Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By David W. Virtue

6/19/2009 (6 years ago)

Virtue on Line (

Cutie's sudden reception into The Episcopal Church by the Episcopal Bishop is the real scandal.

(Episcopal Bishop leo Frade) 'Why should The Roman Catholic Church take seriously anything The Episcopal Church now says or does anymore?' asks faithful Christian and lay Episcopal leader David Virtue.

(Episcopal Bishop leo Frade) 'Why should The Roman Catholic Church take seriously anything The Episcopal Church now says or does anymore?' asks faithful Christian and lay Episcopal leader David Virtue.


By David W. Virtue

Virtue on Line (

6/19/2009 (6 years ago)

Published in U.S.

WASHINGTON (Virtue on Line) - The frenetic media attention surrounding telegenic former Roman Catholic priest Fr. Alberto Cutie's flight from his church to The Episcopal Church and thus breaking his vows, the church's rule of celibacy and then marrying his divorced girlfriend, missed the real story.

Cutie is not the first priest to leave the Roman Catholic Church over the issue of celibacy. He certainly won't be the last, but he is certainly one of the first to leave it so publicly while acknowledging an affair with a formerly married woman and then being accepted into another Christian denomination - The Episcopal Church - where he has been made more welcome than the Prodigal Son.

Over the years, thousands of priests have left the Catholic Church unable to handle celibacy, but they did so quietly without causing scandal, giving no offense to their superiors, and choosing to be laicized while still remaining faithful Roman Catholics. I have met quite a number and they are embarrassed and angry by Alberto Cutie's behavior. His celebrity status has only aggravated the situation.

Cutie's sudden reception into The Episcopal Church by the ultra-liberal Episcopal Bishop of Southeast Florida, The Rt. Rev. Leo Frade, is the real scandal.

That Cutie was immediately laicized before climbing into the Episcopal pansexual bed prevented Frade from violating any canon, but as one orthodox Episcopal bishop told VOL, Frade's actions may not have violated any canon except that of morality and good taste.

Even if Frade had overstepped the line, it is unlikely he would have been reprimanded by Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori. After all, a church that openly advocates non-celibate homosexuals to the episcopacy can certainly tolerate a wannabe priest in a Soap Opera like steamy beach sex scene courtesy of Twitter and whatever other social network bringing it to you on the nightly news. Cutie was president and general director of Pax Catholic Communications, home of Radio Paz and Radio Peace. He has also written newspaper advice columns and a self-help book, "Real Life, Real Love." Apparently, he took his own advice.

Had Frade's actions been subject to scrutiny, he could have appealed to Resolution D039, passed by General Convention 2000 stating that sex outside of marriage is now acceptable to the church. But Frade's actions are more typical than you might imagine. Frade's background throws light on his present actions in dealing with Cutie who has already announced he will pursue the priesthood in the Episcopal Church. Frade was consecrated Bishop of Honduras on January 25, 1984. For almost 17 years, he helped to grow the diocese, making it the fastest growing diocese in the Episcopal Church at the time. He was involved in social and justice issues as well as having a strong commitment to evangelism. Frade was elected Bishop of Southeast Florida on May 6, 2000.

Frade is a Latino. His journey from that impoverished part of the world to the Episcopal Church raised eyebrows, at the time, with many believing that Frade's flight had more to do with his desire for a better pension than for any desire to convert Latinos to the Lord in southeast Florida.

As a newly minted Episcopal bishop, Frade soon abandoned whatever vestige of evangelical orthodoxy he had left by quickly rolling over into the pansexual zeitgeist of TEC's House of Bishops. He soon become a player in the liberal Episcopal house of the Lord with such notable plays as his declaration that heterosexual marriage is discriminatory and urging fellow Floridians to oppose Amendment 2 to Florida's Constitution, which would define marriage as only between a man and a woman. When he marched with Anglican Primates and bishops through the streets of London during a Lambeth Conference promotion of the Anglican Communion's Millennium Development Goals, he wrapped himself in a rainbow flag declaring, "when we talk about justice and mercy, we need to remember that gay and lesbian persons are discriminated against by the church and the government."

He also voted to depose two godly orthodox bishops for failing to conform to the doctrine and discipline of The Episcopal Church.

It should be noted that the state of Florida has a number of Episcopal dioceses. Not all of them are liberal. Bishop John W. Howe of Central Florida is an Evangelical and, more significantly, the former Bishop of Southwest Florida John Lipscomb recently departed The Episcopal Church and fled to Rome, in effect doing a reverse Cutie. He was recently observed at the Anglican Use conference in Houston.

Frade is more in theological sync with The Rt. Rev. John Howard, Bishop of Florida, than with Howe. Howard's diocese has been decimated with dozens of orthodox Episcopal priests fleeing his ultra-liberal grip and The Episcopal Church for more orthodox Anglican jurisdictions.

