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El crimen del Padre Alberto

11 May 2009

With the economic situation worsened by the flu contingency, the resurrection of Carlos Ahumada (and more evidence that the Fox Administrations and Carlos Salinas really were plotting against Lopez Obrador) ,  Euro-terrorists, murdered reporters, narco-related environmental degradation, and corporate sponsorship of human rights violations … thank God for something serious to write about  … like  El escandalo Cutié.

Miami native priest* Alberto Cutié has a huge following across Latin America, especially among older women and stay-at-home moms.  Univision’s answer to Doctor Phil, Cutié has a huge advantage over the bald Texas therapist.  The wise counsellor dispensing advise to ordinary people with ordinary life problems, isn’t a ground-breaking idea and such programs are “women’s shows”, but Univision is shameless about appealing to the female audience — not just a guy with a good head of hair, but a really handsome Latin guy with a full head of hair.

Cutié — based on the show, on his looks and his social circle,  a regular on the Miami Latino “A” list, endlessless covered by the Latin entertainment press.  His photograph has been in the Mexican/U.S. rag, TV Notas before. Having your photograph in your speedos — and more importantly, being able to be photographed in your speedos at age 40  — is something Latino stars would kill for.  Being photographed with your hand wrapped around a hot babe is even better.

Normally.  But, part of Cutié’s schtick is to wear black on his show.   Like Johnny Cash, or Juanes,  he’s making a statement.  So did his Bishop after the photos appeared:

Father Cutié’s actions cannot be condoned despite the good works he has done as a priest. I ask for everyone’s prayers at this time.

Even if your posse includes the late Celia Cruz (at whose funeral Father Cutié officiated) and Shakira (a regular communicant at Padre Alberto’s St. Francis de Sales Church), being in gringolandia means having to say you’re sorry:

Before God – full of love and mercy – I ask for the forgiveness of those who may be hurt or saddened by my actions. Since I entered the seminary at the age of 18, the priesthood has brought me great joy. The commitment that I made to serve God will remain intact. I am grateful for the love and support I have received today from so many in our community, especially my parishioners and the supporters of the radio stations who have demonstrated great compassion and understanding toward me as a human being. I ask for your continued prayers and support.

Cutié, trying to have it both ways — very gringo in that — is supposedly considering becoming an Episcopalian Priest. I can’t see it. Episcopalians will tell you they are “God’s Frozen People” and, yeah, I know it’s a stereotype, but I can’t imagine a Cuban Episcopalian … not a straight one anyway

I think this is what makes the United States different than Latin America. In Latin America, it’s almost assumed that priests who don’t have girlfriends are gay. One 81-year old Cuban exile said, “What’s the problem? At least he likes girls.”

The Latin American Church is about culture, and not rules. I always suspect the reason Mexican-American immigrants are church-goers much more than Mexicans are is that Catholicism here is in the air, and is unavoidable, even if one is something else (I’ve seen Mormon homes with a picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe in them).

Sinaloa, where I live, is famously anti-clerical, even more so than most of Mexico. But, in affirmatively rejecting the clergy, one is paying a back-handed compliment to the Church… ceding it’s power, and recognizing it as a serious opponent. And, as with its people, imperfect and flexible.  And, not being Puritans — hung up on individual salvation, nor on giving moral weight to every little thing in life — people just say “nobody’s perfect”… and go (or don’t go) to confession.  And live their imperfect, messy lives.

And, speaking of falling short of perfection — here’s Padre Cutié pushing … abstinence.

 

 

* slight correction, 18-July-2011.  Alberto Cutié was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1969.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Coyoteville permalink
    12 May 2009 8:23 am

    Richard,

    As a born and raised Episcopalian (altho’ I haven’t been to church in years), I have to gently disagree with some your observations. First, these days, about half of lay Episcopalians are (recovering?) ex-Catholics. Second, in the 1990’s, I was on a local Planned Parenthood Board for years with a Cuban American Episcopalian priest (happily married with three children) who was the priest at Grace Church in Corning, NY. Now, he grew up in West Virginia instead of Miami, so his family was already somewhat unusual.

    So, the Episcopal Church might be a great place for Fr. Cutié.

    I really enjoyed your book. I was highly entertained while being educated, a great combination.

  2. elizabeth permalink
    5 June 2009 12:32 pm

    Padre Alberto; desde aqui mi bendicion para ud. y su familia. trate de ingresar a su correo,mas no se si este sea el correcto,pero bueno, solo quiero decirle que siento una enorme carga por ud. me e dado cuenta de la manera como se le a atacado,de una manera muy injusta.me imagino lo mal que la a pasado en todo este tiempo, pero admiro la entereza conque ha sabido sobrellevar esta prueba,que graciasa Dios y al amor que ud. le profesa a podido soportar toda clase de calumnias de personas que no conocen el verdadero significado del amor,del perdon, del arrepentimiento.Sabe, a ud. le paso lo que a Jesus, que lo vendieron por unas cuantas monedas,Dios les perdone,porque no saben lo que hicieron. no queda mas que orar por aquellos que ,como dice la biblia.”La abundancia del corazon,sale por la boca.”Padre ALberto,le conosco solo por lo que vi de sus participaciones en programas de t.v. pero en si, no tenia ni idea de donde era,pero por lo que veo tenia tantos seguidores como los apostoles Pedro y Pablo. No tengo mas que decir, nuevamente mi bendicion para Ud. y Ruhama. que Dios les colme de dicha y felicidad.
    Nunca se aparte del camino de Dios,siga siendo Fuerte, Valeroso,porque ahora mas que nunca tiene alguien por quien luchar.
    Atte.
    Elizabeth Martinez.

  3. lian 53 permalink
    13 January 2011 4:32 pm

    Hola Senor Alberto Cuttie , estas ultimas semanas lo he visto en todos los canales de television buscando publicidad para su libro , ojala y lo venda , ojala y tenga un monton de gente que quiera leer lo que ya conocemos .
    lo que a mi me concierne su vida , es su vida personal , yo me pongo en sus zapatos , si yo hubiera querido y respetado a mi Dios no miento , si yo hubiera querido y respetado a todos esos fieles seguidores que desgraciadamente vamos a la iglesia , y en lugar de ir a ver a Dios vamos a ponerle demaciada atencion e idializar a los curas y pastores , y que pasa cuando hacen estas cosas ? se nos cae el mundo encima usted no penso en eso ? eso es lo que no va a poder borrar usted siguio mintiendole a sus seguidores , usted siguio mintiendole a la iglesia “” no me preocupo hoy , ya vere que hago cuando me agarren ” y esa senora ? una mujer que acepta una situacion de esa manera no se tiene respeto .
    senor Cutie cuidece y ya deje de buscar aprobacion , que no la va a recibir …Mintieron y punto

  4. petrona permalink
    18 January 2011 4:41 pm

    yo apresio mucho al padre alberto y lo felicito por la desicion que el tomo y la nina esta de lo mas bonita muchas bendiciones espero me mande el e-mail suyo pues quiero estar en comtacto con usted

Trackbacks

  1. Bless me Oprah, for I have sinned: mainstreaming Father Alberto « The Mex Files

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