In a time when Roman Catholic priests are being moved from parish to parish because of child molestation charges rather than excommunicated, Padre Alberto CutiÃ© could be the churchâ€™s saving grace.
With almost celebrity status in the realm of The Virgin, Alberto CutiÃ© is one of the most recognizable faces in the Hispanic religious community. Ordained as a Catholic priest for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami in 1995, CutiÃ© was the first Catholic priest to have his own television and radio programs. He is a regular columnist in various newspapers across Latin America and the United States. He is a regular on Telemundo, reaching millions of households throughout the United States, Canada, Spain and Latin America for EWTN en espaÃ±ol. Think of him as the Spanish version of Joel Osteen. Yes, we are talking about that type of religious super-stardom.
This is the man who officiated at Celia Cruzâ€™s funeral mass in Miami in July 2003 and who Newsweek dubs â€œFather Oprah.â€
So why would the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami (along with the other institutions he is affiliated with) remove his programs from the air and bar him from saying mass?
While it is understandable that many Catholics probably donâ€™t agree with CutiÃ©â€™s actions, there will be more than just a few snickers and sneers at church’s handling of the situation. These punishments are excessive considering the actions of other Roman Catholic priests in recent years. The whole thing reeks of doctrinal intolerance and hypocrisy against a man who has done nothing but promote the church while some of his counterparts were embezzling money and sexually abusing children.
But let’s not digress from the point. Personal opinions aside, Padre Alberto CutiÃ© could be good PR for the Roman Catholic Church:
- The Roman Catholic ChurchÂ does have priests (converted members of the Anglican, Episcopal and alike) who are married with children, and the churchâ€™s Deacons are also allowed to marry.
Canon law allows Deacons to marry, so why not priests? Pope Paul VI restored the diaconate/deaconateÂ in 1967 reaffirming the allowance for Deacons (read .pdf here) to engage in marriage. It is not canon law that priests cannot marry, just a tradition.Â So for a man who is the poster-face for the Hispanic community (the largest minority in the United States), it is not too much to ask for the church to reinstate him. This would save the Church the shame of hypocrisy by choosing the freedom of the child molesters (regardless of whether there is a shortage of priests) over a man who simply did what human nature dictates. Furthermore, there are Catholic priests who are married with children.
- He is not doing drugs, he is not drinking himself into a stupor; the man is just asking to have the opportunity to be in love.
That is not very much to ask for. Punishing someone for wanting the freedom to love is a tale as old as time: Romeo and Juliet, Anthony and Cleopatra, The Little Mermaid and Prince Eric â€” but still, isnâ€™t that what Jackie DeShannon preaches about: â€œWhat the world needs now is love, sweet loveâ€? Call it what you will, but any resurgence of the ideals of the Flower Children promoting harmony for something rooted in pureness sounds pretty good in my book.
- The Episcopal Church welcomes him with open arms.
While loyalty is a very important to Catholics, in order to keep the faith itâ€™s understandable that anyone would switch â€˜homesâ€™ in order to continue preaching in peace. Should Padre CutiÃ© move over the Episcopal Church, there would be a strike of considerable size against the Roman Catholic church for compelling him to go. Make no mistake, he has followers.Â They love him enough to move with him wherever he goes.
- How to rebuild a tarnished image?
- Work with the unworkable?
- Make it go in your favor?
Put a Little Love in Your Heart
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