Frade's rollover to The Episcopal Church's pansexual agenda did not raise eyebrows among enlightened Episcopalians, but it has caused a furor within The Roman Catholic Church.

John C. Favalora, archbishop of the Catholic Church's Miami archdiocese, said that Cutie's actions have "caused a grave scandal within the Catholic Church."

Indeed. It has enormous repercussions for ongoing Anglican/Catholic dialogue on unity. Frade's actions seriously jeopardize ARCIC talks and raise questions that the Vatican can no longer turn a blind eye to or ignore - namely that The Episcopal Church, as a constituent member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, has moved way beyond the biblical bounds of heterosexual sex within marriage to a place that not even Sufi the Rumi would be found.

Why should The Roman Catholic Church take seriously anything The Episcopal Church now says or does anymore? Repeatedly, Cardinals have appeared at Lambeth conferences and warned Anglican leaders that they are taking pathways leading away from orthodoxy on faith and morals.

By contrast, the Episcopal Bishop of Bethlehem, Paul V. Marshall has accepted more than a dozen former Roman Catholic priests into his ecclesiastical embrace without scandal. The newly elected bishop of Long Island, the soon to be Rt. Rev. Lawrence Provenzano, an embracer of all things pansexual, is another refugee from the Roman Catholic Church. Rome may not like it, but no scandal was involved in his deciding to leave the embrace of Rome for the gentler tentacles of TEC.

Frade's actions kicked the Roman Catholic archbishop in the teeth, outraging Catholic sensibilities far and wide.

"This truly is a serious setback for ecumenical relations and cooperation between us," said Archbishop of Miami John Favalora. "The Archdiocese of Miami has never made a public display when for doctrinal reasons Episcopal priests have joined the Catholic Church and sought ordination. In fact, to do so would violate the principles of the Catholic Church governing ecumenical relations. I regret that Bishop Frade has not afforded me or the Catholic community the same courtesy and respect."

Frade's outrageous actions heighten the theology (or lack of same) and the direction of the Episcopal House of Bishops. How can Episcopal ARCIC officials look their Catholic counterparts in the face with such an indictment from the Miami Archbishop?

The actions of The Episcopal Church are jeopardizing its place in the wider Anglican Communion, fracturing whole provinces and destroying the much-vaunted bonds of affection and TEC seems bent on going to Hell taking everyone with it.

According to newspaper reports, Frade dressed the part for what was undoubtedly the media zenith of his church career. "Our ministry has centered on spiritual growth, love, forgiveness, and a sense of community," Frade pronounced. "Guided by a spirit of fellowship and understanding, the Episcopal Church remains a beacon of hope and faith for all."

Really. What sort of "fellowship and understanding" (code for TEC's inclusivity and diversity notions) sense does that make to Archbishop Favalora and to dozens of his priests who must practice celibacy as part of their vows?

Archbishop Favrola said Fr. Cutie separated himself from Roman Catholicism by professing "erroneous faith and morals, and refusing submission to the Holy Father."

By embracing Cutie, Frade has participated in, at the very least, the morals part of that equation and still expects to talk up Anglican Catholic unity as though everything was just fine. What fictional world is he and TEC living in?

According to the archbishop, Father Cutie's actions caused grave scandal within the Catholic Church, harmed the Archdiocese of Miami - especially its priests - and led to division within the ecumenical community and the community at large. And Frade does not so much as blink.

The archbishop then made this very telling statement, "The Archdiocese of Miami has never made a public display when for doctrinal reasons Episcopal priests have joined the Catholic Church and sought ordination. In fact, to do so would violate the principles of the Catholic Church governing ecumenical relations. I regret that Bishop Frade has not afforded me or the Catholic community the same courtesy and respect."

"I must also express my sincere disappointment with how Bishop Leo Frade of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida has handled this situation. Bishop Frade has never spoken to me about his position on this delicate matter or what actions he was contemplating. I have only heard from him through the local media. This truly is a serious setback for ecumenical relations and cooperation between us."

So Frade becomes an ecclesiastical exhibitionist and nobody at national church headquarters seems the slightest bit perturbed about how this will impact Anglican -- Roman Catholic talks.

It is the same kind of arrogance I observed in Jamaica. Katharine Jefferts Schori and her cohorts gave not one damn about the impact of TEC's actions on the global Anglican Communion. Her attitude all along has been, "We are The Episcopal Church and we can do whatever we damn well like". Get over it. That same attitude will undoubtedly be reflected again at GC2009. The only thing that Frade seems to have done right, as a bishop, is to defrock an Episcopal priest, Fr. Adrian Parry, of South Miami, after explicit images of him appeared on a gay wrestling website.

The Episcopal Church is wrestling itself into a corner from which it appears increasingly it cannot extricate itself. Few now believe a Covenant will do the job to save the communion.


