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

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(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. Stephen

    Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!

    November 15, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Stephen

      For the Bishop of Springfield I pray: Father, forgive him for he knows not what he does!

      November 15, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
  2. Satan is REAL!!!


    November 15, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
  3. Time for all good forces to join to rid the demon!!!


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

      NO. If I wanted to watch videos, I'd direct my browser to youtube. I know where they are!!

      November 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  4. kirkbross

    Excellent! Why not make it a reality show?

    November 15, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
  5. Sara

    Catholic Catechism's statement on exorcism:

    "When the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion, it is called exorcism. Jesus performed exorcisms and from him the Church has received the power and office of exorcizing...In a simple form, exorcism is performed at the celebration of Baptism. The solemn exorcism, called "a major exorcism," can be performed only by a priest and with the permission of the bishop. The priest must proceed with prudence, strictly observing the rules established by the Church. Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to his Church. Illness, especially psychological illness, is a very different matter; treating this is the concern of medical science. Therefore, before an exorcism is performed, it is important to ascertain that one is dealing with the presence of the Evil One, and not an illness"


    So anyone who's been baptised has apparently already had an exocism performed. Too funny.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • ME II

      "...it is important to ascertain that one is dealing with the presence of the Evil One, and not an illness"

      This is what I would find interesting. How exactly?

      November 15, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Colin

      I love this bit, "Illness, especially psychological illness, is a very different matter; treating this is the concern of medical science. Therefore, before an exorcism is performed, it is important to ascertain that one is dealing with the presence of the Evil One, and not an illness"

      It's like a psychiatrist saying, "before I treat this person's mental delusion, I better check and make sure that the CIA is NOT beaming messages to him through his toaster."

      Too funny. Ya gotta love the Catholics, they are like the comic relief that comes out at intermission during a sercious play.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
  6. Tom

    The the Catholic church wonders why they're losing ground.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
  7. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Are people offering odds that this will accomplish anything?

    November 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
  8. Democritus

    I love the smell of exorcisms in the morning

    November 15, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
  9. CALiberal

    What a jerk. Better check his alter boys. See if they are still virgin.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Valentina

      What a bigot.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
      • Jon

        Bigot = a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.


        November 15, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • Dippy's Aide

      It's "altar boys", "alter boys" sounds like a gender reassignment surgery or something...

      November 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  10. jnpa

    I don't think it's going to work but whatever flips your cassock bishop, go for it!

    November 15, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
  11. Mark

    Just another person wanting their 15 minutes of fame.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  12. JG

    Throughout history Catholics have been some of the most repressive, abusive, and violent people in support and defense of their pathetic beliefs. This priest is obviously a direct descendant of their disgusting practices.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • voiceoftruthusa

      Nonsense. You rely on revisionist, anti-Christian historians for your distorted view.

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

        How so?

        November 15, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
      • Nope

        And you rely on millenia-old fiction for yours. Who has the problem here?

        November 15, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  13. Jay Trotter

    nice hat

    November 15, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
  14. FreeFromTheism

    And the Church will let him do this?

    November 15, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Crashman

      I was wondering the same thing. They used to need permission from a lot higher up than a bishop to perform an exorcism. This guy is a whack-job.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
  15. truth

    So you think there is no such thing as demonic possession? Watch the responses to this.


    November 15, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • snowboarder

      do you have a few moments to talk about jesus christ?

      November 15, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
      • truth

        Perhaps we could instead discuss the Reign of Terror or the 6 million dismembered people below Paris.

        November 15, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Jeebusss

      Thunder! Thunder! Thundercats! HOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

      November 15, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
      • Jon

        You just made my day 🙂

        November 15, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Mopery

      Your mother sucks caulks in hell!

      November 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • JC

      ...still waiting

      November 15, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  16. Mopery

    Shouldn't he instead perform the exorcism on the Catholic church for all the sins and atrocities it has committed?

    November 15, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
  17. ceyan

    What a day, what a day! For an auto-da-fe!!!!

