February 09, 2005

Priest resigns post over '90s sex case

Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear, Tribune staff reporter. Tribune staff reporter Tom Rybarczyk contributed to this report
Published February 9, 2005

Cardinal Francis George expressed regret Tuesday for placing a priest who once had a sexual relationship with a college student into a University of Chicago ministry, vowing to review the flawed process that put him there.

Rev. Michael Yakaitis, 52, who has served since 2001 as chaplain of Calvert House, a Catholic student center in Hyde Park, resigned his position Tuesday, acknowledging he had engaged in sexual activity with an 18-year-old male seminarian 15 years ago.

The former seminarian, now 32, said Yakaitis served as his spiritual director at Loyola University's Niles College Seminary when the sexual relationship occurred. When the student tried to end the relationship, Yakaitis threatened him, the former seminarian said, and he eventually withdrew from the seminary, which is now defunct.

In a statement released Tuesday, Yakaitis said he had undergone counseling and residential treatment after the incidents and has remained celibate ever since. He also conceded that accepting the appointment to college ministry was not a smart choice.

Posted by kshaw at February 9, 2005 07:13 AM