“In the Roman Catholic Church, a scandal is not really a scandal
until it becomes public,” Cutie writes in his new book, Dilemma: A Priest’s Struggle with Faith and Love
, which hits stores Tuesday (Jan. 4).
As Cutie describes it in his book, his move to the Episcopal Church was not as quick and convenient as it appeared. In fact, he says his dissatisfaction with the Catholic Church had stewed for several years.
The scandal only intensified his disillusionment with a church he now describes as “incompetent,” “inhumane,” “merciless” and an “ideological dictatorship.”
“The church doesn’t need my help to tarnish its image,” Cutie said in an interview from his new office at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection near Miami. “The institution has done plenty to tarnish its own image.”
“My life was all about work, but there was something in my life that was missing, a big empty hole: intimacy,” he said. “And I would ask whether (celibacy) was really God’s rule and what God wants or a man-made rule and what the church wants.”
The harsh treatment of priests who were ousted during the clergy abuse scandal that erupted in 2002 only fueled Cutie’s disillusionment, and he knew that mandatory celibacy was part of the problem.
“This is one of the real scandals nobody wants to see in the church: good people, mostly good men, who are so lonely on the inside that they are often driven to satisfy basic human emotional and physical needs in all the wrong ways,” he writes.