Ill. Catholic bishop to hold gay marriage ‘exorcism’ when governor signs bill

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A Roman Catholic bishop in Illinois said Thursday he will preside over a prayer service of “supplication and exorcism” next week to coincide with they ceremony in which Gov. Pat Quinn will sign the state’s marriage equality bill into law.

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, leader of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield, said marriage between gays and lesbians is a union that “comes from the devil and should be condemned as such,” reported the State Journal-Register.

Paprocki is calling for a repeal of the same-sex marriage law, and says the politicians who helped enact it are “morally complicit as co-operators in facilitating this grave sin.”

“It is scandalous that so many Catholic politicians are responsible for enabling the passage of this legislation and even twisting the words of the pope to rationalize their actions despite the clear teaching of the church,” Paprocki said in a statement announcing the prayer service next week.

Observers say Paprocki’s remarks are directed at House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Catholic who invoked the words of Pope Francis during a floor speech in support of the same-sex marriage bill.

In July, the Pope remarked that “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?

Madigan’s remarks were notably similar: “For those that just happen to be gay — living in a very harmonious, productive relationship, but illegal — who am I to judge that they should be illegal?”

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Paprocki says “all politicians now have the moral obligation to work for the repeal of this sinful and objectionable legislation.”

“We must pray for deliverance from this evil which has penetrated our state and our church.”

Quinn, a Catholic, is scheduled to sign the same-sex marriage bill into law next Wednesday, Nov. 20.

Earlier this week, the Vatican ambassador to the U.S., addressing American bishops at their first national meeting since Pope Francis was elected, said they should not “follow a particular ideology” and should make Roman Catholics feel more welcome in church.

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