Catholic Bishop Plans to Perform ‘Exorcism’ After Illinois Governor Signs Gay Marriage Bill Into Law

On the afternoon of Wednesday, November 20th, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is expected to sign a law granting same-sex couples the right to legally marry.

So naturally, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Paprocki has made plans to lead a rite of exorcism “in reparation for the sin of same-sex marriage” just after the legislation is enacted. Clergy and laity alike are invited to participate.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki

As many of us know (albeit more through Hollywood’s intervention than the Catechism’s), an exorcism is a rite designed to drive out demonic evil by invoking the power of God. Typically, exorcism is used to rid a person of demonic interference, but an appendix to the 2004 Latin Rite of Exorcism notes that demonic presence can also be expressed by “the penetration of things and places in a certain manner” or through “various forms of opposition to and persecution of the Church.” Paprocki argues that an exorcism is appropriate in this case because same-sex marriage is a demonic deception that runs counter to Catholic teachings.

He justifies this belief in a diocesan press release by citing the words of Pope Francis himself, in his recent former persona as Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio. Paprocki quotes a letter Bergoglio sent in 2010 urging contemplative religious in four Argentine monasteries to pray against the enaction of legislation that would give gay couples the right to marry and adopt children:

At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts… Let us not be naïve: it is not a simple political struggle; it is an intention [which is] destructive of the plan of God. It is not a mere legislative project (this is a mere instrument), but rather a ‘move’ of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God.

Paprocki goes on to add context from a Biblical perspective:

The pope’s reference to the ‘father of lies’ comes from the Gospel of John (8:44), 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.

Therefore, he argues, an exorcism is an entirely appropriate response.

Paprocki argues that, while those who involve themselves in same-sex relationships are certainly guilty of grave sin, legislators who allowed and enabled this law to come into being must be seen as “morally complicit”, and calls on them to “pray for deliverance” as well as to work to get the law repealed:

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. 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 as penetrated our state and our church.

About Sara Lin Wilde

Sara Lin Wilde is a recovering Catholic (and cat-holic, for that matter - all typographical errors are the responsibility of her feline friends). She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where she is working on writing a novel that she really, really hopes can actually get published.

  • SeekerLancer

    “At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.”

    And nothing of value was lost.

  • David

    I’m seriously just waiting for the day, that Christians freak out about people eating shrimp, or pork, or women talking in church, or divorce, or wearing gold, or getting tattoos. Because, you know, all sin is equal.

    • John

      Well you see, we don’t have to do those things any more because Jesus. But gays are still bad because…Jesus?

      • Paul Zimmerle

        Turns out a few lines in the New Testament also condemn being gay.

        • radiofreerome

          Oddly enough those lines were written by the same guy who endorsed slavery.

    • WallofSleep

      That will never happen. However, if you really wanna see one freak out, tell them that in the eyes of god there is no difference between that shrimp cocktail they’re eating and two men engaging in sodomy.

      Pro Tip: Be prepared to dodge a punch.

    • Camille

      Not all sin is equal. So how can you talk about something you clearly have no idea.

  • thprop

    I am looking forward to the day when the media no longer treats “religious leaders” with deference and respect. They should simply be laughed at.

  • WallofSleep

    “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

    Grave offenses indeed. It’s clear that the only course of action here is to excommunicate these politicians and cease accepting their tithes and donations. But we both know you won’t, and we both know why.

    • Stev84

      They might withhold communion. That will teach them.

    • Lando

      “if only we could excommunicate them without actually telling them. We’ll keep taking their money, but slip a note up to saint peter – homeboy not getting in.”

      • TheUnknownPundit

        Double-secret ex-communication. That’s the ticket!

        • Kevin_Of_Bangor

          He is on it.

          • Astreja

            “May I have 10,000 rainbow-coloured marbles, please?”

  • C Peterson

    I question the journalistic ethics of reporting on details of a person’s mental illness.

