Catholic bishop to perform exorcism when Ill. gov. signs marriage bill

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Catholic Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield, Ill.

Catholic Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield says he will offer prayers of "supplication and exorcism" on Nov. 20 at about the same time that Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signs the marriage equality bill into law.

Paprocki made the announcement in a news release posted on the Diocese of Springfield's website. He said the “Prayers of Supplication and Exorcism in Reparation for the Sin of Same-Sex Marriage” would take place at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield on Nov. 20 at 4 p.m.

He stated, "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."

Though Francis has repeatedly called for a kindler and more compassionate church, Paprocki focused on what the pope said when he was cardinal in 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."

The prayers, according to the news release, come from the 2004 Latin edition of the Rite of Exorcism.

Paprocki said claimed same-sex marriage is contrary to the plan of God so those who contract civil same-sex marriage are culpable of serious sin. He also said politicians who enacted civil same-sex marriage legislation are "morally complicit as co-operators in facilitating this grave sin."