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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Clergy sex victims challenge “Fr. Oprah” on abuse

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

We publicly challenge Cutie to share what he knows about corruption – sexual, financial and otherwise - with law enforcement, rather than just criticize hierarchy and walk away.

It’s easy, and smart marketing when promoting a book about your priesthood, to talk about sex and corruption in a huge, secretive institution. But talk doesn’t protect kids, help police, expose wrongdoing, warn parents or stop misdeeds. Action protects kids.

So we urge Cutie to share whatever he knows or suspects about clerical misconduct – however slight, old or seemingly insignificant – with law enforcement. That’s a duty every one of us has. It’s certainly a duty he, as a former church insider, had and still has.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 22 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, peterisely@yahoo.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)

Father Oprah Decries "Misogynistic" Catholic Church

Former priest Cutié calls out church in new tell-all

By BRIAN HAMACHER Updated 9:30 AM EST, Mon, Jan 3, 2011

Faith-flipping former Catholic priest Alberto Cutié says his former church is "misogynistic" and "disconnected" in his new tell-all that's set to hit shelves Tuesday.

In Dilemma: a Priest's Struggle with Faith and Love, the priest who was once known as Father Oprah takes dead aim at the Catholic church, calling it an "institution that continues to promote old ideas," according to the Miami Herald .

The 41-year-old left the church after his affair with a woman, Ruhama Canellis, was exposed in 2009. Cutié was the head of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Miami Beach when a photographer caught he and Ruhama canoodling on the beach and a Spanish-language tabloid published the pics.

After flipping to the Episcopalian faith and joining the Church of the Resurrection in Biscayne Park, Cutié married Ruhama in June 2009. The couple welcomed their first child, Camila Victoria Cutié, in late November.

Cutié, who spent 14 years with the Catholic Church, said he began to lose touch with his faith in 2003 amid numerous sex abuse scandals and what he considers an out-of-date celibacy policy. He writes that church leaders do nothing about homosexual and heterosexual relationships among priests as long as they're kept secret, unlike his.

"There are so many homosexuals, both active and celibate, at all levels of clergy and Church hierarchy that the church would never be able to function if they were really to exclude all of them from ministry," Cutié writes.

He also says church leaders leave priests "abandoned to sink or swim" when they're accused of sex abuse.

Cutié has few kind words for former Archbishop of Miami John Favalora, calling him "disconnected" like "an aloof CEO" with a "cold and rigid approach."

Archbishop Thomas Wenski, who took over for Favalora last year, said in December that Cutié wasn't forced to leave the Catholic church and that the scandal affected a lot of people.

"Lots of people were hurt, lots of people were disappointed -- probably including his own mother," Wenski told the Herald.


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org