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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 Religion Editor

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

soundoff (3,013 Responses)
  1. joesalters

    I hope it works

    November 15, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • per se

      It won't. Because god does not exist. It's like asking Harry Potter to wash your dishes.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Casey

      It will not work because being gay is not a sin.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Seriously?? How old are you 5??? I can't believe anyone is so gullible.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  2. Fitzgerald7000

    Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Mathew 5:19. Also consider, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" Building a "big church' at the risk of compromise can only end in disaster.

    November 15, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    •  Billy

      No one even knows who the heck authored Matthew.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Casey

      The Scriptures you quoted have nothing to do with h-o-m-o-s-e-x-u-a-l-i-t-y.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
  3. ART

    Hey Bishop Paprocki maybe you should exorcise your Priest from under age boys, and god only knows what skeletons you have in your closet,you frickin hypocrite

    November 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
  4. A J

    Where was this Bishop during the child abuse scandal tainting the priesthood? Is it possible that the thrill is gone for anything that is no longer forbidden by law? I admire the Pope for attempting to become a man of the people. Unfortunately, the historic acts of the Vatican will hinder any attempt of reforming the corrupt nature of the Catholic Church.

    November 15, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  5. Burbank

    This is one of the reasons why I'm an ex Catholic!

    November 15, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  6. cedar rapids

    So if he performs this exorcism and gay marriage still stands does that mean this guy doesnt have enough faith? that he isnt strong enough to beat the devil?

    November 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
  7. RDH

    These stupid christians and catholics don't know what they are talking about. The bible clearly says God gave them over to a debased mind. Good luck trying to exercise God out of gay marriage. Romans 1:26-28 ESV

    For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

    November 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
  8. GnatB

    To be fair, there's a difference between loving the sinner, (which is what the Pope seems to be suggesting, and is something the Christian is supposed to do), and hating the sin itself. (i.e. being against the legalization of something deemed to be a sin)

    That said, I tend to think that government recognition of gay marriage is something the church should butt out of. There's all sorts of non-religious reasons why the concept is absurd. ('Course, the whole gay marriage issue has me half convinced government has no business giving married straight couples any financial recognition.)

    November 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "being against the legalization of something deemed to be a sin"

      Did you know that there are millions of Americans who believe eating pork is a sin? So when are we going to ban bacon? It's a sin to some of us so everyone should be forced to abide by it, right?

      November 15, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  9. L

    If atheists have no proof that they are correct, why do they ridicule believers for not having evidence? It's not just about disproving that God exists, it's proving what they believe about "reality" is right and 100% correct. Without that evidence, no one can believe what atheists tell us.

    November 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Sara

      Proofs belong to math and logic – it's never about proof. You have evidence and stories (theories) and it's about having a story that matches the evidence. There are a lot of possible good stories...the Christian tale just isn't one of them.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      because atheists dont try to claim that magic is the reason for everything? and that this magical system should tell everyone how to behave.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Dave

      No, the burden of proof is on the believer. All evidence points to.god not existing. Except in the mind of believers.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
      • sybaris

        to add................ belief is not truth, if it were there would be only one religion and one god

        November 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • sybaris

      Did you really just say that?

      November 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "L" aka "Lepadoid" as he latches on to any comments section and won't go away even though he has nothing to add, just regurgitated fecal matter from the bottom of a whale.

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

      Because atheism isn't a stance towards a belief of "being correct." It's a single stance on a single topic: God. We simply deny there is one, BECAUSE there is no proof. It's the same reason you're probably an atheist towards unicorns and leprechauns (I would hope). The difference is, we don't have politicians and churches trying to force us into lifestyles thought up by 2,000 year old books on unicorns and leprechauns. If we did, then it would just be one more thing to fight.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  10. Goodwithoutgods

    Whosoever whereth a golden oven mitt on his head to match his golden dress is culpable of serious fashion sin

    November 15, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  11. What is the basis for all this ridiculous judgement?

    A speech by Bart Ehrman at Stanford about the story behind who changed the bible and why and the history of the bible and how they got tainted. He is a former Christian bible scholar who studied the bible and found the mistakes and became an agnostic.

    This speech is a must see for christians who ask questions like:
    Who wrote the gospels?
    Is the bible the word of God?
    Are there contradictions?
    Does the bible contain errors?
    Is there evidence or proof?

    Bart Ehrman holds a PhD magna cum laude from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0zWbL8Uqfw

    November 15, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    •  

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0zWbL8Uqfw&w=640&h=360]

      November 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
  12. Dyslexic doG

    For all of you buying in to the Vatican's PR campaign, with the carefully staged photo opportunities and carefully written tweets and speeches, just know that the Vatican is treating you like a fool. They are not changing any of the factors of child molestation and misuse of money and links to crime, they are just running a political campaign to increase popularity and membership. See CNN's "pope-story-a-day" blog as an example.

    despite what has been recently said, only one person knows what this pope's real views are but if you want a clue, his past statements give us a pretty good idea!