    • 3lemenope

      I question the propriety of calling every irrational practice or custom a sign of mental illness.

      • C Peterson

        You’re right. It would be better labeled a currently unclassified cognitive disorder.

        • 3lemenope

          [rolls eyes]

          • flyb

            I enjoy reading the chats between you two. :)

  • Mick

    He probably couldn’t care less what the homosexuals do. The whole schtick is aimed at his parishioners. When the law is passed he will say the big bad world is closing in on them and the only way to save themselves will be to attend church more regularly. And more bums on seats = more cash in the collection plate.

    • Alierias

      My mother tithed when she barely could feed us — when she actually was in need not too long ago, her church turned their backs on her. She had become a liability…

  • WalterWhite007

    Celibacy obviously leads to insanity!
    And in some cases paedophilia!

    • suzi c

      My view exactly! The Catholic church makes me sick.

  • Brodestar

    This is nothing more than another religious leader trying to scare and confuse the ones still completely blinded by the dogma of christianity in order to get them running back to church every sunday and empty their pockets into the already overflowing coffers of the catholic church. The day will come when those people will realize the moral corruption of organized religion and their dogmatic rule will finally come to an end.

  • Suzi C

    The f***ing hypocrisy of the Catholic church defies belief!! Why don’t they point that judgemental finger at themselves. Laughable, if it wasn’t so disgusting.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    I think he should exercise the demons first. After all we can’t have obese demons on our hands.

    • baal

      Fitness is demonic. It requires various strenuous acts done with regularity but not too strenuous lest ye be injured in their doing.

  • JenHeinser

    When are the crazies going to understand that homosexuality occurred before it was CONSIDERED a sin, and that homosexuality is found in thousands of animals and insects?! I’m sure the devil is doing his work through chimps and insects too to sway our minds. Yep, that’s it! Makes me SICK the way science is ignored. It’s posts like the previous with Neil DeGrasse Tyson that give me hope for our future!

  • Rain

    an exorcism is a rite designed to drive out demonic evil by invoking the power of God.

    Doesn’t Jesus already know they need exercise? Why would Jesus need a priest to tell him. I guess they got to make a living somehow, I guess.

  • Rain

    So naturally, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Paprocki has made plans to lead a rite of exorcism “in reparation for the sin of same-sex marriage” just after the legislation is enacted.

    Doesn’t the LORD dog almighty already know it needs all that stuff? Maybe he is hard of hearing or something. Hey LORD, we don’t like repeating ourselves all the time. Let’s get that hearing checked out.

  • Lark62

    It’s so scandalous that so many people who aren’t catholic refuse to follow catholic bigotry. How can this be??

  • sam

    Have any of these dog-collared pieces of excrement performed public exorcisms to rid their church of all the boy rapists? No? Then I guess they don’t consider boy rape a ‘grave sin’.

    • Carmelita Spats

      Boy rape is not codified as an excommunicable offense like desecrating the Eucharist. If you step on, spit out, steal or keep a consecrated host in your refrigerator next to the pork chops, you are excommunicated as per their guidelines (see #4)…You are excommunicated if you spank the pope (see #5)…Stalking, trapping and kenneling altar boys in your refrigerator is NOT an excommunicable offense…Geez, the Roman Criminal Church has goddamn STANDARDS…

      1. Apostasy,
      2. Heresy,
      3. Schism,
      4. Desecration of the Eucharist,
      5. Physical force against the Pope,
      6. Attempted sacramental absolution of a partner in adultery,
      7. Ordination of a bishop without a Papal mandate (e.g. all bishops in the government-run Chinese Patriotic Church),
      8. Violation of the sacramental seal of confession by a priest or bishop, and
      9. Procurement of a completed abortion.

      PZ Myers desecrated a consecrated host:

      • radiofreerome

        You forgot speaking of the Holy Prepuce, Jesus’s foreskin that the Blessed Virgin Mary wore like an engagement ring.

