May 8th, 2009
08:34 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Priest in Steamy Photos Speaks Out

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/05/06/florida.priest.photos/art.tvnotas.cover.jpg caption="The photos of the Cuban-American priest appeared on the cover of this week's TV Notas magazine."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

The Catholic priest who has been removed from his posts in Florida after published photos showed him in an embrace with a woman on a beach says he's not ashamed for loving a woman.

In an interview today with the Spanish-language TV network Univision, the Rev. Alberto Cutié said, "I'm in love and she's in love with me. In addition to the way she looks, I like her faith in Jesus." He went on to say, "One doesn't plan love, it is spontaneous, I always followed the church I have had all the tools of the church friends, family, other priests, and I tried with all of my heart to be faithful to Jesus to all that God asked of me, but I failed. "

Rev. Cutié, 40, won't apologize for how he feels about the woman. "I am never going to say sorry for loving a woman. God made me a man, I am not sorry for falling in love," he said.

The photos of the priest appeared on the cover and on eight inside pages of this week's TV Notas magazine. The cover (shown above) says in Spanish: "Good God. Padre Alberto. First photos of a priest 'in flagrante' with his lover."

When this story broke earlier this week, Archbishop John C. Favalora wrote on the Miami archdiocese web site:

"Father Cutié made a promise of celibacy and all priests are expected to fulfill that promise with the help of God," Favalora said. "Father Cutie's actions cannot be condoned despite the good works he has done as a priest."

But Rev. Cutié's supporters say the Church's chastity vow is outdated. Yesterday more than 60 people gathered outside his Miami Beach church in support of him. The crowd shouted in Spanish "Celibacy no! Choice yes! 21st century" and "I admire, I respect, I pardon Father Alberto!"

Do you the think the chastity vow should be dropped by the Roman Catholic Church? Share your thoughts below.

And, tonight on AC360°, Anderson will talk with a former Catholic priest and nun who've been married 30 years. Both are members of the Voice of the Faithful, a group dedicated to Catholic reform.

Join us for this story and more starting at 10pm ET.

See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    No one forces anyone to become a Catholic priest. No one is forced into any field/profession/vocation. Therefore, if someone chooses to become a Catholic priest, he needs to abide by the vows of the priesthood and remain celibate. Just like with any field/profession/vocation, there are rules and guidelines that need to be followed. It is very reflective of our society to assume that one can walk into a field/profession/vocation and assume, in fact expect, that the rules will be changed to suit their needs. Sorry, it does not work that way. I liken it to (although on a much smaller scale) inviting someone into your house. They come in, and then tell you that you should change your decor to suit their purposes. Very presumptuous indeed.

    May 10, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  2. Bernadette Mendoza

    The catholic church is under the BIG T of tradition with that rule whether is good or bad – I think that it will be easier for the moon to change position with the sun than for the Vatican to allow priest to marry.

    Who ever becomes a priest, do it on they own accord knowing the rules.

    Though titty said the kitty when the milk turn sour...

    A practicing Catholic from San Francisco, CA

    May 9, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  3. Joe and Joan Koechler

    We were the couple interviewed by Anderson Cooper last evening. Joe was an ordained priest for 10 years; Joan was a Dominican Sister for 13 years. We both received release from our vows and married in the Catholic Church 30 years ago. We believe the Church should change its rule (and that's all that it is) and allow all with a call to ministry to serve – whether as celibate or married. Our church community needs both kinds of ministry.

    May 9, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  4. Teresa, OH

    Another point, after reading the rest of these posts:

    Say we let the priests marry... once they get the lust bug... what happens when the married priests start having affairs? What do we do when they want divorced? Do they stay in the pulpit? Where do we draw the line.

    Because like Father Cutie' here has shown, he is weak in the flesh. What if he stayed a priest, married, and got weak in the flesh again, and again and again?

    May 9, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  5. ronvan

    Touchy subject and I am not catholic, and I respect their religion. However. The church says they teach the word of God. If that is accurate then after so many years of saying certain things cannot be done, HOW, can they say it is now ok? Are they, the pope, talking with God and getting his permission? I thought God said marriage was between a man and woman. By not allowing preists to get married are they not going against the word of God? And that they take a vow to be married to God. If you beleive in God are we not all married to him and his word, which I guess would make everyone else sinners?
    We are all human beings with faults but for me the celebicy vow puts a big burden on any man, let alone a priest, who just might be following the feelings that God gave all of us.

