Fr. Cutie: Fallen Priest Gets Own Show . . . on FOX!

by Jimmy Akin

in Canon Law, Current Affairs


According to this piece by NPR,

A former Roman Catholic priest who left the church to marry his girlfriend after the two were photographed embracing on a South Florida beach is getting a new TV show.

Alberto Cutie (KOO’-tee-ay) announced Tuesday he will host the daily talk show “Father Albert” on Fox stations. A Fox spokeswoman says the show will be aired later this year in cities including New York and Los Angeles. It will be picked up nationwide if it does well.


Okay, now that you’ve picked yourself up off the floor, note that this is only a program in local markets. More detail is provided by The Hollywood Reporter:

Father Alberto Cutie, a bestselling author of self-help books and radio talk show host as well as a former Roman Catholic priest, will join the ranks of gabbers and host a daily syndie strip devoted to life matters.

A “daily syndie strip” means that means it will appear daily,  at the same time of day, on those stations that choose to pick it up in syndication. (MORE HERE.)

Unfortunately, by “life matters,” they don’t mean abortion, euthanasia, etc. They mean the oopy-goopy world of TV self-help.

“It’ll be everything from sex to salvation,” Father Alberto told The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday in Miami during the NATPE TV trade show.

As if this guy had a proper perspective on either.

Hopefully it’ll invite “greater dialog” with the audience, he added. Sorta Oprah meets Dr. Phil meets Bishop Sheen, the only other religious personnage who ever fronted a national TV show. (And that was in the 1950s!)

“Dialog” is the perennial cry of dissenters, isn’t it?

The show is being licensed by Debmar-Mercury and the first station group to step up for a launch test is Fox.

The show will preview on a number of as yet unspecified Fox stations this summer. The Fox test markets will include N.Y. and L.A., the country’s top two markets. Other non-Fox outlets may be invited to join the test as well.

Jack Abernethy, CEO of the Fox TV station group, said there has been a crying need for an inspirational show for stations for many years. “Something not dogmatic or rigid but uplifting and helpful to viewers. Such things are big business in other media like book publishing and the radio but not on television,” he pointed out.

If “not dogmatic or rigid” is what Mr. Abernathy wants, it looks like he’s found the right guy to provide it.

Debmar-Mercury toppers Ira Bernstein and Mort Marcus said that Father Alberto’s “wide cross-over appeal, incredible story, encouraging advice and charismatic personality” make him a natural fit for daytime. Marcus said he was looking for such a personality long before Oprah announced her exit from daytime.

Of course, these people are paid to say nice things to pump up the show, but for a substantial chunk of the audience, Fr. Cutie’s “incredible story” is nauseating.

Oh, and not content with corrupting the English-speaking audience . . .

The syndicator is considering shooting the daily strip in dual English and Spanish formats because of Father Alberto’s vast following in Latin America.

But who is Fr. Cutie? The Hollywood Reporter helpfully informs us:

Father Alberto left the Roman Catholic Church two years ago over ideological differences and to marry the woman he loved. Cutie is now an Episcopal minister.

As the Church Lady would say, “Isn’t that special?”

All who would profess to be Christ’s ministers need to reflect from time to time—for the sake of their own souls—on certain warnings that Our Lord issued. As a validly ordained priest who refused to control his lust and subsequently left communion with the Church to live in an objectively sinful and invalid relationship with a woman, while still holding himself forth to the public as a priest, Fr. Cutie would do well to reflect on these words from Matthew 23:

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.
26 Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.

27″Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.
28 Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

As far as FOX Television goes, it feels to me like they’re really giving the faithful Catholic viewer a real poke in the eye.

What do you think?

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Agnes January 26, 2011 at 8:13 pm

I just got up off the floor. Where were we? Oh yes. (Faint).
I can’t believe it! And FOX News too. There must have been better options out there. I can’t begin to imagine what horrible things are going to be said about the Church because of it. Jesus have mercy.

Agnes January 26, 2011 at 8:28 pm

P.S. “Something not dogmatic or rigid but uplifting and helpful to viewers.” Ahem. If it’s not rigid you’ve got disorder. So something that is uplifting and helpful to people today is loose and easy, namely, braindamaging. This goes right along into the flow of the rest of the video games, graphic movies, computer games, etc. and is not uplifting at all. Matter of fact it’s the opposite. I think they need to get the dictionary out and look up the definition of “uplifting.”

Chrétiens persécutés January 27, 2011 at 8:30 am

When television is talking about life matters, be sure they don’t talk abortion or euthanasia. Be sure this former priest won’t talk about thisin this TV show.

Bill bannon January 27, 2011 at 9:56 am

FOX is owned by Rupert Murdoch who was married to a Catholic woman for decades and she forbade him to bring his British tabloid gossip format newspaper with topless photos to America. He contributed millions to a California Diocese and was given the Order of St. Gregory award by a Vatican office who did not look into how he made those millions. PS…several years later…with award in tow…. he divorced his Catholic wife and took up with a young employee who he married. His company was accused of obscenity in India but don’t ask me how you get accused of that in the country where the Kama Sutra is as normal as the phone book.
Here in the US he always stays mild subliminal porn like Gretchen’s daily leg display at Fox and friends. Perhaps its in honor of the wife he dumped who demanded no topless in the US. So he arrived at what the “Taxi” episode called the perfect number for the US……short skirt leg displays…no cleavage like Latin TV….and support conservative values except for leg modesty. But he has always followed the format of
conservative values mixed with short skirted female anchors…..something like the
temptation of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
In short…..FOX… not really friends to Christianity at its root ownership….despite his Order of St. Gregory. There will be Christian moments there….even from Gretchen despite her floor show. But control is with Rupert and he needs your prayers as does his jilted wife.

