My Take: It's time to talk about sex at church – and marriage for clergy
"Maybe having married clergy will help us all move on from a culture of sexual taboos," Albert Cutié writes
January 12th, 2012
02:33 PM ET

My Take: It's time to talk about sex at church – and marriage for clergy

Editor's note: Albert Cutié is an Episcopal cleric and former Roman Catholic priest known as Padre Alberto or "Father Oprah." He is the author of the memoir, "Dilemma: A Priest's Struggle with Faith and Love" and hosted the talk show "Father Albert." He's on Twitter @padrealberto.

By Fr. Albert Cutié, Special to CNN

(CNN) – I remember one of the stories shared about an old, revered Cuban pastor in the most popular Roman Catholic parish in Little Havana, near downtown Miami. He was often recognized as an outstanding local hero in the first stop for thousands of Cuban refugees, an area that is now home to thousands of Central American immigrants who also seek a better life in the United States.

One afternoon in the old dark church, 100 or so 7- to 12-year olds from the religious instruction classes known as “catecismo” were preparing to make their Lenten confession. The priest went through a list of the commandments and asked the children to think of any sins they may have committed so they could mention them once they sat face to face with a priest.

Read the full story here from CNN's In America Blog.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Content Partner

soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. Inquiring

    Seriously, why would anyone look to such an inexpert source (by church claims, although often apparently contradicted by priest experience) regarding sex?

    January 12, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  2. Mary had a little nail that she stabbed jesus in the throat with and her hands were red with blood.

    I really wish religion would get banned. It's outlived its uselessness, and so have all of its followers. Just give it a rest already. There won't be a second coming of jesus. Only fools would believe in this fallacy. Yeah yeah yeah, "But we have freedom of religion!" You're free to keep that stupidity locked behind closed doors with your lousy sunday services. Keep it out of the public eye--after all it's nothing more than a disgusting eyesore.

    January 12, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Dang..you are a twit and a hater

      true that

      January 12, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Marks from Middle River

      Some days I miss the Atheistic sanity of Reality's post.

      January 12, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • chrism

      Maybe everyone you disagree with and dislike should just go away, shut up and leave you to rule and command. By the way some day every knee will bend before Jesus Christ. I believe you will realize not only how wrong you were but how glad you are that He is Lord of all.

      January 12, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by Chrism contains a thinly veiled form of the flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager.


      January 12, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • fred

      fallacy spoting 101
      Comon now you are really digging deep on that. one

      January 12, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Timmy

      Hey Chrism,
      What if a woman only had one ovary, and on it was an ectopic pregnancy. When the technology exists to remove ONLY the ectoptic fetus, is that gonna be ok ?

      January 12, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • chrism

      Actually fallacy, not, but you make the obvious fallacy of attempting to impute implication of strict Bayesian constraints on what should have been obviously an intentional exaggeration to make a point. Thanks for the effort though. Nice to see.

      January 12, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • chrism

      Timmy, what an incredibly display of your intelligence and careful consideration of the possible ramifications of technology in medical ethics. I assume you enjoy many a good tv show that explores difficult medical decisions. However, why would you consider your hypothetical example so difficult? Wouldn't a non-viable ectopic pregnancy that could be safely removed present no ethical dilemma?

      January 12, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • geraldh

      And we wonder if the likes of Lenin and Stalin could once again kill tens of millions of Christians in America. With people like you around it is clear it could happen. Sad.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm |


    January 12, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      You appear as gifted in typing as you are with history.

      January 12, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • Colin

      Yes he was a Christian, at least when it was politically expedient for him to say he was. But, it is as irrelevant as Stalin's atheism. Neither acted out of religous conviction. It was all about power. Their religious views were as irrelevant as their star signs.

      January 12, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • An inconvenient truth

      No he wasn't . Hitler as der fuher was his own god man to the national socialist movement. Hitler was an atheist but would use any lie he felt would advance his cause. He was as sincere in his church associations as he was with Neville Chamberlain.

      January 12, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • The Phist

      I wouldn't call hitler a christian (although his actions were similar to what god commanded in the old testament), but he was not an atheist. He struggled with his beliefs, but ultimately, according to his own speeches and personal notes, he believed in god.

      January 12, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • An inconvenient truth

      hitlers god was hitler, no amount of lies to the contrary will show him to be anything but the completed atheist he was.

      January 12, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  4. George

    Clergy take an oath of their own free will to abstain from doing it. It's their choice.

