Saturday, November 16, 2013

Is This An Example Of Unenlightened Catholicism Or Ritually Abusive Political Grandstanding?



This is the cover of Bishop Paprocki's book, released earlier this year.  Paprocki is not just an avid hockey goalie, he has also run 18 marathons and has 8 degrees.  For all that, he is not an exorcist and his rhetoric is flat dangerous.


There are days I just want to bang my head on my key board.  Yesterday was one of them.  One of the USCCB culture warriors has raised the ante in the demonization of gay marriage and by extension the GLBT community.  Bishop Thomas Paprocki is going to conduct a prayer of exorcism to drive out the Demon of Gay Marriage from the State of Illinois.  The following is the entire article from yesterday's Chicago Tribune.

Bishop to perform 'exorcism' on day same-sex marriage becomes law

By Manya Brachear Pashman - Chicago Tribune - 11/15/2013
Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield said he will offer prayers for “exorcism in reparation for the sin of same-sex marriage” at the same time Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign the same-sex marriage bill next week. (Hopefully Governor Quinn's head won't spin 360 and he won't have eaten pea soup for lunch.)

Paprocki said he will offer the prayers intended to cast out evil at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in the state’s capital Wednesday. (How gutless.  The New Apostolic Reformation Spiritual Warriors would go right to the State Capital and not hide behind a cathedral altar.  Paprocki has a long way to go before he gets to Sarah Palin's level of spiritual warrior.)


“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 said in a statement.

Earlier this month, House Speaker Michael Madigan cited the pope’s renowned “Who am I to judge?” phrase to explain the politician’s support for same-sex marriage on the House floor. Pope Francis’ remark — “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?” — referred to gay men who seek to become priests, not to gay marriage. (I guess the Demon of Gay Marriage hasn't yet heard of the Church's metaphor for ordination as priest marrying the Bride of Christ---or maybe this particular demon is too stupid to compute this too can be considered a 'gay marriage'.)

In fact, during Argentina’s debate over same-sex marriage in 2010, Pope Francis, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, called it a “‘move’ of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God.”  (This was really a clever 'move' of Pope Francis since he was at the same time advocating for gay civil unions. Must be that 'marriage' word that brings on the evil one.)

“Pope Francis is saying that same-sex ‘marriage’ comes from the devil and should be condemned as such,” Paprocki said.  (Oh, I was right.  It is that 'marriage' word that starts ringing 'Tubular Bells' down below.  'Civil union' just must not have the same ring tone for the demonic realm.)

An exorcism, which often refers to a rite performed on an individual, is applicable in the case of same-sex marriage because the devil can appear “in various forms of opposition to and persecution of the church,” the diocese of Springfield said in statement. (What?!?! The Church is the one who is really under attack?  Oh, no wonder he won't leave his cathedral.  The Church is possessed.  I could have told him that, and so could have a 100,000 clerical abuse victims.)

“All politicians now have the moral obligation to work for the repeal of this sinful and objectionable legislation,” Paprocki said. “We must pray for deliverance from this evil which has penetrated our state and our church.”  (Why did "Dueling Banjos" just go off in my head?  Oh yea, cued by the word 'deliverance' not the inadequacy of the rational Paprocki is using for his exorcism.)

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I suppose I should apologize for my flippant responses above.  It's just that the ritual of exorcism is a very solemn, rarely used rite that Paprocki is mocking in this political stunt of his to further his demonization of gays.  It is this which is the true evil.  This stunt surely negates Emeritus Pope Benedict's desire to couple faith with reason. Perhaps Pope Benedict should stop dialoging with atheists and start dialoguing with the Church's own bishops who are actively making a joke of the concept of faith informed by reason.  As for Pope Francis, maybe he needs to explain to all of us just where he stands on gays and gay relationships before some more overly zealous priests take Paprocki seriously and go the way of Fr Eutenuer.  

Exorcism, and the pathological states it describes, is no joke and I guarantee Paprocki is abusing the concept because he has never participated in a real exorcism or any ritual of deliverance.  From where I actually stand on this issue, this man is not funny.  He is abusive and dangerous.