    May 9, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  6. fran

    Why are we taking away something God gave us. He made our bodies, and sex was a part of that body. He gave us the heart to love each other with. If we have the passion to love someone, then dont let the priests take it away. We are a nation who have more hatred, and condemnations rather than love and passion for one another.
    Yes, let the priests marry, why must they not, but still go to little boys and girls to satisfy their desires. Let them have a consenting adult who will satisfy that desire and you will not see as much child molesting in the churches. No, I am not Catholic.
    I am a good ol self believing person who believes in God.

    May 9, 2009 at 7:49 am |
  7. Alexis

    No law in the Bible about not marrying, it's a personal decision. I agree w/Patti. The Catholic Church's stand is more against priests marrying than it is against pedophilia. Disgusting!
    (Radna – I second that!!!)

    May 9, 2009 at 3:02 am |
  8. myrtis

    Caholic priests were allowed to be married for and the Roman church made a change. This is not a law of God. The problem is not getting married, the problem is fornication, if that was the case. Priests should have the right to get married but as one seminarian told me, "we have many years to make the choice to become priests or decide to get married." Love is not lust or having sex. Having sexual intimacy is a wonderful part of a loving relationship and according to Christian teachings it should be within Holy Matrimony. We all sin, but we also have confession and repentance. Avoiding the occasion of sex is a start.

    May 9, 2009 at 2:53 am |
  9. tony

    This situation goes beyond a Catholic priest being in love with a woman. The Vatican needs to address issues within mainstream society and be in tune with it.

    The Catholic Church (CC) has to rethink some of the Canon Law which was written over a 1000 years ago.

    Far too long the CC has admonished the public with their values and morality in modern society. Yet they themselves are hypocrites.

    The CC fail to realize that a Catholic Priest can be married and still love his congregation and address issues within the local Church community.

    May 9, 2009 at 2:07 am |
  10. erika

    I believe that priests should be able 2 marry because they are human and when Adam and Eve were punished as flawed humans God said that woman was to bear children and endure painfull childbirth and man was to support his family by the sweat of his brow. We are supposed to multiply and the only moral way to do that is through marriage. Also, how am I supposed to take marriage prep from someone who has never been married? How can they have the slightest inclination of the trials and dynamics of marriage? We are human, after all, and it is human nature to find someone to spend the rest of our life with someone who "fills the void" and to raise a family with that chosen person so we can leave behind an enduring legacy of family strength and love. I love my Catholic faith, but it needs some "modernization" so to speak.

    May 9, 2009 at 1:42 am |
  11. rachee

    You're absolutely correct, Jeane tte.

    May 9, 2009 at 1:41 am |
  12. Leslie

    As an observant Catholic, may I offer this bit of guidance from our wisdom literature:

    “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of Heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it” (Matthew 19: 10-12).

    I would prefer that we leave the standard of consecrated celibacy stand and leave the question of Father Cutie to the Mercy of God. I certainly shall be praying for him – and for the dear woman he loves.

    May 9, 2009 at 1:02 am |
  13. Dodi

    I think the Catholic Church needs a big wake up call! It is absurd in this day and age not to allow priests to marry and participate in family life. IIt would be much better for a priest to be able to love a woman, than for him to stifle his desires and/or lust after other men or small boys. There has been so much sexual scandal and cover-ups by the church regarding priests and their molestation of young boys I think many of these scadals stem from the frustration and absurd rules of celebacy by the church. Catholicism is all about sex....when you should have it, when you can't, whom to have it with, whom not to have it with.....and procreation of the racebeing the only viable reason to have sex at all!!!! They refuse to allow birth control, refuse to support abortion, and refuse to allow priests to have sex with women, but cover up sex with children! WOW!!! My bottom line feeling is that is all probably has lots to do with money. The church does not want prists to marry because they would then have children and the church would have to pay for the families, etc......enough said....I think the Catholic church is in the dark ages.

    May 9, 2009 at 12:21 am |
  14. Anne Morgan

    Let's see...this priest seems to love this woman and who else... himself.....
    he doesn't have a bit of problem breaking vows he made to God
    or to his church. He has a choice – leave the priesthood and get
    married or remain faithful to his vows.

