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*** UPDATED x1 *** Today’s tweet

Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013

* From our live feed

*** UPDATE *** From McKinney’s story

Advocates for the Senate Bill 10 plan to attend a 5:15 p.m. Tuesday Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception as part of what organizers describe as a “loud Catholic Presence for marriage equality” that will wrap up a daylong rally in support of the stalled legislation. […]

“It is blasphemy to show disrespect or irreverence to God or to something holy,” Paprocki said in a statement released late Tuesday morning. “Since Jesus clearly taught that marriage as created by God is a sacred institution between a man and a woman (see Matthew 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.

People wearing a rainbow sash or who otherwise identify themselves as affiliated with the Rainbow Sash Movement will not be admitted into the cathedral and anyone who gets up to pray for same-sex marriage in the cathedral will be asked to leave,” Paprocki said.

“Of course, our cathedral and parish churches are always open to everyone who wishes to repent their sins and ask for God’s forgiveness,” he said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 11:37 am:

    I’m not a Catholic, but I have been overjoyed by the messages of love and tolerance from Pope Francis.

    I think I’ll pay attention to that guy.

  2. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 11:38 am:

    Ah, Bishop Paprocki. In the spirit of Pope Francis, hunh? (not!)

  3. - from the cheap seats - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 11:40 am:

    How dare the Bishop insist that Catholic Churches not be used to support dogma antithetical to Catholicism?

    Someone file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.

  4. - ChicagoR - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 11:41 am:

    In the words of Pope Francis, “It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time. The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. We have to find a new balance, otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.”

  5. - SpfldCatholic - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    Time for the Pope to remove this man.

  6. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    There are now so few Catholics that attend daily Mass that the Cathedral in Springfield only has two Masses on a weekday 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. A person with a rainbow sash would stand out in that nearly empty church.

    Is the bishop hoping for a confrontation?

  7. - David P. Graf - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 11:48 am:

    The Springfield diocese confirmed to me over the phone the position taken by Bishop Paprocki. I have to say that I understand his position. It is disrespectful to openly pray in a church for something that this church has held is morally wrong. You may disagree about the morality of same sex marriages but it’s hard to argue with Paprocki’s stand. It’s consistent.

  8. - Amalia - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 11:48 am:

    tax free bigotry. very sad.

  9. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 11:55 am:

    The Catholic Church bigoted and behind the times? It’s like reading a history book.

  10. - And I Approved This Message - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 11:56 am:

    Wonder how aggressively he keeps out people who are in favor of the Death Penalty.

  11. - SpfldCatholic - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 11:58 am:

    “Is the bishop hoping for a confrontation?”

    I think he is hoping some free media.

  12. - What's in a name? - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 11:58 am:

    I am a Catholic and find the Bishop’s statement counter productive and inconsistent with Pope Francis’s more enlightened teachings.

    Last time I checked we were all free to pray for whatever we wanted. I am not sure even the Church thinks it can impose itself on a private “conversation” with God.

    That said, wearing a rainbow sash is clearly confrontational. While the Church is free to ask those wearing sashes to leave, I think the better approach is to let them in and try to convince them of the merit of the Church’s position. A prayer by the Bishop for those in opposition couldn’t hurt either.

  13. - Excessively Rabid - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 12:02 pm:

    I don’t like Paprocki and I don’t like many of the official Roman Catholic positions. But I think he’s within his rights on this one, even if it’s not necessarily the best way to defend his views.

  14. - from the cheap seats - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 12:04 pm:

    I wonder how many of you actually have read Pope Francis’ comments… and I mean the actual comments, not the tidbits served up by the media designed to concoct a story.

  15. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 12:05 pm:

    “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

    - Jesus Christ

  16. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 12:08 pm:

    –I wonder how many of you actually have read Pope Francis’ comments… and I mean the actual comments, not the tidbits served up by the media designed to concoct a story.–

    Is there a conspiracy afoot by “the media?” How dastardly.

    What do you know that the rest of the world doesn’t? Or is the message that Pope Francis is putting out just not to your liking?

  17. - RetiredStateEmployee - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 12:09 pm:

    So much for the everyone is welcome sign.

  18. - olddog - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 12:09 pm:


  19. - Out Here In The Middle - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 12:10 pm:

    You either totally support all of our positions or you’re an outsider. Boy that approach sounds familiar.

