501 – You Can’t Go Back: 08

501

 

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Aw, doesn't he look devout?
Aw, doesn't he look devout?

Father Alberto Cutié, “Father Oprah” to the devoted, has an informative little bio at the website of the Miami Archdiocese. There, he says that he knew he wanted to become a priest back in high school, and didn’t think that anything else would “fulfill” him. He says that he has no regrets about becoming a priest, that he feels it is an “exciting journey” to live a life given into “god’s hands.” Turn-offs include people trying to make him into a “little god,” and not treating him just like a regular person.

Like a regular person.

Yet somehow it was a huge surprise to everyone when the good padre was discovered doing something any regular person might do… with their girlfriend on the beach. In fact it was so surprising that Cutié (pronounced Coo-tee-ay, for the Spanish-challenged among us) was tossed out of the priesthood on his ear. Since the photos first appeared in TV Notas magazine, Cutié has admitted to a two year relationship with the young woman, and that while he thinks no priest should break the vow of celibacy, maybe that particular vow ought to be optional.

Can’t we be happy it wasn’t a thirteen year old altar boy? 

Cutié has speculated that the photos were taken by Cuban spies. Yeah… whatever, dude.
Cutié has speculated that the photos were taken by Cuban spies. Yeah… whatever, dude.

Clerical abstinence in the Catholic church first raised it’s turgid head as far back as the Council of Elvira, (who did not host a biblical Friday night monster-of-the-week TV show) around the 270th year of the church’s history. It was mentioned here and there throughout the years (while clergy continued to be married and have kids) but keeping your willy dry didn’t become official church canon until 1917… and even then not for Eastern Catholics. Plus, abstinence for priests is discipline, not doctrine, which means that exceptions can be made, (and have) and that the Pope can rescind the whole silly thing any time he wants. Not that that is going to happen. Benedict XVI is every bit as sympathetic a figure as Darth Vader, without the cuddly mask.

I suppose there’s something to be said for only allowing miserable and lonely people to lead our communities and care for our spiritual well being. (Not my spiritual well being, but… you know what I mean.) Of course that something probably sounds a bit like “Jeeze, that’s fucking stupid.” or “How is somebody like that supposed to give me marital advice?” or “Jeeze, that’s fucking stupid.” I might have repeated myself a bit there.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a dog in this fight. I don’t really even care what happens here. (69% of American Catholics feel priests should be allowed to marry. Schism! Schism!) It’s just that giving up sex for god seems to me about the equivalent of giving up beer for unicorns. You’re giving up something really good for something really imaginary that wouldn’t care even if it were real. I just think that’s funny.

22 Responses to 501 – You Can’t Go Back: 08

  1. Are you sure the church tossed him out? I read about this and I am pretty sure the church was willing to forgive the indiscretion if he ended the relationship and atoned or something. The priest, however, decided to quit and move to a church that allowed their priests to marry.

    Also, I was thinking about the alter boys. If the alter boys were changed to the alter women or had an alter woman added to their number, that would probably end the child abuse scandles. Seems to me if they are willing to sweep chid molestation under the carpet they should be willing to allow their priest to have sex with women as long as it was discreet. The position of alter woman would become much like that of the mistress. So his girlfriend could become his alterwoman. I think there is promise in this idea. 🙂

  2. In fact, the celibacy thing has led to more messed-up crap… It’s one of the reasons why people who have what they feel are “unnatural desires” join the priesthood; they think that somehow, by telling themselves it’s wrong to want -anything- sexual, it’ll make it easier to accept that they can’t (or at least, shouldn’t) want their particular perversion. I still don’t grasp how that’s supposed to work. Wouldn’t it be easier to hide from a desire for something screwed up by burying it under acceptable lusts? X wants sex with little boys; X marries woman, has lots of sex with her; X maybe convinces himself that was what he really wanted after all. That has some chance of working. X wants to schtup little boys; X decides to become completely celibate, thus building up a major store of unsatisfied horniness on top of it; X thus convinces himself he doesn’t want little boys after all – No. Doesn’t work. X winds up schtupping altar boys, because now not only is he stupidly horny, he’s also in a position on authority that he can experience the temptation to abuse.

