As Kathy Hughes points out in a comment responding to my posting earlier today with links about religious news from the past week, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, has announced he'll be holding a big old public exorcism in reparation for the sin of same-sex marriage as Illinois governor Pat Quinn signs the marriage equality bill next week. Robert McClory tells the story at National Catholic Reporter today.
Remember Paprocki? Sure you do! He's the fellow who informed a gathering in Arizona this past June that the fact that polygamy is the default model for marriage among the patriarchs of the Old Testament has nothing whatsoever to do with the argument of the Catholic hierarchy that they're defending marriage as it has "always been."
One man. One woman. For life.
Paprocki has a proven track record of being exercised about teh gayz he wants to exorcise. I discussed that track record this past January (here and here) when Fr. Thomas Donovan of Paprocki's diocese placed a 911 call asking for assistance out of a pair of handcuffs he was wearing, with some kind of gag in his mouth, shortly after the bishops of Illinois had published a rantin' and ravin' condemnation of gay marriage.
Because the gays and their curious sex practices--and their wish to enshrine those sex practices in the institution of marriage, for God's sake!--pose a threat to the sanctity of "normal" families, you understand. The kind of normal families about which priests preach when they're not in their rectories . . . well, I'll let you fill in that blank.
Back in September, Paprocki was busy informing Catholics in his diocese that they'd go to hell if they voted for
Democrats anyone supporting marriage equality. And a few weeks ago, he was equally busy barring people wearing rainbow sashes or those supporting sash-wearers from communion.
It seems the good bishop of Springfield has the very devil of a time trying to convince the Catholic people of Illinois that teh gayz are evil, evil, evil, and that the devil is everywhere, everywhere, everywhere that teh gayz set their little diabolical feet. It seems he has a lot of time on his hands to think about the devil and where to find the devil in the world around us.
Though I have to say, I suspect he's looking in altogether the wrong place.
Some of the most diabolical actions in human history have been done due to the influence of "religious" people who tag targeted minority groups as agents of the devil and as dirty, immoral, diseased threats to the stability of the societies in which they live. Such tags have, over and over again, led to devilish acts of violence against minority groups tagged in this way, particularly when the tags are reinforced by lavish public rituals of "exorcism" like the one Bishop Paprocki will be staging next week in Illinois.
P.S. I don't think Paprocki has read my posting about the uphill climb of the bishops to convince their flocks that Ellen and Portia and Sean Patrick and David are in league with the devil and are agents of incomparable evil in the world today. Or, then again, maybe he has read it.