    November 15, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Sara

      Yep. Those who fell for the propaganda are going to feel cheated, but that's what youget for being too lazy to read beyond the headlines.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
      • skim500

        Who exactly feels cheated. Practicing Catholics do not feel cheated. Church teaching will not change just to suit the media or some section of society. The Pope wants Catholics to concentrate more on helping the poor rather than get bogged down constantly talking about gay marriage and abortion. However this does not mean he supports gay marriage or abortion, he does not. The Pope must follow the Gospels and church tradition just like the rest of the Catholic church.

        November 15, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  13. Karen

    What do they put in that sacremental wine?

    November 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  14. Goodwithoutgods

    Speaking of their fancy dresses (NOT gay) bill maher observed that the day the pope shows up jeans and a polo millions of Catholics will say, what we're we thinking?

    November 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • da pope

      I don't know man, what we are we thinking?

      November 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • lol??

      What is SCOTUS thinking??

      November 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
  15. Doc Vestibule

    I've got a mental picture of the Frog Brothers from "Lost Boys" running through a figure skating exhibition with super-soakers and water balloons full of holy water.

    November 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  16. Mike

    the Church couldn't be more embarrassing and out of touch........shameful and ridiculous.......

    the church and all religion is irrelevant to the future of mankind. they will all fade away.....or burn out.....the way they are all going....probably just burn out.

    November 15, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  17. Reality

    thankfully USA law trumps religious rules. In fact religious rules are treated in the same light as kids tree house rules in this country.

    Religions are accountable to OUR government..

    November 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • skim500

      And what a wonderful law abiding country you have.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  18. Lawrence of Arabia

    Well, they're right in taking a stand against the sin of sodomy, but their understanding of exorcisms isn't Biblically sound. God alone has the authority to cast out demons. When Jesus commissioned His disciples, He granted them temporary authority to act in His Name over demonic forces in order to authenticate them to non-believers as messengers of the true gospel, but such a gift is not for believers today. Not even angels in heaven are given authority to cast out demons (Jude 1:9)

    Actually, there is only one use of the word "exorcist" in scripture, and it is used in reference to Jewish charlatans – Acts 19:13-16.

    We are given the answer to demonic influence in Matthew 17:19-21 – this kind (of evil) does not go out except by prayer and fasting...

    The removal of the power of demonic forces is not done by any incantation or ceremony – it is accomplished when a person gets saved.

    November 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Reality

      boo

      November 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Sara

      In a Catholic exorcism God is the one doing the work, the priestis just asking publically. It's in their catechism.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Are they praying for the demonic influence to leave, or are they praying for the salvation of the afflicted? If its the former, then they are attempting to put a bandaid on a severed limb. It may appear to help temporarily, but it does nothing to fix the problem.

        November 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • Fan2C

          Lawrence of Arabia,

          There is no verified evidence that EITHER of those does what it boasts.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          Are you seriously debating the proper technique for exorcism of demons?

          November 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          MEII,
          No, there is no proper procedure for exorcisms because exorcisms don't happen. If someone is suffering from demonic influence, then get them saved!

          November 15, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • ME II

          Does getting "saved" eliminate "demonic influence"?

          November 15, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          It frees the person from demonic oppression (to rule over one, as in to exercise dominion) and possession (when an evil spirit takes up residence where only God the Holy Spirit is supposed to dwell: within the mind, the emotion, and the will), but even believers are subject to obsession – which is to vex, or to afflict, as in a filling of the mind with an obsession of sin. This is a form of temptation that believers struggle against, but the question comes down to "who, or what controls your mind?" Is it a ruling desire to obey some impulse of your physical being, or are you controlled by a desire to serve God?"

          November 15, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
        • Topher

          Lawrence, is that me?

          November 15, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
        • per se

          I once thought I was possessed by a demon. Turns out it was just a Doritos Locos Taco that I had for lunch.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          So you are saying that the proper procedure for removing "demonic possession" is to get the person "saved", i.e. the technique that will work is "saving" them, correct?

          November 15, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Max

      So don't commit sodomy. The church can do whatever it pleases; that has nothing to do with our secular laws.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Is sodomy sinful for a straight couple?
      Was it Satan who made prostate stimulation so darned pleasurable for so many men?
      Are lesbians OK since they're less likely to engage in butt fun than gay men?

      November 15, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
      • G to the T

        I've always wondered this myself. But I think most people are less vocally against lesbians because of the (apparent) lack of penetration. That and chicks makin' out is hotness!

        November 15, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      you know the definition of sodomy includes oral right? i dont care if what my wife does is sinful, im not going to ask her to stop.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        *GASP*
        The terrible, unforgivable sin of Onanism!
        Becuase Onan refused to impregnate his sister in law, God struck him down.
        That's why your wife's BJs will send you straight to Hell! (but at least you'll arrive with a smile on your face).

