May 28th, 2009
08:30 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Kissing Convert

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/05/28/florida.priest/art.cutie.wltv.jpg ="Father Alberto Cutié will deliver a sermon Sunday at a Florida Episcopal Church."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight on AC360°, a change of faith. Father Alberto Cutié, the Florida Catholic priest who admitted to an affair and breaking his vow of celibacy, is joining the Episcopal church to be with the woman he loves.

Cutié made that announcement at a news conference today with his fiancé by his side.

"I will always love and hold dear the Roman Catholic Church and all its members who are committed to their faith and have enriched my life. I have decided to become part of this new spiritual family of the Episcopal church one with in many in the umbrella of Christianity as I have been saying and writing for years instead of focusing on our differences lets work together so that all may come to believe in the loving and good God even in the midst of this changing world," he said.

He also talked about the photos that surfaced of him with his now fiancé that sparked the scandal.

"Through the photos, it looked like a frivolous thing on the beach, you know, and that's not what it is. It's something deeper than that."

The Episcopal Bishop of Southeast Florida also spoke today. "We believe that this is the best place for Father Alberto Cutié and have welcomed him and his fiancé into our church. He will help us spread the word that the Episcopal church not only offers sacramental catholic worship tradition but is also a community of faith promises thoughtful debate of what God is calling us to do and to be followers of Christ," Bishop Leo Frade said.

What do you think of Cutié's decision?

He already has an new assignment. He'll deliver the sermon this Sunday at the Church of Resurrection in Biscayne Park.

Join us for this story and much more starting at 10pm ET.  See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. G from St Louis

    It's all about money and property folks! The the very WEALTHY Catholic Church will probably not ever change the rules of celibacy for priests – because if they allow marraige there is a question about salaries and ownership of property with the wives of the "priests". The current Pope is a relic from the past and has apparently no interest in progressive thinking. Opening discussions on such subjects of allowing women larger leadership roles, or allowing priests to marry is just not in the Church's frame of thinking.

    In my humble opinion, as a lapsed "cradle catholic" the decline of the Catholic Church began with the Church's deplorable behavior in hiding and then defending priests they KNEW were abusing children, and will continue due to their archaic thinking and ideas.

    G in predominently (but declining) Catholic St Louis

    May 29, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  2. DsgTag

    It's well past time for the Catholic Church to reform it's archaic rules. Throughout history, there was a time that Priests were married. It should be that way again. Good luck to Father Cutie. I hope this incident makes The Vatican rethink it's position on this subject.

    May 29, 2009 at 8:49 am |
  3. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    There was no celibacy rule until the 12th century. The Church was afraid that priests would try to pass on Church property to their children. In fact, some 'dynasties tried to do just that. There was also an argument that you can't give 100% to your flock if you have a family to support. Certainly the first reason is no longer valid. As for the second, married clergy in other faiths seem to have no problem. Time to change the rules. I agree with Annie Kate that Father Cutie should have joined the Episcopals when he realized that he was in love and couldn't reconcile that with his vows.

    May 29, 2009 at 8:23 am |
  4. Ty Sills

    Good for Him. Celibacy or marriage each person has to make. St Paul wrote that man should marry rather than burn with passion and yes...leave the altar boys alone.

    May 29, 2009 at 7:52 am |
  5. Laurie Walton

    Our name is legion, those who were once priests and religious sisters who left. The reasons are as diverse as the people. There was a grand exodus in the sixties and seventies. We are the aging ones now Most of us struggled for years with our decisions, In my case, and in many like mine, we were accepted before we were grown, much like kids who marry in their mid teens. I was accepted at age 16. We are not the same by 26 as we are in our teens, Now, the rule of celibacy for priests is the result of feudalism. Until the Dark Ages, priests were married., They clergy and royalty were the only literates, as the printing press was not around yet. The clergy were getting wealthy and bequeathing their lands to family, Politics, whether they admit it or not, was behind celibacy. And Rome is not going to budge, It was hod out until the last priest,. Nuns are mostly diminished to virtual non-existence., Marriage is a Sacrament, but not allowed. Sin is forgiven again and again, but if you marry, you are anathema Phooey,

    May 29, 2009 at 5:37 am |
  6. Eileen

    Why the big deal over celibacy? It should not be a vow. A married clergy, if they so opt for one, would be very interesting. It would certailnly shake up the old boys club and give priests a realistic perspective on what their parishoners experience in day-to-day living.
    But the wheels of God will grind slowly on this one.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:09 am |
  7. Eileen

    Celibacy is a difficult position for a young man to follow, but not impossible. Therefore, it should be viewed as an option. It is not bibically mandated and all you have to do is refer to 1Timothy 3:1-7 in the Inspired Word of God

    May 29, 2009 at 3:05 am |
  8. J.V.Hodgson

    Can someone please explain in words of one syllable why the Catholic hierarchy and many catholics are the very foundation and source of opposition to gay marriages ( not alone of course) but are also prepared to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars in legal cases where Priests etc are guilty of pornographic same sex acts?
    Why also is a priests celibacy therefore so critical to Faith?The saints were not restricted from being married!?
    I am confused, please help.
    They should be allowed to marry and have children in my opinion.
    Its even more convoluted when priests convert but are married and do not have to divorce. The semantics of that defeat my simple minded brain. How about you?

