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

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(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 Religion Editor

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

soundoff (3,013 Responses)
  1. Dyslexic doG

    it makes me frightened for the human race that adults actually discuss this fairy tale foolishness seriously. I can understand kids believing in Santa and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny and God and Jesus, but when we grow up we can distinguish fact from fantasy. Grow up you religious folk. Free your infantile slave minds and join the real world. It really is a very cool place.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • janette

      It's time we stop calling mental re tardation "religion", and treat these poor people.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • truth

      Have you read this before?
      If not, you might want to read it before you start telling others to grow up.

      November 15, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  2. tallulah13

    It is astonishing how some people still cling to bronze age mysticism rather than face reality. I suspect that this guy is just doing his pretend magic spells to placate his followers. His silly ceremonies won't have any effect on the growing public opinion that legalizing gay marriage is simply the right thing to do.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Doris

      Oh my, and this is a Catholic. It'll be interesting to see if his hands get slapped from higher up or not.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:15 am |
  3. Doris


    Oh maybe I'd better get some coffee and read this all the way through.... LOL!

    But before I do, my first thought is:

    If this whacky idea spreads, and if Mormons continue to be more and more accepting of gays, then could we see in a few decades down the road Mormons posthumously unexorcising gay married folk who, before they died, were needlessly exorcised by this nut?

    November 15, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Doris

      Has Franklin Graham or Pat Robertson weighed in on this yet? LOL. Oh mu, after coffee I'll have to go to the store to get lots of popcorn – this should be very entertaining.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Kesley Newell

      You're dumb. Gays who enter into the Mormon church have to change their ways or get excommunicated.

      November 21, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
  4. Charm Quark

    If the bishop would change the target from same-s$x marriage to pedophilia or just pray for the Vatican to release the docu ments, he would have my full support.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Dyslexic doG


      November 15, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • rrmuse


      November 15, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  5. AverageJoe76

    God created sin. There's no way to create everything, then in the same breathe say he didn't create this. That's double-talk. No better than a politician. Be honest with yourselves.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      good luck getting honesty out of a beLIEver.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:14 am |
      • AverageJoe76

        (SIGH) – I know, I know. It's definitely a battle to get some people to admit the plain and obvious.

        November 15, 2013 at 11:30 am |
      • arthurrrrr

        i'm a BELIEVER and more honest than anyone you know.

        November 15, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • truth

      Actually, Catholics do not believe God created sin. They believe he allowed sin in order to allow free will. He allowed free will so that we could freely choose to love him. Catholics believe we created sin when we chose our will over God's will. In other words, God is an artist in the process of perfecting his creation. I understand your confusion. Things like this don't get taught anymore, so people are violently opposed to ideas about which they know very little.

      November 15, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
  6. Doc Vestibule

    They need to enlist former Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt.
    He claims to have a 50% success rate in exorcising the demons that make people gay.
    "Begone with your satanic fabulousness! The power of Christ compels you to abandon your mincing, lisping evil!"
    Remember kids: God's closet is big enough to hold ALL the world's gays.

    November 15, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Attila the Hun

      You are only half correct because even if that closet is called Hell, God does not condemn someone for being gay, just for committing acts of perversion.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  7. AverageJoe76

    If God needs to blame anyone, he'd be doing a 'moral right' by actually blaming himself. He started the show, laid out the cast, directed the show, and will end the show. He created everything, knows everything, and to some – IS everything.
    So where do we actually deserve blame for sin?

    I didn't make reality. If I did, I wouldn't blame my kids (creations) for the mess I placed them in.

    Sheesh...... talk about NOT taking care of your own responsibilities.

    November 15, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  8. guest

    Sounds like double talk coming from this so very popular Pope, but wait until we hear more double talk as it starts to show up. The agenda of the vatican is the same as it has been for centuries: to rule the world. Pope Frances has done a very good job of "pulling the wool over the peoples eyes"; he is just as evil as his predecessors of the dark ages, he is a con-man and a very skillful at what he does. He is a Jesuit; read more about the Jesits and learn what their agenda for the world is all about.

    November 15, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Time will tell.

      November 15, 2013 at 10:57 am |
  9. Madtown

    Seems the Bishop has had an exorcism performed on his rationality.

