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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. Bootyfunk

    catholics - keeping h.omophobia alive since the dark ages.
    and christians wonder why the youth doesn't feel connected with church.

    November 15, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Pete

      They should retire. The evangelicals have demonstrated that they can easily carry the torch of h0m0phobia worldwide.

      November 15, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  2. Kathie

    Maybe he should be more concerned about the pedophiles hiding behind or robes.

    November 15, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
  3. JJGMA

    Oh great another idiot who thinks he's God. Paprocki, what a name.

    November 15, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
  4. Red

    Here we go again. Catholics talking about gays. Really? What category does a grown man fondling boys fall under? Clean your own house first Bishop.

    November 15, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • rafael

      The perfect response.

      November 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Pete

      If "pedophile" equaled "gay" no little girl would ever be molested by an adult man.

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

    I think it is so sad that the Catholic church feels like they have the right to judge everyone and everything. I am a convert and I love the church...but I love the church that Jesus built not that church that men have taken and ruined with their antiquated, judgmental ideas. I am a straight woman and I tell you that the church really needs to check itself. This is embarrassing. My pastor once said that he believes that walls of hell will be lined with popes, bishops and clergy. After working for the church for several years I suffice it to say that he is probably right. Stop judging lest you be judged.

    November 15, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • truth

      Who exactly is the Catholic Church judging? What is the Catholic Churches purpose?

      November 15, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
      • rafael

        They are judging gay people. The purpose of the church appears to be to make itself wealthy at the expense of the people whose lives it controls.

        November 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
        • truth

          They are not judging people, but merely saying that certain acts are wrong. We all do that.

          November 15, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'They are not judging people, but merely saying that certain acts are wrong. We all do that'

          but we dont then all come out and hold an exorcism to drive away the 'evil'

          November 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • Pete

          truth
          If I identify writing left-handed as wrong aren't I also passing judgment on people who are left-handed?

          November 15, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
      • truth

        Pete,

        Your comparison is not quite correct. You do pass judgement on left handed people if they use their left hand to kill or hurt another person.

        November 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • miggymag

      Rather looks like you have just judged many members of the clergy, without knowing them at all. Practice what you preach, please.

      November 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • lol??

      Judging is actually only a timing thing. 'Sides good judgment is a sign of maturity or God's Spirit.

      November 15, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • bostontola

      Which church did Jesus build?

      November 15, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
      • lol??

        His own.

        November 15, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
  6. Odoroloc

    This whole thing is making my head spin.

    November 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Shadowflash1522

      I see what you did there...

      November 15, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
  7. lol??

    C'mon people, read the scriptures. Christians have no position on the given up ones.

    November 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • snowboarder

      "the given up ones"?

      November 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  8. Daniel P. Hanover

    It stories like these that make me fall down on my knees each nite and GIVE THANKS TO GOD that I was born a PROTESTANT ! Catholics like this jerk are NUTS !

    November 15, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      i love the part about being born a protestant for so many reasons .. lol.

      November 15, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
      • bostontola

        I love one christian thinking another is kookier than he.

        November 15, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      CORRECTION:
      "Raised" protestant, not born.
      And there are plenty of nutbar protestant sects out there.
      Martin Luther wasn't exactly the nicest guy in the world – especially to Jewish people.

      November 15, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
      • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

        Not sure Mr. P Hanover doesn't actually think he was born protestant ... after all the vast majority of believers believe whatever they were "born" in to.

        November 15, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Vic

      I am a born again Christian Protestant. It is my belief that Protestantism is the true Christianity.

      November 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
      • Science Works

        That is good for you Vic, keep it up you are a hoot.

        November 15, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
      • snowboarder

        @vic, i have never met a single person that didn't believe that their denomination wasn't the one true doctrine.

        November 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • Vic

          That's why every person believes in what he/she believes, they believe it is the truth.

          Anyway, I examined Protestantism and Catholicism, and discerned that simply:

          1. We are saved by the Grace of God through Faith alone in Jesus Christ as Lord and personal Savior AND apart from the Law (Mosaic.)

          2. Jesus Christ is the ONLY Mediator to God the Father, and a Christian has a direct relationship with Him, hence no Pope.

          Those are the basic tenets of the Reformation by Martin Luther, hence Protestantism.

          November 15, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
        • Vic

          That's why every person believes in what he/she believes, they believe it is the truth.

