Married Former Priest: Cutié Is A-OK

Ex-clergy member on Cutié: Good for him

Father Alberto Cutié may be under fire from some fellow members of the clergy for his beach rendezvous, but he's getting support from a former priest who knows just what he's going through.

Rev. Paul Veliyathil, a former Catholic priest, left the church 21 years ago to get hitched, and now he's giving Cutié his blessing to choose his own path.

"I felt sadness. I also felt, good for him," Veliyathil said.

Ordained at age 25, Veliyathil said he went through a range of emotions when he started falling for a woman, emotions Cutie is likely going through himself.

"Guilt, shame, embarassment. All kinds of stuff," Veliyathil said.

Now happily married and living in Coral Springs with his wife and two kids, Veliyathil is a chaplain at Vitas Hospice and a substitute preacher.

Veliyathil, 58, thinks the celibacy rules should be relaxed and Catholic priests should be allowed to marry. He says his marriage has brought him closer to God.

"My faith has deepened," Veliyathil said. "I think it should be optional so that those who want to respond to that calling can do so freely and dedicate themselves and they don't have to pretend."

Veliyahtil also had a little advice for Cutié, should he choose to part ways with the priesthood.

"You may be leaving an institution, but you are not leaving God," he said.

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