30 comments:

  1. Paprocki speaks of his incessant need and desire to condemn gays, demonizes gay persons and he uses an exorcism "prayer" as an exercise in hatefully & hurtfully condemning others & the love they have for each other, which Jesus never taught nor did. The cover of his book is rather a statement too, as if faith were a sport, a game of sorts.


    Paprocki needs to learn that love is not a demon. However, he seems to think that it is so. And since he seems to think that loving people who want to get married who are of the same-sex are demons, then he must also believe that God is a demon that needs an exorcism.


    Dangerous indeed! Paprocki seems like a confused, lost soul who has not heard the Word of God and even with all his scholastic achievements, is a very blind guide leading the blind. That he is a Bishop is a shame on the RCC and just makes the religion look & continue to act mean, nasty, abusive and totally blind to the injustice and inhumanity towards gay persons. A crying shame!


    Thanks for the heads up on Bishop Paprocki's abusiveness and haunting demonization of gay persons. He's not really praying. That's the real gist of his story, imho. He's no different than a slave owner who thought that slavery was a good thing & went to war to keep such a system of dehumanization working.

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  2. "Paprocki needs to learn that love is not a demon." You are right with this observation. The problem is I have my doubts that Paprocki will learn that because he thinks marriage is a license for sinless sex. Marriage, in the minds of celibate clerics, is not really about love because the theology they base their arguments--and their life as well--is about sex, not love. Until that changes the Church will whither and die on the absurdity of constantly confusing relational love with base sexual activity.

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  3. Do you think that Pope Francis shares this view of marriage you describe that clerical celibates such as Paprocki has? If he does, then there is no hope for the RCC surviving and it will surely "whither and die on the absurdity of constantly confusing relational love with base sexual activity."


    It truly is absurd of the RCC priests to hold on to such views and it alienates many of us and essentially drives us out of the Church with disgust. Their view treats the People of God with contempt.

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  4. I fear that the number of mentally unstable people that this spectacle will attract ( and there will be plenty of them) will be adversely affected in ways that we will never know. This thought makes me sad. I worked with people with mental illness for many years and I know how fragile that they can be.

    I also think that this will be the undoing of Bishop Paprocki. He is unleashing forces (hate, spiritual turbulence, fear) that he will not be able to handle, once they manifest. He is inviting these forces to himself and then sending them out into the vulnerable congregation, not thinking of the consequences. (this isn't a movie, your excellency.)
    The Church, in her wisdom, has instructed that all such rituals should be kept quiet and private, if used at all.. They have also instructed that a very long and thorough investigation be conducted before such rituals are attempted. There is a reason for caution. The Bishop is not listening. I pray that someone at the Vatican is listening before Nov. 20.
    No good will come of this.

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  5. Speaking of mental illness, this Bishop appears to be in the "hypomanic" phase of bi-polar disorder.

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  6. Perhaps Bishop Thomas Paprocki should look at the Episcopacies own sins of omnipotence, omniscients and enabling of child soul abuse not to mention enabling of mafia influence in their own banking systems before they point to their judgements of outward sinfulness of others. This is an attempt to project sins onto others that this Bishop should be seriously considering in himself and his chorines.

    The Bishops don’t get it that with each outrageous judgement they are loosing the respect of The People of God..

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  7. Boarder line personalities often manifest as if they were bipolar. It is really the personality disordered that due the most damage to society. I hope Hank is right that this behavior will SOON be this mans undoing.

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  8. I think that Pope Francis is not as stupid as this Bishop. I doubt that he would demonize anyone. On the other hand, he has missed a lot of personal growth about this issue and he has little time to grow enough to come close to effect the needed changes that this issue as well as most of the very serious issues in the church require. The decrease in confidence of the Episcopacy in general will even go much lower. The US is destined to be more like Europe and have a lot of Catholics that will not participate or donate to this church. The only question is what will the total implosion of the RCC mean. Perhaps, it will be a lot better for society.

