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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. DB Cooper

    This from a man in a shiny dress and fabulous hat!

    November 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • lol??

      What were you wearin' when you, ah, em, leaped??

      November 15, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        lol reminded me of an old joke...

        A paratrooper was telling his friend about his experience in the war and said "We had one tough SOB of a Sergeant when I went through training, when I got to the door of the plane I was so scared I refused to jump and tried to wrap my arms around a chair. Then Sarge told me 'Boy, if you don't jump I am going to reem you in the ass!!'"

        "So did you jump" asked his friend.

        The soldier replied "A little at first..."

        November 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          Great joke! 🙂

          November 15, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
  2. Rob

    Perhaps after the ceremony he will sacrifice some virgins to the Volcano God.

    November 15, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  3. Just the Facts Ma'am...

    Our Father who aren't in heaven, hollow be your name. Your kingdom never came, your will can't be done, on earth, as there is no heaven. I worked hard this day for my daily bread, and forgive others their debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us in song with the Temptations, who deliver us from boring music, we ask this day, who it was that created you and we reply with a resounding answer... Aman...

    November 15, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • DB Cooper

      That made my day!

      November 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Sidewinder

      Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

      November 15, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  4. HapHazzard

    When it comes to bullsh1t, big-time, major league bullsh1t, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims, religion. No contest. No contest. Religion. Religion easily has the greatest bullsh1t story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time!

    But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can't handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullsh1t story. Holy Sh1t!
    – George Carlin

    November 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • G to the T

      World's a darker place without him. Man I miss George...

      November 15, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  5. Manna

    Is he serious? Why does he need to make a spectacle? I am not Catholic and I have grown to respect the new Pope as he has worked on focusing on people not political actions. All this does is slap all the hard work he has done in his face. What type of Bishop feels as if this is even close to respectful to the pope?

    November 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  6. KitKat

    What about this screamer. If you are a bad person, you will burn for all eternity. God will inflict a penalty upon you which is, essentially, the worst possible penalty imaginable for all time, worse that anything Hitler ever did, but he loves you......

    November 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Topher

      So ... what's the problem?

      November 15, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
      • Joey

        Pretty much the entire story.

        November 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
      • G to the T

        The problem is that many people don't see a problem with that...

        November 15, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  7. AndyDaniel

    "But Paprocki ... says all Catholics ... to county clerks who issue marriage licenses – are "culpable of serious sin."

    Wow! So the bishop is telling civil employees who happen to be Catholic that they should refuse to follow the law and instead force their faith on others?

    November 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Maddy

      This guy hasn't a clue. Period.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
      • lol??

        The butler did it.

        November 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
  8. Earthling

    These religious nutjobs really need to shut up and sit down. If you want to believe something that is obviously nonsense, go right ahead – but do it behind closed doors. Keep your religion in your church where it belongs, and keep it OUT of public policy and law in my country.

    November 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  9. Joe

    @ Casey ...it depends on your perspective. I understand what you mean that he maybe driving people away, but at the same time the Bishop may see this as the same as when Jesus, in a very agressive manner, pushed out the dealers and stealers out of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, so I think it may be perspective.

    November 15, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Casey

      The Catholic Catechism states that gays should be treated with "respect, compassion, and sensitivity." That is not what this bishop is doing.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
      • Praisethelard

        Catechism 22 ??

        November 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • lol??

          Catch as catch can??

          November 15, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
      • Maddy

        This guy is, to put it politely, a media ho.

        November 15, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  10. emskadittle

    someday we will look back and see that this is an act of true evil

    November 15, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • lol??

      Play evil backwards.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
      • SPA Knight

        That's exactly why evil is the anti-life which ultimately leads to spiritual death rather than eternal life.

        November 15, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  11. ECA

    Makes me proud to be an ex-catholic atheist.

    November 15, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • confess sinner

      I was raised with this Catholic nonsense. My parents were suckers for this crap. I paid for it with years of Catholic "education".
      What a load.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
  12. Colin

    Ok, here is a quick test. You only have one hundred words. Please choose your favorite Catholic superst.ition from those below. For the one you choose, please say why it is any more ridiculous than the rest of the garbage Catholics swallow and give an example of a non-Catholic belief which is just as stupid.

    a. Grocery store bread and wine becomes the flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because a priest does some hocus pocus over it in church of a Sunday morning.

    b. When I pray for something like “please god help me pass my exam tomorrow,” an invisible being reads my mind and intervenes to alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to meet my request.

    c. You can pray to a dead person for something. This dead person will then ask God to fulfill your wish. If this happens twice, this dead person becomes a saint.

    d. A god impregnated a virgin with himself, so he could give birth to himself and then sacrifice himself to himself to negate an “original sin” of a couple we now know never existed; or

    e. There is an immortal, totally evil being that God (who loves us so much) could kill if he wants to, but won't. This devil wants all Christians to sin so he can burn them forever. Periodically, this devil comes to Earth to possess people – but only the mentally ill. He never possesses the emotionally stable and well-adjusted members of society.

