Commentary: Priests who keep their oath ignored by media

My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents. —Mahatma Gandhi

Father Alberto Cutié is blessed in many ways.

There are the obvious blessings: His family managed to flee an oppressive regime in Cuba, which allowed him to grow up in a free society. He was born with telegenic good looks, which helped him become a media icon. And, as a priest, he achieved a level of success and fame rarely seen in the Catholic Church, enabling him to garner possibly millions of followers.

But there are also less obvious blessings. For example, Cutié is lucky to have come into the priesthood at a time when marriage isn't allowed. How is that a blessing? While it's true that traditional marriages were possible in the priesthood during the early formation of the church, it's also true that at times, priests were allowed to marry – but not to have sex with their wives.

If you think celibacy and continence are more than any man should be asked to endure, consider the self control required by those asked to abstain from sex while married.

That often-forgotten period of Catholic history came to mind as I observed the reaction to recently published photos of Cutié, Miami's celebrity priest, cavorting on a beach with a woman and caressing her in a non-fatherly way.

Many people believe the Church's celibacy – no marriage – continence – no sex – requirements are too stringent in the modern age, as if love and lust didn't exist a thousand years ago.

Now, there are some good reasons for the Church to consider changing its rules, which undoubtedly prevent many good people from serving in the priesthood.

To read the complete column, visit www.miamiherald.com.

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