  20. - really? - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 12:19 pm:

    His words, especially on prayer, seem contrary to the openness recently expressed by the leader of this bishop’s religion. Shouldn’t he be reported?

  21. - Pius - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 12:19 pm:

    So just simply wearing something MEANS that you will be praying for what that symbol represents??

  22. - Northsider - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 12:20 pm:

    Bishop should just have said everyone must remove sashes (or any other political indicia)before entering, so that no one gets distracted from their prayers.
    Anybody should be able to go to church and pray, so the Bishop is wrong in saying they can’t pray. But going to that particular bishop’s church wearing a rainbow sash is also confrontational. Both sides are politicking rather than praying.

  23. - Irish - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 12:23 pm:

    Maybe another bishop gets a summons to the Vatican?

  24. - uwagapies - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 12:24 pm:

    As a Catholic, who is Gay; this Bishop has the authority to whatever, he likes. The popes statements aren’t infallible in these circumstances so the authority over such matters falls to the Bishop. I don’t have to like it either. But it’s his prerogative.

  25. - Bobbysox - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 12:26 pm:

    How would he enforce that? Does he have bouncers?

  26. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 12:30 pm:

    You’d think the bishop would actively seek to bring into the church those he believes are sinners, not keep them out.

    Isn’t that the goal of his ministry?

  27. - Belle - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 12:31 pm:

    Every so often, I am reminded why I stopped going to Catholic church.

  28. - ah - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 12:38 pm:

    This is ridiculous, for those who support gay marriage. What are you trying to start here? You don’t see Pro-life people actually going inside Planned Parenthood to make their point. Yes, the Pope said to be more tolerant. He didn’t change church teaching. And yes, the bishop should and would allow all people to come into the church and pray. But, when you make it public you are going into church to pray for something the church teaches against, that’s a different story. You are going to cause a scene. The Bishop has every right to say, you are not allowed in if we know you are here to pray against what the church teaches.

  29. - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 1:05 pm:

    Bishop Paprocki would do well to remember the Golden Rule.

  30. - Dirty Red - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 1:10 pm:

    I’ll never forget so long as I live *knock on wood* attending mass in Abraham Lincoln’s hometown one weekend this past spring when the diocese’s priests were ordered to read a two-page letter from the Bishop about the evils of the SSM bill. Everyone over the age of 40 gave it a standing ovation. Two young girls sitting next to one another in the pew in front of me tightly joined hands and tried to fight back tears.

    I just don’t see their path to victory. These decisions will likely be held against and label the diocese long after Paprocki. I hurt for those Catholics who support SSM but will be expected to answer for this action.

  31. - ah - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 1:19 pm:

    The catholic church is sticking up for their beliefs. I didnt think that was frowned upon in our society. Those who hate on the catholic church, are they supposed to simply say, “ok, polls show more people want gay marriage, so we will support it now.” No, the church is sticking up for their beliefs.

  32. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 1:22 pm:

    @ah: FWIW, crazy pro-life protesters have gone in churches and killed doctors in the middle of their worship services for providing legal abortion services as a vocation. And other extreme pro-lifers have also gone into Planned Parenthood offices as part of attempted James O’Keeffe-style exposes and also picket outside of clinics. The comparisons are not really applicable here.

    On the actual issue at hand, I don’t think this confrontation with the bishop is helpful to the same-sex marriage cause. It lets Paprocki look like a victim to his supporters and those sympathetic to his concerns about same-sex marriage intruding on religious practice. Not smart.

    That said, the Catholic church is in even bigger trouble than I realize if the church is not strong enough to withstand the “blasphemy” of some rainbow sashes worn by silent praying visitors when the rainbow is not just a symbol of gay rights but also a symbol of God’s covenant with the living creatures of the earth after the flood.

  33. - illlinifan - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 1:23 pm:

    Sad to hear such intolerance from a church that preaches tolerance as a core tenet of their teachings……the person who should be banned from the church is the Bishop. I agree this is one of the reasons I have a hard time going to church and fully connecting with the faith of my birth.

  34. - Bobbysox - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 1:23 pm:

    Why wouldn’t he welcome them all — and then give a sermon about the subject? Seems he is missing his opportunity!

