Saturday, December 3, 2011

Wolves in Shepherd's Clothing

I really don't like to comment on individual priests who have fallen from grace; however, many have asked my take on it.  After reading fallen Catholic priest, Alberto Cutie's blog on the Huffington Post, (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/father-alberto-cutie/missing-gone-or-just-elim_b_968201.html)

I decided to write something here since my comment on the Huffington Post was never posted.

The Priest is a man who is supposed to be "another Christ."  This of course is in a Sacramental sense.  The man does not become Jesus literally.  He just participates in the priesthood of Christ.  Jesus is the priest.

It is like someone buying a franchise in the McDonalds corporation.  The purchaser did not create the brand or owns it, he or she merely pays to use the brand to make money.  The Priesthood is almost the same in that the powers of the Priest do not belong to the ordained man, they are Christ's and the ordained man merely participates in that power or office acting in Jesus' place.

In the blog, Mr. Cutie lists some priests who have been involved in scandals.  He insinuates that they "disappeared" after their respective scandals broke out.

He goes on bashing the Catholic Church and basically points a finger at its leaders and the way the Church operates.




He includes Fr. Frank Pavone which is strange because he is a priest in good standing.  His Bishop called him back to function as a priest in the Diocese of Amarillo.  He was never accused of any wrong doing.

This is not the first time Fr. Pavone has had disputes with his bishop.  In New York, he was at odds with Cardinal Egan's request to put him back in parish work.  Fr. Pavone feels called to solely dedicate his priesthood ministry to the preach the Gospel of Life in the Pro-life cause.    






John Corapi and the facts of his story are still not complete so it is hard to make a conclusion regarding him. Supposed texts were found and what not, but we have not seen them.  His order claims he was living the high life with women, but no real proof was shown, just a statement of this.

In any case, it is suspicious that he left the priesthood and remained in the complex he build which is worth millions and generates millions.  It is also strange that after the statement by the SOTL order, he seemed to have quieted down his defensive stance.  Only God knows what is really going on with him.


Ironically, Cutie does not include himself in the blog: surprise surprise.  This is a case of the "pot calling kettle," so to speak.  Cutie as we all know was photographed on a beach with a woman.  Now this seems harmless right?  Well yes and no.  There is nothing wrong with a man having a woman for company.  She might be a relative, friend or even co-worker.  However, when that man is an ordained Catholic priest and is kissing that women, then there is a problem.

Priests make promises to live a celibate life.  Religious priests take vows to live in chastity and celibacy.  Now these promises and vows are made to God through His Church.  Any priest who breaks them offends God and the Church.  They have value in that they are directed towards God.  

No man should even consider the priesthood if he cannot handle it.  It is not an easy life.  This life is only for the Spiritually, Emotionally and Intellectually mature- and not in any specific order, each must be present equally.  This is why discernment is important. Unfortunately some vocation directors are quick to accept any guy who smiles and seems nice.  That cannot be done.  Many do this to get as many in as possible.

It must be quality over quantity.  An inquirer must be 100% sure he wants to enter the priesthood and can live up to its high standards.  Vocation directors must be keen on spotting the real inquirer from the "wishy washy" one.  Men with homosexual tendencies should not even be on the table for discussion.  This is not an attack or discrimination against homosexual men, but a reflection of reality.  A homosexual man is expected to live with other men.  Is he strong enough to control his tendencies?  A Diocese or Religious order cannot wait till a scandal breaks out to find out.  The same applies to heterosexual men.

Cutie was a DJ, so I read.  He was young when he entered and quickly rose to fame as a priest in the media.  Now, had I been director of vocations in Miami, I would have questioned his sincerity.  Having a career as a DJ is not a bad thing, but comes off as juvenile.  It is a job for those who like to party and enjoy musical atmospheres which is characteristic of the youth.  To a vocations director, this can demonstrate that the candidate is still immature.

Mr. Cutie himself said that he was young and changed a lot which eventually lead to his abandonment of Christ's Church.  He said, "I am not the same man I was when I entered the seminary 22 years ago." (http://archivo.univision.com/content/content.jhtml?cid=1941584)   In that same interview he says a very male chauvinistic thing: "under the cassock there are pants" implying masculinity is based on wearing pants.  He is making the priesthood out to be about the ordained man and his gender, not Christ.

He was labeled "Father Oprah" by the media in a sublime attempt to mock the priesthood and Cutie himself.  Fame can corrupt people.  We hear of the many celebrities who do crazy things after gaining it.  It is also a cash cow.  It was not a surprise that Mr. Cutie would write a book about his life after the scandals.  His intention became obvious that he was using the Catholic Church to make a name for himself and money.  Now he bashes the Church in a memoir and in interviews.  He recently attempted a new Talk show which flopped in ratings and was cancelled faster than one can flip a switch.

