By DENISE BUFFA/CTNow
SUFFIELD, Conn. (CTNow) — The Archdiocese of Hartford has rebuked a Suffield priest who participated in the wedding ceremony of his male cousin and another man.
Archbishop Henry J. Mansell rebuked the Rev. Michael DeVito of Sacred Heart Church after a wedding announcement in The New York Times mentioned the priest’s role in the ceremony.
“Archbishop Henry J. Mansell has met with Father Michael DeVito regarding the priest’s participation in a same-sex marriage ceremony involving a cousin in New York City on August 19th,” the archdiocese said in a prepared statement. “According to Father DeVito his participation in the ceremony was limited to doing a reading. He wore no vestments, but did wear his Roman collar. Archbishop Mansell informed Father DeVito that his participation in this ceremony was perceived by many Catholics as an implicit endorsement of same-sex marriage, which is contrary to Church teaching. As a consequence, and in accordance with canon law, the Archbishop formally rebuked Father DeVito and informed him that the rebuke would be a permanent part of his record.”
“Fr. DeVito said that he would not participate in any way in same-sex marriages in the future.”
DeVito could not be reached for comment.
The rebuke came five days after the Aug. 19 wedding announcement for DeVito’s cousin, Richard Termine, and Roger Danforth, who were married Aug. 17.
“The Rev. David C. Parsons, a Lutheran minister, officiated aboard the Lexington, a chartered yacht, on the East River, with the Rev. Michael DeVito, a Roman Catholic priest and a cousin of Mr. Termine, assisting,” the wedding announcement read in part.
Attempts to reach Danforth and Termine were not successful.
Danforth, 63, is an artistic director at The Directors Project in New York, and Termine, 59, is a freelance photographer in New York, The Times reported.
“Father DeVito has broken his vows just with his presence at this ceremony,” wrote the unidentified blogger who first reported the situation in a blog titled, “Catholic In Brooklyn.” “By being there, he has said that he believes in what is happening. ‘All’ he did was a reading? That is still breaking his vows…”
A reader of the blog commented, in part: “I find it interesting that you seem to be so scornful of an ordained minister of the Lord. Perhaps he is worthy of rebuke, but it is folly to assume that someone who has been called to service was acting without reverence to the teachings of Christ. Jesus walked among sinners and lepers and encouraged them to come to him. How was Fr. DeVito’s presence at this wedding any more or less reprehensible than the Savior’s own actions?”