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

      Or don't pick anything because no one cares about you, the topic or your lackluster attempt to make fun of it.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Bob

      His only fault is taking money from fools..

      Otherwise you are right on..

      November 15, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      I prefer the one that says that an all-knowing infallible deity created a universe that lasted all of 5 minutes before it all went to pot because someone ate a piece of fruit from a tree that he placed there for no apparent reason, and didnt know that they were going to ignore him.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
      • lol??

        How did your imagination come up with 5 minutes??

        November 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          Its an expression denoting a short space of time, which considering where the event happens in the chronology of the biblical myth is pretty apt.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • lol??

          Well. I've heard of a NY LUV minute. The girls are expeditious. They gotta get up early to go to work in the AM.

          November 15, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • nameredacted

      I think snakes talking in a garden would have to be my favorite. Because the moral to that story was that women are the sole reason there is no paradise on Earth. 2nd prize to the 300 cubit vessel that could hold two of every animal on the planet.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • KitKat

      What about this screamer. If you are a bad person, you will burn for all eternity. God will inflict a penalty upon you which is, essentially, the worst possible penalty imaginable for all time, worse that anything Hitler ever did, but he loves you......

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

        BUT, you can avoid all of that on your deathbed by confessing your sins and getting baptized? So where is the justice in that? And why don't you get to go to the big IHop in the sky if you are just a really good person, who never did anything wrong, always helped others, but didn't believe in god? Seems like god has some sort of narcissistic personality disorder.

        November 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Rose

      I kind of like the bit where he sends his son to die in an awful death so that people who are not even born yet will be forgiven for something they had no control over in the first place and he is the one who makes the rules in the first place and could have simply forgiven us without requiring the sacrifice.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Sidewinder

      Gee, I wouldn't even know where to begin. But the thing that has always perplexed me is why throughout the bible does god come down with great fury and smite this or that people or this or that city, but then stuff like the holocaust, the Armenian genocide, r@pe of children, school shootings, etc. – why does all that get a pass from the almighty in his/her tighty whities?

      November 15, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
      • confess sinner

        cheer up. the arabs have their own form of god-monster. and theirs is nastier than ours....

        November 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      Colin

      I would pick b) – Prayer is nothing but wishful thinking, and it is prevalent in EVERY culture. Even I, as a rational thinker have to wear some team apparel when my football team plays. I know it will have no bearing on the outcome of the game, but it is a cultural thing that I just can't shake. This same wishful thinking applies to crystals, spells and incantations, or even tossing salt over your shoulder. I think it really goes hand in hand with our ability to imagine and plan for the future. In fact, I am sure if you poured over transcripts of Washoe or KoKo's sign language interactions you will find examples of wishful thinking. This predates religion, and in my opinion even humans.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
  13. Jamie Estevez

    I commend Bishop Paprocki for taking a stand for what is right. I am not Roman Catholic, I am Russian Orthodox, but in this day and age we must make a stand for the truth, we must take a stand for what is right and we must call evil, evil...period.

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

      I concur.. lets start with the pedophiles in the priesthood..

      November 15, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
      • Jamie Estevez

        I agree the RCC should purge any all pedophiles.

        November 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Max

      Being gay isn't evil.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Colin

      So, you have three strikes against you- you are a hom.ophobe, as an adullt you still believe in devils, and you are Russian.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
      • Ed

        Being Russian is a strike? My, aren't we the smug little bigot...

        November 16, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Right, because there is mothing more evil than two people who are in love.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
      • SPA Knight

        What you say is only true if you define love and marriage properly rather than redefining it.

        November 15, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
        • G to the T

          Nobody is redefning love and "marriage" has taken many, many different forms (i.e. definitions) over the centuries. So it's really more a matter of people trying to stop it from evolving rather than people trying to change the definition. The definition is changing, it's just people like you that feel that this is somehow bad.

          November 15, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • MrManhattan

      Spoken like a true member of the American Taliban. If you like theocratic governments so much, there's a few in the Middle East to choose from. Have a nice trip.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      I hope one of your children is LGBT, then you'll be forced to face it head on and you'll hopefully realize how much of a hateful bigot you truly are or you'll remain the hateful bigot and said child will walk away leaving you broken hearted, just as you've damaged them.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Jackson

      I feel sorry for you

      November 15, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Will

      Truth, you wouldn't know truth if it smacked you between the eyes. Truth does not lay with the limited reading of the bible from some guy in the funny hat, truth comes from our hearts not our hate. This is nothing more than a contradiction of the new Pope and his outreach to the world, he has seen the light of truth while the American Catholic Bishops continue to drum the beat of hate. A reason why I refuse to go back to the church I was raised in.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Wm.Russ Martin

      The bishop will be doing the exorcism incorrectly if he doesn't wave a chicken foot around. Also, he must pat his belly while rubbing his head and jumping on one foot in three circles, first clockwise and then three times counter-clockwise. But we still aren't certain if the direction of the rotations are determined while viewing from above or from below. I'm going to go check some tea leaves and the entrails from the chicken for guidance. BRB..

