spanish-language network in the world (and NBC affiliate). Imagine the viewership of the content recycled to various Spanish language nations across the globe.

Newsweek calls him “Father Oprah” and this is the man who officiated at Celia Cruz’s (the still reigning Queen of Salsa) funeral mass in Miami in July 2003.

The Padre’s reach is far and wide. Whether his followers choose to stay with the Catholic Church but still follow him is their own personal choice. Should they choose to leave, as he did, that is their personal choice as well.

But make no mistake, he has an audience; they are there and still ready to follow. Very soon the Episcopalian Church may see a rise in attendees and new devotees.

By offering Cutié many of the same benefits he once enjoyed as a Catholic priest, the Episcopalian Church has laid the ground work for future religbrity (I do believe I just made up a word) status figures.

This swift change could mean a list of things: memoir, new television shows and radio programs.

Understand something, religious organizations are registered non-profit organizations. However, they, like you, need money to survive. Foremost, they are a business (have you seen Lakewood Church?)

  • Is celibacy outdated?

In Episcopalian land it most certainly is outdated. For anyone who wishes to marry and interact in the ways of our ancestors, the Church has no problems allowing sex and marriage.

Basically, this means should the Padre want to have his own reality version of 7th Heaven, he can.

Who is to say the WB will not pick it up?

For your references a brief history of celibacy in the Catholic Church –

  • Peter, the first pope, and the apostles that Jesus chose were, for the most part, married men. The New Testament implies that women presided at Eucharistic meals in the early church.
  • Eleventh Century-1045-Pope Boniface IX dispensed himself from celibacy and resigned in order to marry.
  • 1074-Pope Gregory VII said anyone to be ordained must first pledge celibacy: ‘priests [must] first escape from the clutches of their wives.’
  • 1095-Pope Urban II had priests’ wives sold into slavery, children were abandoned.
  • The Roman Catholic Church has left the policy or “discipline” virtually unchanged for the past 900 years, saying it allows for a dedication to God and the church without distraction.

And a few married Popes:

  • St. Peter, Apostle
  • St. Felix III  
  • St. Hormidas
  • St. Silverus 
  • Hadrian II
  • Clement IV
  • Felix V

What will happen next?

Only time will tell.

But, if you want to see the Padre in his first appearance in his new robes, Cutié will be preaching at his new parish of choice this Sunday May 31, 2009 at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Biscayne Park.

Stanford University has a list of different religious articles here.

Don’t forget what Jackie DeShannon said,




Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ and ‘SashaHalima PR.’ She holds a B.S. in Public Relations and an M.A. in International Administration.

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