I had not blogged much on Father Cutie's scandal and thought it would die out soon, but I checked on Fox News' website this morning and - as it is obviously a slow news day - was treated to a cover story on how Cutie is "set to deliver his first sermon" at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection.
What, do the TV news stations planning to cover it live?
I would like to think that as an attorney, I have refined - and continue to refine - my bullshit-o-meter when dealing with people. In my line of business, that is a necessity. So I about spewed the morning java across the keyboards when I read this:
Cutie has said his decision to switch [from the Catholic church to the Epicopal church] was made over time, not since the photos in a Spanish-language magazine rocked South Florida's Spanish-speaking community, where he was known for his good looks and as the host of a TV show on relationships.
Oh, the meter just went to 10. "Father Oprah," as he was called, was enjoying too much of the good life prior to getting caught with his hands in the cookie's jar.
The article also mentioned that "it will take Cutie at least a year to be certified as an Episcopal priest," so I do not quite understand how he is going to deliver a sermon today.
Now I really dislike the guy. I understand that priests are as sinful as the rest of us and when Cutie's relationship first came to light, I figured he had two honorable choices open to him as a Catholic: (a) renounce his relationship and seek healing as a priest within Mother Church or (b) ask to be laicized properly and marry the woman.
I suppose the problem for Cutie in those two choices was the fact it would mean him giving up the limelight - and really, that is what it is all about. Father Oprah wants to stay in front of the cameras, so instead of heading under the radar to sort this out, instead it has become a media circus. And no one is more pleased than Cutie. Prideful prick.
Same with the Episcopal bishops who did the old public "we-embrace-all-people" and wlecomed him with open arms. What was the point of that? To rub it in the face of the local Catholic diocese?
So who is hurt by all this?
People who know me also know that while I do not support the idea of women priests, I do support the idea of married priests in the Latin rite of the Church. No, I do not see it as a panacea to what ails the Church, and yes, it would require a lot of thought and not be without its own problems, but nonetheless, I would have no problem seeing a Catholic priest marry, just as is seen in our Eastern rites, as well as converted Episcopalian priests in the Latin rite today. But . . . in her wisdom, Mother Church has not allowed that and so I have an expectation that our priests will live by their vows, just as the married laity is expected to do.The local Catholics who thought they had a true pastor in Cutie.The local Episcopalians who thought their denomination had more class than to publicly embrace a liar and a cheat.
As for Cutie, here is the curse that I wish for him . . . obscurity. The greatest punishment that could befall him is for time to go by and no one cares whether he is in the news or in the media. He has lost the "interest" factor of being a Catholic priest dispensing advice and now remains just another pretty face. Who wants his counseling, tainted as it now is by a screaming lack of sincerity.
And yet . . . I think many Catholic priests who are true to their vocation seek obscurity as a blessing, content to minister to their flock and hope that they are making a difference in their parishioners' lives.
Funny thing that, eh?