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article imagePopular 'Oprah' Catholic Priest Involved in Sex Sandal

By Carol Forsloff     May 7, 2009 in World
Discussions about hypocrisy often occur when there is news about discrepancy between preaching and practice. No more is that better seen than in the area of sex, where now a priest is involved in a sex scandal.
Father Alberto Cutie, a popular priest in Miami, has had a public fall from grace. A newspaper took pictures, and he has asked for forgiveness of his church and has been sent away to pray. There are now plenty of salacious pictures to titillate as well
Cutie has been a public figure in South Florida, having his own Spanish Language television show, hosting a radio show and writing an advice column. As a result of the scandal and the pictures released in a Spanish-language tabloid magazine, Cutie has been put on leave by Archbishop of Miami John C. Favalora where he is now in an undisclosed location with instructions to pray and reflect upon his failures. The eight page spread now has isolated photos available on parts of the interlude, revealing Cutie with a woman having romance openly on the beach.
This is a major scandal in the Spanish-speaking community as Cutie was considered rather an "Oprah" of the circuit that played to Cuban and Mexican Americans. He gave advice on everything from taking care of oneself personally to making love last. When asked about what he knew concerning love, he was quick to say that one doesn't need to actually do a thing to know what is involved in it. He even recently published a book entitled, Real Life, Real Love: Seven Paths to a Strong and Lasting Relationship. as well as a cookbook.
Sex issues in the Catholic Church have been an ongoing public scandal. In 2002 the Archbishop of Boston put out information about raising $10.5 million as the church continues to maintain its financial obligations while paying off legal claims, costs and settlements as they began to be discharged in large numbers at that time involving sex between priest and minors. This type of sex scandal, although different from Cutie, gave the public pause on the matter of sex, preaching and practice. It also cost the church money.
The cost of legal defense in the matter of sex abuse has been significant enough, along with the recession, to create financial difficulties that have resulted in the closing of some churches. Anger and uncertainty took place in Boston as churches consolidated and maps were given out showing where congregations reassembled. The process continues four years later, as St. Augustine in New Orleans was closed, then reopened with the problems of the hurricane combined with financial problems.
According to perspectives of experts sex abuse in the church has lowered morale of parishioners which is the reason for some of the mounting financial pressures, in addition to the recession. This comes about because of the nature of some of the sex abuse scandals, the hypocrisy and the cost of defense.
In the case of Cutie, the fact that he was a public figure means lots of attention. Does the Catholic church need more attention on the matter of sex right now, when finances are a struggle and the morale has suffered? This recent revelation indicates that sex among religious leaders continues to be news with much the same ending: temporary removal or dismissal, confession, redemption while the scandal continues to unfold. It's also the never-ending tale that is often told about the fall of the famous.
More about Sex scandal, Catholic priest, Hypocrisy
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