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

[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(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. Ken Margo

    After this exorcism and he sees that nothing happens. Then what? Another myth bites the dust. Let's line 'em up God, Allah, Jesus, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and now add exorcism.

    November 18, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • ?

      But I the exorcism works and the good bishop disappears in a whirlwind of smoke leaving behind that fetching gown and some loungerie must we then not be disbelievers in the power of god

      November 18, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • One one

      What usually happens is the bishop removes the demon which then enters his body. That's what happened in the movie "the Exorcist". So in this case the gay demon will enter the bishops body and he will become gay. Then he will go shopping for shoes.

      November 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
  2. Reality # 2

    Francis I will hopefully end the inanity of exorcism. If he does not, then he is simply another religious leader stuck in the Dark Ages of Christianity.

    November 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Sara

      Since all baptisms are considered exorcisms, that would be a pretty big change.

      November 18, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        Baptism as Exorcisms? Probably not but both are outdated and useless rituals.

        From a friend who is a Professor of Theology and a Catholic:

        Baptism does not erase original sin since the sin does not exist. The old "laundry of the soul," approach to Baptism is no longer accepted.

        Infant Baptism is only a rite of initiation and commits parents and godparents to bringing up the child in a Christian home.

        Since baptism is now celebrated at Sunday Eucharist, all the members of the parish family are encouraged to pledge their support and care for the faith life of the newly baptized. (A manifestation of this is persons volunteering to teach other people's kids the basics of Catholicism.)"

        November 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
        • Sara

          Actually the Catholic Church themselves describe baptism as an exorcism in the chatechism:

          "673/178 In a simple form, exorcism is performed at the celebration of Baptism"

          "1237 Since Baptism signifies liberation from sin and from its instigator the devil, one or more exorcisms are pronounced over the candidate. The celebrant then anoints him with the oil of catechumens, or lays his hands on him, and he explicitly renounces Satan. Thus prepared, he is able to confess the faith of the Church, to which he will be "entrusted" by Baptism"

          November 22, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
  3. Brother Maynard

    Seriously what does this charleton expect to happen after this 'exocism'?
    That the entire state of Illinois will instantly become hetro and disolve ho mo s exual marriage?
    What is his goal?
    What an absolute joke ... and all the people that believe that what he is doing is a good thing too.

    November 18, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Akira

      This man is not right in the head, if you know what I mean.

      A publicity stunt, nothing more.

      November 18, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
      • sam stone

        publicity appears to be the only point to this

        November 19, 2013 at 6:01 am |
        • Now that's just stupid...

          What's wrong with a little up to date publicity; the Bible is the word of god but you need to have someone interpret to the average man on the street can understand it.

          November 30, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
  4. Science Works

    Well if the bishop tried it did NOT work ! 81 tornadoes reported last night.

    Major destruction Washington Il.

    And the bishop with his exorcism knowledge can not keep the tornadoes away from the Chicago football game.

    Stadium is cleared out.
    November 17, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    November 18, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
  5. Agnostickids

    Just as a friendly reminder to those of you who have forgotten WHY we came to America, to seek out religious freedom and escape the insanity of the Catholic Church: Bishop Thomas Paprocki stand tall.

    I think he wishes Satan were in his pants.

    November 18, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • doobzz

      Just a friendly reminder that we didn't extend the courtesy of freedom of religion to any of the people who were here long before the RCC or any other Judeo-Christian religion, so get off your high horse about it.

      November 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
      • Jake

        Nope. We just slaughtered them.

        November 18, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
      • Now that's just stupid...

        There weren't any people here before us; they were just animals that kinda looked human.

        November 30, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
        • doobzz

          You sound like a christian.

          November 30, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • Rascal262

      Oh the irony that they left England to escape state control of religion, and now they are fighting to get it back.

      November 19, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  6. Janet

    "Sin is wrong."

    The Biblical condemnation of homosexuality is based on human ignorance, suspicion of those who are different, and an overwhelming concern for ensuring the survival of the people. Since the Bible regards homosexuality as a capital crime (Leviticus 20:13), it clearly assumes that homosexuality is a matter of free choice, a deliberate rebellion against God. We have learned from modern science that people do not choose to be gay or straight; hence it is neither logical nor moral to condemn those whose nature it is to be gay or lesbian.

    November 18, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • Jude Maverick

      Not to mention that Leviticus was expressly written as a rule book for Levite PRIESTS, and not the general public at large.

      November 18, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Now that's just stupid...

      What you are saying makes no sense. If it did then the word of god, as in the bible would be wrong and you will be sent directly to hell for writing such nonsense.

