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Illinois bishop plans gay-marriage exorcism
Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Illinois is planning an exorcism for the state after it approved gay marriage.
November 15th, 2013
10:10 AM ET

Illinois bishop plans gay-marriage exorcism

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) – The devil made them do it?

According to a Catholic bishop in Springfield, Illinois, Satan was behind his state's recent legalization of same-sex marriage.

So, next Wednesday, at about the same time Gov. Pat Quinn signs the gay marriage bill into law, Bishop Thomas Paprocki will hold an exorcism ceremony "in reparation for the sin of same-sex marriage."

Paprocki, who's something of an expert on exorcism, says he's just following the Pope's marching orders.

When Pope Francis, then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, was an archbishop in Argentina, he called that country's legalization of same-sex marriage "a 'move' of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God."

In a statement released on Thursday, Paprocki said: "The pope's reference to the 'father of lies' comes from the Gospel of John, where Jesus refers to the devil as 'a liar and the father of lies.' So Pope Francis is saying that same-sex 'marriage' comes from the devil and should be condemned as such."

Since his election as Pope in March, Francis seems to have taken a less combative approach to homosexuality. At a news conference in July, for example, he said "Who am I to judge?" a gay person who seeks to be a good person.

Illinois politicians - including Catholics - cited the Pope's words when explaining their support for the state's same-sex marriage bill.

In September, the Pope said the church has no right to "interfere spiritually" in the lives of gays and lesbians and chided Catholics who "obsess" about fighting culture war issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.

MORE ON CNN: Pope Francis: Church can't 'interfere' with gays

But Paprocki calls same-sex marriage "contrary to the plan of God" and says all Catholics who support it - from legislators to county clerks who issue marriage licenses - are "culpable of serious sin."

The bishop has invited priests and lay Catholics to his exorcism ceremony, officially called "“Prayers of Supplication and Exorcism in Reparation for the Sin of Same-Sex Marriage,” which is scheduled for November 20 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield, Illinois.

Paprocki says the ceremony will follow the Catholic Church's Rite of Exorcism, which explains that Satan not only possesses people, he can also invade places and things, including the church itself.

"We must pray for deliverance from this evil which has penetrated our state and our church," Paprocki said.

Exorcism is experiencing something of a renaissance in the United States, with the Catholic bishops recruiting dozens of priests to perform the ancient rite. Paprocki is among the bishops leading the recruiting drive.

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Culture wars • Faith • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Pope Francis

soundoff (3,013 Responses)
  1. sybaris

    Why do Christians care so much about what consenting adults do with their genitalia in the privacy of their own homes?

    November 15, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • taxman

      Only the brainwashed Christians who cannot think for themselves (i.e. the evangelicals). Those raised to believe that if they do not follow a specific dogma, they will burn in hell and the church will ensure there is no salvation.

      At least the church is no longer tourturing people and burning them at the stake to show them god's love (yet).

      November 15, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
  2. pauleky

    And people wonder why people are leaving religion in droves. This is insanity and ignorance.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Attila the Hun

      no more than yours

      November 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • Jon

        Actually it's quite different

        November 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  3. lol??

    "MKMilan sayz,
    I can't wait to see Illinois sit up, have its head rotate and spew bile: hope it faces lake Michigan or its cleanup in aisle 2"

    Where've you been where there are no newspapers for the past, say several decades??

    November 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
  4. Fan2C

    Wow! I thought I had clicked on a satire/parody article in The Onion!

    November 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
  5. chicago4

    'What an excellent day for an exorcism"

    November 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
  6. Democritus

    Just give him 10% of your money and he'll make all this bad stuff go away!

    November 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
  7. Scotty

    What a loon.... Work to help the homeless, the hungry, those that Jesus would be helping. that is what the pope is saying. You waste the time and money of the church with these drama filled actions.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
  8. james

    I keep coming back here to see the fun and mix in some time but this is going to be at least the best show so far. I need to go out and get some popcorn for the Greatest Show on Earth. I saw it is next Wed. when the law is signed so does anyone know what time that is?

