Priest Must Go, Bishop Says
He Says the New Buffalo Priest Who Admitted Having Sexual Relations with a Teen Will Be Removed from Ministry
Grand Rapid Press (Michigan)
June 20, 2002
KALAMAZOO — Exactly when a New Buffalo priest will be removed from office and a replacement named is still in the works, Bishop James Murray said Tuesday.
Murray, head of the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo, said he would meet today with the Rev. Thomas DeVita, pastor of Berrien County's St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church.
"We're talking in the near future he will be removed as pastor to never again have any part in ministry," Murray said.
DeVita, 55, is one of two priests in the diocese whose jobs were put on the line following the approval last week by United States bishops of a tough sexual abuse policy.
The other priest is the Rev. Leroy White, a retired clergyman from the diocese who served a parish in the Flint area.
Under the guidelines of the zero-tolerance policy, any priest who has had a sexual relationship with a minor or who has been involved in criminal sexual conduct with an adult must be taken out of the active priesthood.
Although these men might be able to remain priests, they no longer can say Mass, perform the sacraments or work as a priest for a Catholic charity.
DeVita admitted having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy while he served a New York City-area parish in the late 1970s.
White admitted having inappropriate sexual contact with a teen-ager and some women while serving as pastor of St. Mary's Church in Kalamazoo in the 1980s.
In March 1994, White retired from the priesthood at age 65. But he has worked at a church in the Flint area. He was removed from that job this year amid the Kalamazoo allegations.
Murray said he may refer White's case to an oversight panel that the bishop hopes to have in place by the end of July.
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems