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Dilemma: A Priest's Struggle with Faith and Love [Kindle Edition]

Albert Cutie
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description


He was a Roman Catholic priest whose love affair became headline news. Now, he shares his explosive story-in his own words...

In this deeply personal and controversial memoir, Father Albert Cutié tells about the devastating struggle between upholding his sacred promises as a priest and falling in love. Already conflicted with growing ideological differences with the Church, Cutié was forced to abruptly change his life the day that he was photographed on the beach, embracing the woman he would later call his wife.

Once a poster boy of the Roman Catholic Church-loved and admired by millions-Cutié found that he was not happy and able to live as a celibate priest, especially having to defend the number of positions he was no longer in agreement with. For years he kept his relationship a secret, while he soul searched and prayed for answers. The love that he deemed a blessing was bringing him closer to God, but further from the Church. In Dilemma, Cutié tells about breaking that promise, reigniting the very heated debate over mandatory celibacy for Catholic priests, beginning a new way of life and discovering a new way of serving God.

About the Author

Father Albert Cutié is now serving in the Episcopal Church as a married priest at The Church of the Resurrection in Biscayne Park, Florida. He is a member of several community service organizations and is the first Cuban-American to serve as a Trustee of the American Bible Society.

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3.0 out of 5 stars worth reading ... April 3 2014
By Marie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As someone who was brought up Roman Catholic, but who has not gone to church for years because of the church's long-standing mishandling of sex abuse scandals, I found parts of the book very interesting. Told from an insider's perspective, it provides first-hand accounts of systemic wrongdoing on many levels all the way from the local parish to the Vatican.

I think his story has real value in being told as it sheds light on some very dark corners of the church. What it shows are not mere cobwebs to remain hidden or moved around by covert church housekeeping practices or policies, but fundamental issues of structure and importance to all Catholics. I understand Father Cutie's struggles and his decision to leave the church. I believe he has a real vocation to serve and has now found both the right role as a married priest and the right church to make a difference. I wish him well.

The book has some flaws - repetitive and too long; however, still worth reading.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  149 reviews
55 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A struggle, and a love story, and redemption Jan. 8 2011
By G. F. de Leeuw - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Dilemma is a sensitive, engaging book by Padre Alberto Cutié, who had been one of the most visible priests in the world, serving a media ministry from Miami. It is a quick read, conversational in tone, with excellent stories and tender insights. It is written for a popular audience, but scholars of ministry might also find this useful.

Many priests leave the priesthood after finding a partner, or being discouraged by the church. The narrative, however, is more complex as Cutié is also a celebrity.

There is a lot that could go wrong with this book. But because Fr. Cutié handles his dilemma with honesty and vulnerability, the final picture is a priest who has been redeemed through the power of his love - for the church, and for his wife.

The book begins with his discovering a call and being an idealistic priest. He's a young conservative, committed to the gospel and the party line of the institutional church.

He also discovers he has a skill for connecting to people by making the church comprehensible - or relevant - to others. Eventually, he gets approached by a television company, starting a media ministry that would engage Spanish speakers internationally. At this point he is working hundred hour work-weeks and finds himself spiritually unsupported by the hierarchy.

At one point he meets Ruhama, and finds himself instantly attracted to her. It seems like a mystical experience that sheds light upon the other challenges in his institutional life. What is the meaning of love? And what does this mean for his role as a priest? One of the strongest parts of the book is his love for her.

The book continues with reflections about the media and his position.

Dilemma exposes the church: the resentment and careerism; the homosexual culture within the Roman priesthood; the dismissal of good priests; the protection of criminals. It will make the institutionally loyal uncomfortable - but he critiques with compassion towards the laity of the RC church and their good priests. It is in hypocrisy that he finds his greatest frustration. I was reminded of Doestoyevsky's the Grand Inquisitor as he illustrates in detail of the general duplicity within the institution.