    May 8, 2009 at 11:40 pm |
  15. Rebecca Starr

    I am a Catholic and I think that celibacy is unnatural.
    I believe that the church demands it, because if priests were allowed to get married,the church would have to support all of the children who were a byproduct of the marriage,because God forbid,anyone should use birth control.
    My mother went to confession to confess that she used birth control. What a joke! I guess I am not a GOOD Catholic. I think it is a purely financial decision.
    And how can a priest give advice to a married couple when he has never experienced marriage himself?

    May 8, 2009 at 11:40 pm |
  16. msm

    Look If I rember right we are all sinners so funny everyone is so ready to point their finger at someone else when they mess up.This is what our saviour Jesus died for was our sins!!!!!!!!!! People should not be so ready to throw the first stone when all sin is bad and not one is better then the other. GOD Hates sin not the sinners . Just belive let GOD judge And Forgive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not our place to judge anyone! we will all be judge in the same way we judge others. he sent Jesus for all those who will belive.

    May 8, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  17. Robin B. Stewart

    I am a practicing Catholic but I believe that priests and nuns should be allowed to marry. For example how can they counsel couples who are having marital problems when they don't have the experience of what these couples are going through. As times are changing I feel the Catholic church should change to deal with today's problems especially in the area of marriage. Not only that I think that if they were allowed to marry many may seek the church as a profession.

    May 8, 2009 at 11:31 pm |
  18. an

    Father Cutie is a phony. He wants the spotlight. Many men have decided they can't be celibate and give up the Roman Catholic priesthood. Roman Catholic priests going out with women and having families in secret is nothing new.

    I don't know if any church would accept him now because he is a liar and has no credibility.

    As others have said he could still be a member of the church. Go to confession and lead a faithful life.

    May 8, 2009 at 11:30 pm |
  19. Donald Cole

    If the Catholic Church used the Bible to determine doctrine, there would be no question, and they would know that to prohibit a man from marriage is an abomination to God.

    May 8, 2009 at 11:23 pm |
  20. Christine, Minnesota

    I am a divorced, happily remarried "former" Catholic. Although there are a few things in the Catholic religion I still believe in and respect , the Catholic Church has very antiquated man-made rules. I find it unrealistic to take marital advice from a priest, or to have a board of priests decide an annulment merely by reading some papers and then pay for it! Its like someone describing a food to you that they've never eaten. With their made-up rules, they believe they are the "chosen" religion, the best. This I was told by a priest. I am now a very happy Episcopalian.

    However, Fr. Cutie (ironic name) should have stepped up, been a real man and left the priesthood before getting so involved. Others have certainly made that choice.

    May 8, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  21. Anne

    It is time for the Catholic Church to get into this century and out of the dark ages – Celibacy is just unnatural

    May 8, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  22. Marisa

    My brother used to be a priest. He ended up having a child and had no choice but to leave his church. It was very sad for him as he loved his job. Many people looked up to him and after that he has never been the same, he has suffered from depression and has tried to commit suicide several times. I just wish that if marriage was aloud there would be more priest and things like this would not be happening as often as it is. For me it has been even hard for me to go to church. This incident has hurt my brother and all of my family very much. It was always my brothers devotion to be a priest and it is just sad to hear another story like this.

    May 8, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  23. Dawn Victoria

    Leave the man alone! I never did understand why priest and nuns can not marry. He is only doing what comes natural. This rule is outdated and needs to be changed.

    May 8, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  24. Patti, MDR, CA

    I am SO glad the church has treated Father Alberto the same way they treat all the child abuser fathers.

    Oh wait, the church just moved the abusers to another parish to continue the abusing, whereas, all Father Alberto did was have an affair with an adult woman. Way to go church!! Hipocrocy at its best!!

    May 8, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  25. HN

    As with all choices and life decisions we make, we should abide by the rules that we have chosen freely. No one is forcing anyone to live outside their abilities and comfort zone.

    May 8, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  26. Guy

    I understand the issue of dedication motivation that spawned the celibacy order. However, I thought the central tenant of all religions is love and tolerance. How then can they not be tolerant of this Priest's love. It is time for the Catholic Management to become a modern contribution to today's society

    May 8, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  27. JCN

    Catholic priests should not be able to get married they took vowes to follow God and the Catholic Church rules – period! If they would like to marry a women then they have the option of becoming a Deacon and still practice in the Catholic Church, this is the Catholic religion and the rules should not be bent for one preist who decides he cannot honor his own vowes. There is nothing wrong with leaving the priesthood if you fall in love with another human being, Catholic followers do have compassion for their priests as long as they are honest to their clergy.

