Catholic Church | Gay Marriage | Greg Harris | Illinois | News

As Illinois Rallies for Marriage Equality, Bishop Bans Supporters from Cathedral

As thousands of gay rights supporters rallied in Springfield yesterday in the hopes of pressuring hold-out members of the House to reconsider marriage equality legislation, a planned prayer vigil inside the city's largest Catholic church was squashed following a warning from the head of the Springfield Catholic Diocese that those wearing a rainbow sash would not be permitted in.

PaprockiIn a statement calling the plan "blasphemous," Bishop Thomas John Paprocki (pictured right) said that those praying the rosary for marriage equality would not be allowed to enter the church:

"It is blasphemy to show disrespect or irreverence to God or to something holy. Since Jesus clearly taught that marriage as created by God is a sacred institution between a man and a woman (see Mathew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-9), praying for same-sex marriage should be seen as blasphemous and as such will not be permitted in the cathedral," he wrote.

Rick Garcia, a longtime gay rights advocate and political director for The Civil Rights Agenda, blasted Paprocki's comments, saying they were in stark contrast to Pope Francis' recent call for the Catholic Church to work on becoming more inclusive.

"This is the first time in all of my years of coming here that I see police officers in front of this church..." Garcia said. "It angers me because I'm a life-long Catholic. That a bishop would say this about me or my people is outrageous."

Meanwhile, the fate of the marriage equality legislation appears to still be up in the air, according to The Southern Illinoisan:

HarrisBut, despite a raucous crowd and a big-name line-up of speakers including U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, Gov. Pat Quinn, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, the proposal appears to remain short of the needed 60 votes to become law.

The measure's chief sponsor, state Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago (pictured right), told reporters he has not yet scheduled the measure for a vote during the six-day veto session, which began Tuesday "I hesitate to talk about timing or roll calls," Harris said.

Asked if he was waiting to call the legislation until after the December deadline for candidates to file for the primary election - a move that could appease fence-sitting lawmakers worried about picking up an opponent - Harris said the same excuse could be said of waiting until after the March election to vote.  

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  1. Right....because that's exactly WWJD.

    Bishop Thomas John Paprocki- What a douch*bag.

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Oct 23, 2013 6:31:33 PM

  2. Tax the church!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: Ted | Oct 23, 2013 6:45:01 PM

  3. taking bets on if he walks past/ drives past homeless people without even looking at them while wearing that bling around his neck

    Posted by: Moz's | Oct 23, 2013 6:45:38 PM

  4. Who cares. Any idiot who still a member of the most hypocritical, corrupt corporation on earth should take this as a message to stay out of the church. If you want to believe in a god there are plenty of welcoming options. And apparently it's the same god that the catholics follow.

    Posted by: Craig | Oct 23, 2013 6:56:45 PM

  5. Why would any self-respecting human, let alone gay person affiliate themselves with this vile satanic cult?

    Posted by: Hdtex | Oct 23, 2013 6:57:52 PM

  6. The long history of schisms in the Roman Catholic Church tells us that these so called believers were capable of killing one another in the name of the "words of God" which of course came from the same book.

    Posted by: simon | Oct 23, 2013 7:09:29 PM

  7. if the churches can ban people that means they are private and therefore should be on the tax rolls

    Posted by: walter | Oct 23, 2013 7:14:26 PM


    You just helped public sympathy for the cause. I hope this is all over the Illinois media.


    Posted by: Bob | Oct 23, 2013 7:23:19 PM

  9. Why are they trying to turn a Roman Catholic church into a host for a gay rights protest? Who would even try to do that? It is not a place for political or social protests, especially for those counter to the doctrine of the Church. If you disagree with the Roman Catholic Church, find a place that agrees with you to host your protest. But to try to hijack a church to stage a political process is crude and disrespectful, probably blasphemous. It's a church.

    Posted by: Javier | Oct 23, 2013 7:39:38 PM

  10. And we'll know they are Christians by their love.

    Posted by: Gregory in Seattle | Oct 23, 2013 7:44:53 PM

  11. So much for supporting religious freedom. Oh that's right they don't support religious freedom unless you choose to follow your religion according to what they allow. Except that is not religious freedom, it is religious fascism. Bigot.

    Posted by: Sean | Oct 23, 2013 7:49:31 PM

  12. Another Catholic Bishop who seems to be ignoring what his own very own Pope just said about not obsessing over the gay.

    (And for the record, those referenced Bible passages regarding what Jesus said are about whether a man can divorce his wife. Can't we at least stay on point?)

    Posted by: The Roman Centurion | Oct 23, 2013 8:00:49 PM

  13. Religion is poison. Always has been. All the good deeds mankind is capable of can and should be accomplished without it. There is NO need for it - it only separates men into various conflicting factions. It's "us against them". That's what evil is.

    Posted by: Geoff | Oct 23, 2013 8:18:37 PM

  14. Oh, please...

    "at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    That just talks about what God may have done at the beginning, as if he couldn't change his mind or add on to what he's already created or found that he needed something to counter-balance heterosexuality. What a dumb statement made to intelligent people. Fine keep everyone out--whose gonna pay for your luxurious life style? Just look what happened to the German Bishop. What a bunch of ignorami. He's just a rotten kid taking his ball home.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Oct 23, 2013 8:27:58 PM

  15. The Catholic Crime Cartel would be a joke if they weren't so dangerous. Starve them of money and they'll go away. That's all they're in it for, anyhow. That and the child rape.

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Oct 23, 2013 8:38:56 PM

  16. No. Do NOT tax the church. Instead, tax them for BACK TAXES with interest for EVERY year they have been EXEMPT and everyone else has been forced to paid the church's share TOO!!! This is only justified . . .

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 23, 2013 10:07:28 PM

  17. It has long been said that in this life only two things are inevitable. Death and taxes. It is time for the church to experience BOTH!

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 23, 2013 10:24:32 PM

  18. obviously he's not listening to HIS bishop. someone want to call Francis?

    Posted by: mike/ | Oct 23, 2013 10:33:05 PM

  19. Another Bishop that didn't get the memo from the Pope. You know, like the guy in Germany who's now homeless. :)

    Posted by: Craig | Oct 23, 2013 10:34:48 PM

  20. It is funny that someone here said we should respect the Church while the Church keeps saying nasty things about gay people. Respect goes both way. You simply can't respect someone who shows no respect for others.

    Posted by: simon | Oct 23, 2013 11:41:40 PM

  21. Blasphemy is not a crime. Even for a Catholic who disagrees with the Church, the Church can call it whatever they like. The worse they can do is to excommunicate you. They can call themselves "vicars of God". You don't even have to believe them. They are no closer to God than any other believer.

    Posted by: simon | Oct 24, 2013 12:39:23 AM

  22. R rosaries "bugged" now? How would anyone really know what´s being mumbled? Smile on a face or a frown. It is total Catholic crap!

    Posted by: L Goethe | Oct 24, 2013 4:13:03 AM

  23. Is hardly call it outrageous, but more of the same

    Posted by: rick | Oct 24, 2013 5:25:34 AM

  24. I think a mass walkout at Sunday mass in the cathedral is a better idea.

    Posted by: MaryM | Oct 24, 2013 5:39:15 AM

  25. And barring people from entering a house of God when they want to worship is OK? Really, what are priests like this thinking? They will end up saying Mass to the four walls because nobody will come to church anymore.

    Posted by: Jack M | Oct 24, 2013 7:31:52 AM

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