US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Priest attends cousin's wedding, says reading; Reflected on permanent record

By Elizabeth Lefebvre | Print this pagePrint |

It's not exactly a newsflash that the Catholic Church doesn’t support same-sex marriage, but Connecticut priest Father Michael Devito is making headlines this week after he received an official rebuke from his archdiocese for attending the same-sex wedding of his cousin, where he also delivered a reading.

The wedding announcement in the New York Times makes it sound like Father DeVito was assisting with celebrating the ceremony. However, in the archdiocese’s official statement on the matter, it notes that "[DeVito’s] participation in the ceremony was limited to doing a reading. He wore no vestments, but had worn his Roman collar."

The statement continues: "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."

So, a Catholic priest saying a reading at the marriage ceremony of a family member constitutes an implicit endorsement of something contrary to church teaching, but when Cardinal Timothy Dolan delivered prayers at both the Republican and Democratic national conventions, he attended these political events "solely as a pastor, only to pray, not to endorse any party, platform, or candidate"?

DeVito said that he would not participate in any future same-sex marriages (which 53 percent of Catholics have expressed approval of).


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