    May 8, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  28. Mary

    Of course priests should have the option to marry. Marriage does not diminish their ability or dedication. There must be millions of married clerics around the world. Are they less devout?

    May 8, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  29. Joe

    The discipline of the Church is the discipline of the Church. Yes the celibacy rule could be changed by the Pope, but since it has not been priests should remain faithful to their promises of obedience and celibacy. Just as we do not tolerate adultery we should not tolerate infidelity by the clergy. Moreover, it is a totally ridiculous to trot out these former priests who could not remain faithful to their promises to excuse the behavior of Father Cutie or argue for a change in the discipline of the Church. That is like having an admitted adulterer on national television arguing for a change to marriage vows or excusing the behavior of John Edwards or Bill Clinton because "boys will be boys." Just as women deserve better from husbands, so also does the Church deserve better from her priests. Let us pray for their sanctification.

    May 8, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  30. JV

    Unfortunetly, Priest Albert has failed the church, community and God..
    How many Catholic Priests have failed again?
    He fell in love with an ADULT female...not an under age little boy!
    Didn't lust over a defenseless child..

    May 8, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  31. Blanche

    As a Catholic I have always been impressed with the way other religions that allow marriage are capable of providing counsel after having experienced much of the same problems that married people do. I was once told that a priest takes the vow of celibacy so that they can give their full concentration to the needs of the parishioners. I'm not sure that is possible without sharing the same experiences.

    May 8, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  32. Sandra Ocampo

    I admire the priest's determination to not feel sorry about being in love. Celibacy in the Catholic religion is an absurd old tradition. His honesty is to be admired; he could have lied and maintained the relationship "under the water".

    I hope this special case brings some insight and makes the Catholic Church authorities reconsider the Celibacy issue.

    May 8, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  33. Jeanette

    This is not a sin of God. This is only a broken rule of the Catholic church. I remember when you couldn't eat meat on Fridays for years, all of a sudden they decided it was ok so you automatically could eat meat and not go to hell. The time will come when they change this rule too, and you have a good priest who is not molesting children kicked out of the church.

    They need to wake up!! It is hard enough to get people today to go into the priesthood, why not make it easier for men to want to be leaders of Gods words.

    May 8, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  34. Ratna, New York, NY

    Celibacy is totally different then abstaining from sex. Celibacy means: not even thinking about sex and not even viewing ones own body in the perspective of lust.

    One can not practice celibacy and watch Anderson Cooper on TV (or taking the subway in real life) at the same time. Those two practices are in conflict with each other. 😀

    May 8, 2009 at 9:57 pm |
  35. Teresa, OH

    As per the Catholic order, priests do not get married, they are married to God and the church and His people. If one wants to be married and be part of the church, there are plenty of other Christian walks that would love having him !

    However, I am wondering... is Cutie'- pie planning on getting married or just frolicking on the beach and "being in love". Cuz ... most religions have a little line about- tis better to marry than burn.

    And Father, please dont apologize for loving any woman.... just for the lusting part which could be a problem to any religion. Enjoy your new life of the flesh !!

    May 8, 2009 at 9:44 pm |
  36. Isabel

    Evening, Maureen!

    I disagree with Priest Alberto. The choice of the path of religious life, as priest, is optional. The celibacy and chastity is part of this life.

    If Priest Alberto wants to love a woman and to relate to her, he can choose other ways of being present in the Church, but it is wrong to disrespect of the rules of the Church.

    If the Church should be modernized in some aspects is another discussion. I even agree that issues of anti-conceptional methods and safe sex should be rethinking, but Padre Alberto wrong, and more, he sinned, when he disrespects the current rules.

    May 8, 2009 at 9:32 pm |
  37. Cindy

    I think the celibacy thing is ridiculous and the Catholic church needs to do away with it. Just because you are single doesn't mean that you won't have other cares or worries on your mind that takes away from your time with God. That is ridiculous to even think that. Being married is not a sin so why is it so bad for priests to be married?

    Honestly I don't see how someone who has never been married or in a relationship can ever truly understand what a couple is going through to counsel them. They have nothing to base their counseling on but what they are taught by someone else and hearsay.


    May 8, 2009 at 9:03 pm |