Parishioners relieved Miami priest's tryst wasn't with a boy

A day after the news broke about a popular Miami Beach celebrity priest Alberto Cutie frolicking on the beach with an unidentified woman, Alberto Cutie made no appearances in public or on the airwaves.

Reached at her South Miami-Dade home, Cutié's mother, Yolanda Cutie, declined to talk to a reporter about her son being removed from St. Francis de Sales, where he is no longer being allowed to run church operations or conduct Mass.

''Cosas de la vida,'' she said in Spanish with a sigh, throwing her hands up in the air. The expression roughly translates to ``Things happen in life.''

At Cutie's church, the large wooden door at St. Francis de Sales were locked.

But it didn't stop the elderly women next door from congregating outside to talk about the foibles of the popular priest.

''I would have condemned him if it would have been a young boy, but it was a woman,'' argued Zunilda Junco, 81, who attends the church frequently.

''He hasn't killed anyone,'' said Dominga Jimenez, 83.

''Or raped anyone,'' Junco responded.

The residents of 628 Lulav Square, most of whom attend Cutié's church, have sympathy for the priest many called a good and decent man. The actions of one afternoon, many said, should not overshadow his life's work.

''I know he feels alone now,'' said Maria Alvarez. As recently as last Sunday, she approached him for advice. ``We're human. We fall.''

But Angel Viña, 88, said the incident was inevitable for the handsome priest.

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