The Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, said this weekend that chastity is a "gift" and "not a repression, as some are saying," in reference to the scandal involving a famous Miami priest caught with a woman.
"The Church is not in crisis" because of these scandals, the cardinal said, adding that chastity brings about "a harmony and complimentarity of body and soul, such that the priest is not just an ordinary man, but rather a man who receives a treasure, a gift from God. This enables him to live that total commitment, that love, that being in love with all of the consequences of that integration of body and soul to God."
"Chastity is a gift, and not a repression as some are saying, much less a mockery or a sarcastic comment. No, chastity is a gift from God! We must ask ourselves: How are you receiving the gifts of God? How are you caring for them?"
Referring specifically to Father Alberto Cutie, Cardinal Cipriani said, "On a personal level he should be completely forgiven but on the public level in which this situation has occurred, we must clarify in order teach the faithful what God wants."
In response to the idea that allowing priests to marry would solve these kinds of problems, the cardinal noted that fidelity to love is demanded of a priest in the same way as of a married man and woman.
After emphasizing that the Church must be a mother now more than ever, the cardinal explained that a good mother tells her children that "the priest who is faithful, chaste and celibate for life is wonderful. Help him, pray for him, and correct him when necessary."
"Are there sins and sinners? Of course, and we must take them in and help them, but what we cannot do is make a media show as we have seen these days with poor Father Alberto, who frankly needs a little bit of humility," the cardinal said.