          Anyway, I examined Protestantism and Catholicism, and discerned that simply:

          1. We are saved by the Grace of God through Faith alone in Jesus Christ as Lord and personal Savior AND apart from the Law (Mosaic.)

          2. Jesus Christ is the ONLY Mediator to God the Father, and a Christian has a direct relationship with Him, hence no Pope.

          Those are the basic tenets of the Reformation by Martin Luther, hence Protestantism.

          November 15, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
      • ME II

        Not that I care one way or the other, but it never quite made sense to me how Martin Luther protested against the church that God obviously put in place, i.e. how could it be otherwise.

        November 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
        • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

          what never made sense to me is how people don't think that asking their God(s) to give, change or otherwise alter their situation isn't blasphemy. To tell a God(s) that you don't agree with the infinite wisdom of the "plan" and want it changed to suit you seems a bit arrogant at best and obviously down right blasphemous.

          November 15, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        There are countless sects of protestantism.
        Which one has the True Scotsmen?
        Ever read Martin Luther's "The Jews & Their LIes"

        November 15, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Eric Wright

      James 1:17
      Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

      James 1:13-15
      Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, obrings forth death.

      We are creatures of emotion and often live our lives by those emotions (why else do you think our lives go along this 'wave' form, good, bad, good, bad, good, bad all the time? Because our emotions sway like a ship in the ocean). Satan uses our emotions against us, and if we lead our lives by our emotions, we are easily controlled and tempted with sin into death.

      While I don't exactly believe in the idea of exorcism, his mentality is correct, according to Scripture. However, take truth to the fact that you can caste all the demons in the world out of a body, and if nothing changes, nothing fills that void, they will return in number. You can't caste demons out of an unbeleiver's body, and if you do, they will return.

      So, in a sense I agree and also disagree with your statement. But I think you should take head to this quote:

      "Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do. But it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving." -Dale Carnegie.

      Before you talk about how much you can't 'stand this guy', pull the log out of your own eye.

      November 15, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • MIJohn

      Eh hate to say this but the biggest set of wacko's are Protestants. Westboro? Southern Bapitists? KKK? Sara Palin? Lots of crazies in your camp. And far fewer having the guts to ignore them.

      At least Catholics know when to ignore idiocy for the most part and how to think for ourselves. Usually by drawing a line between religion and daily life were not everyone is the same sect and not letting the former dictate the later. Too many protestants assume that because they're told to think a certain way, everyone else has to do so too.

      November 15, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  9. Sean

    So is this "exorcism" going to Undo his state law??? Or is this just a big publicity stunt? I think publicity cause how is his ceremony gonna change a state law? Overly religious people are quite silly to me....

    November 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Sean

      On second thought, I think all religions are SILLY. Proud to be a LOGICAL ATHIEST

      November 15, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
      • lol??

        2 thoughts?? Divided houses are ripe fer fallin'.

        November 15, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
        • Sean

          Who divides a house? Wouldn't you take in rain?

          November 15, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
      • truth

        a logical atheist? Is not atheism illogical?

        November 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
        • Sean

          HA? Being non-religious is illogical to u? U must have some iron clad proof in your creator to be so sure I suppose.

          November 15, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • Joey

          Atheism is anything but illogical. It's a completely logical deduction for anyone capable of true critical thinking. Frankly, the idea that there is a word for "not" believing in something seems silly. There's not a word for not believing in Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, etc.

          November 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
      • Eric Wright

        You should get out more and try to meet the Christians and others in various religious beliefs who aren't illogical. I believe in God, but I'm a very logical person. I wasn't raised a Christian, and actually made my way there through my very deep and devoted studies of Quantum Physics, Relativity, and Astronomy. Before I was a Christian I was a very strong atheist and was set in my ways. It took being an true scientist and making SURE that my 'logical' (as you put it) thoughts were not simply dismissing evidentual claims by those who profess religious belief. Wherever the evidence comes from, it should always be viewed in the same respect as all others. Science is neutral, it believes in nothing. It's those who divide, are angry, and selfish who choose to only 'believe' one certain facet of science of evidentual facts. Those who say they have never seen scientific evidence for a young earth and a higher being have chosen to ignore those evidences as a byproduct of 'delusion' and rather than being real and authentic scientists, have ignored the facts brought before their own eyes.

