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. ug

    Well it couldn't hurt!

    November 15, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Exorcism has killed a lot of people.
      For example, 5 year old Amy Burney died In an attempted exorcism when her mother and grandmother tied her down and forced her to swallow a toxic potion and taped her mouth shut.
      13 month old Amora Bain Carson was bludgeoned to death and bitten more than 20 times by her exorcist.
      53 year old Kyung Jae Chung invited her husband and two other missionaries to do an exorcism on her that resulted in 16 broken ribs and collapsed lungs.
      Autistic 8 year old Terrance Cottrell Jr. was suffocated by his pastor during an exorcism.
      Mary Odegbami's estranged fiancee locked her in a room, starved her and beat her for 14 days since he thought demons were forcing her to call off their engagement. He even tried to resurrect her for three days after she died.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  2. Mr Anderson

    ......amazing. Maybe he should first conduct an exorcism for that pesky little pedophilia problem plaguing the church. I guess the whole gay marriage thing is so much more important.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Saint Peter

      Not much difference between the two.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
      • Mr Anderson

        ....aaaaand here come the comments from the ignorant biggots. Why am I not surprised

        November 15, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
  3. John

    Are they also gonna burn a couple of witches while they are at it? Maybe some Harry Potter books?
    BTW, nice hat.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  4. Adam

    I really have to move to a different state...

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

      these doeks are all over the world.. And they are wealthy thanks to the cuts they take off donations.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      For what reason?
      It is the equality that makes you uncomfortable or the shamanic shenanigans?

      November 15, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
      • cedar rapids

        'shamanic shenanigans'

        nah, it'll be the total totemic tribulations that did it.

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

      I still find is very interesting that Iowa was the third state in the U.S. to legalize gay marriage.

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

        find it interesting

        November 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  5. keith

    Good for him !!! Whats wrong with helping people that are Retarded..

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

      Oh shut up.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • sam stone

      i'm certain he leads many of them in his capacity as a bishop

      November 15, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  6. Doris

    God of the gaps. It's an expression to denote what theists use to "fill in the void" for the unknown.

    As astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explains in his talk The Perimeter of Ignorance, throughout history many of the great minds give virtually no mention to any god for their discoveries and explanations. (Ptolemy, Isaac Newton, Laplace, Huygens, Galileo.) That is, until they reach the problem they feel they cannot and will never fully tackle.

    I wonder if that is all God has ever been – a placeholder for discomfort or frustration over the unknown; an excuse of last resort when, for one reason or another, one gives up investigation. It is at that point of discomfort over the unknown when one should remember what humanity has already witnessed: that today's scientific explanations were often yesterday's gods.

    What is the effect when man relies solely on his gap-filling gods? Consider this:

    Two-thirds of star names have Arabic names. They came from Islam's fertile period (AD 800-1100.) During that time Baghdad was the intellectual center of the world, open to people of all or no faiths. During that time were some of the greatest advances known to mankind: engineering, biology, medicine, mathematics, celestial navigation; this is the time and place that gave us numerals we use, terms like algebra and algorithm.

    Enter Imam Hamid al-Ghazali in the 12th century. The fundamentally religious period of Islam begins, and so begins the steady decline of free intellectual expression in that area of the world. Some would argue that it has since never recovered.

    Of course the effects of such reliance touches us today – even in the U.S. We see some who refuse medical care for their children for instance.

    "[If] the nature of... government [were] a subordination of the civil to the ecclesiastical power, I [would] consider it as desperate for long years to come. Their steady habits [will] exclude the advances of information, and they [will] seem exactly where they [have always been]. And there [the] clergy will always keep them if they can. [They] will follow the bark of liberty only by the help of a tow-rope." –Thomas Jefferson

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

      Doris, get a hobby…. a useful one.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Mr Anderson

      Someone who knows their history. It's sad to see the decline of an empire that had such a profound influence on so many of the sciences. Doris makes a very valid point in that religion has suppressed or destroyed free thinking and freedom in general over the centuries. It's evident in every society where there was an upsurge of religious fervor. By suppressing higher learning, people became much easier to control by making them completely reliant on the church to "enlighten" them. During the dark ages, science had to go underground for fear of being put to death if they dared challenge church beliefs. Organized religion is a plague on humanity and has seriously delayed our developmental progress, not to mention being the source of countless atrocities. I can't help but feel some hope as I see the figures that show the church is slowly but surely losing its grip on our society and more and more people are questioning its role and are turning away from its ignorance and hypocrisy.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
      • Joey

