The Catholic archdiocese of Hartford, Conn., has formally rebuked a priest who assisted in his cousin’s same-sex wedding.
The Reverend Michael DeVito had assisted in the ceremony when his cousin Richard Termine, a photographer, married theater director Roger Danforth on a yacht on the East River in New York City August 17. His participation was noted in a New York Times wedding announcement, which reported that a Lutheran minister officiated with DeVito assisting. DeVito is pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Suffield, Conn.
The report aroused the ire of several conservative Catholic bloggers, and a few days later, Hartford archbishop Henry Mansell met with DeVito regarding the ceremony, according to an archdiocesan statement posted by the blog Catholic in Brooklyn. The statement reads in part:
“According to Father DeVito, his participation in the ceremony was limited to doing a reading. He wore no vestments, but had worn his Roman collar. Archbishop Mansell informed Father DeVito that his participation in this ceremony was understandably 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.”
Some conservative Catholics don’t think the rebuke is sufficient. The Catholic in Brooklyn blogger, for one, writes that “Father DeVito’s cousin is in danger of eternity in hell fire. A Catholic priest should in no way lend his presence to such an abomination.”