Father Alberto Cutie Leaves The Catholic Church For The Episcopals

Alberto Cutie

Father Alberto Cutié has abruptly left the Catholic Church and has joined the Episcopal church today.  Father Cutié was recently caught in a scandal involving a woman in a two year affair and asked and received an indefinite leave of absence from Archbishop John C. Favalora.  This has come as sudden and unexpected news to the Church.  Archbishop Favalora of Miami has not spoken with Alberto Cutié since his request and has expressed shock at the news.

“I am genuinely disappointed by the announcement made earlier this afternoon by Father Alberto Cutié that he is joining the Episcopal Church,”

Father Alberto Cutié had this to say as his only remarks to his actions [emphasis mine]:

“I’ve seen how many married men serve God. My personal struggle should not interfere with the work of other priests. Today, I have officially joined a new spiritual family [what about his vows and commitments he made to God Himself?]. I ask that everyone respect my privacy. In the last few days, there have been rumors and respectfully, I ask you to stop. That’s enough.”

Father Alberto Cutié’s actions do not come without consequences.  He will no longer be able to celebrate the sacraments and preach or teach on Catholic faith and morals in the Archdiocese of Miami.  Archbishop Favalora further added, “His actions could lead to his dismissal from the clerical state,” and “Father Cutié is still bound by his promise to live a celibate life, which he freely embraced at ordination . . . Only the Holy Father can release him from that obligation”

Further adding to the schismatic scandal, Episcopal Bishop Leo Frade of Southeast Florida triumphantly trumpeted the entrance of Father Cutie into his church.  Thus doing great harm to ecumenical relations between the Catholic Church and the Episcopal ecclesiastical community.

Episcopal Bishop Leo Frade announced smugly [emphasis mine]:

“This is the best place for Father Cutié. We welcome him and his fiancée [sic]. We are the Catholic Church [this “bishop” needs reminding that the Episcopal ecclesiastical community was born and based on adultery]. He has not abandoned the Catholic Church. He has left the Roman church. As a deacon, he can read the sermon, perform mass, but not give holy sacrament [of communion.]”

Archbishop Favalora had this to say on the whole scandalous affair:

“Bishop Frade has never spoken to me about his position on this delicate matter or what actions he was contemplating.  I have only heard from him through the local media,” . . . the event has also caused a “serious setback for ecumenical relations and cooperation” between the Catholic and Episcopal churches . . . the “Archdiocese of Miami has never made a public display when for doctrinal reasons Episcopal priests have joined the Catholic Church and sought ordination.  In fact, to do so would violate the principles of the Catholic Church governing ecumenical relations.  I regret that Bishop Frade has not afforded me or the Catholic community the same courtesy and respect”

Let’s keep Father Alberto Cutié in our prayers.

(Lynne Sladky/AP Photo at top of this post.  Father Alberto Cutie, left, prepares to walk away after reading from a statement during a news conference at the Episcopal Trinity Cathedral Church in Miami today.  At right is his girlfriend Ruhama Canellis.)

Update I: The Curt Jester, Jeff Miller, had some astute words for the selfishness that Mr. Cutie has exhibited under the title “Pelvic Theology Trumps Ecclesiology” [emphasis mine]:

“I was initially saddened to hear this news. Then he added insult to injury by appearing on a morning show making excuses like it was the Church’s fault. That he took this step without even once consulting with his Bishop shows that this guy is just a totally arrogant jerk. A a totally arrogant jerk deeply in need of our prayers since he has separated himself from the Church and I would imagine incurred Latae Sententiae excommunication.

When he appeared on the morning show he had said he had fallen in love. Too bad he has forgotten what love is. Love is willing the good for another. When he broke his promises and committed a gravely disordered sin with her he was not showing love. By endangering her soul as well as his own, this is an objective act of selfishness. When a married man says he “fell in love” with the women he committed adultery with it is the same lie. The same goes for homosexual sex. Any act of sex outside of the the Covenant of marriage is objectively sinful and thus never an act of love. To will the good for another is to will an objective good [Well said].

39 Responses to Father Alberto Cutie Leaves The Catholic Church For The Episcopals

  • So, pursuant to his original premise concerning the high regard he had for the Catholic Faith, he effectively demonstrates his loyalty to such principle by yielding to the abhorrent Act of Supremacy?

    Where are the loyal Romanists of today who would, though few in number, rise up and stand bravely & ever the more faithfully to their beloved and ancient Catholic Faith in a modern-day Pilgrimage of Grace?

    Our worst enemies, it seems, tend to come from within than without.

  • (Incidentally, thanks Tito! TAC citizenship finally restored!)