        I couldn't have said it better myself. Personally, I find understanding how the universe works (astronomy, quantum physics, etc) much more fascinating than just saying "God made it". The universe is an insanely amazing thing. It's great to be able to look at a flower and actually understand how it went from a seed to a blooming flower. When you start getting into quantum physics, just forget about it! Creationists (of Intelligent Design) always tend to point to the way things are around us and say that this could never have happened on it's own. Someone must have created it. Anyone that knows even some basic quantum / theoretical physics (i.e. A Brief History of Time) would be scratching their head at that comment. There are so many things at the quantum level that are totally counter intuitive (to the point of being bizarre). If someone did design it that way on purpose, they must have been on acid at the time. The easy thing about creationism is that it completely discounts science. It only looks at what you can easily see in your day-to-day lives. When you don't try to understand anything, everything is a miracle. Personally, I think it's nothing short of amazing that little ole us, here on a tiny, insignificant planet among several revolving around a mediocre star, in an run of the mill galaxy, have been able to look back in time to within a fraction of a second of the creation of the universe. I just can't stop using the word amazing enough! It's mind blowing, just super super cool. Why would anyone prefer ignorance over knowledge?

        November 15, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  7. PJ

    This Bishop is exactly the type of clergy Pope Francis is trying to enlighten. However, the Bishop's action is so extreme I would guess he has some underlying issues he should talk over with a professional.

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

      well, pope francis is no charm. A con man usung 'humble' as his marketing strategy.

      Seems he likes to continue the child abuse cover ups.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  8. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Has the Church exorcised itself? There's Plenty of evidence of Satan in that institution.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  9. Richard Hicks

    21st century and people are still being hoodwinked by religion.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • lol??

      Plenty of guns in da hood. Wink, wink.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • gregrobert

      It's not just religion. It's the entire tribunal that has enabled hunans to build societies larger than 50, the limit of troupes of great apes. It's our way of controlling ourselves. The troika is: culture, government, and religion. The value is that no one element can defeat the other two. But, when one does see one dominate over the other two you also see one very sick society.
      The fuction of religion CAN BE replaced by codes of morality or ethics and I hope for that trend continue. We have grown beyond the childish need for a god (a necessary parent-guide).

      Did you ever notice how exactly god and santa clause are the same thing. He's MAKING A LIST and CHECKING IT TWICE. Be nice because santa cause is coming (second coming?) to town, Do you want coal (burning hell) or presents (heaven) in your stockings. It's just traing wheels for (barely disguised) adult santa.


      November 15, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  10. joe

    Some people just don't understand the concept of self satire, do they? Could this Bishop get any more embarrassing?

    November 15, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
  11. Doris

    I could be wrong, but I have a funny feeling the new pope doesn't want to be another pope that tries to tell Galileo that he's wrong. It will be interesting to see if this nutcase Bishop gets his hands slapped.



    The following is from the article:

    Homosexuality ultimately a result of gene regulation, researchers find (12/11/2012 – LiveScience)

    [ The search for a "gay gene" may be off-target, new research finds. Another process called epigenetics that switches genes on and off may explain why homosexuality runs in families.

    Epigenetics are heritable changes caused by factors other than DNA. Instead of traits getting passed down through the genes, epigenetic change happens because of the way genes are regulated, or turned on and off.

    These genetic regulators may be the reason homosexuality persists in nature despite the fact that gay people are less likely to reproduce, suggests the new study published in the [Dec, 2012] journal The Quarterly Review of Biology.

    "These things have evolved because they're good for the parents, but they sometimes, not [with] high frequency, but sometimes carry over" into offspring, study researcher William Rice, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told LiveScience. In a male fetus, Rice and his colleagues write, an epigenetic change that benefited the mother may lead to "feminization" of sexual preference — homo- or bisexuality. The same may be true for epigenetic changes passed down by dad to a female fetus. (The terms feminization and masculinization of sexual preference refer to sexual orientation only — not to physical or personality traits of the offspring.)

    The findings add to past research suggesting gay men haven't died out, because female relatives of gay men tend to have more children on average than other females. The study researchers specifically found that two genes passed on through the maternal line could produce this effect.

    Hormones, epigenetics and orientation

    Rice and his colleagues focused on epi-marks, which are molecular changes that act like temporary "switches" to turn genes on and off. If a gene is a blueprint, the epi-mark is the construction foreman who makes sure the product gets built. An epi-mark also determines when, where and how much a gene is expressed, according to the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis.

    These molecular switches are usually erased very early in the developmental process, but they can be passed down from generation to generation, too, Rice said.

    Some epi-marks are particularly important during fetal development, when they promote normal physical development in the sexes despite natural variations in testosterone during pregnancy. Researchers know that fetal exposure to too much testosterone can masculinize the genitals, brain or behavior of a genetically female fetus. Likewise, too little testosterone can make a genetically male fetus more feminized.

    But here's the catch: There's lots of overlap between the levels of testosterone male and female fetuses get exposed to. That means there must be another side to the story, Rice and his colleagues wrote.

    That side appears to be epigenetics, Rice said.

    "Early in development, we think these epi-marks are laid down so that girl fetuses will be relatively insensitive to testosterone and male fetuses will be relatively sensitive to testosterone," Rice said.