    January 12, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    January 12, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • shut up, herbie.

      herbie, shut up.

      January 12, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • TBSI

      Prayer advocate-Keep up the relentless good work!

      January 12, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  6. The Phist


    January 12, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
  7. The Phist

    Let the clergy get married.

    As for bedroom chat at church, why? Is this just a means of drawing attention to christianity? "Oh Fred, let's go to church, they're really edgy and hip now because they talk about S*E*X openly!* Don't you think religion already has its filthy garbage fingers in enough of people's business already?

    January 12, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • fred

      Pick you up Sunday at 11am sharp

      January 12, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • The Phist

      Lovely. I'll be sure to triple-wrap it.

      January 12, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  8. my pet donkey

    another crappy religious article from cnn

    i wish they'd take all the believers out back and execute them

    they are worthless

    January 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • my pet donkey is my obese pedophile neighbor (convicted)

      Know who else is worthless? People who are so stupid, they can't even use proper capitalization and punctuation in their 3-phrase replays. And by the way, you are too fat for a pet donkey.

      January 12, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • The Phist

      Replays? Your Harvard thesis must be coming along nicely.

      January 12, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
  9. *frank*

    Church and a healthy attitude towards sex go together like Fukushima and a healthy immune system.

    January 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      Like beer and football
      LIke Sake and Sushi
      Like God and Satan
      Like good and evil
      Like yin and yang

      January 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  10. Reality

    "Father Cutie" can now rejoin the RCC as a married priest just like many Episcopalian priests and bishops are doing these days. It is obvious that priestly celibacy in the RCC is beyond significant stupidity!!!! Then there are all those flaws in the RCC's history and theology. Ditto for Henry VIII's church!!!

    January 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Yes, but will he be able to bridge his vacation time?

      January 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  11. llɐq ʎʞɔnq

    "It’s like the big white elephant sitting in the middle of the room, yet nobody wants to see it."
    -- No sir. (First a "white elephant" is an object which is economically "non-viable"...a "pink elephant" is usually an hallucination, and a "just plain" "elephant in the room", is a metaphor for a "truth that is being ignored".)
    -- Secondly, no one disputes his a'ssertions about human s'exuality, and the rights of everyone to their own, (although his former, and many Christian sects, including many in his present one, DO exactly that with respect to anyone other than what they define as "straight"). The problem with his former position and the the life of the bishop he is talking about, is the HYPOCRISY involved in publicly living in "communion" with, and working in a position for an organization which REQUIRES exactly what he is denouncing. If they don't like the rules, get out, and stop lying to everyone. If the approach to se'xuality is flawed, just maybe it's a clue that the approach to a few other things may just be flawed, as well. maybe the whole edifice is a house of cards. 😈

    January 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Chrism

      Just curious did either of the following occur to you? 1. That the author knows the metaphor and just added two adjectives for emphasis and to be more colorful? 2. That a specific number of man made rules have been added and can be removed or changed that would only improve the church? (though i suppose that would make your argument the house of cards)

      January 12, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      1. No
      2. Their entire system of morality is based on the Platonic/Thomistic "natural law". We know now the as'sumptions underlying that are, in many cases, false. History, science, archaeology, psychology etc., etc. has proven it to BE a house of cards.

      January 12, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  12. Scam-a-lam-a-ding-dong

    Father Oprah. Right. Got a book to sell. Right. Has a talk show. Right.

    And Christians believe this huckster. Right.

    He takes cash, credit cards, whatever you have.

    January 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  13. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    I'm pretty sure this is the catholic priest a few years ago that was photographed on the beach in Miami with his girlfriend. It was quite the scandal. He left the catholic church, married his girlfriend and is now an episcopal cleric. On the bright side, he obviously likes grown women and not little boys, so that's a step up for catholic priests.

    January 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Colin

      Yes, that's him. My issue is not with him having a lover – that is perfectly understandable and healthy. My issue is with the Dark Ages nonsense they use to terrorize little kids with stories about confessions and hell. It is pathetic and barbaric.

      January 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      My wife and I were both catholic, her more so than me. right after my son went to his first confession, is when all the pedophiles started to come out of the woodwork in Boston. we lived near Boston at the time. we stepped back, evaluated our religion/faith and promptly realized that the only reason we went to church was because that was what we were programmed to do. we are atheists now. once you step back and look at it objectively, religion is stupid.

      January 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Ironicus

      I think you are forgetting that some people are bi-se.xual and so can molest boys but hide it by being married.
      Like that coach, Sandusky. He's married. And a pedo. What better place to hide than in an accepted form of relationship?