  • Father Alberto Cutié’s actions do not come without consequences. He will no longer be able to celebrate the sacraments and preach or teach on Catholic faith and morals in the Archdiocese of Miami. Archbishop Favalora further added, “His actions could lead to his dismissal from the clerical state”…

    Somehow I don’t think those “consequences” are going to matter much to this priest.

    this “bishop” needs reminding that the Episcopal ecclesiastical community was born and based on adultery

    Reminds me of the Newt…

  • Reminds me of the Newt…

    to Protestant we may now safely add Novatianist to Michael’s pedigree.

  • or Donatist, take your pick.

  • You can’t call me a Donatist. The Donatists lived a long long time ago.

  • Somehow I don’t think those “consequences” are going to matter much to this priest.

    not in this life anyway.

  • The “fiancee” was described early on (when the very first stories about him on the beach with a woman) as “divorced”. Does that matter in his plans to “marry” her once he is laicized?

    What an astounding display this whole thing is.

  • Reminds me of the Newt…

    Really, Michael, you might do well to step back and examine the things you say through a Christian lens. I don’t care any more for Newt than I do any other stranger, but think about what you’re doing. Aside from me thinking your politics bear poor witness to the Faith (my opinion, anyway), stuff like this is giving awful witness in an objective sense. You’re not really condemning adultery here nor are you identifying and calling out wrong or evil actions. What you’re doing is saying that repentance and conversion is futile. There’s no room for mercy and a new start. Ironically enough, it’s that mercy and hope for a new start that usually touches the convert, and how fortunate it is that the Church was built on that sort of encouragement rather than reminding us of our past sins at every opportunity.

  • Our gain is the loss of the Episcopalians.

  • Chesterton once said that journalism largely consists of saying “Lord Jones Died” to people who had no idea Lord Jones was even alive.

  • Now think about this. The Episcopal Church takes within weeks a Catholic Cleric

    (1) That very well might have been living a life of sin outside marriage
    (2) Was in the middle of emotional and public turmoil
    (3) and within WEEKS WEEKS ordained him a Episcopal Priest”

    My God when Anglicans come over there is a huge period of discernment and evaluation.

    What was this Anglican Bishop thinking over there.

  • jh,

    He’s maximizing this for full effect.

    In response to Archbishop Favalora’s statement of ecumenical manners, Bishop Frade basically said “sour grapes”, or more like “na-na-a-boo-boo” while sticking his tongue out.

    Classy.

  • JTBF,

    The “fiancee” was described early on (when the very first stories about him on the beach with a woman) as “divorced”. Does that matter in his plans to “marry” her once he is laicized?

    What an astounding display this whole thing is.

    Unless the Holy Father dispenses his vows of celibacy in addition to laicizing him he is impeded from marriage on that grounds as well.

    While we feel a sense of relief that this is now an Episcopalian problem, there is a tragic consequence… mercifully Anglican orders are invalid so no sacrilege takes place at their services. With an ordained priest, unless there is a defect of form, or intent he is confecting a valid sacrament.

  • 1. “Fiancee.” Always a good reason.

    2. Is he more like Henry VIII? Or the British cat who tossed aside the crown for his American cutie? Or just handsome dude who was caught in really embarrassing picture?

    3. Seems like the Episcopalians owe us something for signing a Free Agent. Cash, or seminarians to be named later.

    4. Think people will follow him on teevee now that he’s switched teams? And just what will we do with those old Padres jerseys with his name on the back? Round here in Philly, public jersey burnings after Terrell Owens left Birds for stinking Dallas Cowboys. Somehow, joining the Fighting Episcopalians doesn’t inspire confidence.

    5. Cheap p.r. stunt by all concerned. Pay no heed and pray for his soul.

  • Gerard E.,

    4. I’m an Eagles fan and I think we can still win the Super Bowl this upcoming season, if only McNabb plays consistent.

    5. Cheap PR stunt by the Episcopal bishop IMO.

  • This is so very sad. I hope the people in his people aren’t terribly confused or distraught by this, especially children.

  • What you’re doing is saying that repentance and conversion is futile. There’s no room for mercy and a new start. Ironically enough, it’s that mercy and hope for a new start that usually touches the convert, and how fortunate it is that the Church was built on that sort of encouragement rather than reminding us of our past sins at every opportunity.

    Well said, Rick. Thank you.

  • Unfortunate, but at least consistent.

    He clearly values his personal actions more than belief in truth. He found a place to match his choices.

  • Naah, MI’s not being a Donatist, at least by the America magazine definition. He’s not “attempt[ing] to keep the church free of contamination by having no truck with [governmental] officialdom.”

