My Blog List

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fr. Cutie

The sordid business of Fr. Alberto Cutie, the telegenic Catholic priest who was revealed to be getting it on with a divorced babe and who later defected to the Episcopalians, has been well-reported and commented on by now but I am compelled to offer the following points.

1) Had Fr. Cutie been middle aged or older, pockmarked and fat, his affair would not have received even half the attention it did; had his squeeze been equally repellent, not a quarter.

2) The fact he was received by the Episcopalians is further proof that just as Canterbury sends its best to Rome, Rome sends its worst to Canterbury.

Sadder to me than Fr. Cutie's tawdry peccadilloes (ho-hum, another wayward priest) is the behavior of his ordinary-to-be, the Rt. Rev'd Leo Frade, (Episcopal) Bishop of Southeast Florida, specifically, his Grace's ostentatious public welcome of Fr. Cutie into his very troubled church.
I am excited and pleased to inform you that, as you receive this message from me, we are announcing the reception of Father Alberto CutiƩ into the Episcopal Church. Father Alberto will embark on the ordination process to continue his ministry, as has been our practice in receiving other priests from the Roman Catholic communion into our Church.
In other words, Bishop Frade is "excited and pleased" a Catholic priest who reneged on a contract he made before God (as all contracts are, whether we acknowledge it or not), and couldn't be bothered to ask for release from it from his superiors, has fled to the Episcopal Church with the aim of becoming a priest in that institution. Is this what passes for evangelism in the Episcopal Church these days, scooping up the detritus of Holy Mother Church?

Apparently so, in fact Bishop Frade sees this debacle as a recruiting opportunity.
As many of you know the Rev. Alberto CutiƩ has been received into the Episcopal Church as a layperson in the Diocese of Southeast Florida. News surrounding this move has received a lot of attention in the press. I have had several phone calls from newspapers and many emails from people all over asking about how they can join the Episcopal Church. My guess is that this Sunday many of our churches will be visited by people who are just learning about us. So I am writing to suggest that you prepare yourselves and your leadership to receive them. I recommend that you make copies of brochures about the Episcopal Church and that you might consider a forum after church to answer questions.
Bishop Frade apparently hopes Catholics whose personal views conflict with Mother Church on matters marital and sexual will be inspired by Fr. Cutie's example and flock to the Episcopal Church. Not a chance. For though many Catholics in this country, sadly, do not even attempt to follow Church teachings, it seems they would rather belong to the true Church in a sinful state than a false one in putative grace; how else does one explain Nancy Pelosi, Teddy Kennedy, John Kerry, Joe Biden et al. not ditching Holy Church decades ago?

My guess is (contrary to Bishop Frade's), this past Sunday the number of people strolling into an Episcopal Church on account of Fr. Cutie being received into it could be counted on the fingers of one hand. And I bet most of them strolled out, never to return.

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