  35. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 1:28 pm:

    ==You don’t see Pro-life people actually going inside Planned Parenthood to make their point==

    Semantics. The so-called “pro-life” crowd hawks women outside PP and tries to redirect them to “crisis pregnancy centers” that serve up pseudo-medical garbage.

  36. - Snucka - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 1:34 pm:

    =I think the better approach is to let them in and try to convince them of the merit of the Church’s position. A prayer by the Bishop for those in opposition couldn’t hurt either.=

    The Church does not try to “convince” anyone of anything. They simply assert their position and claim that it has moral authority due to their own interpretation of ancient texts. The normal rules of argument, rationality and dialogue are not in play here.

  37. - ah - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 1:34 pm:

    Talking to people outside planned parenthood, no matter what is said, is a whole lot different than actually going in. And, there always fringe people in every group. The prolife movement condemmed the tiller murder. And if you call prolifers extreme for going into pp (for those you said), then I guess this group is extreme? And don’t tell me they are actually going to church to pray. This is for media attention and to cause a scene.

  38. - Stuff happens - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 1:36 pm:

    Isn’t this the same guy who said that child sex abuse cases were the work of the devil? (Not the act that led to the abuse case, but the pursuit of the case itself).

  39. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 1:37 pm:

    ==You don’t see Pro-life people actually going inside Planned Parenthood to make their point.==


  40. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 1:49 pm:

    You’d think he’d be there at the door of the church throwing out everyone woman who used birth control and all the divorcees as well.

  41. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 1:49 pm:

    Adding…If you Google “Mary Wagner” you will find she is considered a hero and is even highlighted on some Catholic web sites. I guess being intrusive is OK, except when it isn’t.

    On the broader issue, if the Catholic Church feels that marriage is a sacred vow, how do they justify all of the annulments they grant and why do they allow divorced folks in the church? Why do they allow folks using birth control in the church? To claim SSM is a line they will not cross flies in the face of the reality of what they say on other issues vs what they actually allow.

  42. - Diogenes in DuPage - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 1:50 pm:

    Hate the sin, but love the sinner — as long as she/he stays quiet. –now I remember why I am a recovering catholic.

  43. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 1:51 pm:

    Anti-abortion does not equal pro-life.

  44. - low level - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 1:52 pm:

    They wont be let into the church.

    The last time we saw that was when African-Americans were excluded from Catholic churches on the South/Southwest Sides of Chicago.

    The only thing to do is to pray for this misguided bishop.

  45. - TJ - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 2:00 pm:

    Keep wondering why church attendance is declining, padre.

  46. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 2:02 pm:

    Hypocrisy is sometimes breathtaking. And “ah”, I really had to laugh out loud with your statement about pro-life people and abortion clinics. My goodness what planet have you been living on.

  47. - flea - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 2:22 pm:

    I bet the ‘Holy Goalie” would take any contribution “they” might make when the basket is passed.

  48. - xxtofer - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 2:39 pm:

    If I understand Catholicism even a bit, I believe suicide is a sin — and in fact, it’s a huge, mortal sin. The “church” may be a bit more accommodating on this sin that it has in the past, but nevertheless, it remains an unrepented sin. Surely praying for a person who took their own life is in direct conflict with what the Church believes would also constitute a sacrilege.

    As such, did not “the Bishop” contradict Catholic tradition and teaching when he allowed a certain former mayor to be solemnized, mourned, and interred with Catholic blessings?

  49. - ah - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 2:41 pm:

    @chi cy.
    Every group has extremists. Most prolife pickets are peaceful and they just stand there and pray. Same thing on the other side. But what is this group trying to accomplish?

  50. - MrJM - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 2:52 pm:

    The Westminster Presbyterian Church’s New Members Class will meet again this Sunday, October 27 at 11:15 a.m. in the Library, 533 S. Walnut Street. All interested visitors are welcome to attend. For more information: 217-522-4415.

    – MrJM

  51. - countyline - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 3:01 pm:

    I find it somewhat hypocritical (but not surprising) that the same group of people that preach tolerance towards a particular religious group that oppresses women and practices the honor killing of their own children, pull out all the stops when a priest voices opposition to the unnatural act of 2 men or 2 women marrying. I’m no fan of the Catholic church, but they are entitled to their beliefs, and should be free to practice them, especially within the confines of their own church.

    Its pretty simple really, if you disagree with the teachings of a particular faith, don’t practice or participate in it. Wearing a rainbow sash into the cathedral is equivalent to me wearing a rebel flag t-shirt into an AME church…I know its wrong, and I’m just looking for trouble.

