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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

Product Description

In this deeply personal and controversial memoir, Father Albert Cutié, once the poster boy of the Roman Catholic Church, tells of his 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 make his wife.

The love that he deemed a blessing was bringing him closer to God, but further from the Church. In Dilemma, Cutié tells about breaking his vows, beginning a new way of life for oneself, 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.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 483 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Celebra; Reprint edition (Jan. 4 2011)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0046ECIX8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #337,297 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most helpful customer reviews
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  146 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
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.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dilema Jan. 5 2011
By ChrisKan - Published on
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!
9 of 9 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
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.
69 of 88 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
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.
30 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trying to be Honest Jan. 4 2011
By Peter P. Fuchs - Published on
Depending on your point of view, Cutie's tactic in this book will have different resonances. He apparently makes very broad charges against the Catholic Church, and he is a very believable person to be making them because of his intricate involvement with the Archdiocese of Miami at high levels of administration of important branches of their "mission", like radio. Yet, he apparently demurs on being specific as to names, except broadly on the former Archbishop. This may strike the critical reader as a bit suspicious, because if you are going to make an assertion you better have the courage to back it up with detail. But the critical reader might be forgetting then that part of the very dilemma someone like Cutie would be facing is the very real "Guess Who, Don't Sue" aspect. So the choice might have been whether to make the observations at all, if for prudential reasons you cannot be specific given the very formalized venue of a published book. In this regard, I think Cutie's forthrightness is to be appreciated very much, even though he does not seem to name names. Especially since it must be clear that he could have! The other aspect that the critical reader might home- in on is the sense of great opportunism in the story he presents. Such a critical reading would quickly highlight the fact that the sort of double- life he describes, which after all effected him personally more than anyone else, may not have been the most salient difficulty on an ethical level. To be more specific, if Cutie had such profound insights into the ethical difficulties of the Roman Catholic positions on moral issues going quite far back, then the advice he dispensed by very public means, and the moral conundrums for others who might have heard such orthodox- sounding advice would leave the reader with a quandary as to some culpability on his part for potential anguish caused others. Cutie seems to deal with this by expressing a general sense of disappointment in himself. But it is all very broad, from every report. I am certainly not suggesting that this lovely guy should spend a lot of his time in self-recrimination, far from it. He is already doing the world a lot of good with the level of honesty he has achieved. And further, there may be a more important yet tawdry explanation for some of his travails. I am referring to what should be obvious to any candid observer of the Catholic Church. That is that a very handsome guy would surely have a quite vexed path in the Catholic priesthood. Since so much of his story has become public, by his own intent, I think it is crucial to focus on this matter. Many who have passed through the arms of the Church, and had something others found attractive, will be able to sympathize with what this guy must have had to navigate. For few can have had quite the difficulties of a guy with potentially movie-star appearance, and photo- congeniality. I attended the same seminary in Miami as Cutie, and I well remember the general type of seminarians that occupied the place, and I can only imagine what the guy went through. In a way this can only have increased when he got into the priesthood, because if my experience with many priests in Miami taught me anything it was that a de facto covertness was expected. In fact one of my strangest memories about that time in my life is how many conversation actually started with the very words: "Don't tell anyone, but..." So having endured so much of this in his adult life, I think the critical reader can cut this man some slack if he is still giving some obeisance, conscious or unconscious to this psychological set-up. I think it is in this sense we should parse the very strange fact, given his recent revelations, that just last year on national TV he was still referring to the Church as "a wise mother." From this perspective what looks like opportunism may have been at bottom a simple attempt to salvage some from his predicament: handsome beefcake amidst the salivating clerical wolf-pack. This is a potentially very disempowering psychological set-up for a guy, and certainly could have caused hard to distinguish traumas. When looked at from this perspective I think we can see that some of the man's choices become more ethically legible in a positive direction. But however one construes the matter, it is clear that now he is doing a solid good for society by trying to be honest. Personally, I am grateful to him.
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