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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. Jay Thomas

    Though this cant do anything anything againt movement it is symbolic. It is atleast declaring this is a sin and a shame on humanity. This is only a begining, Now we dont realize the impact of this but Communities and countries are going to face anarchy as the gay become widespread and approved all over. saddly it all ( all sin) starts in america.

    November 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room

      Hooey.

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

      @jay, your comment is just plain ignorant fear mongering with no basis in reality.

      November 15, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Oh my, you poorly educated man. How is something natural wrong?

      November 15, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  2. Weird Guys With Big Hats

    Because pedophilia isn't an abomination but gay marriage is?

    Religious fanatics can be so amusing sometimes.

    November 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Depends

      Do you like statistics?

      November 15, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
  3. bostontola

    It's easy to laugh this off as a tone deaf Bishop going off the deep end, but it exemplifies religion's darkest side. We live in a secular society by intent and continued choice. For a religious leader to brand legal activities as works of the highest evil is a direct attack on our society. He is not as bad as others who attack our society with physical violence, but this subverts the core of our society.

    November 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  4. James

    This is farcical. It's almost as if religious people are trying to make themselves look foolish.

    November 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  5. Lee

    Somebody never saw the movie "But I'm a Cheerleader".

    November 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
  6. Bootyfunk

    Bishop Thomas Paprocki is angry, closeted, self-loathing h.omos.exual h.omophobe.
    always sad when people who hate who they are inside attack others like them.

    November 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
  7. mzh

    "children of God" rather The Creation of God The Almighty and children of Adam...

    November 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • snowboarder

      do people really believe in a literal "adam"?

      November 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
      • Lee

        and he was white too!

        November 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • mzh

          That we do not know... he was what he was...

          But some of the Christianity teaches or preaches other human fellows by making the statue with their own ethnicity... like making Jesus (pbuh) as chinese, spenish, african and so on... why can't we accept that Jesus (pbuh) was who he was as where he was born...?

          November 15, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
      • mzh

        Its up to you Snow... no one is there to force anyone... you have the free will... like ppl promotes a dead person to a saints where no one knows how that individual is after his death but ppl do whatever makes them feel comfortable or amuse them...

        November 15, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  8. Doc Vestibule

    When my parents wanted to get married, the Catholic church my father had attended his whole life refused to perform the ceremony.
    It was the priest's opinion that a marriage between a Catholic and a Protestant was doomed to failure.
    40+ years later, they're still happily married.

    November 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Lou Grant

      Yep. They surely have some stupid dogma.

      November 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Kudos to them.
      Did they end up marrying in a church?
      When my parents married, the Salvation Army wouldn't marry them because Mom was pregnant. They ended up getting married in the Presbyterian church.

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

      In hinduism – one cast does not touch the others whereas both of them are human... and if you put a child to any cast, will be raised as that cast and I am sure it happened a lot as lot of upper cast have pleasures with lower casts woman...

      November 15, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
  9. Cinematt

    Immediately following the exorcism, the Bishop and local parish priests will engage in the traditional post-exorcism "this wil be our little secret" child-molestathon with children from the community.

    November 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
  10. Da Jeebus

    An exorcism?

    I thought Priests got all their exercise from chasing alter boys around the back rooms of the church?

    November 15, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
  11. mzh

    Whoever voted for it, is responsible for this action, isn't it? Which includes those Muslims who did not go to vote as there are muslims do not go for vote and I do not know the reason... if perhaps muslims would have gone for vote, the law would not have been passed... as this action goes against the teaching of Islam...

    I do not hate the person but I do not endorse the action...

    November 15, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Lou Grant

      What in the hell are you talking about? Did you bother to read the article?

      November 15, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
      • mzh

        I think I was referring MD where they have this law passed in last election... or any state who legalized this action...

        November 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
        • G to the T

          So you're against religious freedom then? You think the government should be able to define what you believe? If not, I would recommend NEVER voting against the civil liberties of others. You never know when islam might be on the wrong side of it along with christianity. Secular government protects everyone!

          November 26, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Dan Z.

      "I do not hate the person but I do not endorse the action" ? Hate the sin but love the sinner violates the command to "judge not, lest ye be judged". I believe the greater sin here is obvious.

      November 15, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
      • mzh

        I wouldn't judge anyone... but the sinner today is sinner but tomorrow might change and become a great person submitted to One True God Almgihty and be an good example for the society... who knows?