Brendan January 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I’m not surprised in the least. Fox isn’t so saintly and never has been. FOX News may be politically conservative but it is mostly protestant (and more than likely cheers Fr. Cutie’s actions).
Besides look at the programing FOX has put out over the years…Married with Children, Beverly Hills:90210, Melrose Place, MADtv, Ally McBeal, That ’70s Show, Family Guy. Not your best broadcast network when it comes to promoting family values.

JohnE January 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm

I noticed I actually had one of his books on my Amazon wish list. I took it off, and I don’t remember how I heard of it in the first place, but I believe he was once a guest on Catholic Answers before his problems.

Mike Melendez January 28, 2011 at 8:51 am

Bill bannon writes “His company was accused of obscenity in India but don’t ask me how you get accused of that in the country where the Kama Sutra is as normal as the phone book.”
You are mistaken about the Kama Sutra. Public India is a relatively conservative country when it comes to sexual matters. Bollywood, for example, has a long established tradition that romantic leads should not be shown kissing, let alone anything else. The Indian audience was shocked when the two well-known stars of Dhoom II (2006) were shown kissing. Due to the inherent problems with the censorship office, most of it was filmed overseas. We have a number of Hindustani friends who are visibly shocked when we just suggest that they were alone prior to their marriages (all arranged as far as we can tell).

Bill bannon January 28, 2011 at 9:52 am

You switched immediately from the Kama Sutra to bollywood which I never mentioned. Ask your
Hindustani friends if the Kama Sutra is a normal non censored book throughout India.

SouthCoast January 29, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Just when you thought the water couldn’t possibly hold one more shark…

Mike Melendez January 30, 2011 at 3:51 pm

“His company was accused of obscenity in India but don’t ask me how you get accused of that in the country where the Kama Sutra is as normal as the phone book.”
Bill, Here’s your quote. I pegged the Kama Sutra but answered the entire quote. Perhaps your friends and mine are different. Given their propriety, I would not ask my friends about the Kama Sutra. And Bollywood is censored. My point is that you extrapolated with limited information.

BenYachov January 31, 2011 at 3:10 pm

QUOTE”Alberto Cutie (KOO’-tee-ay) announced Tuesday he will host the daily talk show “Father Albert” on Fox stations. A Fox spokeswoman says the show will be aired later this year in cities including New York and Los Angeles.
There seems to be confusion between local Fox networks vs FOXNEWS.

John January 31, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Oh, yes, gasp, faint.
It is, after all, startling (and refreshing) to realize that there are at least a few Roman Catholic priests who are heterosexual.
The Eastern church, in full communion with the Apostolic See at Rome, ordains married men to the priesthood. It has done so for centuries. Thus, there is nothing inherently immoral or evil about a priest who is married. In fact, it makes them more normal and able to relate to the needs and hopes of their congregations. I am a Ukrainian Catholic, and our pastor is married and has three children.
While I do not approve of Fr. Cutie’s specific actions, repression of a natural desire is bound to produce odd results.
I wish him all the best in his new endeavor.

Bill912 January 31, 2011 at 6:04 pm

“It is, after all, startling (and refreshing) to realize that there are atleast a few Roman Catholic priests who are heterosexual.”
You stay classy!

Bill912 January 31, 2011 at 6:13 pm

“…repression of a natural desire is bound to produce odd results.”
I believe Jesus and St. Paul both recommended celibacy. Our Lord even called it a gift. But what did they know?
Perhaps reading Bishop Fulton Sheen’s autobiography, “Treasure in Clay”, would help some to understand why the Church follows Jesus’ and St. Paul’s recommendation (yes, even the Eastern Churches; all their bishops are required to be celibates). There is a chapter in the book called, “Reflections on Celibacy”, in which Bishop Sheen shows how celibacy “is not man’s gift to God; it is God’s gift to man”.

Bill912 January 31, 2011 at 6:19 pm

“I wish him all the best in his new endeavor.”
That would include: adultery, the breaking of sacred vows, leaving the Church Jesus founded. If all the angels in heaven rejoice over one sinner who repents, what do all the devils in hell do when the opposite happens?

Andres Perez February 3, 2011 at 6:38 am
Bill912 February 3, 2011 at 7:14 am

Andres, the link you posted is incredibly ironic, considering my above 2 posts.

Dan S February 4, 2011 at 8:10 am

St. Paul recommended it for those who could. Not everyone has been given this gift.
Father Cutie took vows, and he should be faithful to them. He knew what he was accepting when he took vows of chastity.
However, there is no getting around the fact that the Eastern Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox have been ordaining married men since the very beginning.
While celibacy may be the norm for the Latin Rite Church, it is in no way the norm for the Universal Church because the Universal Church is greater than just the Latin Rite in the West. Both have existed just fine in the Church, and should continue as both Traditions are equally valid. One does not trump the other.
However, that is a side issue to Father Cutie, who took vows of chastity and should be faithful to them.

Coach Purses February 27, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Too many people live too much in the past. The past must be a springboard, not a sofa.

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