Virtue Online, edited by David W. Virtue, is the Voice for global orthodox Anglicanism.


More U.S.

New ISIS video taunts United States to 'bring it on' Watch

Image of While the video is pumping up Islamist State, the fact of the matter is is the group is suffering heavy losses on the ground form allied bombardment, especially since Russia began bombing the group


A new video from the Islamic State is highlighting the high number of U.S. soldiers who commit suicide, in effect to tell the world's last remaining superpower to "bring it on." U.S. President Barack Obama has since dismissed ISIS as "a bunch of killers with ... continue reading

BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big and so powerful,you won't believe this MASSIVE SHOCKING fact about it! Watch

Image of Obama is the titular head of the world's most nefarious terrorist organization, a title he may have inherited from his predecessor, and that will be passed to his successor.


If you were asked, what is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated in human history, how would you answer? Global warming? Vaccines? The Moon Landing? Entire religions?  (Not that we agree with these). But what would you say? In a moment, we're going to offer an answer ... continue reading

Horrific outrage erupts over proposed mosque in Virginia after Paris attacks Watch

Image of The Muslim community in Fredericksburg, Virginia has received support from the local Christian and Jewish clergy.


"Nobody wants your evil cult," declared a man at a zoning meeting in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He was lobbing his invective at several American Muslims there over a proposed mosque to be built there. "Every one of you are terrorists. I don't care what you say. ... continue reading

The revealing truth behind the traditional presidential Thanksgiving turkey pardon Watch

Image of President Ronald Reagan was the first U.S. president to use the word


President Obama will pardon two turkeys - named Tom One and Tom Two - from a turkey farm in Modesto California on Thanksgiving Eve as part of an annual presidential tradition. Obama will make a few jokes with his family and then pardon the turkeys to live out ... continue reading

'Domestic terrorism': 5 People shot during Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis Watch

Image of Despite a shooting at a Minneapolis Black Lives Matter protest, the group plans to return to the precinct to continue their protests.


Protesters were standing outside the 4th Precinct in Minneapolis for Black Lives Matter in the case of 24-year-old Jamar Clark when gunshots rang out. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -Five protesters were shot outside the police station Tuesday afternoon as one ... continue reading

Planned Parenthood sues the State of Texas: Find out why NOW Watch

Image of The complainants maintain that planned intervention of the government is a violation of the federal statute and the 14th Amendment, which ensures equal protection.


Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit this week against the State of Texas for blocking its Medicaid funding. Planned Parenthood says that the decision was motivated by politics - and not because of health care concerns. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading

Terror threats spark shocking WORLD WIDE TRAVEL ALERTS Watch

Image of In either case, travelers can expect beefed-up security at airports in the coming weeks - and longer lines.


It is the start of the holiday season in the United States - and with the world still thoroughly rattled after the attacks in Paris this past November 13, travel alerts are in high effect. Even worse, those who decide to stay home through Thanksgiving and ... continue reading

Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter, Catholics nurtured in the Anglican tradition, receives its First Bishop Watch

Image of Fr Randy Sly, a Catholic priest of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter is equivalent to a diocese for Roman Catholics who were nurtured in the Anglican tradition. The Ordinariate was created by the Vatican on Jan. 1, 2012.On November 24, 2015. Pope Francis announced the appointment of ... continue reading

EVIL AGAINST EVIL: Mafia boss says his group will protect New York City against Islamist State Watch

Image of Now pursuing a screenwriting career, Giovanni Gambino says that following the terror attacks in Paris on November 13, protection is more important than ever.


It is highly ironic, an example of the kettle calling the pot black as it were . Son of New York mob boss Giovanni Gambino is warning the Islamic State that if they decide to take New York City on, they will have the mafia to contend with.  LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

Suicide bomber and K-9 units in New York subway station - but it's not what you think (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES) Watch

Image of NYC emergency responders held a 3-hour drill at the Bowery subway station in Manhattan days before the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.


Following the Paris terror attacks, New York City teamed up with the Department of Homeland Security on Sunday to stage a three-hour active-shooter and suicide bomber drill. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Only days before the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, emergency ... continue reading

All U.S. News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • New ISIS video taunts United States to 'bring it on'
  • Daily Readings for Thursday, November 26, 2015
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • St. John Berchmans: Saint of the Day for Thursday, November 26, 2015
  • UPDATE: Did the U.S. military actually know they were bombing the ...
  • The unexpected thing one Syrian refugee did for Germany that will ...
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28
1 King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for his noblemen, a thousand of ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67
62 Bless the Lord, sun and moon, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:12-19
12 'But before all this happens, you will be seized and persecuted; you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 25th, 2015 Image

St. Catherine of Alexandria
November 25: St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr ... Read More