The Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield plans a special prayer service the day same-sex marriage is to be signed into law. He says it's "scandalous" that so many Catholic politicians supported the legislation.
Gov. Pat Quinn is planning a big public ceremony to sign the same-sex marriage bill next Wednesday (Nov. 20) in Chicago.
An hour or so later, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will hold a sort of counter service at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield.
In a statement, the bishop says politicians who supported same-sex marriage are “morally complicit as co-operators in facilitating this grave sin.”
But during the House debate last week, an even higher Catholic authority was cited. House Speaker Michael Madigan, quoting Pope Francis: "If someone is gay, and he searches for the lord, and he has goodwill, who am I to judge?" (Madigan was paraphrasing. The actual quote is: " [I]f a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge.")
As if to refute that widely-cited remark, Paprocki deployed his own quotation from the pope, when he was in his previous job as a cardinal in Argentina, calling same-sex marriage legislation there "destructive of the plan of God."
Madigan and Quinn are Catholics. The bishop says all politicians have a "moral obligation" to work for repeal of same-sex marriage.
A spokeswoman says Paprocki is at a conference and thus could not immediately respond to a request for an interview.
Updated, 3:30 p.m.: Original post replaced with latest WUIS story.
Here's the full statement of the bishop:
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki to Offer "Prayers of Supplication and Exorcism in Reparation for the Sin of Same-Sex Marriage"
SPRINGFIELD — Scheduled for approximately the same time that Gov. Pat Quinn signs into Illinois law the redefinition of civil marriage, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will offer “Prayers of Supplication and Exorcism in Reparation for the Sin of Same-Sex Marriage” at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Sixth and Lawrence streets in Springfield, on Wednesday, Nov. 20, from 4 to 5 p.m. Clergy, religious and laity are invited to attend.
“The context for this prayer service may be understood by recalling the words of Pope Francis when he faced a similar situation as Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 2010,” Bishop Paprocki said.
Regarding the proposed redefinition of civil marriage in Argentina, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio wrote on June 22, 2010: “The Argentine people must face, in the next few weeks, a situation whose result may gravely harm the family. It is the bill on matrimony of persons of the same sex. The identity of the family, and its survival, are in jeopardy here: father, mother, and children. The life of so many children who will be discriminated beforehand due to the lack of human maturity that God willed them to have with a father and a mother is in jeopardy. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts. ... Let us not be naive: 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.”
Bishop Paprocki noted, “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.”
The prayers for “Supplication and Exorcism Which May Be Used in Particular Circumstances of the Church” are taken from the Appendices to the 2004 Latin edition of the Rite of Exorcism, the introduction to which explains, “The presence of the Devil and other demons appears and exists not only in the tempting or tormenting of persons, but also in the penetration of things and places in a certain manner by their activity, and in various forms of opposition to and persecution of the church. If the diocesan bishop, in particular situations, judges it appropriate to announce gatherings of the faithful for prayer, under the leadership and direction of a priest, elements for arranging a rite of supplication may be taken from [the texts provided in these appendices].”
Bishop Paprocki said that since same-sex marriage is contrary to the plan of God (see Genesis 1:27 and 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-9), those who contract civil same-sex marriage are culpable of serious sin. He also noted that politicians who enacted civil same-sex marriage legislation 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,” he said. “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.”
Bishop Paprocki concluded, “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).”
The Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is 130 parishes in 28 counties in central Illinois.