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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. SDCinNS

    Too late bishop. The demon has been invited in... and set up house.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Attila the Hun

      on the contrary, the Bishop is just in time

      November 15, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Jon

      Yes Bergoglio...I mean the demon...is indeed in Illinois...

      November 15, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  2. stevie68a

    Religion was created by man to control people. It is delusional. Like it or not, we are in a New Age, and religion is part of the old. I hope this "bishop" gets swallowed by a whale, gets spit out, then turns to a column of salt. You know, "biblically speaking".
    Don't Buy Bull!

    November 15, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Truth

      How does it feel to be indirectly controlled by religion?

      November 15, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
      • Sara

        We're all indirectly controlled by all sorts of things in our environment. We get over it or lie to ourselves about freedom.

        November 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  3. Joe Williams

    I think it's ridiculous that these grown adults believe in such fairy tales.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • JSJ

      Agreed. What I find totally laughable is that believers of one type will view believers of another type as lunatics. Christians think Scientologists are crazy. Muslims think Christians are crazy. Pastafarians think Jews are crazy. In reality, all of them have the same amount of Scientific evidence to support their flavor of a supreme being-absolutely none. To an atheist, they are all equally crazy. Sharing a common mental illness does not equate to Truth, no matter how many people are part of your delusion.

      November 15, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
      • Nothing Here

        You left out LDS.

        November 15, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
  4. Lee

    Now I 'm wondering how many gay people will be harmed or injured because of this mans views. He is a leader of a congregation in which some people will take his statements seriously, and someone will end up getting hurt.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:39 am |
  5. Roger that

    Perhaps when he's finished, he can put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  6. Jay

    The Catholic church should start within and "exorcise" all the priests preying on little boys. Those in pursuit of gay marriage are doing it out of love for one another. What was in those priests' hearts? Hypocrites.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:37 am |
  7. MKMilan

    I can't wait to see Illinois sit up, have its head rotate and spew bile: hope it faces lake Michigan or its cleanup in aisle 2

    November 15, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • ME II

      Awesome flash mob opportunity there.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  8. Observer

    He'd be better off spending the time going back to school and getting an education.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:34 am |
  9. FrenchChef

    This is the same creepy GOP bishop who banned pro-equality demonstrators from taking shelter from a cold, driving rain in his church. We know Catholics support marriage equality by about 2 to 1. Large, close-knit Catholic families support their family members who are LGBT over these crass political GOP Dirty Tricks® committed by the bishops. This bishop is showing all Americans that what was once considered sacred is, indeed, nothing more than a GOP Dirty Trick®. When Catholics walk away from his church again, this bishop will have less in contributions he can use to play more political tricks.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  10. GrowUp

    Moron.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  11. Evenstar

    I pray he succeeds!

    November 15, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • FrenchChef

      You actually pray to God, "Please, please, God, HURT the loving, committed same gender American couples and HURT our government for working toward full equality"? If you HATE America this much, why not just move now to Russia?

      November 15, 2013 at 11:34 am |
      • Evenstar

        Your interpretation of my comment is misguided. I never said anything about hate, I actually hate no one. However, you so blinded that you see hate where it does not exist.

        November 15, 2013 at 11:39 am |
        • Observer

          Evenstar,

          Skip the HYPOCRISY. Pray for the MUCH MUCH GREATER number of Christians who are adulterers through divorce and remarriage.

          November 15, 2013 at 11:42 am |
        • edmondwa

          So take the opportunity to CLARIFY your comment, instead of just scolding someone for being wrong. What do you hope the bishop succeeds AT? Will he undo the law? Will he deflect Gods punishments away from the opponents of the law? How will you be able to TELL when he succeeds? What is the standard for recognizing the success? What are we looking for here?

          November 15, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
      • wcb2009

        Why Russia?

        November 15, 2013 at 11:42 am |
        • Jazzophile

          This is a reply to "edmondwas" (the comment just above)..... Excellent posting, edmondwa. Can't wait to see the answer.

          November 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • ME II

      @Evenstar,
      He already has! No one is possessed by the devil. Congratulations!!

      November 15, 2013 at 11:37 am |
      • Evenstar

        That is your opinion, I however do not agree with you.

        November 15, 2013 at 11:40 am |
        • InFormed

          Everyone has an opinion. But is it informed. An opinion without being enlightened on the issues is no different to noise.

          November 15, 2013 at 11:46 am |
      • ME II

        @Evenstar,
        You think that there are people possessed by demons or the devil?

        How can you tell?

        November 15, 2013 at 11:43 am |
        • reason

          Easy, anyone who disagrees with the church's doctrine is clearly being influenced by an evil power. :\

          November 15, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • sam stone

      Evenstar: If god is omniscient, and all is going to his plan, how is prayer that attempts to change the course of things not blasphemous?

      November 15, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Jaberwocky

      So we will make a deal – if he succeeds, we will all admit that we were wrong. If he fails, then the rightwing religious nutjobs will all agree to shut their yaps. Deal?

      November 15, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Jeffsf

      If you are praying he is being perceived as a clown...I think you got your wish.