    November 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
  9. KieranH

    ok that is really funny....

    Do gay's heads spin during an exorcism?

    November 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
  10. No Dice

    What a wondrous piece of spiritual claptrap. This looks more like a political publicity stunt than anything else. This is an example why the separation of church and state is so vital.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • snowboarder

      the catholic church is foremost a business and second a political organization.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
      • No Dice

        That would define most of your megachurches, etc., but the Catholic Church certainly did it first.

        November 15, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Attila the Hun

      I agree with you with the last part, specially when the state is that corrupt

      November 15, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  11. CherryMama

    Well when nobody shows up for this thing, I bet he'll feel pretty silly.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Pete Smith

      Never underestimate the ignorance of the American public, especially when it comes to religion!

      November 15, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
      • CherryMama

        True. Very true...

        November 15, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Attila the Hun

      Rest assured the Bishop will have a crowd, we the Huns will be there to join him

      November 15, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
      • Jon

        It's disturbing that you say that with pride

        November 15, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
        • Stevep44

          The arrogance of ignorance ...

          November 15, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  12. RickyH

    Good. Something from the Church that I can support. It seems to be OK for the gay community to make demands and shove there lifestyle down our throats, but let the Church abide by holy scripture and all heck breaks out.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • snowboarder

      giving others equal rights is such an imposition on you and the church. lol!

      November 15, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • derp

      The only thing any gay people want to shove down your throat is their d i c k.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • sybaris

      Oh Ricky, nobody is shoving anything down your throat. On the other hand, here is some food for thought. Let's see we have:

      Bibles in every motel room
      God on our money
      Prayer before public events
      Christian cable networks 24/7
      Discounts on insurance for being christian
      Churches every 6 blocks in every city over 100,000
      Laws that prevent non-christians from holding public office
      Christian bookstores in every town over 12,000
      God in the Pledge of Allegiance
      Televangelists 24/7
      Christian billboards along the highway advertising Vacation Bible School and “Repent or go to He.ll”
      Federally recognized christian holiday
      Radioevangelists 24/7
      Religious organizations are tax free
      75% of the population claims to be christian
      National day of prayer
      God in the National Anthem
      Weekday christian education for elementary students.
      Christian clergy led prayer at Presidential inauguration

      Now, who is shoving what down whose throat?

      November 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
      • Jon

        Excellent response my friend

        November 15, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • joeblow

      Your an idiot

      November 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        You're (sorry, but pedantry prevails).

        November 15, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • H.R.

      People demanding the same rights as everyone else isn't shoving anything down your throat. Pretty pathetic that either you can't tell the difference between equal and unequal or you can and just fancy yourself special and deserving of preferential treatment from the government.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • pirate fish

      By demands do you mean an expectation of equal rights? Your comment exemplafies the kind of ignorance and intolerance that religion spawns. Isn't it time to stop believing in ridiculous fairy tales?

      November 15, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
  13. Democritus

    This guy is preaching with a straight-jacket on and people are still lining up to give him money

    November 15, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  14. Daryl

    Another religious nut makes a fool of himself - what else is new?

    November 15, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  15. I_Own_Me

    You have to admit that this farce is pretty funny. Catholics do have a right to believe that gay marriage goes against what their god approves of, but they don't have a right to turn America into a theocracy. What does or doesn't line up with Catholic and/or general Christian doctrine is irrelevant to what should be legal in our secular country.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      'but they don't have a right to turn America into a theocracy.'

      It doesn't stop them from trying though.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • snowboarder

      give that man a cigar!

      November 15, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • L

      Any theocracy is bad for a country.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        ;-)

        November 15, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • FrenchChef

      Please don't lump lay Catholics in with the clumsy, crass political machinations of the bishops. A strong majority of American Catholics support marriage equality, and we know why. Most extended, close-knit Catholic families have multiple LGBT members, and these families support their own over the bishops' sad need to hurt people.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
  16. amisc1970

    If the Pope said the church has no right to "interfere spiritually" in the lives of gays and lesbians, how can this bishop justify what he is doing? Isn't the exorcism interfering with people's lives? Isn't he going against the word of the Pope as leader of the Catholic Church?

