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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. Sara

    LOL, this kind of stuff is going to undo all the touchy-feely propaganda the church has been putting outin the last few months. They really can't pull it together.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • midwest rail

      It will be interesting to see if the Pope tells the good Bishop to stand down.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:55 am |
      • Sara

        If the guy tries exorcising gay couples he may have to, as that would go against the explanations in the catechism, but exorcizing the church or voters is another matter and criticizing it is going to require the pope explaining his own words and/or making a statement on the church's position on exorcism. I doubt he wants to do either.

        November 15, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  2. Donnie the Lion

    1. If Religion is "the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.", and atheism is a religion, what are atheists worshipping?

    2. How 21st century of this Bishop! Next he'll be tracking down some witches to burn.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • L

      Atheists worship themselves as gods. You are your own god in atheism.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:54 am |
      • ME II

        @L,
        I know of no Atheist ever who claimed to have supernatural powers. Please, correct me if I've missed one.

        November 15, 2013 at 11:58 am |
      • sam stone

        Atheists do not believe in gods

        Try hard to keep up

        November 15, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
      • AverageJoe76

        L – I don't believe that you think thats true. Have you ever heard an atheist say they were God? And even if you did, the definition of an atheist is simple: the lack in the belief of a God or Gods. In no way does that say that an atheist now takes the helm of God.

        You simply need to demonize us in some way to support your position.

        November 15, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
      • Jon

        I don't think you understand what Atheist means...

        November 15, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
      • A traveler

        What nonsense you are bringing to this forum. Please consider taking your nap early and leave us adults alone.

        November 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Rascal262

      Atheism is a religion in the same way not collecting stamps is a hobby.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:56 am |
      • HisStoryPal

        Wrong. Non-stamp collectors don't typically scold stamp collectors for practicing their "hobby." So, one could argue that Atheists' passion about religion could be defined as – – religious participation.

        November 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
        • Heyhey

          Well, stamp collectors don't knock on your door, stop you on the street, confront you at Thanksgiving dinner, etc. to convince you that you're wrong for not collecting stamps. They also don't push for slogans on license plates like "In Stamps We Trust," implying that non-stamp collectors aren't fully American. If they did, I bet there'd be a solid backlash against them, too.

          November 15, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • Heyhey

          What I'm really saying is that if everybody would drop it, everybody would be happier. It's a cycle where nobody wins.

          November 15, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  3. Nunya

    How about an exorcism for catholic priests molesting and raping children then covering it up for decades?

    November 15, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  4. Todd

    It's really the gay person's rear end at the end of the day. Let them do whatever and find out the consequences later. We all try to warn them but it is of no use.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Rascal262

      Stop warning them not to use condoms, then most of the consequences dissappear.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Observer

      We try to warn bigots and fortunately are making more and more progress.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Jon

      And by consequences we mean they probably have more fun in the bedroom than most straight people?

      November 15, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  5. SDCinNS

    Sadly, CNN seems to pick to goofiest stories for its religion page. Give us something on the Dead Sea Scrolls or why the Dalai Lama wants Tibetan independence or the new archeological finds in Capernaum that verify the Biblical narrative. Why waste a page on this guy?

    November 15, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • ME II

      Sounds like good topics.
      +1

      November 15, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      Or the tribe in the Amazon that has no religion or creation myth.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Dustin Goldsen

      There is an old saying in the news business that if a dog bites a man that's not news but if a man bites a dog that is news.

      Things like the dead sea scrolls are more dog bites man but flakes like this guy trying to chase Old Scratch around the table with a magic wand, that no question is man bites dog.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Madtown

      I'd say it's because CNN is really just after web traffic, in the effort to please advertisers. Stories like this one, with a touch of tabloid, unfortunately are just going generate more web hits on average, I'd say.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:55 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        DING DING DING, WE HAVE A WINNER.

        November 15, 2013 at 11:59 am |
      • Nunya

        Who else is reporting this? Fox, NBC, ABC, you name it including too many "conservative" news sites to even name. But yeah, it's obviously not news and CNN is just reporting it for liberal ad money.

        November 15, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Sara

      SDC, usually I agree with your sentiment and am calling for the same things. But this one is not only pretty funny but sheds light on aspects of the church that the establishment would prefer remain hidden and so actually counts as reporting.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  6. Dave

    Atheism is not a religion at all. It is the absence of invisible, omnipotent deities and the worship thereof. I'm sure you wouldn't approve of worshipping Santa or the Easter Bunny either.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      The guy brings me presents for free and all he asks for in return is milk and a cookie (and he'll still leave the presents if I forget). If that's not worth worshipping, I don't know what is.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • L

      I could careless. Just worship Santa in your home and your church. You can't openly talk about Santa in public and you have no say in anything including politics.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:51 am |
      • ME II

        1) If you could "care less", it actually means the you do care at least a little bit.
        2) No one is saying that you can't speak about religion in public. It's just that the public (government) can't speak about it.

        November 15, 2013 at 11:53 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I don't mind them speaking about it as long as they don't endorse or fund it, two things which they do sadly.

          November 15, 2013 at 11:58 am |
        • ME II

          @I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that,
          You are correct, I was oversimplifying. It is the endorsement that is the issue.

          November 15, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  7. MiSFiT

    Sounds like the 20th is a good day to burn churches!

