Good God! Miami Priest in Love
05/12/2009 AT 03:20 PM EDT
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the Herald among 400 Catholics in Miami-Dade county, most supported the priest, saying the church's celibacy rules are outdated.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.