      • Sara Lin Wilde

        Say, what if we got a pope that was into spanking? Still excommunication?

  • Roxane Murray

    Well, it might make HIM feel better.

  • # zbowman

    So a Catholic priest is declaring things to be scandalous now.

    I think my irony meter and Venal Shitbag Detector just detonated in perfect harmony.

  • Jasper

    I cast Level 25 REFLECT_MAGIC

    • Donatello

      Making Protection from Evil a level 1 spell was a smart move by god, otherwise the laypeople wouldn’t be able to assist Mother Church in this noble cause.

  • Crash Override

    I think Saint Dogbert needs to pay a visit here…”OUT! OUT, you demons of stupidity!”

  • Little_Magpie

    What, precisely, is he purporting to drive the devil from? Gov. Quinn? The legislature building? The state?

  • Don Gwinn

    I plan to be there to see the show.

    • JohnnieCanuck

      How do you feel about pretending the Demon has entered your body upon being exorcised from whatever it is that it is being booted out of?

      It would be great media theatre. The difficulty would be in choosing between all the possible scripts you might use.

      • Don Gwinn

        Do I have to run to Lake Springfield and jump in? ‘Cause it’s kind of a long haul from downtown.
        This would be a great time to truck in 2000 hogs and set them loose in nearly-beautiful downtown Springfield . . . .

    • dorcheat

      One wonders if the church will allow the news media to attend? Shoot some 1080i HD video and post it up on youtube, or better yet here at the Friendly Atheist.

      • Anna

        Someone should definitely record the proceedings!

  • Neko

    I agree the bishops should perform an act of exorcism: on themselves.

  • Richard Wade

    If you want to drive evil out of Illinois, Bishop, drive yourself to the airport and take a one-way flight to the Vatican.

    • Rain

      Sounds like something a mobster would say lol. “He got a one-way flight to the Vatican. Now he sleeps with the fishes.”

      • ShoeUnited

        *altar boys.

      • Sids

        That would be a one way ticket to Atlantis.

  • A3Kr0n

    So, after he’s exorcised the evil demons from gay marriage it will be OK, right?

  • TheUnknownPundit

    Funny, I had an aortic valve replacement last month but my surgeon didn’t mention seeing anything engraved on my heart.

  • Cattleya1

    And just exactly what will we see at the end of his ceremony of exorcism? Will all these demons emerge from their hosts and bow obediently to the bishop before they are cast into the maw of hell? Didn’t god almighty – also all knowing, all powerful, and maker of everyone and everything in the universe – have to have made these demons, the gays, these wayward politicians, and the child-raping priests? I think the whole argument of theodicy is right here and this idiot bishop cannot see it.

  • EdmondWherever

    How will they be able to tell if it worked?

  • Librepensadora

    demonic presence can also be expressed by “the penetration of things and places in a certain manner”–Guess we know who takes the lead in demonic presence in the world.

  • Aspieguy

    As Christopher Hitchens said, “Religion poisons everything.” I could not have less repect for religious beliefs after reading this.

  • Allah Sucks

    When the bishop gives the exorcism,any atheists sitting in the church should laugh histerically.

  • Whitney

    Can I get this exorcism on film? Please? I’m told laughter is the best medicine, and I’d like to test that theory.

  • Janice Anderson

    Doesn’t he need official clearance from the Vatican to perform an exorcism?

  • TeaBaggersMakeMeSick

    That an organization that has so thoroughly and disgracefully protected child molesters for decades should be allowed to have ANY moral authority would be absurd to the point if hilarity if it weren’t so infuriating.

  • Micah

    But is the bishop still ok with his priests molesting young boys? No exorcism for the church? I’d actually like to see this clown-ass doing his witch doctor voodoo wherever it’s set to happen.

  • RedGreenInBlue

    In a statement about same-sex marriage, Bishop Paprocki said:

    “demonic presence can also be expressed by ‘the penetration of things and places in a certain manner’”

    Coffee -> keyboard

    That is all.