  • Alberto Cutie lied to the Roman Catholic Church. He seems not to understand the consequences of his actions. His lack of honesty says nothing good about him. I admired him. Now, I see a man that is arrogant, defiant, selfish, opportunistic…. The woman that he will marry is not a good woman of faith. She is the one who first contacted him and let him know about her interest for him. Bishop Leo Frade apppeared happy to welcome Alberto Cutie(I no longer respect him to call him Father), he will bring money to the new church. It is a shame that this church accepts people of low moral character. Shame on you Alberto Cutie.

  • I don’t know who is more delusional, Cutie or Fade.

  • “I admired him.”

    Cutie is but the 2nd priest on EWTN who, like Fr. Mark, initially professed such a high regard for the Catholic Church and their Catholic Faith on past EWTN broadcasts.

    I will, henceforward, be a little more cautious & skeptical concerning not only clergy but of any person who generally appears there, less these become but another Judas Iscariot and the once fond admiration held by not only myself but by impressionable family members are not only wasted but contributing to final cynicism especially as regarding those whose sincerity for the Faith essentially boils down to not a Calling eminating from Christ but, ultimately, a Calling eminating from the loins.

  • I think JH is onto the bigger story here. A priest leaving the Church is nothing new, but the Anglicans willing to take him after such a turn around is so insulting that it can’t help but to seriously harm ecumenical relations between Anglicans and Catholics, particularly in that area.

  • Michael D.,

    insulting to who exactly? The real setback is not any offense from this, it’s the fact that the Episcopals are really not Christian anymore, and the Worldwide Anglicans are not far behind (with but a few exceptions).

    Time to move this to the “inter-religious” category.

  • The dialogue between Michael Denton and Matt McDonald only proves this already self-evident deterioriation within the ranks of even the Catholic Church herself.

    To actually deplore the heretics in such a way so as to give them credence, as would seem the case in Michael’s own comments, and, even further, to state that “Episcopals are really not Christian anymore“, shows just how accomodating we have become to what was once considered heresy.

    Perhaps what Cutie has done is not so exceptional after all.

  • While I am inclined to agree with Matt that dialogue with the American Episcopal church is increasingly a waste of time and valuable tree pulp that can be put to better use elsewhere (e.g., Charmin), it’s not fair to write off the entire Anglican communion as apostate. Certainly the western branches (North America, England) are “apostate-friendly,” but the African and Asian Anglicans are still a very solid lot who preach Christ crucified.

  • Dale Price,

    While I am inclined to agree with Matt that dialogue with the American Episcopal church is increasingly a waste of time and valuable tree pulp that can be put to better use elsewhere (e.g., Charmin), it’s not fair to write off the entire Anglican communion as apostate. Certainly the western branches (North America, England) are “apostate-friendly,” but the African and Asian Anglicans are still a very solid lot who preach Christ crucified.

    I said not far behind, and the exceptions I’m referring to are the Africans and Asians. I guess I was being a little “euro-centric” in my “but a few”, since they are a pretty substantial portion in reality.

    Additionally, inter-religious dialogue is also important, but it is decidedly different from “ecumenical” dialogue.

  • e. ,

    The dialogue between Michael Denton and Matt McDonald only proves this already self-evident deterioriation within the ranks of even the Catholic Church herself.

    To actually deplore the heretics in such a way so as to give them credence, as would seem the case in Michael’s own comments, and, even further, to state that “Episcopals are really not Christian anymore“, shows just how accomodating we have become to what was once considered heresy.

    Perhaps what Cutie has done is not so exceptional after all.

    I’ve sometimes been a defender of you despite your often rancorous approach, but I have to tell you I’m starting to question your sanity.

    Adherence to a heresy generally does not exclude one from being acknowledge as a Christian, one who departs entirely from Christianity is an apostate.

    The Catechism is a sure norm in understanding your Faith better to avoid such error in the future:

    2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. “Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”11

    I doubt one could avoid the sin of calumny if suggesting that Fr. Cutie is guilty of apostasy just yet.

  • Matt: Yeah, it was the “but a few exceptions” part I had a problem with. The solid branches of Anglicanism contain the majority of the adherents (if not the actual monetary resources).

  • Rancorous?

    I suppose that those who hold to a more traditional Catholicism are a deeply malevolent bunch indeed.

    More Luther, Less More.

  • Since when did embracing genuine tradition automatically render one a schismatic?

    There was a time when a person such as that was simply called ‘Catholic’.

    And people wonder why there are the Iafrates of the world; if anything, such folks are but the inevitable products of such an age as this where the Thomas Mores of the world are put to the rack while the Luthers of the world are ultimately heralded as Saint.