Cutié raises direct issues about the role of media in the church. To some extent, the Roman Church (and some mainline churches) is suspicious of media. There may be good reasons for this wariness. Cutié explores the power of media, while also demonstrating that it is a skill, rather than magic. Of course, this book illustrates that Cutié also has something interesting to say that people need to hear. And not all priests have much interesting to say.

Cutié also includes the relevant literature. He makes references to Fr. Andrew Greeley and Cardinal Newman. He's nuanced about the complexities of culture and theology. And he has a remarkable pastoral sensitivity.

A just outrage may easily slip into resentment. But this is redeemed, and avoided, especially because Cutié has found love and is in a new (or ancient) spiritual home, the Episcopal Church (although, I'll eagerly read that next book as well). His description of his new church (my church) will be instructive for the unfamiliar yet edifying to the seasoned.

Dilemma is a sensitive, engaging memoir that eschews triumphalism for redemption. The church needs honest priests who can truly handle the public glare: he has shown strength of character to confess, endure, and come through. He decided not to hide. This, in itself, is remarkable.

It will be especially enjoyable for those who are intrigued by the church, and want news from the ecclesiastical trenches, but it will also be a wonderful read for those who want a love story.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong, yet honest: revelations from the heart Jan. 17 2011
By BB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I highly recommend "Dilemma" to people from all faiths. It is a straightforward recount of Fr. Albert's personal experiences. He opens his heart to the readers, sharing his dilemma, that I find so common among present day christians. The Roman Catholic Church is in dire need of reform to serve the people of this century & those to come. In this book, Father Albert clearly explains this need for change via the many contradictory rules/laws that did not come from Jesus, but were created by men, sometimes for reasons that are not to be commended. Read the book, once you start, it is difficult to stop...I read it within 2 days.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dilema Jan. 5 2011
By ChrisKan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The book is great, it helps us to understand many problems of the Catholic Church and its standards, in particular he introduces us into the dilemmas our Catholic priests face, and also teaches us that love can do anything.

the title of the book is perfect.
Dilema is a problem offering at least two possibilities, neither of which is practically acceptable.

I recommend this book!
70 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth will set you free! Jan. 5 2011
By Carlos Pereira - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
For many years we have been hearing about certain scandals within the Catholic Church that most people have either been offended by or have found it hard to believe. When I was younger I joined the seminary in a religious order called the Legionaries of Christ. After prayer and reflection I realized that was not the life God was calling me to. I saw certain realities I was not in agreement with and I just did not feel comfortable with. These things are not aware to anyone until they are inside. I have known Father Albert for over 25 years and have personally seen his spiritual growth. There is no doubt in my mind that he loves Jesus Christ and the Gospel. The struggles a Roman Catholic priest face are not known by anyone unless you're a Roman Catholic priest. I think it was a great idea for him to write this book and express how he had to make a difficult decision between two loves. I know he loved the church, but I also know he loves his wife as well. Some might say that Father Albert's criticism of certain people or the Catholic Church is too harsh. But I can personally say there are a lot of negatives that were left out, and it's possible that it is better that way. I do believe that it is time the Catholic Church reflects on its position on Celibacy and change this fast. The bottom line is Fr. Albert is a great man and I am proud to be his friend and I am happy that he is happy. Our church is not perfect because it is run by imperfect men, so we should respect everyone's right to happiness. Everyone should read this book with open mind and not think that it is an attack on the Catholic Church because it is not. It is only a book that describes a dilemma that he had being a Roman Catholic priest.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honesty Feb. 5 2011
By Constance Holland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Background: I am not Catholic. I left another major religion 32 years ago after being raised in it and realizing its founder lied. I've been extremely shy of earthly religious authority since then. Bottom line: I trusted God, I didn't trust the egotistical, power-hungry founders of His many religions. I haven't been in the market for another church since leaving that one.

Context: I read Fr. Cutie's book out of curiosity. What I discovered was a man who went through the same grieving/messy divorce process in leaving his childhood church as I went through leaving mine. Men and their religious promises let him down; God did not. Men will probably continue to judge him, but God guided him to find peace with his new life, new family, and his new calling that allows him to do what he wanted to do when he entered the seminary: help people.