        November 15, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          thats what i call a happy ending.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Fan2C

      Lawrence of Arabia,
      "...it is accomplished when a person gets saved."

      Sounds like just another sp.ooky supernatural fantasy. There is not a whit of verified evidence that anything of the sort actually happens.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • per se

      God doesn't exist, therefore none of what you wrote is relevant to reality.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      oh Lawrence, you really are deluded on so many levels aren't you!

      November 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        I've been called a lot worse. And by people who are a lot meaner than you. Some of them even brandishing weapons intent on rearranging my internal organs.

        November 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • ME II

          Not that I condone violence, but doesn't that tell you something about your personality?

          November 15, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
        • per se

          What is it like to be threatened with violence for your beliefs? Us non-Christians have never had that happen. Oh, wait......

          November 15, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
        • per se

          ME II,

          While I in no way agree with his religious beliefs, the threats of violence speak only about those doing the threatening since he himself hasn't used that tactic first.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • ME II

          @per se,
          "While I in no way agree with his religious beliefs, the threats of violence speak only about those doing the threatening since he himself hasn't used that tactic first."

          I did not in any way intend to imply that the threat/violence was LOA's fault. The best response to words is more words, unless there is a threat involved.
          However, I'm also saying that if there is a pattern of antagonistic response, then perhaps it would be prudent to reconsider one's approach.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
        • Fan2C

          Lawrence of Arabia,

          People assaulted you or threatened you with weapons merely for preaching? I'd like to hear that story. If it happened in the U.S. I hope they were arrested and convicted of crimes.

          Your overbearing persona is ridiculous - meaning deserving of ridicule, but not deserving physical assault.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          MEII,
          Weeeeeeell, my approach certainly gets attention, but I would rather it that way. A pastor once said "Let there be a fire in your voice and the people will gather around to watch you burn!"

          When I speak passionately, it invites passionate responses for sure, but I only speak what's in Scripture.

          There's an old Hebrew saying: "Throw a rock into a pack of dogs and the one that yelps is the one that got hit." In other words, the ones who are usually doing the most threatening are the ones whose consciences have been most wounded.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Fan2C,
          I've actually gotten better responses to Christian witnessing in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico where there are bars on all the doors and windows of every house you see than in Coastal NC here in the states... Maybe that's why America is now one of the largest missionary fields when overseas missionaries want to come and spread the gospel.

          November 15, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          Perhaps, I misspoke in my earlier statements. Was this altercation a result of deliberate provocation on your part?

          November 15, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • Check

          Lawrence of Arabia:
          "but I only speak what's in Scripture."

          Scripture Schmipture

          Do you ever speak these:

          – You cure leprosy by having a dove killed, dipping a live one in its blood and having it fly around. Also, you have to anoint the toes of the suffer with the blood.–Leviticus 14

          – You discover unfaithful wives when their bellies swell and their thighs rot after they are made to drink some magical water. – Numbers 5

          – Prized striped goats are bred by having the mating parents stare at striped objects. –Genesis 30

          – You may buy, own, sell, and will slaves to your descendants (only foreigners for slaves, though, no Israelis) –Leviticus 25

          - “If two men are fighting, and the wife of one man tries to rescue her husband by grabbing the other man’s private parts, you must cut off her hand. Don’t have any mercy." Deuteronomy 25

          There are several other similar instances of absolute rubbish that this "God" purportedly "spoke", along with a bunch of other rules and laws and rituals that are obviously only from the minds of primitive men. How anyone can believe that this stuff came from a real smart divine being is ludicrous.

          November 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • RDH

      You are completely wrong about that liar. John 14:12-14 ESV

      “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
      • ETH

        Numbers 31:17-18
        17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
        18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

        November 15, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Jesus didn't mean greater works in POWER, but in EXTENT. They would become witnesses to all the world through the power of the indwelling and infilling of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) and would bring many to salvation because of the Comforter dwelling in them. The focus is on SPIRITUAL rather than PHYSICAL miracles. The book of Acts consti.tutes the beginning historical record of the impact that the Spirit-empowered disciples had on the world (Acts 17:6). Furthermore, the only way that Jesus' disciples would be able to be used to do those greater worls was through the power of the Holy Spirit, and He could not be sent as the Comforter until Jesus returned to the Father. (vs 26, 7:39)

        November 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
        • G to the T

          In other words the book of acts tries to explain why people can't do all the things mentioned of people doing in the earlier stories.

          You still think the bible you reference is an accurate account of history?

          November 15, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • sybaris

      Quoting the bible is like an 8 year old stabbing at you with their "magic" sword......... cute and inefective

      November 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  19. Goodwithoutgods

    These repressed people can't stand that millions of people embrace themselves without crippling guilt and shame. I hope they keep up these shenanigans that make them look irrelevant and out of touch. Lose the medieval outfits!

    November 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  20. magicpanties

    Please exorcize bishop's head from nether region

    November 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Are you sure that putting his head up there isn't part of his regular exercise program?

      November 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
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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.