  52. - Central IL Dem - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 3:21 pm:

    And the Catholic Church wonders why younger people won’t come to church any more?

  53. - ChicagoR - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 3:43 pm:

    “Wearing a rainbow sash into the cathedral is equivalent to me wearing a rebel flag t-shirt into an AME church…”

    No, it’s not. “Rainbow sash” wearers are actual members of the Catholic Church, just asking it to make changes they consider to be both minor and Christian. I may not agree with their tactics, but it’s nothing like the hateful act of “wearing a rebel flag t-shirt into an AME church.”

  54. - Rail Sitter - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 3:43 pm:

    Ham handed. These folks have been working for years to frame the argument as marriage equality. At the 11th hour they decide to attack a church by protesting during mass??? Dumb dumb dumb. Amateur hour.

  55. - Just Passing Through - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 4:01 pm:

    Actually, ChicagoR, the Rainbow Sash movement is not seeking a minor change to Church teaching; they are seeking the total re-definition of a sacrament to fit their own personal desires. I find it so strange that anyone would publicly declare that they are in opposition to the teachings of any organization (such as the Sash movement is doing by wearing their sashes), and yet seek to participate in the one sign of unity, indicating they do accept and believe all that the Church teaches.

    Shame also to the SJ-R for printing the announcement without verifying anything at the Cathedral as well, or anyone else that publicized the announcement without verifying. The Movement e-mailed their “press annoucement” on Saturday, when no one was in the office. That seems more like this was supposed to be a surprise.

    xxtofer: You should first read the Catechism of the Catholic Church to know Church teaching about suicides. The Church errs on the side of mercy, because one does not know the person’s mental state (did they have full self-control? Did they truly understand it was wrong?) at the time, so why not choose mercy?

  56. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 4:15 pm:

    There are foolish activists in every movement.

    This deliberate confrontation and political expression in a Cathedral won’t help win the battle for votes in the legislature.

    If they want to confront the Catholic Church as self-identified faithful members, and support marriage equality in the secular frame, then another place and time would be better.

  57. - ChicagoR - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 4:22 pm:

    Just Passing Through: While in your mind it is a “total re-definition of a sacrament”, it is in fact to them a minor change - to treat them the same as other similarly loving couples. As I noted, I don’t agree with their tactics. I’m just noting that they are staying with the church and seeking what they view as positive change, rather than leaving like many other Catholics are doing.

  58. - Brass Doors - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 6:08 pm:

    Was this aimed at Dick Durbin? He’s from Springfield and was scheduled to be at the marriage equality rally. It seems like Paprocki has a habit of issuing statement that can be interpreted as a slam on Durbin’s politics.

  59. - low level - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 7:12 pm:

    Just passing through -

    The mercy you are showing is truly breathtaking , brother. Did you ever get to the many parts of scripture where He takes the temple leaders to task for their public displays of piety while simultaneously sinning in private? While you’re at it, check out who He condemned.

    Then please check out what was said about homosexuality (I’ll help you there - nothing). Yet He said quite a bit about love - for neighbor, for the widow, for those rejected by society.

    It was because of my Catholic faith I became a Democratic voter. But, that aside, we all must be judged in the end, based on our best understanding of scripture.

  60. - robert Lincoln - Tuesday, Oct 22, 13 @ 7:46 pm:

    If I am allowed past the bishops bouncers, I will pray for his soul.

  61. - ChicagoR - Wednesday, Oct 23, 13 @ 5:53 am:

    As Pope Francis said this Monday about the love of money, “It leads you to idolatry, it destroys your relationship with others. It’s not money, but the attitude, what we call greed. Then too this greed makes you sick, because it makes you think of everything in terms of money. It destroys you, it makes you sick. And in the end – this is the most important thing – greed is an instrument of idolatry because it goes along a way contrary to what God has done for us,” Francis added. “Saint Paul tells us that Jesus Christ, who was rich, made Himself poor to enrich us. That is the path of God: humility, to lower oneself in order to serve. Greed, on the other hand, takes us on a contrary path: You, who are a poor human, make yourself God for vanity’s sake. It is idolatry!”

    Anxiously awaiting the Bishop’s statement barring those who pray for wealth from his cathedral.

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