      January 12, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  14. David Johnson

    From the article:

    "One afternoon in the old dark church, 100 or so 7- to 12-year olds from the religious instruction classes known as “catecismo” were preparing to make their Lenten confession. The priest went through a list of the commandments and asked the children to think of any sins they may have committed so they could mention them once they sat face to face with a priest."

    What if one of the children "mentioned" he had been sodomized by a priest? Would the child be given Hail Marys or
    Our fathers? Would it be assumed the 8 year old enticed the priest?

    Would the child be told he would spend eternity burning in hell, if he mentioned this obvious lie to anyone else?

    Would the child's confessor ask the boy to come back later for "special instructions"?

    The Catholics and the Evangelicals make me want to puke.
    If Christ came back he would drive his treacherous servants out of the temple with a whip. – Paul Goebbels


    January 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  15. Colin

    "One afternoon in the old dark church, 100 or so 7- to 12-year olds from the religious instruction classes known as “catecismo” were preparing to make their Lenten confession."

    Kids, aged 7 to 12, confessing!! This is Dark Ages nonsense at its best. Teaching little kids of that age that they must tell some (likely $exually suspect) priest their "sins". How can a 7 year old kid, or a 12 year old for that matter, even "sin". How any thinkin gperson can believe this garbage in the 21st Century is beyond me.

    January 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • David Johnson


      If I had a Grandpa, who was as perverted as the Christian god, I'd have had him put in a home.

      Christian thinking, has been a victim of their own make believe god.

      A god that is more interested in our genitals, than in our welfare.

      Oh, my believers! Remove your devotion to this latest crop of gods, and allow them to go where all forgotten gods go.

      Any hope your god gives is false. Any help, is imagined. Any "inspired" bible a work of men, reflecting the morals and knowledge of ancient people. People obsessed with their genitals. Men scared of a women's va_gina.

      You allow yourself to believe god helped you find your keys, but ignore that he allowed a child to die of cancer or starve.

      A lovely day for a picnic! Thank you Jesus! Oh, an earthquake in Ja_pan you say? How many people died? Umm...Thank you Jesus?

      There is no god peering at you, as you sit upon the toilet or holding another person.

      When you pray, you are talking to yourself. Your brain generates any warm and fuzzy feelings, not a god or his agent. You can get the same results by praying and worshiping a carton of milk. All it takes is faith. Every member of every religion has these same feelings. You are not special.

      Listen to your Uncle Dave! I will exorcise the silly from you! I will set you free!


      January 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Ironicus

      You guys are great. Just knowing you post here has helped me many times to relax and stop trying to do it all by myself.
      But still I forget at times. I am getting old and cranky.
      When you wax poetic, David, it really is amazing stuff to read. And Colin also! I salute you both! Cheers!

      January 12, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Colin

      Thanks Ironicus. I, too, enjoy the smooth, yet penetrating musings of David Johnson.

      January 12, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • just wondering

      Colin what wine goes best with bull sh it?

      January 12, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • Colin

      Just Wondering – the blood of Christ.

      January 12, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • just wondering

      you need it badly

      January 12, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • David Johnson


      Thank you both. I could not carry either of your shoes.


      January 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  16. J.W

    So did he actually change his last name to Cutie? He must have a pretty high opinion of himself.

    January 12, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  17. Colin

    Step back for a moment and think how completely absurd this is. They honestly believe that an infinitely-old, never-dying being, powerful enough to create the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, has a personal interest in their $ex lives. I guess that's what happens when you still believe Bronze Age Middle Eastern mythology in the 21st Century USA.

    January 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "I guess that's what happens when you still believe Bronze Age Middle Eastern mythology in the 21st Century USA."

      Yes..we are so much more advanced. Now we have atheists worrying about the s e x lives of religious ppl. *rolls eyes*

      January 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Pretty lame there, Buddy!

      Hey Swine, show me one single post here where an atheist cares about the sex life of a religious person. The only time we do that is when it is pedophilia. Go ahead, point it out.

      January 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Let me help you out there:
      Look at the t_itle and it's theme.
      Then look and see how many atheists just have to comment on it.
      Then slap your forehead and go "like duh".

      January 12, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • my pet donkey


      you still haven't proven anything you daft moron

      no one really cares about what these stupid believers do in their bedrooms

      January 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Some of us post here because of the religulous predilection for s.exual repression and hypocrisy, which I never get tired of pointing out to people. I don't care what they do, I just care that they have no authority or credibility in what they say.