    November 15, 2013 at 10:50 am |
  10. palintwit

    I didn't see anything in the news this morning that stated that Sarah Palin was run over by a bus, fell into a abandoned well, or was electrocuted with her curling iron. So I must assume that she continues to waste oxygen. *sigh*

    November 15, 2013 at 10:39 am |
  11. wayne

    Pay close attention to the age group who attend this abomination. It will bear witness to the remaining life expectancy of the Roman Catholic Church.

    November 15, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Sara

      It's been lovely to watch how hete.rose.xism has been replaced by ageism and a continuously growing se.xism in the younger generation. But like every other generation, they won't see their own issues.

      November 15, 2013 at 10:47 am |
      • blah

        its been lovely watching how the illiterate spread faerie tales to their children whom in this day and age have greater access to an education calling out the brainwash attempts as fantasies

        November 15, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  12. lol??

    Churches (false prophets) or gubmints (Beasts) are not in charge of marriage. Gonna be a pwoblem on judgment day for some.

    November 15, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Akira

      I have yet to see God personally come down and marry anyone personally.

      I take it that since churches and governments are out of equation in your world, everybody just shacks up?

      November 15, 2013 at 10:40 am |
      • Akira

        I used personally twice in my first sentence inadvertently. Apologies.

        November 15, 2013 at 10:42 am |
      • lol??

        Who married the patriarchs??

        November 15, 2013 at 10:44 am |
        • Akira

          Who is doing it now??

          November 15, 2013 at 10:49 am |
        • lol??

          I asked a question first. Are you accusin' the patriarchs of "just shackin' up"?? That could be twouble on judgment day.

          November 15, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      I think you have a 'pwoblem' with 'r'. Why say things like a child in text? Just wondering.

      November 15, 2013 at 10:47 am |
      • Akira

        That key has been stuck since 1952.

        November 15, 2013 at 10:50 am |
  13. Doc Vestibule

    Where's the fun in religion if you can't vitriolically condemn this and that from a fiery pulpit?
    How else can you reinforce your smug self-assurance of moral superiority?

    As for exorcism, it's a pretty simply, though smelly, procedure.
    According to the book of Tobit, all you need to do is burn some fish guts and the demons will run away, never to return.
    Demons hate fish guts.

    November 15, 2013 at 10:31 am |
  14. Akira

    What a load of hooey.

    November 15, 2013 at 10:31 am |
  15. Jeffsf

    Oh. please. This kind of hocus pocus only further reduces the confidence in the Catholic church. Thank goodness my faith is GOD is a lot stronger than faith in these charlatans. Bishop Paprocki...you tricks and magic no longer work here...Booo...go away.

    November 15, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  16. Batman

    This is stupid. Nothing is wrong with them. Instead of this method of hate, judgment, and sometimes rejection, why not be there for them instead of sending them away so YOU won't have to face your biggest fear- the rejection of your church, family, friends or community. That is the biggest fear people have. It's not fear what God will do. It's fear of how people will react. That's why parents will send their gay child away quickly so they don't have to face the humiliation once it's out and spreads like wildfire. People would rather gossip then help people. Instead of love, they want drama.

    November 15, 2013 at 10:25 am |
  17. Inconvenient truth

    Why do gay exorcism is their own priest are gays and pedos??!

    November 15, 2013 at 10:21 am |
  18. Bob

    Let's work to bring to an end this hideous, bigoted, hateful superstition and cult known as Catholicism. It's time.

    November 15, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      And how do you propose achieving this?

      November 15, 2013 at 10:27 am |
      • Joey

        Since this is America I assume he thinks everyone should become Baptist or something. I could be wrong though.

        November 15, 2013 at 10:47 am |
        • Bob


          November 15, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • blah

      end all religion.. how? but not brainwashing your kids.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • foxbarking

      Or Bob, how about you go on not believing in religion and get the superior athiest chip off your shoulder. For the most part, the athiests I know are great people who are willing to discuss religion without judging people for believing what they believe in. But then every now and then you get someone like you who looks down on anyone who believes something different. Ironically, you looking down on people with religious beliefs is exactly the same thing as the bishop in this article looking down on gay marriage and trying to do his idiotic exorcism. You are not superior to anyone, so wipe the air of superiority off your judgemental posts.

      November 15, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
      • Kevin

        Wow, you mean like many Christians are good people, however every once in a while there is one who has to judge others and tell Atheists they're going to hell?

