A Roman Catholic priest in northern Connecticut has been rebuked by the archbishop of Hartford after he participated in his cousin's same-sex marriage ceremony, NBC Connecticut reported.
Archbishop of Hartford Henry J. Mansell rebuked the Rev. Michael DeVito, of the Sacred Heart Church in Suffield, following the Aug. 17 wedding in New York, the Hartford Courant reported.
The rebuke will remain on DeVito's permanent record, NBC said.
Mansell became aware that DeVito participated in the marriage ceremony after a wedding announcement appeared in the New York Times,Courant said.
The archdiocese said in a statement on Thursday: "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."
"I understand where the Catholic church is coming from -- and it makes me really sad," Robin McHelen, who runs True Colors, an advocacy group for the gay and lesbian community, told NBC.
"I grew up Catholic. The word I grew up with was 'abomination.' It sends a message to kids that if you're gay, you shouldn't be Catholic," McHelen said.