Father Alberto Cutié from Hispanic on line
It was inevitable. Young, dashing, handsome father Alberto Cutié became a celebrity hosting his talk shows on Telemundo and EWTN, where he intelligently discussed everyday issues and gave catholic advice. He is perhaps the best known priest in Latin America and many tourists, myself included, have attended mass in Miami Beach at his charming little church. Newsweek dubbed him "father Oprah" which he preferred to "father Springer" and "father Cristino" (after Cristina Saralegui, another well known latin talk show hostess).
Just two days ago, pictures surfaced showing father Alberto kissing and getting his hand under the lower backside of his female companion's bathing suit. Bid scandal ensued. The paparazzi who took the pictures shopped them around, apparently asking as much as US$700,000, which apparently no one gave him. Finally he sold them to the mexican magazine TVNotas, which apparently is publishing them tomorrow, Thursday.
Unlike so many other priests involved in scandal, Father Alberto is too high profile not to punish. He has been removed from his parish and taken out of his church-sponsored media activities in radio and TV, as well as print.
His website http://www.padrealberto.net/ is featuring a public apology to all his fans. All other content has been removed.
I always liked father Alberto even if I did not agree with his catholic views. It is hard not to sympathize now, as so many of his parishioners have indicated. After all, he is just a man.
The point is, who is the culprit? Dogmatic catholics will indicate the man is the culprit. I submit that, with so many examples and cases of priest-related scandals, what is at fault is the system.
Celibacy is too much to ask of a young, healthy, personable and good looking celebrity priest. As I discussed with a friend today, a man like that does not find it difficult to get female companionship. I guess being a priest doesn't make it much harder.