With Illinois' new marriage equality bill set to be signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn next Wednesday, one Illinois bishop is planning to mark the occasion with a ceremony of his own: an exorcism.
Springfield Bishop Thomas John Paprocki announced Thursday he will preside over prayers of "supplication and exorcism" in response to the state's pending legalization of same-sex marriage, which the bishop said "comes from the devil and should be condemned as such" in a statement reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.
In a press release, Paprocki criticized Illinois lawmakers for moving to approve the marriage bill this month. He condemned, in particular, Catholic lawmakers -- including House Speaker Mike Madigan -- who cited recent statements by Pope Francis as in line with their support of same-sex marriage and said they 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," Paprocki's statement continued.
Paprocki's statements are in line with the response from the Catholic Conference of Illinois to the marriage bill's passing. The conference said same-sex marriage "undermines an institution that is the cornerstone of a healthy society."
Paprocki's ceremony will be held from 4-5 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield next Wednesday. Meanwhile, the marriage bill-signing event will begin at 3:30 p.m. at University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd. the same day.