From The Living Church:
Posted on: May 28, 2009
The Rev. Alberto Cutié, the Roman Catholic priest and TV host who was removed from his parish after a celebrity magazine published photos of him kissing a woman on a beach, has been received into The Episcopal Church.
Fr. Cutie was received at Trinity Cathedral in Miami on May 28 by the Rt. Rev. Leo Frade, Bishop of Southeast Florida, who said that Mr. Cutié will pursue the priesthood.
But at a press conference that same day, the Most Rev. John C. Favalora, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Miami, said Fr. Cutié has not been released from his vows to the Roman Catholic priesthood. He described the actions by Bishop Frade as disappointing and disrespectful.
“Bishop Frade has never spoken to me about his position on this delicate matter, or what actions he was contemplating,” Archbishop Favalora said. “I have only heard from him through the local media. This truly is a serious setback for ecumenical relations and cooperation between us.
“The Archdiocese of Miami has never made a public display when for doctrinal reasons Episcopal priests have joined the Catholic Church and sought ordination,” Archbishop Favalora continued. “In fact to do would violate the principles of the Catholic Church governing ecumenical relations. I regret that Bishop Frade has not afforded me or the Catholic community the same courtesy and respect.”
“In the end, the message of Father Alberto’s decision to join the Episcopal Church is the very message that is central to our church, its teachings, and its opportunities for growth and evangelism in the future,” Bishop Frade said in a letter sent to the diocese’s clergy. “Our central mission in the days ahead will be of course to welcome Father Alberto, and to support him on his path, but we recognize as well that his very personal and spiritual decision offers a window into our own story – the story of the Episcopal Church.”
Fr. Cutié, 40, was removed from his Miami Beach congregation and his Spanish language television and radio talk shows on May 5 after TVnotas published photos of him cavorting with Ruhama Buni Canellis. Ms. Canellis was also received into The Episcopal Church by Bishop Frade.
At a press conference following the service, Fr. Cutié said he and Ms. Canellis have been dating for two years and that they are engaged to be married.
Bishop Frade said that while Fr. Cutié pursues the requirements necessary to be received into the ordained priesthood of The Episcopal Church, he has granted Fr. Cutié a license to preach and appointed him to a special initiative to provide “emergency responses to Episcopal churches in urgent need.” His first assignment will be to preach May 31 at Church of the Resurrection, Biscayne Park.