    Obviously not this guy’s case, but yeah, he should have picked a religion that allows its leaders to get laid once in a while. Judaism comes to mind; we not only allow it, we expect and encourage it. If you’re a rabbi, and you’re single, I guarantee someone in the congregation knows a perfect girl she can set you up with, and will, whether you want it or not. Maybe this priest should convert.

  3. Uggh, just when I thought I heard the last of this. Guys, leave the guy alone. He did what he wanted to do, and changed to Episcopalian. Let the guy live his live and stick it to his girlfriend as many times as he wants.

    Sometimes, that’s what I hate of Spanish television. Or rather, Hispanic television (to which I unfortunately have prime access and can fully understand, though I spend more time not seeing TV at all), what with having programs devoted to stick to the poor padre that he did something wrong, and then debating and saying “oh, he should apologize to his parish and return to his life as a priest”.

    I, for once, am glad he thought with his mind. I’m glad he went ahead and say “guess what? I don’t give a damn rat’s ass” and move it along. Maybe that’s enough to make other priests think the same and finally push the Pope to eliminate that silly rule.

    Then again, you could just send Vorpine to deal with that. Now, Kev: will we have a Cleric Albert seceding from the Church of Berel because he can’t marry?

    Oh, and, for the records: it should be pronounced “Coo-ti-EH”, making the H silent.

    • Dude, I don’t have a problem with this guy, I just think the church is really stupid on the subject of letting priests marry. (And most other subjects, but that’s not for this blog.) My point in singling him out is the fact that in order to be a “good Catholic priest, he had to be a hypocrite. Now I don’t think he’s particularly unique or special, I think that there are likely a HUGE number of priests who are hypocrites… but only because the system they serve under is so twisted and inane.

      Good for him for choosing the love of someone real over the love of someone made up, but it’s a shame it was necessary.

      • Oh, it’s not because of your note. It’s because the entire affair is so burnt out, and I just was almost out of having to hear that 24/7. It’s almost like the O.J. scandal, or the yellow journalism favorite (the JonBenet murder), which reaches a moment where all you might like is to stop hearing about it because it’s all said, done, and unable to be repaired.

        But yeah, aside from that, he did what he had to do; he gave the big finger to the celibacy thing. Whether your beliefs and mine differ does not mean we can agree on something, right? It’s just that you probably have less contact with invasive gossip transmissions, where even the “serious media” has to speak on the scandal.

      • I sympathize. Unfortunately I had only just heard about it when I wrote this… about three weeks ago. I do understand your point of view though.

  4. I believe in God, and I am Catholic, but… I also believe that God doesn’t care so much about sex… Jesus spoke about treating each other well, not worrying about who’s doing who. Let priests and nuns get married. Let ’em raise families. We had a married priest in our parish (he began as a married Lutheran priest, and then switched teams to Catholicism). He was awesome. He had the frame of reference to understand what was really going on with families today, their struggles, joys, concerns, etc.
    And, BTW, I just LOVE the little snarky Pope Benedict comment. Benedict is gonna throw out everything John Paul II did, and then he’s gonna send us back to the days of the Inquisition…

    • Yeah… I am NOT Benedict’s biggest fan. If I am ever found exsanguinated in a ditch, you’ll know what happened.

  5. [what follows is sarcasm]

    Amongst the ordinances in Leviticus is a prohibition on “wasting male seed”. Thus the Church view that no-consensual sex with a male child over whom a priest has authority is acceptable; yet consensual sex with an adult female, by that same priest is not.
    Err.. somehow that doesn’t quite seem to read right.

  6. I’m pretty sure that doin’ it in the butt… whether a girl’s butt or a boy’s butt, would be a “waste” of male seed. (Although, since my vasectomy, I can both masturbate and have all the butt sex with Lena that I like, and not waste anything.)

