Celebrity priest’s conversion strains ecumenical ties

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(UNDATED) In the nearly 500 years since the Church of England split with the Roman Catholic Church, a fair number of converts have crossed from one church to the other. Still, the path is fraught with stumbling blocks, as the Rev. Alberto Cutie — the most recent, and high-profile convert — discovered on Thursday (May […]

  • SJ

    Why is it noteable that a handsome “celeb” priest, out there basking in Oprahesque popularity (clearly “of the world”, not merely “in the world”) has distinguished himself by having maintained a ‘secret life’ violative of his vocation? There are scores of priests who have likewise chosen to lead secret lives in opposition to their previous commitment to a life of celibacy. DUH! And, why should it surprise anyone that he will also abandon his Faith? That poor bride-to-be! This fella surely is an insecure soul without anchor or sure compas, who can’t keep a commitment (or two, or, perhaps, any?!)

    Those who leave the Church of Rome invariably do so NOT for reasons of Faith in search of a ‘more fully true’ doctrine, but invariably for matters of morality – to flatter their own proclivities. The wish to have less strident standards and practices will certainly be fulfilled in the Church into which he has slid. Doesn’t anybody recall Henry VIII and his not-so-lofty motive in establishing the Church of England? Fr. Cutie belongs right where the downward pull has landed him. The “new” Church will be a fitting match for him and, given their celebration of his defection from Rome. He has disgraced himself and defiled the Roman Catholic priesthood. Celebrity he may be, for a few brief moments, but what does it benefit him should gain the whole freakin’ world, eh?

  • ESM

    I’m neither a Catholic nor an Episcopalian, so as an independent observer I can’t help but note that the Catholic Church (Archbishop Favalora and commenters on various sites) come across as judgmental and vindictive, while the Episcopalian Church seems warm and welcoming. In short, more Christian. If the Catholics who are casting stones at Cutie for his choices were more secure in their own faith, they wouldn’t be so affected by his actions. It’s HIS spiritual journey, after all. Not theirs.

  • agnus

    The Roman Catholic church really has only itself to blame for the poor state of ecumenical relations. Recent statements have denigrated other Christian churches which it diminshes as mere “eclesiastical units”. It has abandonned the direction of Vatican 2 and its dominionist veiws are coming into closer focus especailly here in California in the Catholic church’s recent successful attempt to undermine the equal protection clause of the Constitution. In showing the little grasp it has of coexsisting in a pluralistic society it has bumped into the remergence of the new evangelization and realignment of the Episcopal church.
    The arrogance is aptly demonstrated by the first comment which displays vile prejudice and incoherent understanding of history as well as the present situation.

  • Stephen Clark

    For the record: the reiterated claim that Henry VIII established the Church of England merely for personal reasons is inaccurate on many grounds. Yes, Henry needed (he supposed) an heir to consolidate a recently united Kingdom, and yes, he denied that “the Bishop of Rome” could settle matters. And yes, he was not a nice man. But the Church of England has as its founding documents, the Book of Common Prayer (partly written under Henry, but settled in Elizabeth’s day, including the Thirty Nine Articles, and the Authorized Version of the Bible (James 1st and 6th). Mary – Catherine’s daughter – sought to re-establish Rome’s supremacy, and the experience was enough to turn the English against Rome for generations. Oh yes, and the Episcopal Church in America actually traces its ancestry to the Episcopal Church of Scotland!

  • George M Melby, Pastor

    And as usual, the Catholic hierarchy goes Wah, wah, wah!They seem to be gaga when someone joins their regime, but Lord forbid anyone else “seeing the light.”
    Give me break!
    A non-Catholic and non-Episcopalian (although I would rather be the latter than the former if I had to choose).

  • +Scholarios-Gennadius III, OSB

    As an Orthodox bishop, I support Roman Catholic Archbishop John Favalora on how this unfortunate Church matter has developed. As an Orthodox, I do not support celibacy, however, I do advocate honoring sacred vows. Therefore, I must chide my fellow bishop, Bishop Frade for his unnecessary and unsavory public performance.

  • Peter Fuchs

    I was a seminarian studying for the Archdiocese of Miami in the 1980s. In fact, I attended the same seminary in Miami that this Albert Cutie did. Putting aside for the moment that the whole way this story came out smells to high heaven, and that Mr. Cutie’s believability would be quite low for a number of reasons, still the Archbishop’s statement about this case is quite incredible. The Archdiocese of Miami has the distinction of having had two of its recent Vocation Directors accused of molesting children, Frs. Doherty and Miyares. Please note that it is the responsibility of the so-called Vocation Director to guide the priestly vocation of candidates. Whatever Mr. Cutie’s problems they must pale compared with this wretched distinction the Archdiocese of Miami has. Yet you will look in vain for a statement half as strong about that more serious scandal as the one of a guy becoming an Episcopalian. Mr. Cutie is just a confused guy who is waking up to the fact that his noteworthiness was premised on lies and deception. His moralizing talk show was exactly that, a show. That is, just another boring guy trying to use religion to get something for himself. The two molesters who were Vocation Directors is something more. Criminality put in a position of power. This is an unforgivable fact that should scare people, if anything will. Archbishop Favolara should stick to commenting on the important stuff, and a man converting to Episcopalianism is not it.