Priest slams Catholic Church as anti-woman in new book

Miami HeraldJanuary 3, 2011 

MIAMI — In a controversial book being released Tuesday, Roman Catholic-turned-Episcopal priest Alberto Cutié lashes out against his former church, calling it "misogynistic," "disconnected'' and an "institution that continues to promote old ideas."

Writing at length for the first time about his fall from the Archdiocese of Miami, Cutié vehemently defends his decision to leave the Catholic church and shares his increasing disenchantment with it over 14 years as a priest.

Cutié and the archdiocese parted ways last year after paparazzi photos surfaced of him kissing his now-wife on the beach -- an act against his celibacy vow that ignited an international media frenzy.

Dilemma: A Priest's Struggle with Faith and Love (Celebra, $25.95) partly elaborates on tales of secret romance that Cutié, 41, had already shared in interviews since his May 2009 reception into Episcopal church. But more revealing are Cutié's words about his former church, one which he strongly defended for years as the archdiocese's most popular representative. He once headed Miami's Catholic radio station, penned an advice column in the Spanish-langauge El Nuevo Herald newspaper and hosted a popular Telemundo talk show.

Secretly, Cutié writes in the book, he had come to doubt much of the church's teachings as early as 2003, after several run-ins with church hierarchy and after a growing disillusion with "bishops too concerned with their own images'' during child sex-abuse crises.

In several passages, Cutié blames the church's celibacy policy for the dwindling clergy pool and the child sex-abuse scandals. He also accuses church leaders of being hypocrites and says they tacitly accept secret homosexual and heterosexual relationships among priests but disapproved of his because it became public.

"There are so many homosexuals, both active and celibate, at all levels of clergy and Church hierarchy that the church would never be able to function if they were really to exclude all of them from ministry,'' Cutié writes.

The priest's critiques -- he also expresses anger that many priests are too-quickly "abandoned to sink or swim'' when accused of sexual crimes -- are not unique. But rare is such a public airing of grievances against the archdiocese by a former insider.

While shying away from referring to most local church officials by name, Cutié hurls several insults at the man who led the archdiocese during the tabloid scandal, former Archbishop John Favalora.

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