      January 12, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Marks from Middle River

      >>>"i wish they'd take all the believers out back and execute them"

      I guess that is why some Atheist are here.

      January 12, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      US, figure out the difference between "it's" and "its", boob.

      January 12, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • fred

      S-ex is a big deal in peoples lives and a key indicator of the condition of their heart. That is why the Bible and God bring it up.

      January 12, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Uncouth Marky is busted

      Uncouth Swain and Mark From Middle River are the same person. He goes by a couple other aliases as well, and gets really trollish at times. You can easily spot the style and the content.

      January 12, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "Uncouth Swain and Mark From Middle River are the same person."

      That's news to me.

      January 12, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "US, figure out the difference between "it's" and "its"

      I hear and obey Tom the Grammar Gestapo!

      January 12, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Marks from Middle River

      Hmm, TomTom, the other day it was Reiner and me that posted the same. Now you envision that now me and Swain are the same. What's wrong kid, in your mind there can not be more than one or two folks on our side that can engage in non flame war post with Atheist? 

      Heck, i like posting under my name and love taking credit for every character I punch in. Before it was I post to lengthy post and what we see from swain they do not look to lengthy? Tell me, are you just making this up as you go along?

      If you wish to say that me and Swain are the same then ok, doesn't really effect me. I guess you are in that "punch drunk" phase and seeing me everywhere 🙂 Just know that I must be pretty effective or there are just others that disagree with you. 

      January 12, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @the pet a s s- "no one really cares about what these stupid believers do in their bedrooms"

      Of course my original comment wasn't about literally what they do in their bedrooms but don't let that get in the way of your rant.

      January 12, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Good golly, you're an idiot, Mark. I didn't make the accusation that you and US are one and the same. Get a clue, bonehead.

      January 12, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, you asked for it, US, you little twerp.

      January 12, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Marks from Middle River

      I use my name and also love taking credit for each character I type. I am proud to be a freethinker.

      I don't have any use for Evangelicals. They are fascists. I don't wish to find common ground with them. The separation of church and state is not negotiable.

      Actually Swain doesn't seem to feel the need to correct every comment that he feels is morally deficient. But then, I don't call him the Blog's Moral Compass.


      January 13, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son- "Hey, you asked for it, US, you little twerp."

      Umm..no, I didn't. Learn to read. Oh..and good use of a ad hominem. Keep face planting youself into the debate floor. 😉

      @David Johnson- "Actually Swain doesn't seem to feel the need to correct every comment that he feels is morally deficient. But then, I don't call him the Blog's Moral Compass."

      Good grief no. I could be commenting 24/7 then on these boards if that was the case. People have different views and their is nothing wrong with that. Usually I just like to ruffle up the feathers of those that are dead set in their ways. Especially those that think they are enlightened but are really not much more than a different type of social sheep.

      January 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  18. The Central Scrutinizer

    I want to have s.e.x at church!!

    January 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      What no takers? I will be dressed in drag on the back pew. My hair smells pretty.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Bottom Line

      I have had se'x at church. It was fun.

      January 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • my pet donkey

      looks like we've got a couple of altar boys here

      January 12, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  19. Nonimus

    It seems to me that "the church" should be able to determine its own rules. If you don't agree, find, or create, one that you do agree with.
    Additionally, if you take a vow of celibacy, then I would think that having s.ex would break that vow, regardless of why you took it in the first place.
    Just a thought,

    January 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • William Demuth

      As an athiest I always find theese types of observations strange.

      Either the God you worship is divine and real, or he is solely in your head.

      Your position is fine if you actually don't believe.

      If their IS a God, I doubt he is going to be tolerant of "creative interpretations"!

      January 12, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I'm still undecided.
      I guess if someone believes that the Catholic Church is the only true religion/church/mechanism for salvation and they want to be a priest and the want to be married after becoming a priest, then they might have a problem. However, if they also think that active priests should be able to get married, then they have a problem with the Catholic Church anyway, so leaving wouldn't be such a huge deal, I would think.
      However, I am not in any one of those situations, so take it with a whole bag of salt.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  20. hippypoet

    fuc that noise! get rid of the bs, all of it! clean sweap.... you what we need here – the cleaners!

    January 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • my pet donkey

      the f are you talking about?

      your comments are dumb

      January 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Maybe he wants Harvey Keitel to show up wearing sunglasses.

      January 12, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
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