        November 15, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  12. bob w

    Perhaps Bishop Paprocki would better serve humanity if he were to exorcise pedofile priests! I think they do a lot more harm than gay marriage.

    November 15, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  13. Edward

    May God forgive me but I think perhaps Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Illinois is the one in need of an exorcism.

    November 15, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Reject Religious Fairy Tales

      Maybe I need one too, 'cuz I kinda upchucked when I read this blog. But, it wasn't green projectile, and I don't think my head spun around. So, I guess I'm OK..

      November 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  14. AtheistSteve

    An exorcism ceremony for gay marriage. Well that should fix everything...not.
    What is up with this Christian fixation on gays? What are they afraid of? Catching it like some disease? How are hetero people affected by people of different persuasion? What a bunch of butt-in-skies. Me thinks they protest to much...perhaps to cover up their hidden proclivities.

    November 15, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • fred

      Gay marriage is not the problem. The problem is the reliability of the words in the Bible. Some read the 11 harsh statements condemning homosexuality literally as they are written. Homosexual thoughts, actions and attitudes either are or are not sin. We cannot address the question of marriage without first resolving the issue of sin. The Bible is clear on the subject so anyone that approves of sin and encourages others to sin is opposed to God.

      Now, we are all sinners so homosexuality is not unique. Sexual sin is not function of physical position or anatomy but harm brought upon another person or ones self in the thought, attitude or process. Anal sex is harmful medically regardless of orientation or precautions taken as is excessive multiple partners (again regardless of orientation). Sexualized thought and attitude is destructive to a society and in particular the family structure. This is the problem.

      You do not need to call it sin if you are godless but you should not promote anything that harms another or presents the potential for harm.

      November 15, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  15. cmnsns

    BWAHAHAHA

    November 15, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
  16. Da Jeebus

    An exorcism?

    Just another daily illustration of how rabid, insane, and hate-filled so-called Christians are.

    November 15, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Reject Religious Fairy Tales

      Yeah, it really is a form of mental illness.

      November 15, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room

      'Some' Christians.

      November 15, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
      • Lou Grant

        Correct. Most Christians I know couldn't care less.

        November 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
        • Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room

          Ditto.

          November 15, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
  17. jack

    so... what's he going to say when it doesn't work?

    November 15, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Cinematt

      "Bend over, Billy, and don't tell your mother." Same thing he says after every mass.

      November 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  18. Joey

    It's worth noting that there's nothing special about priests, cardinals, bishops, or popes. Anyone can become a priest. At that point, it's just a matter of others higher ranking than you to decide if you get "promoted". At some point, they can somehow vote someone to a level of being "infallible". The whole sainthood thing is equally bizarre. They talk of "confirmed" miracles. It's easy to confirm a miracle when you're the one confirming it. It's not like any miracle has ever been scientifically confirmed. Mind you, we're talking about modern day miracles. You would think we'd be hearing news reports, etc. if any of these so called "miracles" were anything more than the church just saying they were miracles.

    November 15, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room

      Modern day miracles are the exact same as ancient miracles: they don't exist.

      November 15, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
      • Depends

        Miracles do exist.

        November 15, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
        • Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room

          Nope.

          November 15, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          No...they don't.

          November 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
        • Depends

          For those that have seen and experienced them, they do exist.

          November 15, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
        • Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room

          No they don't.

          November 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
        • Depends

          Rabbit season.

          November 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room

          Indeed.

          November 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      It's worse than that. Priests and other heads of church are accorded an automatic level of respect and authority. Whether they deserve it or not. Simply by holding the title followers will seek and heed their advise on spiritual matters (like they have an inside line on super secret metaphysical information) and even entrust them to educate their children to believe in myth and superstition. Gilded and robed snake oil salesmen peddling an invisible product. Whatta gig.

      November 15, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  19. brian

    While he is at it he should exorcise the Vatican.

    November 15, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  20. Brad

    Sad how the crusade stops at gay. There are so many things that are designated as sins by the catholic church. Why stop at gay? It's so telling how biased the whole thing is. Where is the exorcism for the sin of lying any time a politician passes a bill that deceives the public?

    November 15, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Pete

      Why begin with gay when it doesn't even hurt anyone? Why not target the pedophiles instead?

      November 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • David

      The bishop is clearly projecting.

      November 15, 2013 at 4:46 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.