People despise hypocrisy.  People know he is using the image of the priest to make money.  A priest needs to be real with God, himself and the people. He needs to be authentic.  Cutie, Corapi and others have failed in doing this.  They were at war within themselves living double lives.

In Physics, anti matter and matter when coming in contact will annihilated one another.  The same of spirituality and anti spirituality.  As Jesus said, "One cannot serve two masters, either he will hate one or love one.  One cannot serve God and money." - Matthew 6:24    

Unfortunately the priesthood being spiritually based is susceptible to those who are opportunistic, ambitious and perverted.  This is not what the priesthood is about.  It is not about the man, but Christ.

A man lays down before the altar showing he is laying his life down.  He rises up, gets his hands anointed and the imposition of hands showing that he no longer lives but Christ like St. Paul says, "It is not I who live, but Christ living in me." -Galatians 2:20  Once ordained it is all about Christ and His Church.

It is sad to hear of the scandals priests get involved in whether sexual, adulterous, homosexual, pedophile, ephebophile, financial, theft, drugs, even murder.

This is what happens when a man leaves Christ out of his life.  When the priesthood is used to obtain power, fame and glory.  When the priesthood becomes a mere job -a mere career - and not a way of life in Christ, then anything can happen.

I wasn't surprised to learn about Mr. Cutie's fall.  I met him briefly at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City after the funeral Mass of Latin singer Celia Cruz.  I won't share my impressions of him nor what other priests and seminarians told me, but needless to say they were troubling to hear.

When he gave Holy Communion to a Presbyterian minister in Florida, his colors began to show.  I even emailed the Diocese complaining about this.  A Holy Bishop I worked for and am friends with who is with the Lord now in Heaven told me that one can tell the holiness of a priest by the reverence he gives the Holy Eucharist.  The Holy Eucharist shows unity, the Eucharist is the heart of the Church.  By giving the Holy Eucharist to a separated brother, it shows that he did not understand nor valued this Sacrament.   Therein was his inner dissent.  It was only a matter of time until this dissent fully came out and he would drown in the wave of sin, liberalism and heresy.

To see him dressed in a alb in an Episcopal church was embarrassing.  Here we have an ordained priest who has legitimate Apostolic succession wearing a lay man's server alb awaiting "ordination" from a mere lay man - Leo Frade- who has no Apostolic succession whatsoever.  It was ridiculous and sad.

If Leo Frade is a bishop, then I can wear a white cassock and be Pope as well.  I can even wear a Yankee uniform and say I am a New York Yankee!  Pope Leo XIII wrote in Apostolicae Curae that the Anglican orders are void and null. 

That being said, Is this how Christ wanted His Church?  A free for all?   Anyone can buy a collar shirt, miter, crosier and call him/herself a bishop?  This is a mockery of Christ and His Church.

Obviously he did not have the will power to control his attractions towards women.  This is why maturity is important.  We all get urges and have desires, but that does not mean we have to jump and act.  That is why God gave us reason and conscience.  Temperance is important.

Cutie says he's a man and was only doing what he is naturally inclined towards.  The natural part is true, but we all have the natural instinct to feed.  Does that mean we all should eat at the sight of food even when not hungry?  If we do, then we become addicted to food and eventually destroy our bodies.  Self-control is needed.  It prevents self-destruction.


St. Paul puts it well regarding celibacy:

"I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord.  


But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided."  - 1 Cor. 7: 32-33  


I am not attacking anyone in this blog.  I suffer with them and for them.  We all sin, we all make mistakes and we all deserve forgiveness from one another just like God forgives us.

We must pray for all priests, active and inactive; in good standing and suspended.  For those who committed crimes.  We must pray for those who have fallen from grace, and for those who left the ministry for whatever reason whether good or bad.

They are men, they are weak.  All men who feel called to the Priesthood must have a strong spiritual life.  There is no way around this.  The Priesthood is not a job.

I myself am an Academic and former Atheist. I love to study and learn, but I cannot skip praying to read a journal on Neutrinos or String Theory.  These studies enrich my prayer life and faith, they do not replace them.

My prayer life comes first if I am to be a good priest in the future.  Yes I am a male, I didn't shut down my attraction towards women.  However, I channel those feelings to God.  Yes woman is beautiful and made in God's image.  Yes, she shares in God's creative power by bearing children.

I praise God for woman instead of praising my sexuality and its urges.  Whatever love I would have given a woman had I married, I now spread it to all with a smile, by making them laugh when they are sad, by showing concerning, praying for them, helping in any way I can and am allowed to.

We must be aware of the Wolves in Shepherd's clothing.  Priests must not give in to temptation.  As 1 Peter 5:8 says "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."  

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