John Favalora got the news in a peculiar way, considering that as the Archbishop of Miami he really should have been involved in the matter, but it was the local media who informed him that one of his priests was leaving the Catholic Church and being accepted into the Episcopal Church, where he would be preaching--this Sunday. Favalora's public statement is clear and welcome.
Just yesterday I received a message on Facebook from an Episcopal priest who is carefully making his way "across the Tiber" to full communion with the Catholic Church. He (and others like him) have gone through a long period of discernment, and are acting with pastoral care for their Episcopal flocks before they will be free to take this personal step in faith, and he was asking for prayers. It's a heart-rending and courageous thing they are about to do, and it is above all a matter of faith.
Alberto Cutie' would not have been the first priest to leave the ministry for the sake of a woman; the weird thing is that he is willing, right away, to leave the Catholic Church itself (attempting to hold on to "his" priesthood by seeking Episcopal ministry). The Episcopal bishop, for some reason, seems not to hesitate in giving the pulpit to someone who demonstrated such incredibly poor judgment over the past two years. (How long the relationship would have continued in secret had the media not stumbled upon it is anyone's guess.) My community has had a long friendship with Cutie'; our sisters in Miami encouraged him when he was a fervent teenager and followed his every achievement in ministry with a kind of motherly pride. It's sad to see him make this irrational and irresponsible move, especially knowing how influential his example can be. Pray that he receive the grace of repentance--not for "loving a woman" (as he so sarcastically put it) but for his dishonesty with the Church, and with himself.