Did you have a chance to listen to Fr. Jim Martin's appearance on NPR's The Dianne Rehm Show, where he joined Episcopal priest Fr. Alberto Cutie to discuss celibacy and the priestly life? Cutie is promoting his new book, Dilemma, parts of which read as a polemic against celibacy and speak of the "natural desire" to be in relationship. The St. Petersburg Times offers a profile of a Catholic priest, Fr. David Toups, who might be considered the "anti-Cutie." From the article:
Toups attended seminary in Florida at the same time Father Albert Cutié did. Cutié was another handsome, popular priest, nicknamed "Father Oprah" in his Miami Beach parish. Toups and Cutié have since written dead-opposite books about the priesthood.
Cutié writes about the "natural desire" in everyone to love another human being.
Toups writes about supernatural love between God and man, one that transcends everything, even sexual desire. Toups' book, Reclaiming Our Priestly Character, tells about priests struggling to define who they are in the wake of scandal. Toups sees celibacy as one issue among many.
Other issues entangle him as pastor of Christ the King Church, a giant parish that's growing. It includes a school for 500 kids. As pastor, he's a seven-day-a-week CEO with a $2 million budget. Every year there are almost 200 First Communions, 130 baptisms and 70 funerals. He has one priest helping him. They celebrate 13 Masses a week, including five on Sundays. It's a grueling pace that even the pope says jeopardizes the church.
Release from celibacy would not lessen those demands. The only way he makes it, Toups says, is complete surrender to God through prayer, not merely prayer at Mass, but interior prayer — prayer in private, while he writes checks or heats leftovers. He says the Rosary while he runs laps.
Cutié's book, Dilemma: A Priest's Struggle With Faith and Love, tells about his affair with a parishioner at his Miami Beach church — an affair that led him to leave the church, marry, have a baby and become an Anglican priest.
In his book he writes: "It isn't just about breaking a promise to the Church or committing a sin. It is more about the very real emotions and complex struggles experienced by those serving the Church as they try to do what God expects, what the institutional Church expects, and what others expect from them — no matter how unrealistic those expectations may be."
Cutié got out of the priesthood.
Toups is going deeper.