When Father Michael DeVito chose to assist in the wedding of his cousin in New York City, he may not have expected to get a harsh rebuke from his archdiocese in Hartford, Connecticut. However, Father DeVito did get just that. He was rebuked by the Hartford Archdiocese for participating in the same-sex nuptials of a cousin even though he did not do so in an official capacity.
The official rebuke reads:
Statement from the Archdiocese of Hartford regarding Fr. Michael DeVito
August 24, 2012:
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.
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.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.” I Cor. 6:9-11.
The blog that posted this rebuke, of course, does not like the fact that Father DeVito dared to be part of a same-sex wedding and took the usual Catholic line on such things. What so many miss is that the Catholic Church is at war within itself. Because of the Church’s unwillingness to evolve, it is now stuck somewhere around 1600, and believes that it has the right to impose its beliefs on others.
Father DeVito showed his truer connection to his God through his actions than, say, the actions of Archbishop Salvatore Corleone in San Francisco. As the Catholic Church slowly dwindles in power, influence and membership, it seems like so many people are unwilling to ask within it “what’s going wrong”, but rather keep yelling how there’s enough lifeboats for everyone even when there aren’t.