        November 15, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • truth

      Bob. The french beat you to it. They were so enlightened that they designed the guillotine. I guess you would call for another Reign of Terror? Six Million dismemebered bodies below Paris is not enough for you?

      November 15, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
  19. who is satan?

    The Bible says that Satan was created by God as a cherub, the most powerful of God's angelic beings.4 Some time after his creation and before the creation of mankind,5 Satan rebelled against God and took one third of the angels (now referred to as demons) with him into rebellion.

    November 15, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Satan fought against a despot. A hero, some might say.

      November 15, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • how to overcome satan?

      The apostle John says that believers can overcome Satan when "the word of God abides in you."36 When Jesus was tempted by Satan, He cited scripture to him (Matthew 4:1-1037). In addition, Paul tells us that the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, is our only offensive weapon against the Satan (Ephesians 6:13-1738). In the parable of the sower, Jesus said that there were those who heard the word of God, but failed to take it in, and so were led astray by the devil (the seed that fell by the side of the road).39 So Christians resist the devil by knowing and memorizing scripture so that we cannot be deceived by the lies of Satan.22 The Bible gives believers the following instructions about resisting the devil:
      •Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
      •"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:26-27)
      •In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16)
      •Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9

      November 15, 2013 at 10:23 am |
      • Albert

        Your word I have treasured in my heart,
        That I may not sin against You– Psalm 119

        November 15, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Douglas

      Satan later joined forces with Sauron but was injured in a lost battle for Middle Earth. He now works as a potscrubber for Rush Limbaugh and he also has a side job as an oiler for Joel Osteen's hair.

      November 15, 2013 at 10:26 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        And that beautiful head of hair needs oilin'. As preachers go, Osteen is by far the hottest.

        November 15, 2013 at 10:28 am |
        • Akira

          And he's got that Dentyne smile.

          November 15, 2013 at 10:33 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          He gives me goosebumps (the good kind). Handsome, rich, charismatic; the guy's a dreamboat.

          November 15, 2013 at 10:39 am |
        • Akira

          Different strokes, and all.

          November 15, 2013 at 10:52 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I wouldn't mind stroking Osteen's massive... ego.

          November 15, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Santos

      Does anybody know how many angels were there originally?

      November 15, 2013 at 10:32 am |
      • David Luther

        Read Daniel 7:10; Matthew 26:53; Hebrews 12:22 for the answer.

        November 15, 2013 at 10:35 am |
        • Akira

          Daniel 7:10 doesn't mention angels.
          Mathew 26:23 mentions more than 12 legions of angels, but didn't answer the original question; neither did Hebrews 12:22, mentioning only "innumerable" angels.

          A simple "nobody knows" would have sufficed.

          November 15, 2013 at 11:10 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Or none, if one were to take the initial question literally.

          November 15, 2013 at 11:12 am |
      • Akira

        And how many dance on the head of a pin?
        I need answers, dammit.

        November 15, 2013 at 10:35 am |
        • tallulah13

          Are you reserving a pin for the Annual Angel Dance party and need a head count?

          November 15, 2013 at 11:16 am |
      • blah

        Disney:Marry Poppins:34:9 for the answer

        November 15, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • blah

      there was no satan until christians Created one.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:54 am |
      • truth

        Actually, that is what Catholics believe, sort of. We empower satan when we choose our will over God's will through sin. However, satan is in open rebellion to God and God's will, so I suppose Catholics believe he was created by God but became what he is when he chose his own will over God's will.

        November 15, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  20. Dyslexic doG

    If God is powerful enough to create the universe, don't you think he'd have a more foolproof way of getting his exact message across to future generations than this endlessly translated, edited, confused, modified, twisted, corrupted book of stories that is changed by religious power brokers to suit each generation?

    Wouldn't god's word be carved on the moon, unchangeable and for all to see? Wouldn't it be spoken unchanged by a species of animal? Wouldn't it be written microscopically on every stone or every tree? Wouldn't there be some space age material that had god's voice recorded, uncorrupted over the centuries and there for everyone to hear.

    Wouldn't there be parts of God's word that reflect computers or artificial intelligence or DNA or modern medicine or future medicine or electricity or space travel to other parts of this amazing universe he created? Wouldn't there be talk of gender and race equality? Wouldn't there be talk of Asia and Australia and the Americas and Europe and Africa?