      November 15, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
  12. Kenman

    I only hope it works! What politicians CLAIMING to be Catholic have done in direct opposition to their church's teaching shows that they only use the Catholic shroud to cover their transgressions because they believe that some priest somewhere can assign them some Hail Mary's to cleanse their political souls for the sins they endorse, if they believe ANYTHING that the church says!

    As everything to do with religions, except Islam of course, the bitter, anti-Christian drones will be spewing, of all things, intolerance where it pertains to the acceptance and application of billions of people's beliefs and , oh, the existence of God Himself! Sit back and watch!

    November 15, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwc1Wi-mlCI&w=640&h=360]

      November 15, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Evenstar

      It is sad when right and wrong get so clouded over one can not say which is which.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:36 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        There is no right and wrong, just varying degrees of delusion.

        November 15, 2013 at 11:38 am |
      • Madtown

        Thankfully we have people like you to set everyone straight.

        November 15, 2013 at 11:39 am |
      • JWT

        When it comes to gay marriage there is no doubt at all about right and wrong.

        November 15, 2013 at 11:47 am |
      • Observer

        Evenstar,

        Yes. We need to follow the Bible and bring slavery back.

        November 15, 2013 at 11:48 am |
        • Jaberwocky

          And polygamy, and genocide.

          November 15, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
        • Jon

          I won't be happy until I see bad people turned into pillars of salt!

          November 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
      • sam stone

        it's sad when people take the concepts of right and wrong from iron age comic books, rather than their own consciences

        November 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • FrenchChef

      The major Christian, Jewish and other denominations that are marrying same gender couples now are being denied their right to practice their religion freely in 35 US States. These denominations will marry same gender couples in 15 US States and the District of Columbia:

      Affirming Pentecostal Church International
      Alliance of Christian Churches
      The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists
      Conservative Judaism
      Disciples Of Christ
      The Episcopal Church
      Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
      Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals
      Metropolitan Community Church
      Reconstructionist Judaism
      Reform Judaism
      Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
      Unitarian Universalist Church
      United Church of Christ

      Something tells me "Kenman" won't defend THEIR right to practice their religion fully.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:37 am |
      • JSJ

        Of course not. The disease of the "religious" mind is that it can only view its chosen belief system as Truth. All other belief systems are false. Most people who believe are very rigid black and white thinkers. They are not capable of viewing things as existing on a spectrum. Statements like "That is 80% true" do not make sense to them.

        November 15, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • JC

      This country was not based on religion. If that's what you want - a country with religious laws then may I suggest Iran or Saudi Arabia.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • JC

      This country was not based on religion. If that's what you want – a country with religious laws then may I suggest Iran or Saudi Arabia.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • InFormed

      Spoken like a true christian. Hate all others, and even hate yourself when it is beneficial. How pathetic. The only hope is that, as time passes by, these delusional belief systems fade into the darkness from whence they came.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:43 am |
  13. SpaceCowboy

    Does the "nut house" know this Bishop escaped?

    November 15, 2013 at 11:32 am |
  14. danny

    It's sad that bigotry get's blamed on an imaginary devil

    November 15, 2013 at 11:31 am |
  15. Jack

    About time somebody stood up to the liberal "political correctness"!!

    November 15, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      😉

      November 15, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • ME II

      @Jack,
      How exactly is an "exorcism" standing up to anything? (Besides bad cinema, of course)

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

      time for an excommunication here.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • InFormed

      Hopefully over time, this relic of a bronze age failed culture will disappear along with all of the other gibberish that has grown up around religion.

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

      Jack...you cannot be serious. This sounds like a bad SNL skit. But back to reality...I thought bishops had to get approval from the Vatican for an exorcism. Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall when he chats with Pope Francis?

      November 15, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
  16. ME II

    LOL
    Best article on religion ever!!

    November 15, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Doris

      I agree, I almost choked on my orange juice when this page popped up; LOL.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:31 am |
      • Jeffsf

        Doris...I spit mine all over the table. It took me a full thirty minutes to clean it up.

        November 15, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      I disagree. I read an article once about a Saudi cleric that blamed natural disasters on female drivers that had me in tears of laughter.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:34 am |
      • ME II

        I stand corrected.. second best 🙂

        November 15, 2013 at 11:39 am |
      • Michael

        How did the female drivers get you to tears of laughter?

        November 15, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
  17. Doris

    You know, Illinois is a big state, so such an exorcism is a pretty big job. This Bishop might want to give Benny Hinn a call – he's gonna need all the help he can muster.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Attila the Hun

      Unfortunately Benny is quite dead

      November 15, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
      • Jon

        I'm sure heaven can let him still come down and help since god has this bishop's back......................... o.O

        November 15, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • Attila the Hun

          Benny in heaven? Well fine, you win, after all, maybe he did receive an exorcism as well.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
  18. boarderthom

    The religious right is fond of saying "Love the sinner, hate the sin". I say "Love the religious bigot, disagree with the religious bigotry".

