He Says He is Alive, Plus Father Cutié

Discussing St. Paul
Discussing St. Paul
In the autumn of A.D. 60, Portius Festus arrived from Italy to begin his assignment as Roman governor of Judea. He inherited a number of problems. One of them was that St. Paul was languishing in his jail.

King Herod Agrippa II came to the seaport city of Caesarea to greet the new governor. The king’s great-grandfather had built the city to curry favor with the waxing Roman empire.

Festus knew little of Judaism and nothing of Christianity. Nonetheless, in his conversation with Herod Agrippa, the new Roman governor unwittingly distilled the life of St. Paul into one single, perfect sentence.


Festus thought that he could consult with Agrippa about what to do with St. Paul. By way of summary, Festus recounted his recent hearing of St. Paul’s case:

His accusers stood around him, but did not charge him with any of the crimes I suspected.

Instead they had some issues with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus who had died, but who Paul claimed was alive.

(Acts 25:18-19)

Caesarea Maritima, Mediterranean coast, Palestine
Caesarea Maritima, Mediterranean coast, Palestine

…From the ‘Give Me a Break, Please’ Dept.:

Apparently, there is a cute priest in Florida, famous among Spanish speakers, who has publicly renounced his communion with the holy Church.

Priest PhotosThe Archbishop of Miami has made a wise, clear, fatherly statement.

…What could be more craven and pathetic than the Episcopal bishop standing ready like an ambulance chaser to direct “traffic on the road to Canterbury?” Yuck…

Many moons ago, about a year after I had been received into the holy Catholic Church, I was teaching school and hoping to become a priest.

I was an eligible bachelor then. Circumstances arose which led me to consider the possibility of “reverting” to Episcopalianism so that I could get married and still go to the seminary.

Then I woke up one morning and realized: You cannot serve two masters. The truth is more important than having someone to go to the movies with.

To my beloved priest readers: This Father Cutié episode is an especially painful scandal to us.

CureWe know that true happiness lies in being faithful to our promises. The path that Father Cutié has chosen will lead to bitter sadness and regret–if not worse. May he repent.

Nonetheless, the temptation to defect from our Church and become Episcopalian can bedevil us all. It can seem do dreamy: Get married and continue to wear sacred vestments! Wow, you can have two cakes, eat one, and save one for later!

So, out of love for you, dear brothers, allow me to make you this promise:

If you ever succumb to this temptation and leave the Church to become an Episcopalian “priest,” I will track you down.

I will not rest until I have found you. I will wait for you at night. I will corner you in the dark. I will beat you with my bare fists until you wish you had never been born.

19 thoughts on “He Says He is Alive, Plus Father Cutié

  1. Hello Father,
    I feel the very same way you do. Something just didn’t settle right in my heart and in my stomach about it. I was feeling really guilty that I wasn’t more accepting, but now I don’t feel guilty at all!

  2. What are the sacramental and theological implications of Fr. Cutie’s action?

  3. Dear Preacher,
    When I read about this sadder turn of events, I was heartsick for Fr. C. This horrible decision so soon?

    My prayers are with all of God’s Precious Sons.

  4. Hi Father. Found your blog linked on Twitter. Are you a Marianist? I noticed that the guy pictured on the bottom of your blog entry looks conspicuously like Fr. S.

  5. Regarding the sacramental and theological implications of Fr. Cutie’s defection–as opposed to the beat-down implications–the Archbishop’s statement is pretty illuminating (link above).

    The painting is of St. John Vianney, the Cure of Ars, patron of parish priests. I am the most unworthy diocesan priest in the Archdiocese of Washington.

  6. Hahahaha! Ah, Father White, thank you for making me laugh. 🙂 The picture of a priest, lurking in the shadows, waiting to beat down a brother. Too funny! But I understand the sentiment. Obviously, Fr. Cutié doesn’t get it. And that is very, very sad.

  7. Fr. Cutie’s actions are very disturbing indeed. Very much a scandal for the people he served as a Priest.

    To turn away from the “Fullness of Faith” for the “smells and bells” so soon… Makes me think, was this guy ever really Catholic anyway?

    As a married layman, I can vouch that being married and raising children is no panacea… Do not be decieved… “Every form of refuge has it’s price.”

    When this “honeymoon” period for Fr. Cutie is over, he will then realize the full impact of the MESS he has made and there will be no way of going back.

    Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat!

  8. The issue is that we need to understand the full meaning of vocation. It is to give one’s life for the “beloved” wether bride and family or bride as church. It is NOT about us, nor lifestyle nor preference. Fathers are called to live for their wives and children putting themselves aside while being open to life. They are called to financially support their families. It is a means to an end not an identity. This is a white martyrdom. Wives are called to be emotionally present and yes physically present to their children (as many as God sends)and to respect their husbands. This is also a white martyrdom. Priests are to be available to their parishioners giving their lives for the families in their care. Everything else is a distration. This is also a martyrdom. It is impossible to exercise both fatherhoods simultaneously….period
    Are you dead yet?

  9. No one should judge Father Cutie. It is the discipline of obligatory celebacy that is harming our Church. The Church places the value of celebacy above the availability of the Eucharist. Many of our best priests have left to get married. What about the mission of the Church???

  10. Nonsense. That’s a blatantly false dichotomy.

    Maybe the solution to such petulant thoughts is a renewed vision of celibacy.

  11. Rather, the solution is to fall in love with the mission of the Church beginning with the readings for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.

