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BY Jimmy Akin
According to this piece by NPR,
A former Roman Catholic priest who left the church to marry his girlfriend after the two were photographed embracing on a South Florida beach is getting a new TV show.
Alberto Cutie (KOO’-tee-ay) announced Tuesday he will host the daily talk show “Father Albert” on Fox stations. A Fox spokeswoman says the show will be aired later this year in cities including New York and Los Angeles. It will be picked up nationwide if it does well.
Okay, now that you’ve picked yourself up off the floor, note that this is only a program in local markets. More detail is provided by The Hollywood Reporter:
Father Alberto Cutie, a bestselling author of self-help books and radio talk show host as well as a former Roman Catholic priest, will join the ranks of gabbers and host a daily syndie strip devoted to life matters.
A “daily syndie strip” means that means it will appear daily, at the same time of day, on those stations that choose to pick it up in syndication. (MORE HERE.)
Unfortunately, by “life matters,” they don’t mean abortion, euthanasia, etc. They mean the oopy-goopy world of TV self-help.
“It’ll be everything from sex to salvation,” Father Alberto told The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday in Miami during the NATPE TV trade show.
As if this guy had a proper perspective on either.
Hopefully it’ll invite “greater dialog” with the audience, he added. Sorta Oprah meets Dr. Phil meets Bishop Sheen, the only other religious personnage who ever fronted a national TV show. (And that was in the 1950s!)
“Dialog” is the perennial cry of dissenters, isn’t it?
The show is being licensed by Debmar-Mercury and the first station group to step up for a launch test is Fox.
The show will preview on a number of as yet unspecified Fox stations this summer. The Fox test markets will include N.Y. and L.A., the country’s top two markets. Other non-Fox outlets may be invited to join the test as well.
Jack Abernethy, CEO of the Fox TV station group, said there has been a crying need for an inspirational show for stations for many years. “Something not dogmatic or rigid but uplifting and helpful to viewers. Such things are big business in other media like book publishing and the radio but not on television,” he pointed out.
If “not dogmatic or rigid” is what Mr. Abernathy wants, it looks like he’s found the right guy to provide it.
Debmar-Mercury toppers Ira Bernstein and Mort Marcus said that Father Alberto’s “wide cross-over appeal, incredible story, encouraging advice and charismatic personality” make him a natural fit for daytime. Marcus said he was looking for such a personality long before Oprah announced her exit from daytime.
Of course, these people are paid to say nice things to pump up the show, but for a substantial chunk of the audience, Fr. Cutie’s “incredible story” is nauseating.
Oh, and not content with corrupting the English-speaking audience . . .
The syndicator is considering shooting the daily strip in dual English and Spanish formats because of Father Alberto’s vast following in Latin America.
But who is Fr. Cutie? The Hollywood Reporter helpfully informs us:
Father Alberto left the Roman Catholic Church two years ago over ideological differences and to marry the woman he loved. Cutie is now an Episcopal minister.
As the Church Lady would say, “Isn’t that special?”
All who would profess to be Christ’s ministers need to reflect from time to time—for the sake of their own souls—on certain warnings that Our Lord issued. As a validly ordained priest who refused to control his lust and subsequently left communion with the Church to live in an objectively sinful and invalid relationship with a woman, while still holding himself forth to the public as a priest, Fr. Cutie would do well to reflect on these words from Matthew 23:
25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.
26 Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.
27"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.
28 Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.
As far as FOX Television goes, it feels to me like they’re really giving the faithful Catholic viewer a real poke in the eye.
What do you think?