    November 15, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Attila the Hun

      and I say, admire the religious' courage and vomit at the coward's agreement with the rest

      November 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  19. Doc Vestibule

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcHAC20xStk&w=640&h=360]

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

      Thanks doc, can't wait to watch this one.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:23 am |
  20. Colin

    I know this sounds like something out of the Dark Ages, but exorcisms are probably the high water mark of the supernatural bullsh.it still believed by the Catholic church. And they believe in a LOT of supernatural garbage, let's be honest.

    In one of its more bizarre rituals, the Catholic Church still to this day has full-time exorcists whose job it is to travel around the country and excise demons from possessed individuals. Exorcisms, in the 21st Century USA!

    I expect it will not surprise you to learn that Satan and his cast of malevolent sidekicks are only ever capable of possessing the mentally ill. The well-adjusted seem strangely immune to their diabolical layovers. Perhaps this is for the same reason that amputees the World over seem to be universally incapable of attracting a miracle cure from any of the various gods, all of whom apparently cure internal medical ailments at the drop of a prayer.

    It would be interesting to ask an exorcist who’s “minding the store” while Satan is busy possessing a victim of schizophrenia here on Earth. I guess he has a crew of helpers who torment the damned in hell while the boss is travelling on business, making USA state legislatures fall for the "great satanic lie" of gay rights.

    Ya gotta love the Catholics, they are great for comical relief. I'll miss them when they are confined to the very elderly and the dirt poor.

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

      Colin,
      I love how all of your rambling that you did really has no factual evidence or proof to back up any of its claims. Maybe if you were actually educated about what the Catholic Church actually has said on these issues, and the actual steps they are to take, you wouldn't be so ignorant about what you try so hard to comment on, yet are not qualified in the least to do. And, just as a side note, some of the most wealthy people in the world are Catholics, and so so many Catholics are very young and devout at the same time. Contrary to what the biased news media tells you, the Catholic Church, most especially the young Catholics are doing well, almost having a revitalization of belief and vigor. Get your facts straight next time. And one more thing, the amputee argument is one of the most overused and fallacious arguments in todays society. If you would like me to give you the actual and rational response to that pile of garbage, I would be happy to

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

        David, please do. Also, what else in my post do you disagree with?

        November 15, 2013 at 11:38 am |
      • L

        You can't reason with atheists who are filled with hate and rage.

        November 15, 2013 at 11:41 am |
        • wcb2009

          Not quite as bad a religious zeolots who justify hate and rage in the name of their god

          November 15, 2013 at 11:47 am |
        • ME II

          rage
          noun
          1.violent, uncontrollable anger.

          I would think anyone with "rage" would be hard to reason with. Why would Atheists be any different?

          November 15, 2013 at 11:49 am |
        • sam stone

          Or theists, filled to the brim with pompous certainty

          November 15, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
        • A traveler

          There are non-believers, agnostics, and believers. You are blinded in you constant assertions that non-believers are the only alternative to believers. We agnostics simply conclude that no man or woman, no shaman or priest knows jack when their lips are moving..

          November 15, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
        • JSJ

          I don't hate the "religious", I generally feel sorry for them. I only become angry when they start making public policy based on their beliefs. Religion is just a sickness, like alcoholism. It needs to be treated as such. It is simply an irrational belief in something which cannot be observed. How would a Christian view someone who went around saying that a Leprechaun was telling them to behave in such and such a way, and if they didn't, he would punish them eternally? Wouldn't that Christian think that that person was mentally ill? How do you think atheists view Christians, or Muslims, or Scientologists?

          November 15, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
      • FrenchChef

        The National Catholic Reporter unearthed information the bishops have tried to hide about the numbers of Catholic churches the bishops have been forced to close due to loss of parishioners and their donations:

        "Surprisingly, no one at the national level is keeping precise track of the current number of closings. A spokesperson for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said bishops are not required to report closings. Part of the difficulty in tracking such numbers derives from the fact that diocesan realignments can involve both closings and mergers. In fact, there are more parishes in existence today - 18,479 - than there were in 1965, when there were 17,637. But the current number is down considerably from 1995, when there were 19,331 parishes in existence, a drop of more than 850 over that period, according to figures compiled by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University in Washington."

        November 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
      • Colin

        David, David, hello......you were going to show me why the "amputee argument" fails. It seems quite solid to me.

        November 15, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
      • Jon

        I think we would all love to hear your response

        November 15, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • InFormed

      Love them right up until the point at which they get all of your hard won freedoms revoked. Then it's not so funny any more.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Attila the Hun

      People like you are the reasons why Exorcists are making a comeback. I'ts no joke. You are just providing the market demand. Basic law of economics. It even worked in the middle ages.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Attila the Hun

      When one is about to die, they do not sound comical anymore

      November 15, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Jeffsf

      Whoa...everyone needs to take a little time out. Lets stop the name calling and use of the words hate and bigotry. We all have the right to believe in our interpretation of GOD. With that said we need to turn back to the good Bishop and understand the damage his words and actions are causing. He needs to be held accountable for the next child that commits suicide, the next young man beaten outside a gay bar, or the next child that is thrown out of their house because they are gay or lesbian. This man holds a higher status in our society and with that comes responsibility. I may laugh at his theatrics but in reality he is a monster in his great robes and miter. An exorcism...what a joke.

      November 15, 2013 at 7:35 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.