  12. Lynn, I go to priests gatherings and the majority of priests are in their 60s and 70s. Priests are more and more spread out. My parish is 5000 square miles. Parishes are being closed. Fewer people have access to the Eucharist. Celibacy needs to become optional or there will be very few priests in the very near future.

  13. I don’t agree. Not that I am a priest, or have ever been one, but I have seen wonderful priests in action. And they are very married, to their bride, the CHURCH. And their family? Why it’s their parish. When priests take their vows, they dedicate their lives to our dear Lord and his family. If priests were allowed a choice, I don’t think that they would be able to dedicate their total self to their obligation to the Church.

    I am a wife and mother of three. I can hardly keep my head on straight sometimes between kids, a job, the house, etc. I can’t imagine being a priest, keeping up with all of that, as well as my priestly “duties” of a parish family.

    Just a thought.

  14. Father,
    I can speak as one who is quite aware of the shortage of priests and the stress this places on priests and laity. The pastors of parishes near my home are well into retirement age, one is in his 90’s. Most, even into their 70 and 80’s are working more than full time in multiple posts, parishes, colleges, and archdiocesan work. I can speak too as someone who believed the things I was taught as a child were beautiful but outmoded and impractical. The Church was like a dream and then there was real life. Chief among the impracticalities was celibacy and chastity.
    When I was graced to have the thought eventually cross my mind to take another look at this outmoded Church, it was just before the worst of the abuses in Boston were made public. I had the singular privilege of watching the witness of two priests who courageously, sensitively and generously lived and taught people the meaning of their vows when everything seemed to prove them foolish. Watching them deal with the issues of chastity and celibacy as public and political issues was illuminating.
    I watched them pastor parishes in which permanent deacons joked about being married and thus being able to “appreciate what life is really like”, clearly intent on driving wedges between pastors and laity by making the point that priestly celibacy, maybe even the priesthood itself is outmoded and unnatural. I’ve listened to similar arguments for women’s ‘right’ to ordination.
    I relate this because the most compelling argument in this ‘debate’ became the argument for the priesthood and for celibacy. It was compelling because it spoke of something simpler, humbler and more personal (therefore more noble) than the many ways in which we are so acclimated to trading on relationships. Their lives witness very simply to a person before God who serves others as individuals before God. In its simplicity and humility they speak and serve more credibly to each person’s unique position before God without confusing this with political righteousness. The indictment for us all, and pointedly for Cutie who placed himself in such a duplicitous public position, is our lack of integrity. Sex doesn’t solve that.
    As for access to the Eucharist, there is a very real need to remember that it is a sacrament and not a commodity. For the vast majority of laity, we would be well served to have to work a bit harder for communion. The solution is to pray for vocations and to be worthy of receiving them when they come.

  15. Fr. Bob, you should know that the Church will never allow dating priests! The ones who have left would have left anyway. Once a man is called to the Priesthood his state in life is sealed ie. ordination even to diaconate. Many priests are called as unmarried men (see 1 Cor. 7) Funny, I do not hear a lot about married men wanting to enter the Priesthood. They know too well the chanllenges of family life. In some cases married men have been allowed to become priests from another denomination with diminshed duties usually when children are grown, under the watchful eye of the Bishop. Not often.
    I can not imagin anything worse than dating priest, or men trying to raise families, and administer the sacraments. Would such a family be expected to be open to life? It is a slippery slope. By the way, my brother is a Baptist. They have lost two pastors to marital infidelity.
    the real problem is that we have been raised with out the concept of self sacrifice and generousity. The consequense is selfishness, materialism, and instant gradification. And this is destroying Fatherhood in all its forms. If families were truely open to life, these lessons would be part of family life and there would be more willing and able to answer the call to the priesthood. Statistically more vocations come from larger families becuase they are taught generousity, and sacrifice.

  16. I have been, since my college Church History days, an admirer of The Oxford Movement in the Church of England, which began in 1833. The clerics of The Oxford Movement, often called the “Tractarians” because of their “Tracts for the Times” (by means of which they sought to re-introduce Catholic doctrine, spirituality, and discipline into the Church of Englad)were in many cases men of heroic sanctity. Some of them, like Blessed John Henry Newman, entered into communion with the Universal Church. Others, like John Keble, remained Anglican. All of them, however, would be sickened by Fr Cutie’s choices and actions. The lives of saintly and celibate twentieth century Anglo-Catholic clergyman such as the late Rev. Eric Mascall, an ardent student of St Thomas and an excellent theologian and writer in many respects, also give the lie to the errant path Fr Cutie has chosen. It is ironic indeed that, just as Fr Cutie apostasizes, ten of the twelve Episcopalian All Saints Sisters of the Poor of Catonsville, MD, have decided to enter into full communion with the Universal Church (they will be received corporately into the Church on September 3, 2009 by Abp. O’Brien of Baltimore). Founded at All Saints Church, Margaret Street, London, in the mid-19th century,the All Saints Sisters established a mission in Baltimore in 1872. They have given a remarkable corporate witness to Christ for one hundred and thirty-seven years. Readers of this fine blog might be interested in checking out their website,

    http://www.asspconvent.org/index.htm.

    Their existence and manner of life will come as a refreshing surprise to many, and it will behoove us to give them a loving welcome once they complete their summer in seclusion in preparation for September 3.

  17. You all could just do as the Italians have always done, and turn a blind eye to priests’ mistresses. If the Church can forgive and exonerate child-molesting, what’s the big deal about sex between consenting (presumably non-exploited) adults? Always suspected celibacy was honored more in the breach than in the observance. Anyway it wasn’t Church law till pretty far along.

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