STATEMENT OF FR. MICHAEL J. YAKAITIS
Re: Resignation as Chaplain of Calvert House
February 8, 2005
I have today offered my resignation to Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, as chaplain of Calvert House at the University of Chicago. I have come to love and respect the ministry at Calvert House.
I know the individual who came forward yesterday, and I respect his privacy. I acknowledge that I engaged in sexual activity with him 15 years ago when he was an adult seminarian. Following these events, I sought and received counseling and residential treatment over a period of several months. This enabled me to renew my commitment to celibacy and a life of priestly ministry. Since that time, I have not engaged in any sexual behavior, and I believe that I have dealt thoroughly with the issues that led to my sexual activities.
I also acknowledge today that accepting the appointment at Calvert House was not a wise decision in view of my past history. However, I repeat that I have remained celibate and chaste since my return from treatment.
I ask for your understanding and forgiveness, especially if I have caused anyone to question their faith in this local church. I, likewise, regret any embarrassment that I have caused the Archdiocese of Chicago and the University of Chicago.
STATEMENT OF FRANCIS CARDINAL GEORGE, O.M.I.
ARCHBISHOP OF CHICAGO
Re: Resignation of Chaplain of Calvert House
February 8, 2005
Today I accepted the resignation of the Rev. Michael Yakaitis as chaplain of Calvert House at the University of Chicago. To the best of my knowledge, Fr. Yakaitis’ ministry there was honorably undertaken and conducted.
But, as Fr. Yakaitis himself has acknowledged, he had sexual relations with a college student fifteen years ago during the time he worked as part of our seminary system.
I regret his appointment three years ago to a ministry with college students. I will review the process that led to my decision to permit Fr. Yakaitis to work in college ministry, and will take the steps needed to correct any errors in that process for the future.