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Rev. Alberto Cutie

Rev. Alberto CutieFather Cutié's fall prompts celibacy debate.

Miami is abuzz over the plight of one Father Cutié (no kidding -- Father Cutie, with an accent) -- the hunky and popular pastor of a South Beach parish who was photographed bare-chested and cuddling with a woman on the sunny sands of Florida. The Rev. Alberto Cutié is no ordinary priest -- he was a friend of celebrities, a frequent television commentator, and the popular author of a book, "Real Life, Real Love,'' whose subject matter earned him the moniker "Padre Oprah." His downfall is now attracting more attention than his smile, with the predictable debate ensuing over the viability of mandatory celibacy for priests.

The Miami Herald conducted a poll, and found broad support for the priest:

"Days after the Rev. Alberto Cutié admitted he had a romantic relationship with a woman, an overwhelming number of Miami-Dade Catholics still view him favorably, a poll conducted for The Miami Herald found.

Nearly 80 percent of those polled had a favorable view of Cutié, with 10 percent saying they looked at him unfavorably.

...A substantial majority -- 74 percent -- of those surveyed, including Hispanics and non-Hispanics, oppose the Roman Catholic Church's prohibition of priests marrying or having any type of sexual relations. Only 22 percent said they supported the prohibition, while 4 percent said they were unsure or gave no answer."

Not so fast, blogs Thomas Peters at American Papist:

"Of course, the answer to violating the vows of celibacy ... is to observe the vows of celibacy. Not to toss them out! That's why the public improprieties of Fr. Cutié constitute such a grave scandal - they diminish the witness of the Church to the world.

Yes, we ought to pray for Fr. Cutié, but let's also re-double our prayers for the noble young men (and women) who are faithfully living lives of celibacy as they study to become priests (and professed women religious).

Let us also pray for those who have already taken on the vow of celibacy that they remain faithful to it and thereby provide the world with a wonderful (and so needed) witness!"

Father Cutié has acknowledged the relationship in several interviews:

"'Falling in love is not something that I chose to do. It's something I have been struggling with for a long time,' Cutié told The Miami Herald Friday, at the end of a week of seclusion, prayer and tough talks with Miami Archbishop John Favalora and other church leaders.

But now those telling snapshots are out there, the priest -- a star of radio and TV talk shows -- is offering the kind of plain language that has been the cornerstone of his popularity with millions of Spanish-speaking fans across the United States and Latin America.

He says he wants to get married and start a family."

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Millvina Dean

Millvina Dean"Titanic" stars donate to final survivor.

"Titanic" stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet and the film's director James Cameron have responded to a challenge and donated $30,000 to support the last survivor of the Titanic in her last years, a representative for DiCaprio said on Monday.

The survivor, 97-year-old Millvina Dean, has reportedly resorted to selling her autograph to pay her nursing home bills in Southampton, the English city from which "Titanic" began its fateful maiden voyage in 1912.

Dean was only 9 weeks old when her family traveled on Titanic in hopes of beginning a new life in the United States. Her father was one of the 1,517 casualties after the supposedly unsinkable ship hit an iceberg in the Atlantic.

DiCaprio, Winslet and Cameron made their combined $30,000 donation after Irish author and photographer Don Mullan publicly challenged them to match his donation, said Ken Sunshine, a spokesman for DiCaprio. Mullan, who photographed Dean for an exhibition, made his appeal last month in the Irish Independent newspaper.

The 1997 drama "Titanic" made more than $1.8 billion at the worldwide box office, making it the highest-grossing film of all time in figures not adjusted for inflation. It went on to win 11 Oscars, including best picture.

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Gary Dell Abate

Gary Dell AbateGary Dell'Abate First Pitch Becomes Internet Sensation.

Baba Booey's First Pitch Blunder Turns into Internet Thunder

Longtime Howard Stern show producer Gary Dell'Abate threw out the ceremonial first pitch Saturday at the Mets game and now the wildly thrown pitch is the latest Internet sensation. Indeed, the Gary Dell'Abate first pitch is buzzing the web like nobody's business.

Before we delve in to the reasons why the Gary Dell'Abate first pitch is such a hit, it needs noting that Mr. Dell'Abate was at the game because he was the host of Autism Awareness Day. So it seems that there is some truth to the old saw that no good deed goes unpunished. But in his usual self-deprecating manner, Dell'Abate brushed off the hilarious blunder by noting on Mondays show that the ball managed to stay in the frame.

I started listening to Howard Stern in the early 90s (I was late to the party) and immediately took notice of the fact that Howard teased his producer, Gary Patrick Dell'Abate, with merciless zeal. But, it was also very clear that Stern did so because of his great affection for Gary Dell'Abate. When he's not ripping Gary, he's commending him for his crackerjack management skills.

This is typical guy behavior, by the way. Many of us guys are uncomfortable displaying overt affection for our male friends, so we express it by putting them down. It's a rather bewildering dynamic (women probably have a hard time relating to it) but it is universal. And it almost seems that the more a guy is liked, the more he is teased.

Well, Gary Dell'Abate, who is now becoming known to a wider audience due to the Gary Dell'Abate first pitch sensation, is clearly very liked, because the teasing is viciously unrelenting. Gary is constantly being ripped a new one for having big teeth, enormous lips and horrendously bad breath. What an outpouring of guy love!

And, of course, Howard Stern fans have joined in on the fun. According to Wikipedia, one fan took to wearing a gorilla mask at Gary's public appearances. One could argue, I suppose, that Gary does resemble a gorilla (now I'm joining in on the fun), but Gary's much better looking. Sort of.

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Alysha Castonguay

Alysha Castonguay
Alysha Castonguay's Maxim Shoot OK, But Carrie Prejean's Pics Are Not?

Alysha Castonguay says Carrie Prejean is being unfairly judged for her scandalous photos.

Miss California Carrie Prejean may lose her crown after a website posted semi-nude pictures of the beauty queen, yet no one seems so riled over suggestive pictures of Alysha Castonguay, Miss Rhode Island, that appeared in the men’s magazine Maxim.

Castonguay posed for the magazine before her pageant competition and, to ensure she didn’t find herself embroiled in a scandal, showed them to pageant officials herself, Fox News reports. They approved them.

Asked about the Prejean controversy, Castonguay said she thinks people are targeting Miss California because of her controversial response to a question about gay marriage: Prejean said she thought nuptials should remain between a man and a woman, an answer that sparked a firestorm across the Internet.

What do you think, reader? Is this a double standard at play?

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Shuttle Launch

Shuttle Launch'High-Risk' Shuttle Launch to Be Streamed Live.

NASA's latest shuttle launch is set for today at 2:01 PM EDT. The self-assessed "high risk" mission is an attempt to repair the Hubble telescope one final time.

According to the weather reports for Cape Canaveral, there's a 90 percent chance of favorable launch conditions.

The 11-day mission will include five spacewalks, at up to 7hours each. "This will be the most challenging servicing mission that's been faced by our astronauts in terms of the total amount of work," said mission manager, Preston Burch. If the mission succeeds, it will add up to five years onto the life of the 19-year-old telescope.

NASA is running a live feed of the launch all day with commentary over on its official site.

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