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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. Rynomite

    What a d-bag. I'm ashamed to live less than an hour from this tool.

    November 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  2. Another Voice

    One more religious leader that is unwilling to recognize the difference between state sanctioned SECULAR marriage, which is a legal contract, and their own doctrinal view of holy matrimony, a religious sacrament that has nothing to do with the state.

    Render unto Caesar...

    November 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • lol??

      In americult the Masters are supposed to be Caesar, king of the castle, etc.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  3. John Blackadder

    Cool! Can we all watch it on TV?

    November 15, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
  4. Edgar

    Was he in a coma when the Pope recently admonished the church?

    November 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Reality

      I bet we wouldn't want to know what goes on in the vatican with the pope and his freaks.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  5. Goodwithoutgods

    I would enjoy watching this 'exorcism' though should be entertaining. When a bunch of demons visibly fly up his ass, I will reconsider my views

    November 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • lol??

      They've been known to like swine.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • lol??

      Now make up a story about Hogwarts.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  6. w

    Ah yes, just continuing the long tradition of showing just how disconnected the Catholic Church is with reality. LOL

    November 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  7. Jack 2

    In the country muaritania in Africa slavery was legal until 2008. Did that make slavery right?

    November 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You should ask the Southern Baptists who quoted scripture to support slavery in the 19th century and to fight de-segregation in the 20th.
      Face it – the zeitgeist has shifted.
      Your children and grandchildren will view ho/mophobia with the same sense of disgust that the current generation views inst.itutionalized racism.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • Rynomite

        Don't forget Xtians used their book to keep women from the vote and equal rights......

        November 15, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • Rynomite

          And to ban beer! The horror!

          November 15, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      as doc said there were plenty of christians that used the bible to claim slavery was just fine so you tell us if it was right or not.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  8. AChurch

    that is nothing more than an italian mafia branch...that is all.

    November 15, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  9. jeff

    It astounds me that so many 'so-called' Christians and representatives of God are able to spew hate towards others, without realizing that they take His name in vain, by contradicting their own teachings. Hypocrisy it what's at the root of evil in the world. Whatever happened to 'love thy neighbour'...or do you get to select who your neighbours are these days? Gay marriage has been legalized in so many places and the world hasn't changed as a result. To many a Christian's dismay, God hasn't sent his army to destroy us all. Blinders are for horses...time you take them off...you look so foolish with them on!

    November 15, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • lol??

      Socies LUV their neighbor's stuff and more!

      November 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • My Dog is a jealous Dog

        No, "socies" (I assume you mean socialists) are willing to share what they have with their neighbors. That is what makes them socialists.

        November 15, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • sam

      I agree. But as a gay woman, I have lived with this hate since I was born. I wish we could perform an exorcism on these nuts.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
  10. Jack 2

    Sara...."

    Try having a kid. It'll never happen."

    Sara says, LOL, you don't get out much, do you?

    Oh, you can have kids now. Keep dreaming.

    November 15, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      I know a lesbian couple that have 2 kids. They used a system used by straight couples all the time.....a donor.

      But what has marriage got to do with having kids?

      November 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Sara

      These guys are cute. They actually think no gay people have kids and that sterile folks and the elderly shouldn't marry.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Observer

      Jack 2,

      Gays and lesbians can have children.

      Please take a class of Biology 101 or read "Biology for Dummies".

      November 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  11. Jack M

    The bishop looks as gay as the fields of May if you ask me.

    November 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Jack 2

      well, what's a gay person look like?

      November 15, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
      • Sara

        On average slightly different finger length ratios for starters. You can look this stuff up you know?

        November 15, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • Susan StoHelit

        There is a scientifically proven 'look' to gay men. It's not 100% – but it's more accurate than chance – they find most people can see some of the similarities between a gay man and another gay man.

        November 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • Sara

          Interestingly, most people can predict se.xuality pretty well by watching the silhouette of a man walking.

          November 16, 2013 at 12:04 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Shhhh! Don't blow his cover! Why do you think he's performing an "exorcism"? He's convinced the devil must be in the gays because everytime he see's a handsome man parts of his body stiffen and occasionally some ghost ectoplasm appears magically in his pants...

      November 15, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      If so – his choice.

      There are many who went to the priesthood to escape desires they believe to be sinful. I'd only pity him were that the case. If you honestly believed your desires were sinful, wrong, evil, doing all you could to stop them would be right for you.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
  12. John Rand

    Perhaps the Bishop could exorcise Mayor Rob Ford from Toronto

    November 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  13. james

    "gay people are less likely to reproduce"? I want to see one reproduction from "gay" people.

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

      you've never met a gay person with children? seriously?

