April 29, 1969 |
San Juan, Puerto Rico
|Occupation||Rector, St. Benedict's Episcopal Church (Episcopal), Plantation, Florida.|
|Spouse(s)||Ruhama Buni Canellis|
Alberto R. Cutié (born April 29, 1969, in San Juan, Puerto Rico) is an Episcopal priest also known as Padre Alberto. Cutié was ordained as a priest in the Roman Catholic Church in 1995, and known as an internationally recognizable name by hosting television and radio programs.
Cutié left the Roman Catholic Church in May 2009, after publication of photographs showing him sexually touching a woman at the beach and his subsequent admission that he was in love. He has said that mandatory celibacy was only one of the theological differences that led him to leave the Roman Catholic Church for the Episcopal Church. He married Ruhama Bun Canellis and joined the Episcopal Church. He now serves as rector of an Episcopal parish in Plantation, Florida.
He was ordained as a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Miami in 1995, the first ordinand of the then-newly designated Archbishop John Clement Favalora (retired 20 April 2010). As "Father Albert", he was the first priest to host a secular talk show both on radio and television. He is also a regular columnist whose writings appear in many Spanish language newspapers throughout the United States and Latin America. He gained worldwide recognition with his television debut in 1999 as the host of Padre Alberto (and later Cambia tu Vida con el Padre Alberto), a daily talk show televised on the Telemundo network. He later served as host of the weekly program America en Vivo on Telemundo International.
Beginning in 2002, Cutié hosted a weekly talk program called Hablando Claro con el Padre Alberto, reaching millions of households throughout the United States, Canada, Spain and Latin America on EWTN Español, which is part of the global network founded by Mother Angelica. In July 2003 he officiated at Celia Cruz's Funeral Mass in Miami, Florida.
Cutié also published his first self-help book, Real Life, Real Love (Ama de Verdad, Vive de Verdad) in January 2006. It sold thousands of copies and became a bestseller in the Spanish language market. His second book, Dilemma: A Priest's Struggle with Faith and Love (Dilema: La Lucha de un Sacerdote Entre Su Fe y el Amor de la carne), was released on January 4, 2011. He has been labelled as "Father Oprah" by various publications. He served as President and General Director of Radio Paz and Radio Peace Catholic 24-hour radio station beginning in January 2001. He hosted several radio programs, such as Al Dia and Linea Directa, and directed the daily operations of Pax Catholic Communications for the Archdiocese of Miami until 2009. On April 2, 2009, he was named one of AARP's new Hispanic Ambassadors.
On January 4, 2011, Cutié released his candid memoir, Dilemma. With the release of his new book he appeared on Good Morning America, The View, Fox and Friends, and The Joy Behar Show as well as several national Spanish language television programs, including Don Francisco Presenta, Despierta America, and Al Rojo Vivo. While some[who?] claim the book is "harsh" on the Roman Catholic Church, Cutié has said that he did not write it with that intention.
In May 5, 2009, Cutié asked church officials for a time of reflection and a leave of absence from his media programs and pastoral work after publication of pictures in which he was shown kissing and sexually touching Ruhama Buni Canellis at a public beach while still a Catholic priest. As a result, the Archdiocese of Miami granted him a leave of absence for an undefined period of personal decision making. He chose not to receive any counseling or meet with the Archdiocese, rather chose to continue his ministry as a married priest in the Episcopal Church, part of the Anglican Communion. Cutié asked the Archdiocese of Miami for some time to think and make a decision on where his life as a priest was heading.
In May 11, 2009, Cutié was interviewed by Maggie Rodriguez of CBS' The Early Show. He said that he was thinking about leaving the Roman Catholic Church for a woman he loves. He said that he respected the existing rule of mandatory celibacy and acknowledged that some priests remain dedicated to that calling. There are many priests in communion with the Vatican who are married, but they are not members of the Latin Rite. He stated he did not want to become the "anti-celibacy priest".
In May 13, 2009, Cutié was interviewed by Teresa Rodríguez on the Univision show Aqui y Ahora. He said: "I do regret if my actions hurt people with all my heart", adding "[t]here are other ways to serve God. I am not the same man I was when I entered the seminary 22 years ago." By the end of the month Cutié announced that he had been in the process of discerning entering the Episcopal Church for the last couple of years, which in turn helped him consolidate marriage and his calling to serve God.
In July 11, 2011, Cutié aired his first English-speaking syndicated daytime talk show, Father Albert. It was cancelled after six episodes due to low ratings. The show was produced by Debmar-Mercury, the same company that syndicates South Park and Family Feud.
Reception into the Episcopal Church and marriage
Cutié was received into the Episcopal Church on May 28, 2009, by the Right Reverend Leo Frade, the Cuban-born bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida and became the administrator and pastoral minister of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Biscayne Park, Miami, Florida, where he was licensed as a pastoral assistant. He was received as an Episcopal priest and instituted as priest-in-charge of the parish on May 29, 2010.
On June 26, 2009, Cutié and Ruhama Buni Canellis married in a church ceremony at St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church in North Miami Beach. Bishop Frade officiated, assisted by the Right Reverend Onell Soto (retired Episcopal Bishop of Venezuela) and several other Episcopal clergy.
Cutié is serving as the priest-in-charge at the Church of the Resurrection in Biscayne Park, Florida. On November 30, 2010, his wife gave birth to their first child, daughter Camila Victoria Cutié. They are also the parents of Christian Norton from Cutie's wife's first marriage. She gave birth to a son in May 2012 named Alberto Felipe Cutié. Cutié celebrated his son's baptism two months later.
- "Alberto Cutie, Miami Priest Caught In Love Affair. Defends Celibacy". Huffington Post. May 11, 2009.
- Kaleem J. "Father Alberto Cutié joins Episcopal church",Miami Herald, May 28, 2009 link
- The Washington Post, April 26, 2009; "Outspoken: A Conversation With Alberto Cutié, Multimedia priest"
- "Adios, Miami Crowd Tells Salsa Queen Celia Cruz Adios". Havana Journal. July 20, 2003.
- Lydia Martin and Jaweed Kaleem (May 15, 2009). "Father Cutie to Univision: Were Cuban Spies Following Me?". Miami Herald.
- Jaweed Kaleem, Lydia Martin, and Charles Rabin (May 5, 2009). "Celebrity priest punished after being caught with woman". Miami Herald.
- Tim Padgett (May 7, 2009). "The Father Cutie Scandal: Sex and the Single Priest". Time Magazine.
- "Father Cutié's confession". The Early Show (CBS). May 11, 2009.
- "Celebrity priest backs celibacy, but may marry; Fla. clergyman known as 'Father Oprah' says he may leave Catholic Church". Associated Press. May 11, 2009.
- "La confesión del Padre Alberto". Univision. May 13, 2009.
- Sutton, Jane (May 29, 2009). "Sex scandal Miami priest quits Catholic Church". Reuters.
- Episcopal Church of the Resurrection website
- Episcopal Life Online item, June 1, 2010
- "Cutié Weds Longtime Girlfriend". Justnews.com. June 16, 2009.
- "Former Catholic Priest Has New Wife, New Life as Episcopalian" from McClatchy Newspapers, appearing in the Washington Post, June 20, 2009
- Morales, María (September 2012). "Padre Alberto: Una herencia de fe". People en español: 161, 163.