Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) is planning to sign the state’s marriage equality bill into law on November 20, and simultaneously — and in response — Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield will hold an exorcism.
In a statement released by the Diocese Thursday, Paprocki explained that “same-sex ‘marriage’ comes from the devil and should be condemned as such.” In addition, contracting into a same-sex marriage is a “serious sin,” and those lawmakers who voted for it are “morally complicity” in that sin:
PAPROCKI: 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 has penetrated our state and our church.
Pope Francis has also urged us to be mindful of God’s mercy, so it is good to recall the profound expression of divine mercy uttered by Jesus as he was dying on the cross to save us from our sins, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:34).
Paprocki is referring to lawmakers who cited Pope Francis’ comments that a gay person “of good will” who “is in search of God” should not be judged because “it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.” But Paprocki used his own quote from the the Pope to justify his exorcism. When then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was arguing against marriage equality in Argentina in 2010, he wrote that same-sex marriage is “destructive to the plan of God” and could “gravely harm the family.” Despite his change in tone toward homosexuality as pope, Francis’ actions seem to reflect his anti-gay past, and that is the example Paprocki is following in Illinois.