    November 15, 2013 at 11:58 am |
  17. snowboarder

    if he wanted to accomplish nothing, he will succeed.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:58 am |
  18. L

    Atheists delude themselves into thinking what they believe isn't a religion. Let's see, they are their own gods and they make their own reality. How isn't that a religion? You worship yourself as though you are better than all god(s) because you are your own god. Seems like a religion to me.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • snowboarder

      i always get a good laugh at the fallacious argument that atheists are their own gods.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • sybaris

      You don't know much about Atheism

      November 15, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • L

      You don't know much about atheism so it seems.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      ;-)

      November 15, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Madtown

      I'd like to introduce my new hobby: NOT stamp collecting.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
      • No Dice

        A very good analogy but our friend "L" will not know what this means.

        November 15, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • No Dice

      @ L. Rather, an atheist can be defined as someone who rejects the existence of a deity and resent having others shove it down our throats whether it is through public policy or specified moral sanctions based on a given organized religion. Let others be governed by holy men. I prefer independence, not godhood.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
      • Attila the Hun

        Roll again dude, it's called Arrogance

        November 15, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • G to the T

          Arrogance is believing that a being that created a universe LIGHTYEARS across gives a crap about anything on our little speck of a planet.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • KHS

      (1) Atheists do not create their own reality. There view of reality is based on the latest scientific research. It may contain errors, but it is the best information available and certainly better than the "science" of the bible. (2) Atheists do not believe they are gods. They know that they are only tiny dust particles in the huge universe. They do not think the earth is the center of the universe and they are the most important creatures personally created by God, but that they have evolved according to the laws of nature and therefore are just parts of nature.(3) Since religion implies the belief in a supernatural being, atheism cannot be a religion.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
      • Sara

        I agree with you that atheists do not believe they are gods, and I think that's the main point here. I do however disagree on a couple of issues that might need clarifications:

        '(1) Atheists do not create their own reality. There view of reality is based on the latest scientific research. It may contain errors, but it is the best information available and certainly better than the "science" of the bible. '

        For some this may be true, for others, not. Atheism only describes one's position on gods. An atheist could believe in karma, crystals or qi. There may be a correlation between atheism and scientific rigor, but they are not logically bound.

        'They know that they are only tiny dust particles in the huge universe. They do not think the earth is the center of the universe ...'

        Again this will vary by atheist. Some may be solipsists who really do think they are the center of the universe.

        'but that they have evolved according to the laws of nature and therefore are just parts of nature.'

        Probably true for most, but again not guaranteed. Some atheist buddhists believe all nature, including evolution, is an illusion.

        'Since religion implies the belief in a supernatural being, atheism cannot be a religion.'

        I agree atheism is not a religion, but the atheistic forms of buddhism and Taoism are.

        November 15, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
        • truth

          Science is the logical attempt to systematically discover the truth as it exists.
          Math is meant to reflect the truth as it exists.
          If an athiest puts his or her faith in math and science, then the atheist is recognizing that truth exists.
          In order for an atheist to have a strong argument against Christians, an atheist will need to prove that Jesus Christ was not "the way, the truth and the light" as he claimed.

          November 15, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • lol??

      When the race runs out of external gods they elect themselves. It's the default.

      Jhn 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

      November 15, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
      • snowboarder

        @lol, we can always depend on you for a comment that makes no sense.

        November 15, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
      • Jon

        hahahaha what?!?!?

        November 15, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Jon

      Where do you keep coming up with the idea that atheists fancy themselves gods?

      November 15, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Stevep44

      Atheism is a position ON faith, not a position OF faith. You believe in god, and I don't. It really is that simple.

      November 15, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  19. rosie

    Satan has a lobbyist? Things are going bad I guess...

    November 15, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  20. Lionly Lamb

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLsCC0LZxkY&w=640&h=390]

    November 15, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      I liked Friedman until the whole Pinochet thing. He lost a lot of credibility then, in my opinion.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.