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  9. I could not agree more with this post and with the comments as well--so many excellent points. If I could over-organize the sorts of responses the USA bishops have evoked over the last 30 years of non stop exposure beginning with Boston's Law, they amount to a handful of borderline and psychotic diagnostic evaluations--and, in their own horrific way, some of them, apparently in need of radical medical intervention, have acted out the illness in an appeal for help. (I am SO tempted to react to P's book cover for instance.)
    In California, due to the 51-50 law it is very difficult to get help for people in desperate need of psychological help. California's once robust mental health system fell to Reagan's vision of government. The irony is that the persons suffering from delusions are in charge of the_____ (fill in the blanks: football team, diocese, state government). One of the spiritual diagnosis for Bishop P. might be the old moniker: perfectionism or scrupulosity...leading to crazy imbalance? Bishops became managers of large organizations, were given a handbook that said: you are God's stand-in and expected to be spiritual guides & confessors for 100s of struggling celibates. Of course, folks following this blog know this all too well. I must add that last week a judge responded to R Bolger of the Archdiocese of Boston and repeatedly called his crimes "unfathomable". Sums it up.

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  10. "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love." (1 John 4:7-8).


    Where is the love in Bishop Paprocki's actions? Where is God in prayers aimed specifically to deprive others of conjugal bliss?

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  11. I am reminded of something that I think came from C.S.Lewis's "That Hideous Strength" - something about calling down Deep Heaven on one's own head. Canon Law requires an exorcism if needed at all to be done privately - on one person. Do you think it has actually crossed Bishop Paprocki's mind that this is because it is dangerous? Dangerous to the person, and to anyone else involved? To invoke spiritual forces indiscriminately, illicitly, and with the motivation being pride and anger...well, if you don't believe they do anything at all, then it's simply unbelievably stupid. And if you do believe that they have power - then it it is crazy. Which one would you bet on?

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  12. Dennis, I think you are right about this Pope Francis. He has a good heart and I believe he understands he doesn't know everything. That in itself says that he is at least willing to learn more. He might, unbeknownst, point us all in the right direction somehow, as the Holy Spirit guides.

    "The only question is what will the total implosion of the RCC mean."

    An implosion is an internal collapse in and upon itself. The internal structure of the RCC has been imploding for hundreds of years and little by little the People of God have moved on to greener pastures. Seems the RCC has run its course to an end. To me, an implosion signifies an end and that in turn signifies a new beginning. We, the People of God, will continue on with the spirit of love, each contributing their talents in a world that needs love. It could very well mean that we will discover and create new ways for the People of God to move forward out of the clutches of absolutist regimes and institutions that enslave mankind. It means, no more pew potatoes & men with tall hats lording it over us. That would be a lot better for sure.

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  13. I actually know a few priests who do understand that marriage is about love and deep friendship as well as the wonderful God-given gift of enriching sex. Of course, they are mature, both-feet-on the ground, kind of guys. Self-aware, kind, non-narcissistic. Needless to say, they will never be bishops. Something has gone terribly wrong in our church. I still hope that Francis can turn the tide. His latest appointments for bishops are disappointing. I am clinging to the idea that these men were in the pipeline already and he just rubber-stamped them. Who knows. But you are right. If the official church remains in a pre-adolescent state of mind and cannot understand deep, human, relational, sexual love, they will alienate even the most committed Catholics.

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  14. I've read a few of his sermons and papers. He's really pushing the macho Jesus kind of mentality. It all really really reminds me of the New Apostolic Reformation. He uses a lot of their lingo. I think he actually believes he has the power to invoke spiritual forces and the motivation is pride, anger and disgust. It is a crazy dangerous stunt for all kinds of reasons. All he need do is ask Frs Thomas Eutenuer and John Corapi what happens to the pridefully arrogant when they start down this 'spiritual warrior' path. That's assuming either one is still available to discuss anything rationally.

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  15. But Tim, this act is not about God. It's about demons, so of course there is no love to be found anywhere whatsoever at all. Paprocki seems to have the mindset that gives far more temporal power to demons than to God or love.

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  16. What we are presently enduring is the fruit of a seminary system which never really screened anyone for any mental illness, and then used spiritual advisors that all too frequently substituted a theory of spiritual sins for pathological diagnosis. Unfortunately, confession and rosaries are a poor substitute for meds and therapy.....and I can't ever forget that the Pope who appointed most of these guys was into self flagellation.

