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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. Nicole Chardenet

    When are they going to exorcise the demon of pedophilia in the Church?

    November 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Anti-Catholic

      When Hell (The Vatican) freezes over.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • asdrel

      Darn it, I was going to say that!

      November 15, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  2. John

    I have been to 12 years of Catholic School, church every sunday and holy day of obligation for many years, have multiple releatives that are priests and one who is a Bishop (not this one thank God) and I have to say; there are true Christians who truly try to be Christ-like and others who clearly just take tiny tidbits from the bible to attack good people. I am not saying all Catholics are bad or all gays are good. I am saying that there are good and bad in every group and that people should live and let live and worry about their own salvation. We will all satand before God and no Bishop is any less or more of a human being than your gay neighbor. Do your best to love everyone.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • dave

      This comment is too fair and sensible; it violates CNN and internet protocols.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • EZ

      Ok. Be sure and send a copy of your message to your relatives in the clergy (and to your parish cohorts, etc.). If they condone or support this wacko bishop, they are just as wacko.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • lol??

      Good people??

      Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

      Mar 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

      Jesus did not die for nuthin'.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
      • sybaris

        The alleged god-man Jesus........... a spirit that rented some flesh, killed it's flesh then went back to where it came from.

        Yeah, some sacrifice

        November 15, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
      • sam stone

        iron age comic book quotes. how relevant, lol??

        jesus had a bad weekend for your sins

        November 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  3. Ace

    That would be great if they played "Tubular Bells" during the whole service.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Akira

      This made me laugh...thanks.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Doris

      document.getElementById('LikeButton').click();

      November 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • dave

      Tubular Bells is the gay wedding march

      November 15, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
  4. kyzaadrao

    It's good to see someone making the stand that gay marriage and the acts thereof do not mix with the church and scripture.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Observer

      kyzaadrao,

      You are right. They don't match with the Bible which believes that marriage should be FORCED onto some people.

      Read one someday.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
      • kyzaadrao

        Well, I've read more scripture than blog posts, although I'm not sure how you mean this. Arranged marriages were cultural and abstinence is always an option to marriage. Assuming that I don't read or haven't read enough from a simple post is reaching a bit.

        November 15, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
        • Observer

          kyzaadrao,

          The Bible says that marriage can be FORCED on slaves, certain people caught in adultery, brothers whose own brother died leaving a widow, etc.

          The Bible also says that some people CANNOT EVER divorce no matter how badly they are treated.

          Since you likely don't support ALL of what the Bible said about marriage, don't PICK and CHOOSE.

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

          I don't know what the author meant, but most interpretations of the bible leave a gay person two choices: remaining alone of marrying someone they don't and won't love. Charming.

          November 15, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Anti-Catholic

      By politicizing it? The church has no business in politics or law and needs to keep its opinions within its own walls.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
      • kyzaadrao

        The church isn't the ones that politicized the issue, activists and politicians did. It must be convenient to think an opposing viewpoint should remain silent, though.

        November 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'It must be convenient to think an opposing viewpoint should remain silent, though.'

          Tell that to the church

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

          @kyzaadrao

          You said, "he church isn't the ones that politicized the issue, activists and politicians did."
          Do you crap in your living room? If you don't then why do you insist in inserting your religion in secular business? What makes you think your religion has any business in the lives of others? You should keep your crap where it belongs.

          You said, "It must be convenient to think an opposing viewpoint should remain silent, though."
          You are free to have your viewpoint, and so is this bishop. You are not free to force your religious dogma on the rest of society.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • SkepticalOne

      Education and intelligence do not mix with church and scripture either. Are you opposed to those as well?

      November 15, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
      • kyzaadrao

        Education and intelligence are not exclusive to the non religious. If it makes you feel better to think all religious people are non intelligent and uneducated, then feel free.

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

          Well they do believe in a fictional story...so........

          November 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • sybaris

      That's fine as long as all the antics are kept within your god club.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  5. Anti-Catholic

    Exorcism? The only "father of lies" is the pope. Don't let Satan fool you with his golden thrones and silk robes..

    November 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
  6. livingston

    I think the man need to go talk to Pope Francis. Then find another job.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Anti-Catholic

      Talk to him about what? The pope sanctioned it.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
      • Akira

        No, he didn't. Read the article again.