Throughout it all, even with the temptations, the changes, the vulnerability and the mistakes, Fr. Cutie remained true to himself, to his God, his original mission to serve. He also remained true to the woman he loves, which is an absolute miracle to me. That's more than the Catholic church has done throughout hundreds of years with their many mistresses, illegitimate children, male and female lovers, sexually abused children and adults, and the whole writhing cauldron of hidden hypocrisy.

The ultimate irony for me is that while God and Fr. Cutie's wife are willing to share him: the Catholic church authorities are not since his relationship with his of-age and obviously willing girlfriend became public. Bottom line: "Sinning" is fine if you're a priest and you keep it hidden (aka 'Don't do it in the streets and frighten the horses'). Once it becomes public, don't expect a listening ear, understanding, help or support from the institution you've given your life to. Expect them to fire you and desert you without warning or notification, and expect they will still want to control you and expect you to submit to that control...or your eternal soul will be in peril.

As I read on, I was saddened that the many years of service and the many lives/souls Fr. Cutie has influenced and helped were as nothing alongside church authorities' greed and demand for absolute power over his life. All would be well if he would submit. Join the laity, give up his love, sit in the back of the church, and forget he was ever a priest. "All we require is that you rip out your heart and that of the woman you love, submit to us, and God will be satisfied." Which God? Their god. I found the solution very...Inquisitional...but then, does the membership of the church realize that the Office of the Inquisition has never been dissolved, it's only had its name changed and one who used to run it is currently the pope? There is a frightening historical continuity to the issues Fr. Cutie raises if anyone cares to read for it; the harsh attitudes of today have very deep, old roots. Unfortunately, they lead back to men and not to Christ.

I came to see that the this church wasn't very different from the major religion I left. One could switch out the men who have assumed authority, and the same attitudes and reactions prevail in both religions. Saddest of all, it's 'we the sheeple' who have handed them that authority, who have allowed these men so greedy for power to place themselves between us and God without compassion or realistic understanding of the challenges, problems and dilemmas we all face as our lives roll on. If there is no compassion or understanding, I suspect it is because the leadership doesn't want it anywhere near them. The priests who have it for the people they serve are destined to serve alone because their goals and way of living within the Church's teachings are so very different from those in authority over them.

While reading "Dilemma," it occurred to me that nothing much seems to have changed in the Catholic church since the medieval ages when there were three branches of society: the nobility, the clergy, and everyone else. The minute Fr. Cutie's "scandal" became public, perhaps it was inevitable that the church authorities would work to shove him out among "everyone else".

Conclusion: Fr. Cutie's writings had an effect on me that I did not expect. As I said above, I haven't been in the market for another religion since leaving [the one that shall not be named]. But after finishing "Dilemma," I found myself being...bugged, for lack of a better word...to investigate the Episcopal church. This bugging has not faded as I expected (perhaps wanted) it to. So I find myself hoping that perhaps there's a church that makes room for people's errors, who know they're fallible and human, who don't expect archetypal behavior from mere men and for the archetypal masks to never slip, or people to never change. Perhaps its members don't stay out of fear, but because they want to. Perhaps its leadership is out there in the world, just trying to make their way home with everyone else.

I live 3,000 miles away from Florida, and am investigating the Episcopal church because of what Fr. Cutie wrote in his book about serving God and trying to lead people closer to God. When the dust finally settles, the paparazzi run out of photos, and the hissing gossips stop talking, Fr. Cutie will still be a husband, a father, and a priest helping to lead souls to God no matter if he's doing that face-to-face, on a television show, or from a pulpit. Fr. Cutie is very clear about who and what he is...and why. That is his constancy, and part of why he is an honorable man.

That's the message I took from this book, and it has nothing to do with scandal, broken vows or whatever label is the religion he serves under. I think it has everything to do with God and remaining true to those he/He loves.
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