      November 30, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
  7. Phelix Unger

    Reason is obviously lost on this crowd so maybe its just best to laugh, exorcism, going to cast out the devil, wow. God is at fault for all this, he she or it, let it happen in the first place. Just like every tragedy every day all over the planet. If it doesn't work in an insanity plea, its not working anywhere else. Wooo the devil, scary stuff. Not being able to feed your children is scarier, watching loved ones die is scarier, electing George Bush was scarier.

    November 18, 2013 at 12:07 am |
  8. Doris

    Did you ever wonder why some insects can be born where most of the offspring have wings when the situation external to their parent warrants that they should relocate after birth? That's just one example out of many in nature of gene modification. We may have known about it for longer in certain species than others out of a more immediate need to know. (If you or your crops have ever been infested by a particular bug, you'll understand. And if you really want to scare yourself right out of your rose garden, go read about the reproductive capabilities and variations of the aphid.)

    But gene modification is nothing new. It's pretty much agreed that it plays an important role in most species where it has been studied which now includes humans and other mammals. It is still difficult to determine what roles it plays and to what extent, but recent studies show it is most likely what makes a person hom-ose-xual. It answers the question about why ho-mose-xuality persists and yet often seems to skip generations. Prenatal gene modification resistant to change. Read about it on Live Science or in last December's Quarterly Review of Biology.

    November 17, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • Fuzzy

      Doris, very well stated. Not sure if you visit the nimbios site, but they support your comments on gene modification with their research indicating that ho-mose-xual tendencies are biological that originate due to epigenetics where epi marks that would normally deteriorate between generations are instead transmitted across generational lines and passed from father to daughter or mother to son, thereby causing boys with feminine tendencies and, vice versa, girls with masculine tendencies.

      November 18, 2013 at 1:16 am |
  9. Daniel Dennett, Lawrence Krauss and Massimo Pigliucci discuss The Limits Of Science

    This is a very enlightening video. The conversation included knowledge against consensus

    Published on Nov 5, 2013

    00:00 Introduction
    07:07 Limits of Science
    19:40 God & the Supernatural
    31:20 Science & Morality
    50:11 Something out of Nothing
    1:03:42 The Value of Philosophy
    1:20:59 Cognitive Limits
    1:35:43 Questions:
    – 1:35:56 Science & Politics
    – 1:43:33 The Status of Economics
    – 1:48:17 Does Consciousness Exist?


    November 17, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Science Works

      Agree L4H and topher should watch and gain the knowledge they seek.

      November 18, 2013 at 6:47 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Topher-the same man that doesn't believe evolution is taught in school and that it is compatible with the creation myth.

        November 18, 2013 at 6:52 am |
        • Science Works


          Maybe his newborn when it gets old enough will make topher change his mind.

          Children can make it happen with a good education.

          November 18, 2013 at 6:56 am |
        • truthprevails1

          He said they plan to homeschool for as long as possible, however there is still hope that the child will see a different side once he/she is in the public school system or in the very least goes off to college.

          November 18, 2013 at 8:03 am |
  10. Mojo Jo

    I read this book and heard people talk about it, so it must be true. It's called On the Origin of Species. People quote from it, so it cannot be false. It is authoritative because it is written.

    Now xtians might argue that and say, "Hold on, that is debatable!"

    Just like the bible.

    November 17, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Of course, The Origin of Species has the added benefit of being shown to be basically correct. No such luck for the bible.

      November 17, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
      • Sara

        It is more aligned with modern evidence, and also not worshiped as an infalible text. You can get a perfectly sound biology degree without ever reading the Origin of the species. Unless your program is geered towards teaching or a few very specific subjects, the book is only of historical and not scientific interest as much better data has been found since and errors are readily accepted.

        November 18, 2013 at 7:25 am |
    • Sara

      LOL, just so you know, modern scientists never quote from the Origin of the Species except to make historical references. The difference with religion is that the Bible is still quoted as an absolute source despite being mu ch older than the Origin of the Species.

      November 18, 2013 at 7:18 am |
  11. GeorgeH

    I was just reading about the storm thats that are currently hitting illinois. I guess someone is angry at this bishop

    November 17, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • Irene

      My thoughts exactly. I wouldn't have wanted anyone to get hurt but I did pray really long last night that someone do something about that terrible man and his terrible idea about exorcism.

      November 17, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
  12. EX Catholic

    Phony hat, phony clothing, looks phony, walks phony, talks phony it is a phony because is an idolater.
    Idolatry is a very grave and serious SIN it is not religion. One of the many Evils that idolatry carries and brings is precisely that ho-mo-se-xua-lity Therefore his attempt to act like a goody 2 shoes, better than them is a pathetic fail, he falls flat on his face with his Idolatry.

    November 17, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • Doris

      "idolatry carries and brings is precisely that ho-mo-se-xua-lity"

      That's lunacy. But I'm not surprised after reading some of your other rubbish.

