Charming, hip and part of an influential Miami inner circle that includes celebrities, TV news personalities and slick power brokers, Father Alberto Cutié has always appeared to navigate with ease the disparate worlds of clergy and society.
”He was very comfortable at a party,” said nightlife fixture Gingi Beltran, a real estate agent who regularly attended Cutié’s Sunday evening Mass at St. Francis deSales on South Beach. “But he didn’t drink. And you never got a sex vibe from him. If anything, maybe when he was in the room he would calm the situation. He’s a very serious priest who demanded a lot of respect.”
But now everyone knows: Father Albert — sometimes known as ”Father Hottie” for his dashing good looks — is in love. And he’s not sorry.
A Spanish tabloid published photos of Cutié relaxing on a beach with a woman he now calls, “the woman of his dreams.” His Church’s response was not to move him to another parish (as it often does with pedophiles), but to strip him of all church responsibilities, and remove him from his popular radio show.
”Falling in love is not something that I chose to do. It’s something I have been struggling with for a long time,” Cutié told The Miami Herald Friday, at the end of a week of seclusion, prayer and tough talks with Miami Archbishop John Favalora and other church leaders.
But now those telling snapshots are out there, the priest — a star of radio and TV talk shows — is offering the kind of plain language that has been the cornerstone of his popularity with millions of Spanish-speaking fans across the United States and Latin America.
Religious scandals of this type are almost always unavoidable. They would happen to any of us if we are forced to deny our natural tendencies and urges. It is like being on the latest starvation diet. We might last two or three days, without eating our favorite ice cream (which stares at us every time we open our freezer). However, sooner or later, we will snap. And what happens when we do? We don’t just eat a spoonful, or even a cup of ice cream, we binge and devour the whole carton. This will always happen. You are human.
Religions continually force upon us unrealistic goals, and demand we deny our natural urges. This is the pinnacle of sadism, and nothing more than modern day flagellism. By default they compel self loathing and necessitate the need for salvation. Thus the vicious spiral is repeated until, hopefully, we are awakened by the deliverance of true freedom.