05/12/2009 at 03:00 PM EDT
The Miami priest who is called "Father Oprah," because of the relationship advice he offers people on Spanish-language radio and TV shows, is under fire over a relationship with a pretty brunette woman.
Marriage and children are a definite possibility, Rev. Alberto Cutié told the Miami Herald
on Friday after first confessing his love for the woman on Univision, a popular Spanish language TV network.
"I'm not going to rush into marriage," he told the Miami Herald. "I know all about that. But I would like to have a family and at the same time serve God."
Cutié, 40, is embroiled in a scandal after revealing photographs of him laying shirtless with the young brunette on a south Florida beach appeared on the cover of TV Notas
, under the headline, "Good God! Father Alberto!" One picture even shows the priest's hand inside of the woman's bathing suit. Another photo shows the couple smooching on a terrace bar.
Cutié told the Herald
that his inner struggle over his love for the young woman and his dedication to the church have been plaguing him for nearly a year.
Media reports say the woman's name is Ruhama Buni Canellis, 35, a divorced mom living in Miami Beach, who has been fighting off photographers for the past week.
In a poll conducted
by the Herald
among 400 Catholics in Miami-Dade county, most supported the priest, saying the church's celibacy rules are outdated.
The newspaper also reports that Cutié has said he asked for time off for meditation.