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Old 05-14-2009, 09:45 AM   #31
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Interview from 2006

Father Oprah' Explains How to Make Love Last
Father Albert Cutié on how to keep your relationships strong during tough times.

BY: Interview by Charlotte Allen


Editor's Note: Father Albert Cutie participated in this interview with Beliefnet in February 2006. Recently, he was placed on leave after photographs of the priest with a woman on a beach were published in a magazine

As a celibate Catholic priest, you've probably been asked this before. How can you give advice to married people and people who want to get married?

You don't have to be mentally ill to be a good psychiatrist. I don't think you have to be someone who has a real problem in order to relate to people's problems. When you are in the help industry, especially as a priest, rabbi, or minister, you're constantly hearing from people talking about marriage or sexual dysfunction. People naturally turn to religious figures for advice. Half the people who write to me are not Catholic.

In the Spanish-speaking world, everybody gets that. In the English-speaking world, however, people always ask, "What authority does that person have to talk about relationships?" It's prejudices and biases and stereotypes about what a priest can and can't offer. But in the Spanish-speaking world, that's never been an issue for me, because those who have listened to my shows or watched them or read my columns, they get what I do: It's no-nonsense practical advice for everyday life. It's not dogmatic and pushing religion down your throat.

What advice do you give to single people about finding a mate who's right for them?

People usually come to me with a very definite idea of who the ideal person is for them. It usually has to do with some physical characteristic. I tell them: That's not important. What is important is seeking out someone you can love and give your life to. You have to base your search for a mate on the capacity to form those strong and lasting relationships.

What is the biggest impediment in today's society to forming strong and lasting relationships?

The biggest issue is courtship and how people meet. There are things like speed-dating, where people say they are too busy to spend a lot of time getting to know someone and want to form a lasting relationship based on just a couple of dates.

When people are serious about a relationship today, they have to be careful not to fall into the traps that are out there. For example, rushing into physical intimacy. The relationship begins with the carriage in front of the horse. We rush into this very deep aspect of the relationship before we know each other, before we share our common values and goals for life. People are getting hurt left and right. In my book, I talk about how to establish the foundations first.

You talk in your book about our very high divorce rate. Are married people not making enough effort to save their marriages?

There's a difference between getting out of a marriage because you've been abused, mistreated--and you've tried everything and there's nothing you can do--and going into a marriage thinking if things don't go my way, I'm getting out. There are good reasons to separate and divorce when there's an abusive relationship, when things are not well, and when people are inhumane with each other.

But the real issue is that people go into marriage thinking, "When things don't go my way, I'm outta there." Just that attitude is single-handedly responsible for lots of divorces. People are not willing to struggle enough to keep this thing going. When they have issues—sexuality issues, communication issues, just basic unhappiness with themselves—they think, "If I get out of this, I'm going to feel better."

What you find with a lot of couples is that they leave their marriages, get remarried, and find the same dissatisfaction once again. It doesn't actually get better.

Divorce is never easy. It usually creates a real long-term emotional struggle, and people suffer. In some cases, it's the only way out—I totally understand—but in many cases, it's the attitude you enter the marriage with.

Have you been able to persuade people to stay in a marriage where the problems weren't those obvious, serious ones such as abuse?

I've never seen that as my role. What I try to do is to facilitate the couple with two things. First, to be totally honest with them, to be that third party that tries to be as neutral as possible. Second, I try to give them some common sense, practical advice without the guilt trip of "Oh, you're failing your marriage." People need a helping hand, not a judge. Let God be the judge.

When I see that the couple is serious, which most of the people are, I send them to counseling. I don't want them to think if they came to me, that's it. No. You came to me, you're beginning to scratch the surface. You need to commit yourself to a long-term counseling situation.

Psychology Today, which is not very church-friendly, put out a study—I believe in 1987 or so, I was in the seminary and I remember reading it with great care—it said Catholic celibate priests are among the best marriage counselors. People said, "Why?" Well, because when people come to them, people believe their advice is not just based on a common-sense practical psychological authority, it's also based on a spiritual moral authority. If the priest says to them, "You know, you need to seek a counselor," people are more prone to follow through.

In the book, I say, "Seek wise people, people who have lived successful marriages, and talk to them." A lot of girls having trouble in their marriages, who are they hanging out with? Their divorced and separated friends. Well, guess what? That ain't gonna help you very much.

We have life coaches for work, we have mentoring programs. Why don't we have mentors for our personal lives and relationships?

Your book seems to gently prod people toward what is essentially a traditional Christian view of marriage: fidelity, sticking with marriage for the long haul, self-giving. Will those Judeo-Christian values work for everyone? A lot of people who have no religion must come to you.

If you want to enter a lasting relationship, you need common human values, apart from the spiritual values of faith and religion. Sometimes we may confuse traditional Christian values with basic human values: respect your neighbor, treat others well. But the book offers a perspective of faith. Faith and spirituality somehow help couples. It helps those who are seeking something more, a greater challenge.
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:58 PM   #32
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That sounds like the life of a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Those people are not supposed to talk about their sessions with people at all. If they can do it, a priest could.
I think priests should be permitted to marry.