    Biological behavior

    Thus, if an epi-mark that kept a mother from getting exposed to high testosterone in development gets passed on to her son — the opposite sex — it could desensitize him to testosterone, contributing to his sexual preference for men. Similarly, if a male-specific epi-mark from dad gets passed to a daughter, it could "masculinize" her sexual preference, making her more interested in women.

    These findings could explain why twin studies show that homosexuality runs in families, but no "gay gene" can be found, Rice said. In identical twins, there's about a 20 percent chance that if one twin is gay, the other will be too. If genetic change were responsible for homosexuality, you'd expect a much higher match, Rice said. Epigenetics, however, can explain the heritability without the need for a specific genetic change.

    The hypothesis could be tested by examining epigenetic marks in parents of kids with gay versus straight offspring, Rice said. There are, of course, concerns that this knowledge could be used by parents who want to avoid gay offspring, Rice said, but that concern already exists around certain hormonal conditions in utero, which are known to contribute to an increased chance of offspring being lesbians.

    "That cat's already out of the bag," Rice said. He added that an understanding of the biological underpinnings of homosexuality could help emphasize that same-sex behavior is not "unnatural."

    "In fact, it's a major part of the natural world," Rice said. Fourteen percent of Western gulls raise chicks in female-female pairs, he pointed out. And 8 percent of male sheep show zero interest in fertile ewes, but get sexually excited by other rams. ]

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


    The American Psychological Association states "there are probably many reasons for a person's sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people", and says most people's sexual orientation is determined at an early age. Research into how sexual orientation in males may be determined by genetic or other prenatal factors plays a role in political and social debates about homosexuality, and also raises concerns about genetic profiling and prenatal testing."

    Professor Michael King states: "The conclusion reached by scientists who have investigated the origins and stability of sexual orientation is that it is a human characteristic that is formed early in life, and is resistant to change. Scientific evidence on the origins of homosexuality is considered relevant to theological and social debate because it undermines suggestions that sexual orientation is a choice."

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists stated in 2007:

    "Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person's fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation. It would appear that sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Sexual orientation is therefore not a choice."

    November 15, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You can cite as many scientific studies as you like – God still says that gay people are icky.
      It must be true becuase a lot of Christians start feeling all squidgy when they think of it, therefore gays should be denied equal treatment under the law.
      Remember, if it makes you uncomfortable to be around, it must be demonic and therefore should be declared illegal.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • Don

        Good… Then you should be declared illegal. You're beyond uncomfortable to even read.

        November 15, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
      • cedar rapids

        'Remember, if it makes you uncomfortable to be around, it must be demonic and therefore should be declared illegal.'

        that would remove half my wife's family.

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

      Too many words.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Christine

      You do realise that Rice’s model still
      needs to be tested. The article
      in the New Scientist even quotes other researches who looked at the model, doubting that it is even testable.


      November 16, 2013 at 9:00 am |
  12. postapockolips

    funny, can you next do an exorcism of the pedophiles within your loony bin?

    November 15, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  13. palintwit

    Whenever someone mentions Chic-fil-A I immediately think of slope headed, toothless, tea party patriots with stained shirts and mismatched tire sizes on their F-150's.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  14. Reality

    These are the same bishops who lobby to stop laws that would help children victims of abuse.

    Con men is all.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  15. Non-Catholic on Purpose

    Well....let's hope he has an exorcism for all the priests that abused kids and an exorcism for all the adulterers and an exorcism for all the thiefs and an exorcism for all the murderers and an exorcism for you and an exorcism for you and an exorcism for you.......These are a few of my favorite things......cause if he's going cast sin, then SIN is SIN.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  16. doughnuts

    I'd like to quote the learned scholar and philosopher Hermione Granger:

    "What an idiot."

    November 15, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
  17. Bob S

    I get so tired of religious folks using the scriptures as an excuse to be bigots. I read the scriptures too, and they are not about being judgemental bigots.

    If we followed the scriptures in exact words, we would still have slavery and women would be beaten for cutting their hair, having professional jobs, and being independent.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • lol??

      Having a job is being independent??

      November 15, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
  18. Democritus

    Who's crazier?

    This nut or his flock of enablers that give him money every week?

    November 15, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      But he needs that money!
      If Catholic clergy costumes are any indication, God seems to really like hats – the fancier and taller the better.
      Gilded haberdashery doesn't pay for itself, you know.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
  19. Vince in Upstate NY

    What a sad commentary on the state of minds of some prelates. The Roman Catholic Church continues to function in the dark ages which it's adherents continue to abandon it in droves around the world. Are we to be terrified as in the days of the Inquisition? Not going to happen. Our world is one in which that is informed, intelligent, and independent minded. We are not the sheep being led by the nose anymore. Hopefully, Pope Francis will reverse this type of rhetoric by strong leadership (and private conversations with prelates who act out of malice or political gain). Ora pro nobis.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:43 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.