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  17. I don't think enough of them care about the respect of the People of God. They care about the respect they themselves are shown and carefully select for the people who will give them that respect.

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  18. Hank, that is exactly my biggest fear--that this is going to attract all kinds of people whose mental fragility can't take this kind of thing.


    I honestly don't think Paprocki has a clue about what he's doing and how potent this can be. I can't think of one Native Elder I've worked with or any legitimate exorcist who would ever engage in a public act of this kind. As you so aptly put it, this is not a movie. Unfortunately Paprocki is the bishop in his diocese and it's his call, but I too pray someone can convince him that this is a really bad idea.

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  19. I agree with Dennis. I don't think Pope Francis is this stupid about the relational aspects of marriage. On the other hand, Francis does use a great deal of devil language which has to give Paprocki the idea that he's got a green light on this 'exorcism' prayer thing of his.

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  20. I think the implosion will mean an explosion in Intentional Eucharistic Communities. I'm really beginning to believe it's the only way the sacramental system can be saved. The Vatican is doing nothing except making decision after decision to protect the thing that is killing the laity's access to the sacraments, and that's the celibate male priesthood. I don't have a great deal of hope that Francis is going to do anything to change this.

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  21. so many solve the enduring part by turning away from what seems too crazy to be true--it takes stubborn stamina and some kind of visionary clarity to keep calling these men out--even talented whistle blowers bump up against the closed ranks of "the faithful" and get discouraged...I am sort of hearing the words "the chain of command" ....

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  22. Riiight. All that "love your enemies" stuff is for nancy-boys, not muscular x-tians like the good Paprocki here.


    If he wishes to press the case that Teh Debil can work “in various forms of opposition to and persecution of the church,” I will concede the point. Evil can take many guises, including wearing a collar or a mitre.

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  23. Very interesting that you brought up the subject of Thomas Eutenauer. I had forgotten about him. If I remember correctly he entered into a sexual relationship with a woman on which he was supposedly casting out demons. Now that's a career-ender for you! Seriously, though, these people are playing a dangerous game. They are like eight year old boys trying to extinguish a house engulfed in flames with a squirt gun. If they get too close to the fire, it engulfs them before they know what is happening. The Catholic Church has always been scrupulous in choosing people to be exorcists and about exorcisms, in general. Exorcists cannot be your regular "Joe,on the street". They must have wisdom, prudence and the spiritual maturity to know what they are getting into. Even with his 8 college degrees, being an ice hockey champion, a mitre, crosier and a pulpit, he does not realize what he is doing. May Good God protect them all on November 20.

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  24. He really doesn't Hank. There is a scene in the Exorcist where Fr Merrin tells Damien not to listen because the preternatural forces know your most hidden secrets. I've seen this phenomenon happen with people in extreme psychosis and watched staff crumble. Who knows what's going on here, but it's very real. Paprocki would not be able to hide behind his degrees and goalie mask, anymore than Eutenuer could hide behind Holy Water and his pro life credentials. This kind of thing is not a game, unless you don't give a crap or are too ignorant to care about your sanity.

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  25. Just what your church needs-more closet cases.
    It's already a standing joke:
    Mom #1: My son wants to be a priest.
    Mom#2; Oh, I didn't know he was gay.

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  26. I have to actually thank you George. I have no idea why you post here, but I clicked on your user name and found a very important article which I may write about. Thanks for that, if for nothing else.

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  27. Let's all exorcize this evil hierarchy from OUR Church.

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  28. Why not just take yourself out of church altogether and get a life?
    Or is your sense of self-importance too involved in your fantasy life to allow you to break free of hanging out with people who think they hear voices to let you do that?

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  29. The Lord told St. Catherine of Siena that even though the demons tempt those to homosexual acts, the act itself is so disgusting that the demons flee in its commission rather than witness it.

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  30. sylvesterpatsteffenFebruary 8, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    I think Francis can't change this, politically embedded in clerical culture as he is. It is the "sensus fidelium" alone that can make this political change, and, I suggest must and will eventually make this change.

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