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Priest reprimanded for his reading at same-sex marriage

The priest's part in his cousin's wedding has earned him a diocesan rebuke.

Priest reprimanded for his reading at same-sex marriage
Snejana Farberov
United States

September 12, 2012

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A Catholic priest from Connecticut was reprimanded for his role in the same-sex wedding ceremony of a cousin last month. Father Michael DeVito, of Sacred Heart Church in Suffield, was called into the office of Hartford Archbishop Henry Mansell and 'formally rebuked' after a wedding announcement in The New York Times mentioned that the clergyman took part in the August 17 nuptials of Roger Danforth and Richard Termine. The citation would go on DeVito's permanent record in accordance with canon law, but the archdiocese would not disclose what the cleric's punishment would be. In a statement released on Thursday, the archdiocese said that DeVito's role in the New York City wedding was limited to doing a reading, and he had no vestments on, but did wear his Roman collar for the occasion. '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,' the statement read. In response to the rebuke, DeVito said that he would refrain for participating in any way in same-sex marriages in the future, according to the archdiocese. The controversy was ignited by a story published in the New York Times on August 19 announcing the marriage of Danforth and DeVito’s cousin, Termine, two days prior. ‘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 notice read. Danforth, 63, is the artistic director of the Directors Project, a career development program for theater directors, while Termine, 59, works as a freelance photographer, The Times reported. The two tied the knot on the 30th anniversary of their first meeting. The Hartford archbishop met with DeVito five days after the publication of the wedding announcement. It was not clear how Mansell became aware of it, according to the Hartford Courant. While some Catholics have applauded the decision after blasting DeVito for breaking his vows by allegedly endorsing same-sex marriage with his presence at the ceremony, the move has drawn sharp criticism from gay rights activists. 'It sends a message to kids that if you're gay, you shouldn't be Catholic,' Robin McHelen, of the advocacy group True Colors, told NBC. Even some parishioners in Suffield said they believe DeVito did nothing wrong by taking part in his cousin's wedding. 'I guess I don’t see anything wrong with it. If that’s his family member and he wanted to be there, that's fine,' Janine Liddell said. Full Story: Catholic priest slapped with 'official rebuke' from church leaders for doing a reading at cousin's same-sex wedding Source: Mail Online
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