But I think this comparison is off. If you are talking about a priest and his wife who are heavily included and involved in a community of faithful, then it is much more likely that he could not really speak to his spouse even in general terms. Whereas a good friend of mine is the son of two psychotherapists, each of whom have their own distinct practice in a very large city, and they regularly discuss "issues" at home, without breaching confidentiality. But at the same time, neither is privy to the other's patient list nor would have had any reason to ever meet or interact with the spouse's patients socially. That would not be the case for a priest's wife, who would logically probably attend mass and take part in other activities in the parish.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:03 PM   #33
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The easiest (and I am tempted to say best) solution would be if people just stopped being priests.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:10 PM   #34
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I think priests should be allowed to marry, but I almost feel tempted to vote for Deep's solution
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:14 PM   #35
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I (and most sane people) can live with the second best solution.
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:34 PM   #36
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The easiest (and I am tempted to say best) solution would be if people just stopped being priests.
What would be your substitute then (besides no more religion)?
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:41 PM   #37
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the second best solution

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I think priests should be allowed to marry
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:51 AM   #38
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Oh let them get married. I was recently shocked to find out this celibacy stuff didn't start until about the thirteenth century. Turn it back, keep them happier, stop the molestation.
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:45 AM   #39
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I think the Catholic Church is far too entrenched in it's stance on things like priests being able to marry, homosexuality etc. to make massive back flips like this. I mean, what is the Pope going to say?! "Oh yeh nah God told me this morning or somefin that priests can marry n shit, it turns out guyz are meant to fuk chikz lolz."
Oh so God doesn't make infallible mandates anymore? And as secular society becomes increasingly accepting of homosexuality, the Church will never be able to backflip on their stance with that issue without completely sacrificing all of their credibility to make absolute moral laws.

I say let the Church stick to their guns, and watch it become more and more out of touch with the world and eventually people will become alienated by it and the Church will lose its power. I want to see the Church crumble as I see it as one of the most morally abhorent institutions mankind has ever invented, a brief exercise in history will verify that.

In its place I propose a Church of Christopher Hitchens....
All we do is drink (just enough to kill a horse), smoke like a chimney, slur our words and condescend to anyone that isn't ourselves.
I love you Christopher
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:50 AM   #40
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I'd like to know how many priests would think their having a wife would distract from their priesthood role.
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:44 PM   #41
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MIAMI (AP) - A popular Miami priest and media personality known as "Father Oprah" has left the Catholic Church and joined the Episcopal Church after he was photographed cavorting on the beach with his girlfriend.

The Rev. Alberto Cutie (KOO'-tee-ay) was removed from his Miami Beach church after photos of him kissing and embracing a woman appeared in the pages of a Spanish-language magazine earlier this month.

He was received into Episcopal Church in a ceremony Thursday at Trinity Cathedral and may later announce he will marry his girlfriend, which is allowed in that denomination. He must complete other requirements before serving as an Episcopal priest.

Cutie spoke briefly at a press conference and read a statement in English and Spanish. He quoted from the book of Psalms and said, "More than ever, I'm assured that God is love."

He continued, "I have searched my soul and sought God's guidance for a long time."

Before walking away without answering questions, Cutie thanked supporters and asked the media to respect his privacy.

"I thank God for the many people in our community who have shown me their love and support," Cutie said in a statement released earlier Thursday. "Your prayers have truly sustained me at this time of transition in my life. With God's help, I hope to continue priestly ministry and service in my new spiritual home."
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:55 PM   #42
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He continued, "I have searched my soul and sought God's guidance for a long time."
God responded by sending the paparazzi.
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:08 PM   #43
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He's still hot-that's really all I have left to say

My pastor is cute but his personality is so unthere and he's so old fashioned for his age that it's a Glamour don't...
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:27 PM   #44
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Here is the aftermath of some other Catholic priests behaviour

YouTube - QandA May 25th - response to question on Ryan Commission Report
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:22 PM   #45
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MIAMI (AP) - A popular Miami priest and media personality known as "Father Oprah" has left the Catholic Church and joined the Episcopal Church after he was photographed cavorting on the beach with his girlfriend.

The Rev. Alberto Cutie (KOO'-tee-ay) was removed from his Miami Beach church after photos of him kissing and embracing a woman appeared in the pages of a Spanish-language magazine earlier this month.

He was received into Episcopal Church in a ceremony Thursday at Trinity Cathedral and may later announce he will marry his girlfriend, which is allowed in that denomination. He must complete other requirements before serving as an Episcopal priest.

Cutie spoke briefly at a press conference and read a statement in English and Spanish. He quoted from the book of Psalms and said, "More than ever, I'm assured that God is love."

He continued, "I have searched my soul and sought God's guidance for a long time."

Before walking away without answering questions, Cutie thanked supporters and asked the media to respect his privacy.

"I thank God for the many people in our community who have shown me their love and support," Cutie said in a statement released earlier Thursday. "Your prayers have truly sustained me at this time of transition in my life. With God's help, I hope to continue priestly ministry and service in my new spiritual home."
Beat me to it! I'm slow on the internets today.

for him, but he's not taking any die-hard Catholics with him. It was good to see them stick up for him, however. Ending celibacy is not an issue with parishioners, but with the institution. I don't think it's going to change very soon.

He's also not referring to her as his girlfriend, but as his fiance. I hope he is able to start a family and continue his good work. There's no reason why he can't.
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