Miami priest joins Episcopal church

(CNS photo)

A Catholic priest photographed frolicking with a woman on a Florida beach announced Thursday he had joined the Episcopal Church to pursue the priesthood in a faith that allows married clergy.

The charismatic 40-year-old is a well-known religious leader in Miami who dispensed relationship advice on Spanish-language television shows, church radio programs and newspaper columns.

He was relieved of his duties at St. Francis de Sales parish in Miami Beach earlier this month after an entertainment magazine published photos of him in swim trunks, snuggling and kissing a woman on the sands of a beach in Florida.

Cutie later said he had fallen in love with the woman and broken his vow of celibacy. He apologized for his behavior, but told a television network, "I didn't stop being a man just because I put on a cassock. There are trousers under this cassock."

The woman in the photographs, identified in media reports as Ruhama Canellis, stood at Cutie's side as he held a news conference at Trinity Cathedral, where the couple underwent a ceremony to join the Episcopalians.

Christmas-NCR-gifts-half_0.jpgGive a subscription to our award-winning newspaper and save $10.

The Episcopal church ordains men and women as priests, married or single.
At his news conference, Cutie said he saw his move as "going into a new family" and said he would continue to proclaim God's word. "I will always love the Catholic Church and all its members who are committed in their faith and have enriched my life in so many ways," he said.

In a statement shortly after the photos were published, Archbishop Favalora said he was "deeply saddened by the news" and apologized "on behalf of the church in Miami" to the parishioners of St. Francis de Sales, "to the listeners and supporters of Radio Paz and Radio Peace and to the entire archdiocese."

In a personal apology on his web site Cutie had asked for forgiveness from those "who may be hurt or saddened by my actions."

He said that since he entered the seminary at age 18 the priesthood has brought him great joy.

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg


NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.



NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017