      November 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Max

      They reproduce the same way infertile couples do. Get a clue.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • james

      that was meant for the quote from the previous page but no in answer to the subject on that post. gay people will never reproduce together.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
      • cedar rapids

        its a good job being able to have kids is not a requirement for getting married then isnt it?

        November 15, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • Sara

        Actually, technically two women can have a child, a female offspring. It is known to have been performed on in the lab for other species...one of the researchers is a lesbian with a daughter...

        November 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • Sara

          Two men would be harder, though I imagine the technology will get there. So for now lesbians but not gay men should marry?

          November 15, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Nick

      Catholic priests can't reproduce, and in nature you won't even find animals that are Catholic much less priests, it's completely UNNATURAL! If everyone was a Catholic priest, humanity would die off in just one generation!

      November 15, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
  14. Uh-Clem

    What a joke! If it is that important why didn't he take care of his own house while all the gay pedophile priests were abusing the alter boys. This pawn is the last person who should have such a vision.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  15. Reality

    ..they do this stuff inside the vatican,, then deny it to the outside world.

    The pope, cardinals and bishops are a bunnch of juvenile deli-nquents that never grew up.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  16. L

    Q: What do atheists say before they die?

    A: "I believe! I believe!"

    November 15, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Reality

      never heard one say that.. In fact christians have been seen in absolute fear before they passed. All their lives and it's down to the last moment and poof,, nothing

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

        If they fear it, that means they don't really believe in the first place.

        November 15, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Reality

          which is most.. Deep down they know it isn't real. They can fool as they will,, but in the end, they are the fools

          November 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • L

          Not if they don't know their own belief. For Christians, there's no reason to fear death. It's a transition from this life into another. I don't see the point of "fearing death" entering this equation. If they fear death, they don't believe it all. They lie to themselves.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          and yet you dont hear of christians refusing life saving hospital treatment so i guess they arent in any hurry to actually go ahead and die.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • snowboarder

      i'm sure there are a few weak willed individuals that do actually say that.

      we all have to admit that a lifetime of attempted indoctrination is likely to instill fear.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      atheists don't need to make up fairy stories to assuage their fears. only the infantile believers need a safety blanket.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
      • L

        I don't fear death but thank for making it up.

        November 15, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
        • G to the T

          And way to prove his point...

          November 15, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "I believe that was more than any evolved organism could ask for, thank you universe!"

      November 15, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • sam stone

      theists spend their lives on their knees, pandering to the celestial pr1ck

      November 15, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        that was beautiful!

        November 15, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • K-switch

      Should the police be aware that you witnessed so many atheist deaths?

      November 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Not actually true.

      And I've been there, as an atheist, thinking this was it, the end, in the hospital – and religion and god didn't even cross my mind until weeks later when some religious bigot like you brought up their belief that atheists change their beliefs when in fear of death.

      How would you take it if a Muslim was on here saying that the last words of a Christian on their deathbed would be "I was wrong, Allah, save me!"

      November 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  17. james

    uhhhmmmm, WHAT!?! WOW – what century does this individual think this is? And why isn't he following Pope Francis' current views?

    November 15, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Sara

      What part of Pope Francis' views isn't he following? The pope has said Satan is behind same se.x marriage, believes hom.ose.xuality is a sin, and supports the Catechism which promotes exorcisms. Exactly where has this guy differed?

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

        You've never changed your stance from one you had years ago?

        November 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
        • Sara

          Do you have evidence the pope has changed his stance? All he's said is he doesn't think this should be a focus of the church, not that the churches positions have changed or that it can't still be part of the churches activity.

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

          Essentially the pope has said, we have a lot of issues and I recommend this one be lower on the agenda. Not much of a statement for all the propaganda spinning off it.

          November 15, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          all we are hearing is the Vatican's PR campaign ... no-one knows what this pope's views are but his past statements give us a pretty good idea!

          November 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  18. Gheorghe Gheorghe

    Well done Bishop Thomas!

    It takes a lot of courage to to tell the truth and stand for your beliefs in a schizophrenic and perverted world!

    God have mercy on this country and on us all – for we are all sinners!!

    November 15, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Chase

      God have mercy on you, God doesn't like ugly.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        don't feed the trolls.

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

      I would say "God have mercy on you," but you don't deserve it.

      November 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  19. me

    I think this guy is really the Illinois Enema Bandit...

    November 15, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Reality

      they do this stuff inside the vatican,, then deny it to the outside world.

      The pope, cardinals and bishops are a bunch of juvenile delinquents that never grew up.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Reality

      they do this stuff inside the vatican,, then deny it to the outside world.

      The pope, cardinals and bishops are a bunnch of juvenile deli-nquents that never grew up.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  20. Wrong again

    This proves even bishops can be idiots.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • snowboarder

      i don't think there was really very much doubt.

      November 15, 2013 at 12:58 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.