    November 15, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      No.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Christopher Riess

      Dick

      November 15, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • ME II

      Wrong

      November 15, 2013 at 11:54 am |
  8. Christopher Riess

    Enough. Now it is time to start filing civil damage suits against them. You want to call me a sinner in private, go ahead. You want to hold a big old public event and call me the devil's spawn I will sue the living sh !t out of your church. Tax free? How about we put a stop to that too. I don't hear about the KKK getting tax breaks.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Rascal262

      Nor the Church of Atheism either. I want my tax breaks now!

      November 15, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  9. blah

    man doing what man does best.... Mr Jesus never spoke of such things...
    the Pope told u to stand down...

    November 15, 2013 at 11:47 am |
  10. Daniel

    The father of all lies is Jesus himself. He is the greatest salesman in history...that's it. I still can't believe people in the 21st century really still believe in these fairy tales.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • James L.

      Amen Daniel.

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

      I doubt Jesus had anything at all to do with it, I blame Paul.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
  11. NE

    Good luck with that strategy! Time for that bishop to learn more about how the brain is organized prenatally.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:46 am |
  12. humtake

    Yet, no exorcism was EVER announced for touching little boys.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Tom

      Touché.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  13. Roger

    Someone needs to exorcise this "priest"! If this weren't so tragic it would be laughable. He must be a member of the Tea Party to promote such foolishness. Illinois is a big state and he's going to need a lot of help to pull this off – is he going to go from town to town or is he just going to do the whole state in one sitting?

    November 15, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Hopeless

      pedophiles are gay.

      November 15, 2013 at 11:58 am |
      • G to the T

        Nope. Pedophiles have a disposition towards children. Gender is not the primary consideration so labeling them as gay would be incorrect (where gender is). If they had altar girls, I'm sure we'd be hearing about those as well...

        November 15, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
      • Jon

        Actually the overwhelming majority of pedophiles are straight.

        November 15, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  14. Rational Thought

    Nothing is more hilarious and satisfying than watching clueless, religious nut-jobs publicly embarrass themselves for all of posterity to forever enjoy. Please do not try to discourage nor silence the religious nut-jobs; nothing can highlight what is wrong with their dogmatic ideologies more than simply letting them have the spotlight.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • G to the T

      I'd have to agree. I would much rather they take this approach (which I'm pretty sure will do nothing) versus actively trying to deny rights in the political arena. They are welcome to spout off as much as they like. Far as I'm concerned, it just makes them easier to ID and avoid.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  15. John R

    In other news Bishop Thomas Paprocki has been arrested as a suspect in the kidnapping 5 boys who were found chained together in his basement. He stated that they were possessed by Satan, and he had to do a special type of exorcism to rid them of their evil spirits.

    November 15, 2013 at 11:44 am |
  16. usnatheist

    BWAHahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

    November 15, 2013 at 11:43 am |
  17. DJ

    Put an end to this marriage of demons

    November 15, 2013 at 11:42 am |
  18. DJ

    Finally..

    November 15, 2013 at 11:41 am |
  19. ReligionIsBS

    LOL. How do people still beleive this nonsense!

    November 15, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Madame Laveau

      Yes. *Everyone* knows that MY voodoo exorcisms are the ONLY ones the really WORK!

      November 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  20. A traveler

    This is a good example of how silly organized religion is.

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

      And atheism is a silly self-created religion.

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

        Wrong. Atheism is the denial of ALL religion.

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

          And they don't deny theirs. How ironic.

          November 15, 2013 at 11:46 am |
        • sam stone

          L: Silly little troll.

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

          L... you don't get it. (no surprise ) Atheism is NOT a religion.

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

        Yeah atheism is a religion just like not collecting cards is a hobby.

        November 15, 2013 at 11:46 am |
        • L

          Such a copout.

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

          You can never win an argument with a religious person...for the simple fact that they're religious. To be religious is to deny that facts and evidence have value. That's the very basis of being someone who accepts any given religion as truth...you have to actively choose to believe in something for which there is no proof.

          Therefore, providing proof, evidence, reason, rational thought, etc. is of no value. You can never reason with a person who is fundamentally unreasonable. This is why a person who is religious, at the end of the day, simply can't be trusted – they make the most important decisions of their lives without any rational thought.

          Even something as simple, and obviously, irrefutably true as saying "atheism is the absence of religion" can't be processed by their addled brains. Ergo, they will continue to insist that atheism *is* a religion, no matter what reasonable argument you present. You may as well assert that ignorance is the absence of knowledge – and watch them insist that ignorance is just a different kind of knowledge.

          November 15, 2013 at 11:56 am |
        • HisStoryPal

          @ Wootings

          Dude, YOU – YOU actively believe something for which there is no proof. There is no empirical proof either way that God does or does not exist..........

          November 15, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
        • Joey

          Is there any area of your life where your life besides religion where you believe things to exist until they are proven not to? I highly doubt it. For example do you believe in Bigfoot because nobody has been able to prove Bigfoot doesn't exist?

          November 15, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXz-fOtKBU8&w=640&h=360]

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

        And the fastest growing "self-created" religion in America right now. What does that even mean: "self-created" all religions are "self-created". Some just believe in invisible things, magic practices and old fairy tales.

        November 15, 2013 at 11:53 am |
      • Jon

        Still trying to convince people that Atheism is a religion huh?

        cute

        November 15, 2013 at 1:15 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.