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

      Pope Francis supports the Catechism which holds that exorcism is valid and that hom.ose.xual activity is a sin. He also himself states the devil was behind gay marriage. He's not going to do anything.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  7. Tim

    Wouldn't it be more Christian to tend to the sick, visit the elderly, stop in and comfort the dying, or show some compassion to orphans rather than do something this idiotic?
    Perhaps he should exorcize the pedophiles out of the Catholic Church. They seem to keep cropping back up.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • tony

      All becuause his priests can't marry the little choir boys

      November 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • jo2

      It's interesting that he didn't perform this public exorcism of all the pedophiles in the Catholic Church.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
  8. SeattleReign

    Perhaps the church itself needs to be exorcised.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
  9. Ace

    Demi, why you do dis to me Demi?

    November 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
  10. Time For You To Grow Up...

    The more they profess their belief in myths and delusions, the more reasonable people dismiss religion as the childish fallacy it is...

    November 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
  11. Lee Oates

    This gay is right out of the middle ages. The Catholic equivalent of the Tahliban fanatics.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • HisStoryPal

      You meant guy. But, I have a feeling gay fit just fine. Lol

      November 15, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
  12. Matt

    I find it funny how people love gays so much. What has changed? Just back in 1996, Bill Clinton and the democrats signed in DOMA. Yes, that wasn't the tea party that was the democrats and that was a little over ten years ago. Not a long time. What has changed so much?

    November 15, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Observer

      Intelligence.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • sybaris

      DOMA was a compromise

      November 15, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Time For You To Grow Up...

      Intelligent people allow their beliefs to evolve, so we're not stuck 50 years in the past... Conservatives don't.

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

      Irish parades in Chitown??

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

      DOMA was signed because the alternative was a const.itutional amendment that would have been far harder to get rid of.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • lol??

      Quinn was the original teabagger.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • snowboarder

      it was advancement. remember, prior to that there was a complete prohibition against hom ose xuals in the military.

      social change is rarely fast.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • asdrel

      Clinton may have signed it, but DOMA was enacted by the GOP-controlled Congress.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  13. The religious fundy method of inquiry and verification

    How does it work? Let's take a peek inside the fundy mind:

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YIj4rLYo0c&w=640&h=360]

    November 15, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • lol??

      Gud example of the Masters tryin' to keep up with the Public Servants' sanctioned inflation, which, of course they lie about.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  14. Observer

    Maybe the scarecrow bishop should pray for a brain.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  15. kevinmshaffer

    "Serious sin" ... wait, I thought a sin was a sin, not that there are different levels of it. Pretty sure that's what Jesus said all along. Who does this guy think he is making some sins worse than others and politicizing the pulpit. Shame on him!

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

      The Catholic church distinguishes between venal and mortal sin:

      http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a8.htm

      So there are at least two levels.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
  16. 2Smart4Tea

    Insanity – or a cheap publicity stunt trying to save a dying cult – you decide!

    November 15, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Bill the Cat

      C. None of the above

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

      A little of column A and a little of column B

      November 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  17. PhishPhan

    Hmmm how can you excommunicate a sin when your already sinning. I'm sure that robe is polyester it sure has hell looks it. Wait polyester is blended fibers. SIN!!!!!!!

    November 15, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
  18. alpeaston

    Well, at least he will be busy doing something other then molest children!

    November 15, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Bill the Cat

      https://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/than.html

      November 15, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
  19. Dave the Rave

    Better hurry, tickets are going fast in spite of the fact that the Exorcism conflicts with reruns of Seinfeld.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
  20. Ace

    Should be a good show if people's heads are spinning and they are oozing green slime.

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

      According to the Catholic church, every baptism is an exorcism, so it probably won't be that interesting unfortunately.

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

        Too bad, I wanted to go and scream "The power of Christ compels you!" over and over.

        November 15, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
        • Sara

          Try it next time you're at a Catholic baptism. Or just say loudly, "This is so cool! I've never watched an exorcism before!" Stand back and see what happens. Be ready to cite the Catechism to explain yourself, as the parents probably don't know and the priest will have fun explaining it.

          http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c4a1.htm#1673

          November 15, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
      • Pman

        "deceive the children of god" coming from a single man, wearing a big gold hat and flowing robes – what a fruit

        November 15, 2013 at 12:35 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.