      Religion is a mental disorder.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  14. Goodwithoutgods

    Hey 'L' you're committing the most overused and absurd fallacy to argue with atheists. Only those who argue in the affirmative have the burden of proof. An atheist simply says, I see no evidence for god. No intelligent person thinks they have to prove a negative. There is no 'gotcha!' In your silly statement

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

      L is a textbook definition of a troll.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
      • Max

        I am not an atheist.

        Boom. You lose. Again.

        November 15, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • L

      And I see no evidence atheists are right. Boom. You lose.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
      • cedar rapids

        you see no evidence to prove the claim that atheists say there is no evidence?

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

          I don't see any evidence that proves atheists correct. Learn to read.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'I don't see any evidence that proves atheists correct. Learn to read.'

          but you cant prove a negative, the only thing you can claim to prove or not prove is whether there is evidence of a deity. The atheists claim there is no evidence. So I stand by my comment.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
      • Wm.Russ Martin

        And your ignorance is proof of what again?

        November 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  15. MrManhattan

    Maybe an exorcism of your tax exempt status is in order?

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

      "Amen" to that MrManhattan.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • tribecagal

      Good one!

      November 15, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Sidewinder

      Touche!

      November 15, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
  16. Inconvenient truth

    the priest hat looks like a fish, why?

    It comes from the fish god, the same god the philisteans ( god Dagon)used to worship.

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

      When is he going to exorcise the real evil on the catholic church ""PEDOPHILES" that would be a good start..!!

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

      Sort of, but it's not really a fish. That is a phallacy 😉 You see, tall headgarments are common in many traditions to denote status and "potency". In other words, it's largely just a visible representation of a wang. And the biggest wangs are the leaders.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
  17. MaryKay

    Why don't you all just live your own lives and be kind to everyone instead of judging. Let people be who they are. If it is 'wrong' then it will correct itself one way or another. But making yourself 'superior' to those who do not act like you is really just an ego trip for yourself. I think it is time for you to settle down and put all that energy you are using 'bullying' others into your own soul. Go out and feed the hungry for "God's" sake!

    November 15, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Because the bible, like the koran, commands them to hate others who are not like them. You should read it some time.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Sean

      Well said.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  18. Casey

    This bishop might want to stop worrying about gays going to Hell and start thinking about what he is going to say to God when God asks him why he drove so many of God's children away from Him with his judgment and intolerance.

    November 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Actually, according to the bible you're supposed to be kiIIing these people, not trying to save them.

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

        I don't recall Jesus saying the Bigots shall inherent the shotguns. I guess there's a different bible for the Third World.

        November 15, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          You do know that there is an old testament right? You should try reading that evil book some time.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • Casey

          Honey – The Old Testament is not evil, it just needs to be read in historical and cultural context.

          The Bible is the spiritual history of the Hebrew and early Christian communities. It is inspired by God, but written by men who were influenced by the culture around them. It was never meant to be interpreted literally. Jesus did not interpret Scripture literally. If he did, he would have stoned the woman caught in adultery, he would not have changed the teaching on divorce, and he would not have allowed his apostles to pick wheat on the Sabbath. Jesus interpreted Scripture using reason and compassion. Using reason to understand the cultural influences in the Bible is what allows us to differentiate between cultural norms which no longer apply and spiritual truths which do. If we did not use reason when reading and interpreting Scripture, people would still use Scripture to defend slavery.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
        • Joey

          Christians like to claim that god doesn't change, so if god wanted you to kill gays at one time then either he still wants you to kill gays or Christians are wrong and changed his mind. So which is it?

          November 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Casey
          Many people (including the Catholic church) will agree that the OT is basically an apocryphal history of the Jewish people.
          Unfortunately, there are a frightening number of others who insist that it must be taken literally (Baptists, for example).

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

          Joey – God may not change (although that is up for debate), but our understanding of God changes as we grow and mature personally and as a society.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • Casey

          Doc – Well said!

          November 15, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          Typical cafeterial xtian. Take the good parts and either forget about the bad ones or rationalize them into good things.

          You people are so delusional.

          November 15, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
        • Casey

          Honey – I do not agree with everything the United States does, but that does not make me less American. Similarly, I do not agree with all mainstream Christian teachings, but that does not make me less Christian.

          November 15, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • Joey

          Then why make the bible the basis for you beliefs if you are just going to ignore the parts you don't like?

          November 15, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
      • Casey

        According to the Catholic Catechism concerning gays, ""Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided,"

        November 15, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • G to the T

          I would say this kind of character assisination would qualify in that regards, wouldn't you?

          November 15, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  19. AnyoneElseFedupWithChurchHypocrisy?

    The effects of episcopal consecration: the diminishing of the intellect and the heightening of the will. As Forest Gump opined: "Stupid is as stupid does."

    November 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
  20. Jeez Louise

    It's enough to make your head spin.

    November 15, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      My head spins when I'm eating at Andersons Spit Pea Soup...

      November 15, 2013 at 1:32 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.