    May 29, 2009 at 2:49 am |
  9. doug peterson

    It seems to me that the Catholic church should consider this a breath of fresh air. At least it is not another priest caught sexually molesting children..

    He is only human and has not lost his faith because he is still remaining a priest and what difference is there in believing in Jesus Christ and God and being Episcopal or Catholic? He is after all human and God has given him free will...........

    May 29, 2009 at 2:31 am |
  10. Cathleen

    No one made this man become a priest. If he did'nt want to follow the churches rules he could of been honorable told his Bishop and left-instead of living a lie-it makes it hard on good and faithful priest-It's really sad how even lay members of our church claim to be catholic -but try to pick and chose which rules they want to follow-examples-sex before marriage-birth control-abortion etc.-none of these things are allowed-it's HARD to be a true catholic-but no one makes you say in the church-better to start their own or go else where-instead of bringing confusion and disgrace to God's Church.

    May 29, 2009 at 1:58 am |
  11. Jim in Marietta

    After reading a press release from the Episcopal Church, it seems that Fr. Cutie did not decide to change church affiliation in the past few weeks. He has been in a discernment process for two years. I'm sure it has been a painful decision for him and his family. I doubt, Annie Kate that it is "convenient" for him at all. Instead of condemning him, all Christians should pray for him. All he is doing is trying to serve God the best way he know how. Maybe someday the Roman Catholic church will wake up and allow priests to marry and ordain women. Good luck to Fr. Cutie.

    May 29, 2009 at 1:32 am |
  12. Stan

    Priest: I think all Priest and other Involved in the Catholic Religion should get Involved with women, this way they would leave the Little Boys alone. It's really sad, to have a Religion that you believe in, but you can't be involved in a relationship!! They really need to look at why Men and Women were put on this Earth, being in Love is not a Crime and all Priest should have someone to love.

    May 29, 2009 at 12:39 am |
  13. James

    when I heard about the priest I find him to be genuine, full of human emotions, and a man of God who inspires others. The important thing to his worshipers, and what appeals to me, is that the priest is a man of prayer and is willing to follow his heart and can bring others to the church. Isn't that what we want in a priest regardless if he is a Catholic priest or an Episcopal priest? I am happy for him and his decision to marry.

    May 29, 2009 at 12:14 am |
  14. Lay Formator

    There are so many religions out there that allows marriage for their priest and pastors...The Roman Catholic Church is not one of them, and for good reason. I agree with the practice of celibacy for Roman Catholic priests...I cannot imagine how a priest can be true to his calling and vocation and still maintain a family...for me that falls into the category of "conflict of interest". Men who enter the priest hood know what they are committing to...they do not go into it blindly. They have 10 long years to decide if they can commit to the demands of the vocation and the vows required by the Church. The Church is not sadistic nor cruel to keep these men from having a love life...what is asked of them is to be honest and if they can no longer wholeheartedly and freely follow the vows they have committed to, they are free to leave. It is not fair to accuse the Church...priests like Fr. Cutie should have been more honest with themselves and their church. This kind of behavior and attitude by priests like Fr. Cutie is what brings such negative press for the Church. We find people condemning the Church but making heroes out of Fr. Cutie. Fact is, if he wasn't caught on camera, I don't think he would have left the Catholic Church this hurriedly. He probably would have made more discernment but as it is, this incident has put his back against the wall. If we look at the facts objectively, It is Fr. Cutie who is at fault here...he broke his vows and I believe he recognizes this. He has not said anything about his actions being correct and that the Catholic Church should abolish celibacy...instead he has chosen to leave the Church...and yes, transferring to the Episcopal is like having his cake and eating it at the same time...but that is his life and his conscience, who are we to judge him for his decisions? All I want to point out is that it is not fair to blame The Roman Catholic Church... like any organization it has its rules and Fr. Cutie violated those rules...it's as simple as that.

