Fr. Cutié – why he matters

Have you heard of “Father Oprah,” the former Roman Catholic priest, Alberto Cutié? Is he merely a fascination, or does he matter beyond the gossipy news stories? Miguel Angel Escobar discusses why Fr. Cutié does matter:

Why Alberto Cutié Matters

by Miguel Angel Escobar in Episcopal Church Foundation Vital Practices

Fr. Alberto Cutié’s new daytime talk show premiered yesterday. Did you watch?

The premier of “Father Albert” generated a bit of conversation on the Episcopal Café’s Facebook page with comments ranging from hopefulness to curiosity to disdain. “And we should care…why?” wrote one Episcopal priest.

I briefly met Fr. Cutié two years ago and I must confess that I did so with that last question very much in mind. First off, I’m not a big television watcher much less a fan of daytime television. I’d heard of Father Oprah, had seen his books in Barnes and Noble, but didn’t connect with the idea of a celibate priest dispensing relationship advice. Secondly, Fr. Cutié’s entry into the Episcopal Church came at a particularly difficult time in my life. Having just been rejected from the ordination process in the Diocese of New York, I was hurt by how swiftly Fr. Cutié became an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Southeast Florida. I recall joking that perhaps things would have turned out differently for me had I been a television star, better looking, with millions of fans…

A year or so later my attitude has changed. I’m a fan and I strongly believe we should care. Here’s why:

Increasingly, A Shared Story

The face of the Episcopal Church is rapidly changing. Latinos presently constitute one of – if not the – fastest growing segments of the Episcopal Church. This parallels broader shifts in U.S. demographics. As noted in “A (Uni)Vision for Life After A Mass Market,” demographers at the Census Bureau predict that by the year 2042 racial and ethnic minorities will make up more than half of the U.S. population, with more than 30 percent considering themselves Hispanic.

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