    Oh, and I’m pretty sure that non-consensual sex is only cool when it’s with your wife. Though that may just be Baptists and radical Islamists. (There should be a single word that means both of those.)

  7. i have a friend that used to be a catholic priest(he has since left the church) he got involved with a 21 year old member of his church he was 33 at the time and a member of the s.c.a. (society for creative anachronisms). she was a member also. they hooked up fell in love eventually got married and had children.when all this first started he came to me for advice (hah imagine that a priest coming to me for advice ,obviously his innate detect evil was non-functional) i told him to put his trust in god and he would tell him what to do (what else was i going to say to a priest?) but i also told him “hey at least shes over 18 and a GIRL!” he thought that was funny as hell. the way i understand the vows of celibacy is they were enacted to prevent families of priests from contesting property owned by priests when they died. whether its true or not i can certainly believe it knowing the church.oh and one more thing my ex-priest friend has never been happier

    oh and kevin maybe blamists?

    • Blamists. Heh heh.

      I have heard the property thing before too. (From an Episcopal priest.) I’m not sure what the actual reasoning was, my guess is that everyone who voted for the celibacy did it for their own reasons.

  8. “It’s just that giving up sex for god seems to me about the equivalent of giving up beer for unicorns.”

    FTW! i need to steal this line.

  9. Aw, crap! You mean I gave up beer for nothing now? What happened to the freakin’ Unicorns! Son of a…

    I’ve been AWOL for a while here and just getting caught up Kevin. Enjoying the comic as always and the commentary each day widens my smile all the more! Nice work young man!

    KUNG FU! 🙂

  10. Well, IIRC.

    Some priests (usually higher-ranking ones. Surprising, ain’t it?) came from noble families. Like, the eldest inherits the domain, the younger goes into priesthood. By becoming priests, they gave up on their father’s estate. But their children had rights on that same estate, and could become problems. Thus the ruling. As ever, this had to do with money, power, and the ones in charge.

    On the subject… I guess… Being happy, moreso, being in love and loved in return, is such a precious occurence that I find completely dumb to force people to dump that for a centuries-old ruling that has no longer any meaning at all.

  11. I’m Catholic myself, and yes I do agree that’s it not my thing either to give up the possibility of marriage to join the priesthood. If it wasn’t for that requirement, I might just consider becoming a priest some time in the future, but for now I’m going to just live my life in other productive ways. In case you didn’t know though, Deacons are allowed to be married and are somewhat on par with priests in most Catholic communities in terms of responsibilities. Somewhat. But hey, that’s better than nothing.

    I don’t think celibacy in priesthood is stupid however; it’s a voluntary agreement for whomever wants to join the profession. Plus, priesthood is not meant to be easy, just as how joining the army is not meant to be easy either, yet there are those who still join for various reasons, mostly spiritual. Nothing wrong with that. Some people just love to have a tough life, and others unfortunately find out later that it’s not for them. If they join and break the agreement, well then they better hope they’re still on the payroll later on, ESPECIALLY if they went as far as this guy to do it in secret. To me this isn’t so much an issue with him having a relationship as much as it is him not being honest about it with his employers. It’s their money after all (sounds strange coming from a Catholic isn’t it?) and he did make an oath.

    Still, the world will go on, and contrary to what sensationalist media might have others believe, this isn’t really very shocking to most Catholics or the Church in general. Let’s hope he sets his priorities straight and live a happy live either way. And should the church relax or strengthen the requirements for priesthood later on, so be it. It takes a long time for communities to figure out for themselves what they really want anyway.

  12. It’s funny that you compare Pope Benedict to Darth Vader, cause I saw a picture once of him and Emperor Palpatine side by side. Very similar. I’ve always thought it was stupid that priests can’t marry, or even get their freak on with a willing woman. I figure God would want to have his mouthpieces breeding, cause who’s more likely to follow the bible than the sons and daughters of His most faithful? But what do I know, I never even read the book.