Thursday, July 17, 2014

REVIEW: Dilemma: A Priest's Struggle with Faith and Love by Fr. Albert Cutie

Title: Dilemma: A Priest's Struggle with Faith and Love
Series: none
Author:  Father Albert Cutie
Published Date: Jan 4, 2011
Publisher: Celebra Publishing
Format: hardback
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780451232014
Genre: nonfiction, memoir
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis: He was a Roman Catholic priest whose love affair became headline news. Now, he shares his explosive story-in his own words...
In this deeply personal and controversial memoir, Father Albert Cutié tells about the devastating struggle between upholding his sacred promises as a priest and falling in love. Already conflicted with growing ideological differences with the Church, Cutié was forced to abruptly change his life the day that he was photographed on the beach, embracing the woman he would later call his wife.
Once a poster boy of the Roman Catholic Church-loved and admired by millions-Cutié found that he was not happy and able to live as a celibate priest, especially having to defend the number of positions he was no longer in agreement with. For years he kept his relationship a secret, while he soul searched and prayed for answers. The love that he deemed a blessing was bringing him closer to God, but further from the Church. In Dilemma, Cutié tells about breaking that promise, reigniting the very heated debate over mandatory celibacy for Catholic priests, beginning a new way of life and discovering a new way of serving God.

My Review: I went into this book, trying to understand why a Catholic priest would switch to the Episcopal Church. All of the Catholic priests I've known, and I've known quite a few, seem to be very content with Catholicism. And in this book, I saw that some Catholic priests are not happy with the rigid demands of the Mother Church, some truly can't handle them psychologically. They sometimes turn to alcohol or sex. Some hide their relationships. I enjoyed reading from the human perspective of a priest, and seeing the human side of other priests. Too often do we put them on a pedestal, expecting super-human things from them, when they are just humans, struggling with their own issues.
What I didn't like about this book was that the author kept tooting his own horn, telling all about how wonderful of a priest he was, how hardworking, how welcoming, in spite of all the rigidity of the Catholic Church. I am sure he was....15 hour days don't sound fun, and doing them year uponm year sounds mentally and physically exhausting. Reading it once made me wish the Catholic priests I knew were like him. Some of them were, some of them were about as flexible and welcoming as a 10 foot thick brick wall. Reading it for the 10th time through the book, it was a little much.

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