        Mr. Logical, wouldn't it be logical to do your research on God with an open mind rather than a closed one? Wouldn't it make scientific sence to openly consider ALL forms of evidence and fact as you would those issues you believes strongly in? I in this day and age have found more and more atheists who are religious about their atheism to the point that I feel that atheists are actually more religious than Christians (let's not use Christians as the example here....muslims, hindus, and bhudists are at this time and day more religious and self-professing than most Christians I know).

        November 15, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • Joey

          You can't cloak your religious beliefs under the guise of being scientifically informed. You talk about physics, relativity, and astronomy. All of these have progressed to where they are today via the scientific method. Through experimental research, observation, and theory based on both. I'm not clear on how you would research God. The thing I don't get is that there is no more tangible evidence of a god then there is of Cinderella. Zero... none. While some people do change their faith or discover religion as they get older, the vast majority take on the religion into which they were culturally indoctrinated. It's a form of brainwashing, nothing more. The reason it's absurd is because there is no reason to believe in it other than you were told stories at a young age. Those stories get reinforced by requirement that you go for regular brainwashing refreshers (weekly). Nothing has hindered science more over the centuries than religion. In fact, science and religion are completely incompatible. You can't have a faith based on a book (pick which one)... and then constantly revise the book as science progresses. It's basically writing a piece of fiction and saying it's all true until someone disproves it bit by bit. If you make something up, it doesn't mean it's true if someone can't disprove it.

          November 15, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • sam

      Publicity stunt and desperation. That's all they've got left.

      November 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
  10. Robin

    Me.. why is gay marriage an evil thing?????how about hating, lying, killing, murdering, stealing, saying unemployed and poor people should starve.. all of these things said and done be so-called christians... yeah.. Gay marriage is certainly a bad thing...

    November 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
  11. PR

    The catholic church....frozen in the dark ages. Full of ignorance and hypocrisy...and home to the pedophile brigade.

    November 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
  12. Just the Facts Ma'am...

    Based on the general girth of the red state religious right I would say they are long overdue for some exercism...

    November 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Even the power of Christ cannot compel them to do a chin-up.

      November 15, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        It might be their problem with a proliferation of chins... I mean, which one do they have to get over the bar...?

        November 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
      • sam

        Yeah...and isn't glytton one of the 7 deadly sins? Yet, Chik-Fil-A is so very christian.

        November 15, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • sam

          Gluttony. How that typo even happened, I'll never know.

          November 15, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • lol??

      Careful now, the Bloods might take offense about that "red state" talk.

      November 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  13. John Stefanyszyn

    The justification, the acceptance, the legality, of gay marriage is founded on the belief of freedom of rights / equality of rights.
    The belief that it is right to be free to worship 'any god', known as freedom of religions, is also founded on the same belief of freedom / equality of self-rights.
    The RCC / 'pope Francis' / Jorge Bergoglio has confessed that freedom of religions / freedom of rights is just and good.
    ...therefore the RCC worships and lives by the same way of life as those who believe that gay marriage is right....they both worship FREEDOM of self-rights.
    ...they both believe that it is RIGHT to serve and magnify oneself (XES).

    November 15, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
  14. Porkins

    I'd think that any christian religious leader couldn't argue that anything is "contrary to the plan of God" as, based on their belief, God is omnipotent, all powerful, and all things fall exactly into his plan.

    November 15, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Joey

      Yes, it seems that many religious people don't think their beliefs all the way through.

      November 15, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
  15. Teddy

    What a moron.

    November 15, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  16. craigorie

    The exorcism will probably backfire and the bishop will become gay.

    November 15, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • sam

      That second part likely already happened.

      November 15, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • ME II

      Or get "penetrated" by a demon anyway.

      November 15, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  17. boocat

    I'd ask the bishop what is behind the rampant pedophilia in the RCC. What a hypocrite!!!

    November 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  18. Ruben

    As soon has he's done with his "exorcism" .. he's going to put on his fire-island muscle shirt and daisy dukes nut-hugger shorts and go right down to Chippendale's for some hot Go-Go boys. Hey, girl, I ain't mad at'cha. You go, mister sister. Hey!....

    November 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • N8

      LOLOLOLOL you called it!

      November 15, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  19. Mark

    If this keeps up, there will be a resurgence in the Catholic Church. People WILL come. It will be more of a spectacle to experience then something spiritual, but there will be a larger attendance.

    November 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • lol??

      Like when Jesus told the former jewish crowd to "drink His blood"! UUuugggh, puke time.

      November 15, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room

      I thought the Catholic Church didn't like people coming out of wedlock?

      November 15, 2013 at 3:07 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.