Sunday, August 19, 2012

Roman Catholic Priest Assists at Same Sex Marriage

The DH and I were going through our Sunday routine after Mass, having lunch together, listening to Jonathan Schwartz on the radio and reading the New York Times.  I always look through the wedding section and especially at the same sex marriage announcements to see what churches are participating.  To my amazement, I found an announcement of a same sex marriage in which a Lutheran minister officiated and a ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST assisted.  Yes, you read that right - a ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST assisted at a same sex marriage ceremony.  His name is Rev. Michael Devito.  There is a priest by that name in the the diocese of Hartford, Connecticut.  I don't know for certain that this is the same Rev. Michael Devito as mentioned in the wedding announcement.  I have e-mailed him and have not received a response.  I have also contacted the Harford Archdiocese and have not received a response. 

 Here is the announcement from the New York Times
Roger Danforth, Richard Termine
Published: August 19, 2012

Roger Thomas Danforth and Richard James Termine were married Friday evening in New York. 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.

Mr. Danforth (left), 63, is the artistic director of the Directors Project, a career development program for theater directors run by the Drama League, a New York organization dedicated to professional theater. He is also a freelance director.

He graduated from Western Michigan University and received a master’s degree in directing from Florida State University. He is a son of the late Arline H. Danforth and the late Herbert R. Danforth Jr., who lived in Palm Harbor, Fla.

Mr. Termine, 59, is a freelance photographer in New York. He has done work for the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall and the 92nd Street Y. He is also the on-set photographer for “Sesame Street,” and is on the board of the Jim Henson Foundation in New York.

He graduated from the University of Connecticut, from which he also received a master’s degree in puppetry. He is a son of Marie L. Termine of Middletown, Conn., and the late Rosario T. Termine.

The couple’s wedding took place on the 30th anniversary of their meeting at a performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.
This is a terrible scandal in the Church. The Catholic Church is embroiled in a war with the United States Government right now in which the government is trying to force us to go against our own teachings.  And here is a priest assisting in a same sex marriage ceremony, which can never be morally right under any circumstances. 

If this Rev. Michael Devito is the same one as listed in the Archdiocese of Hartford, the archbishop there must take immediate action. This priest should be immediately relieved of his duties as pastor and suspended from all priestly duties.  This cannot be overlooked. 

This is the kind of action that has led to the spiritual impotence of the Catholic Church in our time.  We cannot be sending conflicting messages like this to the rest of the world.  We are the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ.  We have the message of salvation for the world.  So many hundreds of millions of souls are being lost because of renegade priests such as Father Michael Devito. 

If the information in the New York Times announcement is true, Father Michael Devito, be it Father Devito in Connecticut or wherever he may be, must be immediately removed from the priesthood. 

UPDATE:  Deacon Greg Kandra of The Deacons Bench blog has contacted me and seems quite concerned that I may not have the right priest.  At Deacon Kandra's suggestion, I have removed the contact information I earlier listed until it can be verified that we have the correct Father Devito.  However, as I have stated, I have emailed him as well as contacted the Hartford Archdiocese and have not received any response.   As Deacon Kandra said on his blog, I would like to hear an explanation of this situation.  It is quite serious and scandalous. 



  1. FYI:

    The Fr. Michael DeVito you mentioned here, from Hartford, may not be the one involved in the ceremony.

    A priest I know in Brooklyn thinks it may be another one, from New York, who actually left the priesthood a few years ago.

    Deacon Greg

    1. If the priest involved is a former priest, he could not have been referred to as Reverend and also could not be identified as a Roman Catholic priest, but as a former Roman Catholic priest. Also, the Michael Devito referred to here lives in Connecticut, which is where one of the men involved in this "marriage" is from. If my posting has identified the wrong priest, I will glady and happily retract it and apologize profusely. I did email this priest and as of yet, I have not heard from him. One other fact to note is that in New York, in order to perform a marriage of any kind, a person must have some sort of credentials. The priest here was "assisting", not performing the marriage, nevertheless he could not as a lay person be involved in the ceremony.

    2. A couple of points...

      1) The announcement does not mention where the priest lives.

      2) Just because he calls himself Reverend and says he is a priest doesn't mean that he is. If he has not been formally laicized, he may still be a priest (though one without faculties.)

      3) "Assisting" could mean anything from doing a reading to pronouncing a blessing. It's very ambiguous.

      Whatever the circumstances, it's a mess. And whoever "Michael DeVito" is should explain himself.

      Dcn. G.

    3. All true, but the announcement also doesn't tell us anything about the Lutheran minister as well. In fact, these announcements never give any details about who officiates. As you say, if the priest has been laicized, then he had no right being a part of the wedding ceremony. The Times would not include anyone who does readings as assisting. However, just for a Catholic priest to be present at such an abominable event as this is way out of line and he deserves to be disciplined.

      I honestly hope you're right. But as I said, I have e-mailed the pastor in Connecticut as well as contacted the Bishop, and so far no one is denying this. I don't want this story to be true. But let's face it, far too many priests and other religious do support same sex marriage, in spite of Church teachings.

  2. "The Times would not include anyone who does readings as assisting."

    The Times will print whatever people send them in the wedding announcements.

    It's unclear how proactive they are about verifying they information they receive for accuracy.

  3. I am not aware that any priest can attend the ceremony even if not officiating. I was told that my priest could not attend his nephews wedding since the nephew was getting married to a woman outside the church. Same thing for deacons too, I thought. Is there any clarification?

  4. I had a classmate back in the 1970's from St. John Seminary in Brighton, MA. He was a candidate from the Archdiocese of Hartford. By no means was he even close to being considered a progressive or even liberal person. I read the NYT on Sunday, and could not believe what i read. I don't have a recent copy of the Kennedy Directory that lists all the active and retired Catholic priests in the USA , so I can't look the name up to see if there are other Michael Devito who are priests that would assist at a same sex wedding!!!

  5. The grooms make a very handsome couple. Much happiness and many blessings to them in their life together.

  6. So funny to see you gossipy busybodies trying to stir up trouble. Don't you have real lives? Shouldn't you be doing something to help the world, instead of intruding into other people's business? I was taught that the ONLY polite thing to say or do when someone gets married is to say CONGRATULATIONS. I guess some people just have poor manners.

  7. Some catholic priest should resign and move to another church other than catholic because they are promoting sins.

  8. It is because of priest like Father DeVito that I can still even attend Catholic Mass and find the true message of Christ amid the political and social dogma that pervades the church. I applaud Father DeVito and the fact that he chose love over hatred and inclusion over exclusion-and that he put the love of his family (it was a ceremony for his cousin) over an institution. I can only imagine what the church today would say about a scraggly looking man in sandals who had the audacity to preach about love and forgiveness for all. I imagine things would turn out pretty much the same as the last time if the leaders of the Catholic Church had their way. And, in case anyone reading this is trying to figure out what kind of an eccentric I am, I am a middle aged married woman with four sons living in a very small town in CT. We attend Mass every week and celebrate the Eucharist as a family and a community.

    1. I hope you realize you are not in communion with the Catholic Church. (You really think our Lord was "scraggly looking?")


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