RHODE ISLAND CATHOLIC EDITORIAL

Celebrity cleric continues to shock, disappoint faithful

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The media frenzy surrounding the story of Father Alberto Cute has been as sad as it is shocking.

The young telegenic priest known as “Father Oprah” to the many devotees of his television show was caught in a sinful relationship with a woman and publicly exposed violating his sacred promises. The image of Miami’s celebrity priest cavorting on a beach with a woman shocked many - especially his parishioners at St. Francis de Sales Church in Miami. Now the celebrity cleric announced with great fanfare and publicity that he is to join the Episcopal Church and will soon marry the woman with whom he has a long-standing affair.

Father Cute’s actions are deeply disappointing to many, including his Archbishop John Favarola, who suggested that his “actions have caused great scandal with the Catholic Church, harmed the Archdiocese of Miami, especially our priests and led to division within the ecumenical community and the community at large.” The many good people he has served during his priestly ministry have been abandoned in a very public manner. His deceptive double life, which included publicly professing to be a faithful priest and serving as pastor and counselor to many people seeking his moral guidance while at the same time secretly indulging in a scandalous and sinful relationship of infidelity, is a sad and shameful wound for the Church.

Father Cute’s life of lies and deception has been exposed at great cost to him and to the Church he has abandoned. We join in praying for the many victims of this sad and shameful episode — most especially his brother priests and faithful parishioners. In light of this scandal, let us unite our prayers for the many good priests who daily live faithful lives of service, commitment and celibacy in Miami and across the globe.