CORAL GABLES (CBS4) — The Catholic Priest caught locking lips with his lover on the beach is now recalling that fateful day in his new memoir “Dilemma”.
Father Alberto Cutie spoke before a packed crowd Saturday night at Books and Books in Coral Gables.
“This book is not an attack on the church,” Cutie told the crowd.
The book details the day paparazzi took the snapshot of him kissing in the sand. He said that photograph and the controversy that ensued fast-forwarded his decision to leave the Roman Catholic Church and become an Episcopal priest.
Episcopal priests are allowed to marry.
Today Cutie is married and the couple recently had a baby girl. His wife sat proudly in the front row as Cutie explained his journey.
“I love what I went through for one reason because it got me to the place where I am now,” Cutie said. “Which is a place of happiness and peace and a place of dedication to God and a place of humanity where I am able to love my wife and openly love her and not have to have a hidden secret relationship.”
Cutie said he still loves the Catholic Church, but now recognizes it has too many rules that he disagrees with.
“It tells people that are remarried after a bad marriage you can’t receive communion,” he said. “It tells people who get their tubes tied or who get a vasectomy or who use contraception the pill or anything you are committing mortal sin, which means you can’t receive communion, either.
“There’s too many things that people are told,” he said. “Homosexuals that live in good, honest, monogamous relationships are told you are intrinsically disordered. I don’t think God creates anybody intrinsically disordered.”
Cutie said his scandal in the sand was not the only reason for leaving Catholicism. He said it is a decision he had been wrestling with for years.
Some of those in the crowd Saturday night also wrestled with Cutie’s plight. Many were eager to hear his explanation.
“I think he had a difficult choice to make, and he’s a human being,” said Ernie Sardo, an audience member. “Unfortunately he made the decision to leave. But it was his decision to make.”
Kathleen O’Neil said she’s followed Cutie for years and always supported him.
“I think he’s very brave,” she said. “I think he has a lot to give to a lot of different people.”
Cutie told the crowd that he does not encourage others to follow him away from the Catholic religion. He said people should only make that decision if they, too, struggle with dilemmas about the faith.
Cutie refused to take questions from reporters at the event.