What seemed to be just another local scandal recently broke into a national news story. Rev. Alberto Cutie leads St. Francis de Sales Parish in Miami Beach. The handsome, charismatic priest is well-known. His Spanish-language television and radio talk shows made him famous.
Recently photos appeared in TV Notas USA. They were taken on a seemingly deserted stretch of beach. The pictures showed the priest and a young woman, both in bathing suits. The pose indicated an intimate relationship. There seemed to be no one around. The priest was mistaken. The ever-present South Florida paparazzi were apparently watching.
Father Cutie’s first interview with Spanish-language Univision showed him in his priestly collar declaring, “I will never say I’m sorry for loving a woman.” A few days later, Rev. Cutie had obviously rethought his position. He appeared on “The Early Show” on CBS, in a button-down shirt, and apologized profusely. Cutie took full responsibility for his actions and admitted that he had erred. He offered a public state and national apology.
We are taught, “Who is wise? – He who learns from everyone.” There is certainly something to be learned from this nasty scandal.
Excuses are plentiful. An individual can find many reasons that exclude him from guilt. It is often quite easy to even rationalize a chet (sin) into amitzvah. People do it all the time.
Taking personal responsibility is difficult. However, it is the only catalyst for real introspection and change.