MIAMI -- In a book released Tuesday, Roman Catholic-turned-Episcopal priest Alberto Cutie lashes out against his former church, calling it "misogynistic," "disconnected" and an "institution that continues to promote old ideas."
Writing at length for the first time about his fall from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami, Cutie vehemently defends his decision to leave the Catholic Church and shares his increasing disenchantment with it over 14 years as a priest.
Cutie and the archdiocese parted ways last year after photos surfaced of him kissing the woman who is now his wife.
"Dilemma: A Priest's Struggle With Faith and Love" (Celebra, $25.95) partly elaborates on tales of a secret romance that Cutie, 41, had already shared in interviews since his May 2009 reception into the Episcopal Church. But more revealing are Cutie's words about his former church, one which he strongly defended for years as the archdiocese's most popular representative.
He once headed Miami's Catholic radio station, wrote an El Nuevo Herald advice column and hosted a popular Telemundo talk show.
Secretly, Cutie writes in the book, he had come to doubt much of the church's teachings as early as 2003, after several run-ins with church hierarchy and after a growing disillusion with "bishops too concerned with their own images" during child sex-abuse crises.
In several passages, Cutie blames the church's celibacy policy for the dwindling clergy pool and the child sex-abuse scandals. He also accuses church leaders of being hypocrites and says they tacitly accept secret homosexual and heterosexual relationships among priests but disapproved of his because it became public.
"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," Cutie writes.
The priest's critiques -- he also expresses anger that many priests are too quickly "abandoned to sink or swim" when accused of sexual crimes -- are not unique. But such a public airing of grievances against the archdiocese by a former insider is rare. While shying away from referring to most local church officials by name, Cutie hurls several insults at former head of the archdiocese, Archbishop John Favalora.
Comparing him to "an aloof CEO" with a "cold and rigid approach" who was "disconnected" from parish-level happenings, Cutie says he and Favalora rarely spoke before or during his scandal, except for one 19-minute meeting after news broke of the photos.
Favalora announced his retirement last April and was replaced by Archbishop Thomas Wenski, the former bishop of Orlando, in June.
An archdiocesan spokeswoman declined to comment on the book, but Wenski spoke about Cutie during a meeting with the The Miami Herald's editorial board in December.
Wenski said "lots of people were hurt, lots of people were disappointed -- probably including his own mother," by Cutie's move to the Episcopal church.
He said he understood Cutie falling in love, but that Cutie could have left the priesthood and remained Catholic, adding that the church didn't make him leave.
Cutie and Ruhama Buni Cutie wed in June 2009, weeks after their reception into the Episcopal church. On November 30, Ruhama gave birth to their baby girl, Camila.
Cutie currently heads the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Biscayne Park.