This former alter boy is psyched to see Roman Catholic priest Alberto Cutie walk away from the absurdities of the Church's celibacy rule and, girlfriend in hand, move to the Episcopalian faith.
It's a big deal since Cutie is extremely high profile and known as Miami's 'Father Oprah.' He was beloved by parishioners, but caught making out in public with his girlfriend. And, that's a no-no for a Catholic priest. So, the Church gave him an ultimatum: ditch the woman or the faith.
Rather than walk away from his natural feelings and the love of his life, Father Cutie instead turned his back on celibacy and the Catholic Church. And, I say 'Bravo!'
Church leaders established celibacy in the Middle Ages to prevent married priests from passing down their accumulated wealth to the next generation. They wanted the money to stay right where it was: in the church coffers.
Celibacy is simply not a natural state of life. In my opinion, it's also the root cause of the Church's long-standing problems with pedophilia. Celibacy attracts men who want to be with other men and, sadly, with little boys as well.
As a current non-practicing Catholic, I applaud Father Cutie's move. I hope he and his cutie have a happy and healthy life ahead. As for the Church, this is yet another image and reputation setback for an institution that is badly out of sync with the realities of the modern world.
Alberto Cutie has seen the light…Amen!
(another former alter boy and non-practicing Catholic).
I need to challenge a few of the things you discuss in your post.
First, the term celibate means to not marry, it does not mean to not have sex. Isn’t it true that the church wanted priests to be married to the church and God and therefore remain unmarried to women?
Second, pedophilia legally refers to sex with anyone who is below the age of consent, whether they are prepubescent or not. So the priests that engaged were engaging in pedophilia. It may have been with boys more often than with girls, but that may be more because of access. Either way, it’s still pedophilia.
Also, can you please cite the studies that indicate that this is more prevalent among public school teachers than the Catholic clergy. I would be interested in reading those.
Finally, the argument that just because some of the priests fail the test doesn’t make the test faulty may be true, but it sounds a lot like the claim that abstinence programs among teens are 100% effective because those who agree to abstain and then do not are no longer counted in the statistics. The truth is that there is a much higher percentage of pregnancy among teens who join abstinence programs than those who use birth control.
Well Mr. Donohue I have to side with Steve on this one…I was brought up in a very religious Catholic family and attended Catholic schools from start to finish (I have an MBA)…while I was badly abused by the Nuns in grade school (I’d rather not mention the details…however the abuse lead to much therapy) I remained loyal to the church. I still believe in God but have lost my trust and faith with the Catholic Church. I came to believe that the management of the Catholic Church was not only NOT in touch with God…they were woefully out of touch with the reality of today’s world. Situations similar to Father Cutie will continue to play out as the Church becomes more and more irrelevant. I can not see a scenario where the management of the church will ever be able to turn things around.
Thanks so much for providing insight and perspective, Bill. You obviously know far more about the subject than me. Re: why former Catholics can’t let go, I think a lot of it relates to our Catholic grammar school experiences. Many of my friends had very, very bad experiences with the priests and nuns. The latter in particular were brutal to me and my peers (Sisters of Charity was quite the misnomer at the time). I know that was then and this is now. But, I do think that’s a lot of it. I respect the rigor that celibacy demands, but still think it’s unnatural and just plain wrong to insist priests adhere to it or else.
Cutie voluntarily took an oath which he decided to break. And so he left the Catholic Church. Big deal. Contrary to many myths, celibacy was the uncodified norm (not always enforced) from the beginning, but it did not become codified until the 12th century. It had nothing to do with pecuniary interests, rather it was a reaction against the aristocratic practice of marrying for the purpose of establishing political alliances. It is not a dogma of the Catholic Church, rather it is a discipline that could be lifted at any time.
Celibacy is hardly unknown among other religions (e.g., the Jewish sect, the Essenes, were celibate)and even married people like Ghandi elected to be celibate.
The celibacy mandate has nothing to do with pedophilia: there is a greater incidence of pedophilia among public school teachers than exists in the Catholic clergy, and most are married. Moreover, homosexuality, not pedophilia, created the scandal: 81 percent of the victims of priestly sexual abuse were male and the majority were post-pubescent. That’s not pedophilia at work–that’s homosexuality.
As for homosexuality, as Cutie will soon learn, his newly adopted religion–which is in total free fall (it has lost so many members)–has a clergy with a huge gay population. Wait till he finds out!
It is a strength, not a weakness, of the Catholic Church, that it is “badly out of sync with the realities of the modern world.” Those realities include infanticide, doctor-assisted suicide, unwed teen pregnancies, etc. The answers lie in the teachings of the Catholic Church, and the fact that some of the teachers, namely the priests, have failed the test doesn’t mean the test is faulty.
Finally, why is it that ex-Catholics can’t let go and just move on? Why do they find the need to opine on matters they say are closed? This is a fascinating psychological tidbit worth exploring. Don’t you think?