US bishop leads exorcism against same-sex marriage
Bishop Paprocki prays "in reparation for the sin of same-sex marriage"
The mid-November passage of same-sex marriage legislation in Illinois had supporters celebrating equality, while one of the state's Catholic prelates warned of devilish intervention.
As Gov. Pat Quinn signed the marriage equality legislation in Chicago Nov. 20, Bishop John Paprocki of Springfield remained in the capital, leading a special holy hour of prayers of "supplication and exorcism in reparation for the sin of same-sex marriage" in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
"Our prayer service today and my words are not meant to demonize anyone, but are intended to call attention to the diabolical influences of the devil that have penetrated our culture, both in the state and in the church," Paprocki said in his homily to nearly 500 people in attendance.
He explained that because same-sex marriage violated God's plan -- citing Mathew 19 -- gay couples who wed "are culpable of serious sin," and politicians responsible for the law's passage "are morally complicit as cooperators in facilitating this grave sin."
"We must pray for forgiveness of these sins and deliverance from this evil which has penetrated our state and our church," he said, while also reiterating the need to affirm the church's teaching that homosexual persons should be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity.
Early in the homily, Paprocki said he was reluctant to conduct the prayer service. Opposition to it was fierce; one group collected 15,000 signatures in five days urging him to cancel the service, saying the bishop "is embarrassing the church with a pointless political stunt."
"I did not seek to enter any controversy and I don't relish being part of one. But I have given this matter a great deal of thought and prayer, which has led me to the conviction that God is calling me to speak out and conduct these prayers," Paprocki said.
Source: National Catholic Reporter
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