Sunday, May 17, 2009

Give the poor padre a break

From the Pittsburgh Trib-

Father Alberto Cutie, the widely popular priest at St. Francis de Sales in Miami Beach, was photographed cavorting romantically on a Florida beach.

The good news: He was with a woman, thank God, not an altar boy.

Given the torrent of sordid revelations in recent years, the church should be positively giddy with relief that one of its rising stars was caught snuggling with a very adult-looking female.

No apparent felony was in progress while Cutie and his companion rolled in the sand, although he obviously wasn't administering one of the sacraments.

After the photos were published by a Spanish-language magazine, Cutie apologized for his actions and church authorities removed him from his post at St. Francis de Sales.

The decision has upset many parishioners and reopened the debate over the celibacy vow that Catholic priests still are required to take. No one knows how many wise and decent men have been deterred from pursuing the priesthood by the moldy rule -- imposed almost four centuries after Christ died -- that forbids sex or marriage.

Not surprisingly, the number of active priests has been shrinking precipitously for decades and the church is starved for novitiates. My late uncle was a priest who taught at a Washington seminary that had once been bustling; these days the dorms are nearly empty. The church won't attract many new candidates for the priesthood by punishing Cutie, one of its most charismatic and well-known young clerics.

That's not to say his judgment that morning on the beach was razor-sharp. A vow is a vow.

More Here-

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