    Instead the bible is limited to horses and carts and herbs and grain and swords and shields and misogyny and racism and slavery all set in the deserts of the middle east. The Bible is so obviously a product of bronze age man, you must be in denial to even argue that it is the word of god. There may or may not be a god or gods, but this book of bronze age voodoo and oppression has nothing to do with him, her or them.

    And stop it with this "not the word of god but words inspired by god" cop out. That just means it was written by greedy, evil men like Bishop Thomas Paprocki who got their way by claiming that god told them to do something. That's a self serving scam that should be scorned, especially by anyone claiming to love an omnipotent god. That scam is an abomination and an insult to your god ... as is the bible!

    November 15, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • L

      Many atheists wish to restrict people's rights so they could only be religious in their homes and churches thus the word couldn't be spread all over the world. Thus atheists would actually be sending people to hell without realizing it with their constant complaining about how their rights are being taken away yet they want the same done to everyone else. Everyone will always walk a different path but God doesn't force yourself to make a decision. You make it yourself.

      November 15, 2013 at 10:29 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that


        November 15, 2013 at 10:32 am |
        • Akira

          You've pegged this one.

          November 15, 2013 at 10:37 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          It's not too difficult.

          November 15, 2013 at 10:44 am |
      • sam stone

        if god knows what we are going to do before we do it, and god cannot be wrong, there is no free will

        November 15, 2013 at 10:41 am |
        • HisStoryPal

          Predestination -vs- Free Will. This riddle is solved via the mystery of faith. i.e., you and I (nor any human) – We might not even know what God's definition of "wrong" is

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

        No kidding.
        What happened to Barry Lyndon?

        November 15, 2013 at 10:54 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I'm changing it around. I'm thinking of having a Clockwork Orange quote next. Or maybe the absolute comedy classic 'You can't fight here, this is the War Room.'

          November 15, 2013 at 10:56 am |
      • ME II

        Atheists aren't trying to restrict the rights of people, just the government, which includes organizations and officials that represent the government. I would have thought that religious people would be the first ones to want to keep the government out of religion.

        November 15, 2013 at 11:33 am |
      • blah

        wah wah athiest.. 2000+ years of religious nutcases oppressing people based on faerie tales...
        go read your books safely in your own house, stop spreading your disease to my fellow humans

        November 15, 2013 at 11:49 am |
      • Stevep44

        But, but ... your god is all powerful, all knowing, creator of the universe, etc. etc. How could anything we, as mere human atheists, thwart his divine plan? Unless ...

        November 15, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Chuck Anziulewicz

      I just wish that GOD, in His wisdom and omnipotence, would be just a bit more media-savvy in this day and age. I mean, we’re talking about the same God that allegedly created the Universe (just 6,000 years ago, according to some people), flooded the entire Earth, parted the Red Sea, and whose Earthbound avatar came back to life after having assumed room temperature for the better part of a weekend. Why does He insist on taking such a hands-off approach? We have one Book which has been translated and re-translated, interpreted and re-interpreted, until hardly anyone can agree on what it means. We have dozens of Christian denominations, each with its own unique take on what God expects of us. Wouldn’t God be a little more effective in getting us to behave decently toward one another if He would just put together a website or a television channel or at the very least a 1-800 number? There is a wide variety of contemporary social and economic issues I sure would like to get His opinion on.

      November 15, 2013 at 10:36 am |
      • Dyslexic doG


        November 15, 2013 at 11:07 am |
      • Jack

        Wow, you are so clever and funny. Congrats on your wisdom and gifts.

        November 15, 2013 at 11:35 am |
      • 116

        This bible has had over 19,000 copies before 500 ad and all of them agree on the same major points, they were first written within 100 years of Jesus's death and resurection,
        The Iliad, 900 years, less than ten copys, most dont agree with each other,
        roman histories on Alexander the great written five hundred years after his death, and this is the same material in our history textbooks, livy wrote five hundred years about rome contantly ammiting he was not sure of exact facts, same stuff in out textbooks. also there is this thing called prayer, you can do it anytime, anywhere, and he will listen.

        November 15, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
        • Stevep44

          If you believe your god has a divine plan, a prayer is either redundant or futile. Why bother, other than for self gratification?

          November 15, 2013 at 2:30 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.