      November 17, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
      • Doris

        Oh but I almost forgot, you your idiotic rantings oddly parallel those of Salero and His Panic. That explains a lot.

        November 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
        • EX Catholic

          Really!! I feel complimented in the most extreme degree, almost like if I won a Nobel prize.
          But then again; whose gibberish your comments do parallel?

          November 17, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
        • Doris

          Well we know for sure which areas you would not be winning a Nobel prize; that would be biology or psychology, otherwise you wouldn't have made the stupid comment in your OP.

          November 17, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
        • EX Catholic

          HAHAHAHA and you are calling me names? Really, really you need to dye your hair? Psychology is considered a quackery a Pseudo-science by many. That you place it at the same level as Biology only demonstrate your poor state of mind and ignorance of the subject. There is no Nobel Prize for Psychology.

          November 17, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
        • ?

          Doris: they are all the same person.

          There's no Nobel Prize fir Religion, either, ExLax.

          November 17, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
        • Doris

          Well if they had one – guess who wouldn't be winning it based on your uneducated comment. I only mention psychology because biological studies are now lining up with psychology's take on the issue. Check out last December's Quarterly Review of Biology. Or continue to sound like the fool.

          November 17, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
        • EX Catholic


          Really!! Your lack of character, honesty and humility, as well as your pretense that your trailer park comments and language, show any "education" on your part are appalling. Go back to being Akira... in the trailer park.

          November 17, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
        • His panic

          EX, you're my friend and all, but you know Doris is mama k. Stop trying to stir up shit.

          November 17, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
        • Akira


          You know perfectly well that I am not Doris, EX Catholic.

          November 17, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
        • EX Catholic

          @ Akira,

          NO I don't know that, you could be anyone or anyone could be you.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • I wish you were....

      EX Alive.

      November 17, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
  13. Science Works

    And the bishop with his exorcism knowledge can not keep the tornados away from the Chicago football game.

    Stadium is cleared out.

    November 17, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Akira

      Everyone is back and the game is on.
      Storms are over now.

      DA BEARS!

      November 17, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
      • Science Works

        OK I always think of the FRIDGE when I watch the Bears play.


        They have some catching up to do.

        November 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
        • Akira

          Lol. They do, indeed.

          November 17, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
        • Mary

          Akira, they won!

          November 17, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
        • Science Works

          In overtime with a little mud on the side.

          November 18, 2013 at 6:15 am |
      • Salero21

        Hey guys looks who's here Akira the Po-rn Star!! Was it a hard work day at the office today?

        November 17, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
        • Mojo Jo

          You're naughty.
          -Tommy Boy

          November 17, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
        • His panic

          Akira I apologize for my friend. He has been latent for years and won't come to terms with his gayness.

          November 17, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
        • Akira

          Hi, Salero.
          I see you imagination is in overdrive, again.

          November 17, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
        • brainwashed christians

          Salt shaker! you're back with more crap!,,, how wonderful!

          November 19, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
        • Salero21

          Akira (sharkira)

          Was it a hard work day at the office today?

          November 19, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  14. Bishop Paprocki

    How do I rid myself of these gay thoughts? How do I lose my attraction to men? How can I do this without giving myself away? .... How? Hmmmm.... Think man, think! ... Yes! That's it! I'll perform an exorcism!

    November 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Sara

      My understanding is that he's exorcising the the demons that led to the general support of gay marriage, not gay people themselves, who the church accepts might be influenced by biology.

      November 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
      • sam stone

        yeah, it has to be as tough as our own little closet queen, Doulas......or Rainy, for that matter

        November 17, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
      • G to the T

        Wait a minute – They accept that being gay isn't a choice but they think supporting their rights is the result of demonic influences? Great googely-moogely!

        November 21, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  15. Sam stoned

    love hal wilkerson. reminds me of stan laurel, the way he screams/cries

    November 17, 2013 at 11:05 am |
  16. lol??

    How the "Holy Grail" actually shows mocking interpretations of scripture: wiki,
    "............Chrétien refers to his object not as "The Grail" but as "a grail" (un graal), showing the word was used, in its earliest literary context, as a common noun......................."

    When Christians refer to the body of Christ as the Church, they are doing the same thing. KJV translators didn't make this mistake. That's my theory and I'm stickin' with it.

    November 17, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Angry Christian

      Your theory blows. As well as Wiki.

      November 17, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  17. Richard Cranium

    "Paprocki, who is something of an expert on exorcism..."

    That's pretty much all you need to have this man commited, isn't it? I know I can't stop laughing.

    November 17, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • lol??

      Depends what the meaning of "it", is.

      November 17, 2013 at 9:52 am |
    • tallulah13

      He's right up there with those Big Foot experts.

      November 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
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.