    May 28, 2009 at 11:53 pm |
  15. todd

    I am a Catholic who also believes that the rule of celibacy for the latin-rite of the church should be changed and enventually it will be changed. However I don't understand why Fr. Cutie decided to leave the church and become an Episcopalian priest when he could of become laicized priest and remain a Catholic.

    May 28, 2009 at 11:34 pm |
  16. Rohan

    What else could the priest have done after the scandal was revealed?,he would have been excommunicated as a priest ,so then he makes a move & bingo!,captures the general sympathy of some of church's critics & is happy to keep his position of being married to the church & the fiance as well....
    All this is indeed a shame & is nothing but a cover up from the man's scandalous past.

    May 28, 2009 at 11:32 pm |
  17. Jene Moseley

    As a practicing Catholic, I think the church needs to get dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Celibacy is ridiculous and has no place in the church. And, to make matters worse, any married Protestant pastor who becomes a Catholic priest, can bring along his wife and children. How hypocritical is that?

    May 28, 2009 at 11:32 pm |
  18. Matt

    @Annie Kate, Vows? who has the right to Vow against nature? It is only natural for this man, being heterosexual, to take a wife to love and cherish.

    May 28, 2009 at 11:23 pm |
  19. Heidi Ann Berg

    good for him

    May 28, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  20. RoseParvin

    The whole remaining cilebate is for fear of loosing the power of the Holy Spirit like me if you have that within you! But if you mates are in the same path and are not making you fall astray from your passion then it will work out! Everything must happen by choice not force!

    May 28, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  21. KImberley

    I think a lot of good will come from this, its time that we put this issue out there and hear what the Vatican has to say about this. The church is in a serious crisis with a shortage, if they made it optional you would see more priests and nuns, I can only see this being a good decision to help the high number of Catholics in the world. I have seen first hand the lonliness of these Priests and Nuns, they suffer, with lonliness, everyones deserves to be loved, to feel love, why deprive Gods' Servants, they deserve affection like anyone else. Most people believe that Man was not made to be alone, but to have a companion, look at Adam and Eve, uhh he wasnt alone. Its a great church, but this is not realisitc, I have seen it first hand, they are lonely... and many are depressed after years of being deprived of human affection and LOVE...

    May 28, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  22. Paul

    This just kills me. The Catholic argues that marriage should be between a man and woman because it is natural and what God designed...but it is quite alright to ask a man to deny god given natural urges and remain celibate...what a God awful farce.

    May 28, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  23. Sue Madigan

    Good for him! I married an ex-Catholic priest and I can tell you there's probably more politics in this religion and Vatican than anyone would even dare to contemplate. Tring to hide and then disgrace actions that are a normal part of the Catholic church is more heresay and contradiction than I ever care to think about. I was a devout Catholic...no damn way more.

    May 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  24. kyle l

    ha many things should be changed in the holy catholic church, including the celibacy and gay marriage thing

    May 28, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  25. Sandra Robertson, GA

    God Bless you Father Cutie'.

    May 28, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  26. Joel Payne

    The man is only human.......good move on his part

    May 28, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  27. rolando

    We should replay "Thornbirds" This priest belongs in the Antartica

    May 28, 2009 at 9:54 pm |
  28. Isabel, Brazil

    Evening, Maureen!

    I agree that celibacy should be revised. But I see the ope Benedict XVI too antiquated and retrograde to open for that discussion.

    I don’t agree with the disrespect of the rules today. We all know that the current rule is that of celibacy. Discuss whether it is valid or not the celibacy, nowadays, is one thing. But while the celibacy is valid, it must be respected by those are in the church. Even more the priests that (theoretically) should give good examples.


    May 28, 2009 at 9:52 pm |
  29. Rebecca

    Or he might actually love her. I am Catholic and I think priest celibacy is archaic and should be optional. Better to fall in love and marry a woman than be overcome with urges and end up with altar boys. Just my two cents.

    May 28, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  30. angela

    ditto, Annie Kate.

    May 28, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  31. DaniSu

    Good on him for getting real! Let the man be a man.
    Melbourne, Australia

    May 28, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  32. Patricia Beal

    I personally think that the Catholic Church should allow priests to marry. It's a sin against nature to make them celibate. Good for him. and Bah to the Church... I am a lapsed Catholic by the way.

    May 28, 2009 at 9:49 pm |
  33. Annie Kate

    I don't think much of this former priest – he broke his vows by being involved with a woman and now he joins the Episcopal church where he can have his cake and eat it too. I would have thought more of him if he had left the church and joined the Episcopal church before he was caught with the woman rather than after. Now it just looks like he is doing what is convenient for him to do and still stay in the public eye.

    May 28, 2009 at 9:38 pm |