A popular priest in the Miami Roman Catholic community and on Spanish language television, Alberto Cutié's encouraging advice and open mind earned him the nickname "Father Oprah." But away from the pulpit, the priest struggled with feelings that challenged all his beliefs—he was in love with a woman.
Father Cutié says it was love at first sight when he met divorced mother Ruhama Canellis in 1999. "Our eyes just kind of locked," he says. "As a young man, you kind of feel that energy that is there and you're like: 'How do you turn this off? I'm not allowed to do this.'"
After years of friendship, Father Cutié says the relationship became romantic in 2007. "Certainly I was conflicted because I loved God, and I wanted to be 100 percent faithful to being a celibate priest," he says. "At the same time, I couldn't deny my feelings for this woman."