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"Protection" for Priests?

Alberto R. Cutié was ordained as a priest in the Roman Catholic Church in 1995 and became an internationally recognizable name by hosting television and radio programs.

Cutié, the middle child and son of Cuban exiles, was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. As a teenager he worked as a disc jockey.

He was ordained as a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Miami in 1995, the first ordinand of the then-newly designated Archbishop John Clement Favalora (retired 20 April 2010).

As "Father Albert," he was the first priest to host a secular talk show both on radio and television. He is also a regular columnist whose writings appear in many Spanish language newspapers throughout the United States and Latin America.

He gained worldwide recognition with his television debut in 1999 as the host of Padre Alberto (and later Cambia tu Vida con el Padre Alberto), a daily talk show televised on the Telemundo network. He later served as host of the weekly program America en Vivo on Telemundo International.

Beginning in 2002, Cutié hosted a weekly talk program called Hablando Claro con el Padre Alberto, reaching millions of households throughout the United States, Canada, Spain and Latin America on EWTN Español, which is part of the global network founded by Mother Angelica. In July 2003 he officiated at Celia Cruz's Funeral Mass in Miami, Florida.

Cutié also published his first self-help book, Real Life, Real Love (Ama de Verdad, Vive de Verdad) in January 2006. It sold thousands of copies and became a bestseller in the Spanish language market.

His second book, Dilemma: A Priest's Struggle with Faith and Love (Dilema: La Lucha de un Sacerdote Entre Su Fe y el Amor), was released on January 4, 2011.

He has been labelled as "Father Oprah" by various publications. He served as President and General Director of Radio Paz and Radio Peace Catholic 24-hour radio station beginning in January 2001.

He hosted several radio programs, such as Al Dia and Linea Directa, and directed the daily operations of Pax Catholic Communications for the Archdiocese of Miami until 2009. On April 2, 2009, he was named one of AARP's new Hispanic Ambassadors.

Cutié left the Roman Catholic Church in May 2009, after publication of photographs showing him embracing a woman at the beach and his subsequent admission that he was in love.

Father Cutie was caught on film allowing Ruhama Buni Canellis to amorously wrap her legs around him and also putting his own hand down Buni Canellis’ swimsuit to fondle her behind.

Father Alberto Cutie, an internationally known Catholic priest, admitted having a romantic affair and breaking his vow of celibacy.

Cutie -- sometimes called "Father Oprah" because of the advice he's given on Spanish-language media -- shocked some in the Catholic community when photographs of him embracing a bathing-suit-clad woman emerged in TV Notas magazine.

He acknowledged having carried on a two-year relationship with the woman, who at that time had not been publicly identified.

"This is something I've struggled with," he told CNN. "I don't support the breaking of the celibacy promise."

Referring to his relationship with the woman, he said, "It looked like a frivolous thing on the beach, you know, and that's not what it is. It's something deeper than that."

After the photographs surfaced, Cutie was removed from his duties at St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church in Miami Beach and on the Radio Paz and Radio Peace Networks.

Cutie had been president and general director of Pax Catholic Communications, home of Radio Paz and Radio Peace. He has also written newspaper advice columns and a self-help book, Real Life, Real Love.

John C. Favalora, archbishop of the Catholic Church's Miami archdiocese, said that Cutie's actions "caused a grave scandal within the Catholic Church."

I wonder if Father Cutie and Ruhama Buni Canellis were using contraception during their trysts, before they were caught on film, and before he was forced to step down?

How deep do the members of the church really believe in their own teachings?

We really live in a secular society: people just pay lip service to religious ideals.

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