    November 15, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      What's an auto-da-fé?

      November 15, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
      • Mopery

        It's what you ought'nd have done, but you did anyway.

        November 15, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Good ol' Mel.

          November 15, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
      • ceyan

        Hint: it's very Panglossian.

        November 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  18. lol??

    The Illinois situation:

    God indicts, then elects.
    Illinois elects, then indicts.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
  19. Jeebusss

    What can I say........other than: LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Next up: exorcising fat from a cheese steak sandwich.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
  20. David

    I find it funny that this bishop calls it "serious sin". God teaches in the bible that all sin is the same in his eyes. The only difference being that you are responsible for the consequences in this world for the crime you commit but in his eyes sin is sin. I think that the current pope is setting a good example. That is a serious thing in Christianity or at least it should be. Christians are called to lead by example. The act of attacking or bullying people with different views is absurd and will only drive people away from the faith that you proclaim will save them. Praise God and live a happy content life and strive to help your fellow man and people will wonder and ask about your serenity and contentedness. Nobody is forcing people to be gay or marry a gay person and they should be allotted the same luxury to choose that lifestyle just as this bishop is afforded the right to practice his choice of religion. Religious leaders like this that promote ignorance and pronounce judgement upon others are one of the main reasons I dont associate myself with a Christian faith.

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

      hey! i like you. you make sense.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
      • David


        November 19, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • Colin

      Still waiting on what I got wrong in my post and on your explanation for why your god can never cure an amputee (or a person hwo lost an eye or ear or any other medical condition that is not hidden, internal and vulnerable to silly supernatural claims).

      November 15, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
      • Al

        Not entirely correct. Jesus talks about "He who has the greater sin", and the old testament has numerous examples of what were considered greater and lesser sins. Before misquoting the Bible and using poor exegesis, you may wish to read a little... or maybe that's the issue, like many, you read just a little and make sweeping conclusions.

        November 15, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
        • David

          That reply didnt speak on anything but details of what was spoken and nothing to do with the relevance of the idea that this religious leaders actions set a negative example. Was I wrong in this as well? Was I misinterpreting the bible in regards to christians being called to live lives of example and forgiveness? The bible is full of sweeping conclusions which is why it is so hard to understand because it contradicts itself in many places. It is also interpreted in many ways by a vast amount of people because of symantecs, vernacular, translation, and ambiguity. I personally think its quite clear in the fact that we are not here to condemn others for their sin but to strive to be free from our own. My statement still stands. I am sorry if you think that because I mispoke details that dont coincide with your personal extrapolation of the bible that my statement is somehow invalid.

          November 19, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
      • lol??

        Lend me your ears

        Luk 22:50 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.

        Luk 22:51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.

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

        I think you are referring to someone else. I dont know what post you are speaking of and I never claimed god miraculously cures anything. Could be another David. Sorry.

        November 19, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Madtown

      God teaches in the bible...
      Well, that's a bit of a reach, since God didn't author the bible.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
      • David

        If arguing semantics is all you gathered from that comment it obviously missed its mark. I could have had an assistant type that comment, but the words and opinion would still be mine. Christians believe the bible to be the word of god. They believe it to be his teachings. The intent of that statement was to respect Christians beliefs on that matter.

        November 19, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • WmassEd

      Well said.

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


        November 19, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • voiceoftruthusa

      "God teaches in the bible that all sin is the same in his eyes"

      Not exactly. Some sins carried the death penalty while others did not. One sin, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, is unforgivable. Yes, all sins separate us from the Lord, but not all were punished the same.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
      • David

        True. I forgot that blasphemy against the holy spirit was an unforgivable sin, but that doesnt truly make it a greater sin. Just an unforgiveable one. It also doesnt really hold relevance to the point that I was making. The bible is quite clear that we are not to be the ones to address the sins in the first place. That is between the person and god. All that being said, thank you for reminding me, its been quite a while since I have read the bible.

        November 19, 2013 at 5:57 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.