Ill. Bishop to Hold Exorcism Over State’s Marriage Equality Bill
Is it possible to exorcise an entire state? We'll all see next week, when a Roman Catholic bishop from Illinois plans a showdown with Satan by performing an exorcism ceremony held at the same time Governor Pat Quinn plans to sign the state's marriage equality bill. CNN reports.
Bishop Thomas James Propocki of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield said he will offer prayers for "exorcism in reparation for the sin of same-sex marriage" to cast out evil at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in the state's capital on Wednesday. Paprocki claims he is simply following orders from Pope Francis. CNN reports when the pope was Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, an archbishop in Argentina, he took great issue when the country approved gay marriage, saying it was "a 'move' of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God."
In a statement released on Thursday by the Diocese of Springfield, the bishop explained the reasoning behind the upcoming exorcism ceremony. "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," he said. "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."
The Chicago Tribune reports that according to a statement from the diocese of Springfield, an exorcism, which often refers to a rite performed on an individual, is applicable in the case of same-sex marriage because the devil can appear "in various forms of opposition to and persecution of the church."
According to Opposing Views, Paprocki has a long history of vocal opposition to marriage equality. He recently banned Catholics in his area from praying in favor of same-sex marriage and threatens to kick anybody out who does so. Paprocki also made headlines in the past for allegations of sexual abuse in his diocese that stem from an incident involving a minor and a Springfield priest years ago. In 2012 The Catholic Times reported that the bishop made strong comments about Americans planning to vote for a Democrat, stating that the party's platform "explicitly endorse intrinsic evils." He also warned that supporting certain politicians could place peoples' "eternal salvation...in jeopardy."
Although Pope Francis condemned marriage equality while he was an archbishop in Argentina, his views seem to be shifting as he's been taking a less aggressive approach against homosexuality. In July he said, "Who am I to judge?" if a gay person aims to be a good person.
The exorcism will be held from 4-5 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield next Wednesday. Gov. Pat Quinn will sign the bill around 3:30 p.m. at the University of Illinois Chicago Forum the same day.