    To answer the question put before me, no I am not; I remain loyal to the Church of Rome, though I remain dis-loyal to the modernity that tends to possess a certain of its members.

  • I could only assume since you reject the Church’s understanding our separated brethren since the council of Trent that you were SSPV.

  • Matt,

    I have no personal quarrel with you or monsieur Denton; only with the heresy itself that you and he seem to hold in special regard.

    Ecumenism is a necessarily Christian act in healing a now hideously divided Christendom torn asunder by the innovations of heresy that has hitherto unfortunately fragmented the Body of Christ; what is unnecessary and, indeed, outright blasphemous is accomodating heresy so as to sacrifice our very Catholicism. That does not promote the healing of Christian divisions; on the contrary, it promotes further Christian disfigurement.

  • e.,

    what is the exact expression from either of us that you find so offensive? I fail to see where we have done what you accuse us of.

  • Sad, but really nothing new here. Anybody remember Emmanuel Milingo, the African archbishop a few years back who joined the Moonies, married one of them, and eventually went schismatic and ordained married bishops? Remember Fr. Francis MacNutt and Fr. Brennan Manning, who were both pretty well known in the charismatic movement back in the 70s? They left the Church to marry and eventually went off into their own ministries. Remember Fr. George Stallings, the African-American priest who eventually started his own schismatic church? There are plenty of other examples.

  • I can’t help to see how many Romanists are so clueless about Anglicanism. Just remember Pope Leo XIII only declared Anglicans “Null & Void” in the 1890’s – and that was at the behest of the English Roman Catholic Hierarchy. That means that from the Reformation until the 1890’s, Anglican clergy were “Valid but Irregular,” an amusing Romish comment. Do you want to curl a few more clerical hairs? The Episcopal Church (American Anglicans) has, for well over 100 years – until 1976, had its Bishops co-consecrated by the Bishops of the “Old Catholic Tradition” (Polish National Catholic Church in the USA). It was John Paul II who formally recognized and welcomed back all PNC Bishops/Priests, Deacons and congregations into Full Communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Think what that does to the legitimacy of the Anglican Clergy whose Apostolic Succession can be traced to these PNC Bishops? In the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, NY alone, our Bishops have always had 2 or more PNC Bishops at Consecrations of our Bishops. I remember PNC Bishop Zilinski and others who shared their Apostolicity with us Anglicans. It’s funny to have so much in common and still have all the backbiting, name calling and finger pointing between Roman Catholics and Anglicans. It was Paul VI who called us a Sister Church. We as Anglicans proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ as Savior, we celebrate 7 Sacraments, Celebrate Holy Mass, which some of us call Divine Liturgy, Holy Communion or Eucharist and we try to teach the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith as is found in the Holy Scriptures and the traditions of Holy Mother Church. But what do we do – we focus on our differences rather than our commonality and faith. Satan loves to see us fight and otherwise have us not hear God’s small voice, “that we all may be one.” I think that things, on either side are not so cut and dry, let alone pure. Our Catholic Christian faith should empower us to practice what we preach and in doing so, always remember that for the people of the world “we may be the only Bible that people will ever read.” In the end – as we stand before the awesome throne of God – it will be our faith in action, our sin repented and a loving and forgiving God who will judge our worthiness to enter into Heaven itself. We strive to “daily die to sin,” for that one day that we will hear from our Lord, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

  • The schism between Rome and the Anglican Church is more complex still. Unlike the earlier Henrican schism, not a single serving diocean bishop accepted the new ecclesiastical regime set up by Parliament and all were thus forced to resign. As such, only an extremely partisan and polemic reading of history can portray this (the product of the sidelining of the whole hierarchy and the explicit intrusion of the civil power in Church affairs) as a unilateral act on the part of Rome.

    Even then, the new excommunicated bishops were still invited to participate in the Council of Trent to help resolve the schism. Those disposed to do so where prevented by the Crown. I suspect that it is only at this point that Rome concluded that the matter ceased to be merely disciplinary and entered into the realm of formal definitive schism (to be reinforced by formal heresy under the Edwardian regency).

    But my point isn’t to launch into a historical argument about who did what to whom. A joint, fair, nuanced and intellectually honest reading of history is part of a process reconciliation that involves accepting the other’s “truths” as legitimate, no matter how painful or inconvenient, so long as it has a factual basis. Reading selective history used to score polemic points is just tiresome.

    Unlike my interlocutors, I as well as Rome consider the matter concerning the Anglicans still guilty of heresy and, therefore, remain, as it were, obviously invalid as concerning their purported ‘holy orders’.

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