MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) –The former South Florida Roman Catholic Priest caught locking lips with his lover on the beach and then left the church to marry her spoken candidly about his story and his new TV show.
Father Alberto Cutie announced Tuesday he will host the talk show “Father Albert” on FOX Television stations. “It’ll be everything from sex to salvation,” Father Alberto told The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday in Miami during the NATPE TV trade show.
And in his first interviews with local news reporters since leaving the Catholic Church, the 41-year-old Father Cutie told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “For me this is an old direction, I did this for 11 years in Spanish.” His previous TV show, “Padre Alberto,” had been broadcast to millions of people in 22 countries.
“I’ve been invited to speak and reach out to people with their dilemmas and that is something I know a little bit about,” said Father Cutie. He’ll talk to people about relationships and important dilemmas today, such as overcoming fear.
“Fear always paralyzes people and I experienced that in my own life,” said Father Cutie. “I was afraid to come out and say, ‘Oh listen, I’m in love and let’s move on.’ Fear paralyzes people in their work and their profession and it can stifle you. We need to overcome that.”
He spoke to D’Oench beside a copy of his new book, “Dilemma.” He speaks about his theological differences with the Catholic Church, including its demands for priests to be celibate. “It’s a process where I began to understand there were many things I could not accept as important for the 21st century and I think one issue is celibacy.”
“My wife is someone I feel in love with and she’s wasn’t looking to fall in love with a Roman Catholic priest and I wasn’t looking to fall in love with her, but things happen in life,” said Father Cutie. “The dilemma I see in the book is somebody who has a one-way road that determines that this is the way the rest of your life is going to be and ends up seeing that there’s not a way that God wants you to walk and people should be allowed to change their mind. People should be allowed to change their direction.”
“There’s no difference in the job description in the Episcopal church,” said Father Cutie. “It’s just a different place and a different geography. Our congregations are smaller but I do the same work I always did. The governance is different. There’s a little more democracy in our church.”
Father Cutie’s new show will preview later this year in various cities including New York and Los Angeles, the country’s top two markets, and may be picked up nationwide if it’s popular. It may even be shot in both English and Spanish formats because of Father Albert’s huge following in Latin America.
Cutie previously hosted a weekly talk show on the Spanish-language Telemundo Network. His self-help book, “Real Life, Real Love,” became a Spanish-language market best-seller in 2006 and earned him the nickname “Father Oprah.” He recently published a second book, “Dilemma: A Priest’s Struggle with Faith and Love” this month.
Father Alberto left the Roman Catholic Church two years ago over ideological differences and to marry the woman he loved on June 26th, 2009. Cutie was received as an Episcopal priest on May 29th of 2010. On November 30th, 2010, he and his wife Ruhama, welcomed their first child, a daughter named Victoria.
He says he’s disappointed but not bitter about the provocative pictures from paparazzi that were published in the magazine, “TV Notas.”
“The truth of the matter is that I understand that it’s a business and I understand they need to take pictures to make a living and make money. I never took it personally. But it’s unfortunate because there’s someone on the other end and sometimes tabloids forget that the person on the other end is a human being and you should respect them and not make up stories,” he said.
Father Cutie is the principal pastor at the Church of the Resurrection in Biscayne Park and attendance has risen significantly since he’s been there.
“I think the more welcoming a church is the more it is what God wants,” said Father Cutie. “I think God-like, welcoming, love and compassion is what we’re being called to do. I think churches today face the same challenges as always. You have to go out in the world and proclaim the good news. That’s the challenge we all have. The message of God is a message of love, compassion and forgiveness.”
And he says receives a great deal of love from Ruhama and her 16-year-old son, Christian, from her first marriage who lives with them.
“My wife has blessed me in many ways and now I have a 16-year-old boy and a newborn child to share that love with,” said Father Cutie. “You know I never thought I would be changing diapers in the middle of the night. But I share that responsibility with my wife and it’s a beautiful thing. I really do connect with the people in our church because they are doing that, too, all the time.”
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