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Springfield’s Bishop Paprocki says he has “real legal and constitutional concerns” about anti-virus strategy

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2020

* May 14th

“This contagion, this enemy of the virus, is only going to be conquered if we all stick together,” said Cardinal Cupich.

He does not agree with pastors of some Illinois churches who say they’re opening for regular services against the governor’s stay-at-home order, claiming a constitutional right.

“People do have freedom of religion, the right to worship and so on. And yet, it’s not an absolute right if the public good, and public health, is jeopardized as a result,” Cardinal Cupich said.

The cardinal admits the pandemic is creating a financial challenge for the church, but he notes many people who’ve lost their jobs are in the same situation.

* Center Square yesterday

Springfield’s Catholic Bishop is arguing against government-imposed shutdowns, saying the extraordinary measures to mitigate COVID-19 should be avoided in the future. […]

“Yes we should do the ordinary things for protecting life, but we don’t have to do the extraordinary things that are being mandated,” [Bishop Thomas John Paprocki] said. “What we did in the last six months was really extraordinary, in shutting everything down, putting people out of work, telling them to stay home, don’t go to school, don’t go to church.”

He equated the extraordinary steps Pritzker took earlier this year that closed businesses, schools and churches to taking everyone off the road to save from vehicular deaths. […]

“No governor can say, ‘I’m suspending that right until this virus goes away,’ so I think there are real concerns here, avoiding any hyperbole or anything like that, of criticism,” Paprocki said. “But I think there’s some real legal and constitutional concerns of what Gov. Pritzker is doing.”

OK, but I think every court outside Clay County has sided with the governor, so the judicial branch so far has not shared those concerns.

* Jordan Abudayyeh…

The Governor believes it is his duty, as the leader of this state, to protect the health and safety of all Illinoisans. In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, experts warned that lack of action to stop the spread of this virus could result in tens of thousands of Illinoisans losing their lives. As a reminder to those who still question the public health experts, we have lost more than 8,600 Illinoisans to this virus and every person who lives in this state has a moral obligation to follow the public health guidance to lower the risk of spreading this deadly virus to others around them. We must work together, listen to the experts, and continue following the health guidelines as we learn more about this virus. The Governor is proud that Illinoisans have overwhelmingly done their part to follow necessary guidance to reduce the spread of this virus and save as many lives as possible.

…Adding… As if on cue…


- Posted by Rich Miller        

40 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:10 pm:

    Catholic clergy can be Covidiots too… and lack a grasping of how the courts have ruled, unless Bishop Paprocki went to law school at some time I missed, well, that’s on me.

    Blase Cardinal Cupich gets it.


  2. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:10 pm:

    The bishop should stick to canon law and keep his opinions on civil law to himself. Render unto Caesar and what-not.


  3. - Pass the Butter - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:10 pm:

    “Noted.”


  4. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:12 pm:

    “I’m sorry, I forgot, you were home sick the day they taught law in seminary school”?

    No? No.


  5. - Curious citizen - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:14 pm:

    Wait. I was led to believe there’s a strong anti-Catholic sentiment afoot in the country. How come every single word the local Bishop says gets news coverage?


  6. - Not a Billionaire - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:15 pm:

    Church and Church related institutions like school’s got a lot of the small business grants yet that didn’t raise any legal or constitutional concerns for him.


  7. - Central - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:19 pm:

    @Oswego Willy

    Bishop Paprocki is both a civil and canon law. So he did go to law school and not just for canon law.


  8. - GA Watcher - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:19 pm:

    Bishop Paprocki is an academic overachiever. He is a 1981 graduate of DePaul University’s College of Law. He also has a licentiate and doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He also has an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.


  9. - SAP - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:20 pm:

    OW: I believe that Bishop Paprocki actually is a lawyer, which makes his recent comments more inexcusable.


  10. - Banish Misfortune - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:21 pm:

    Actually Bishop Tom is a lawyer and co founder of the Chicago Legal Clinic which does great work throughout Chicago especially South Chicago. However that does not mean he is correct here. He is super conservative and in my opinion has some odd beliefs.


  11. - LincolnPark - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:21 pm:

    To Oswego Wily — Bishop Paprocki did go to law school (DePaul) and co-founded the Chicago Legal Clinic, Inc. (now the Greater Chicago Legal Clinic) more than 35 years ago in the South Chicago neighborhood primarily helping immigrants and those laid off in the wave of steel mill closures.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:23 pm:

    - Central -, - GA Watcher -…

    Law school? So did Lt. Cmdr. Galloway.

    === Bishop Paprocki went to law school at some time I missed, well, that’s on me.===

    Checked my own work…

    === “I’m sorry, I forgot, you were home sick the day they taught law in seminary school”?===

    I’ll be much more clear in my snark and my own corrections.

    :)

    I’ll leave it there.


  13. - Chris Waller - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:23 pm:

    OW, is spot on as usual.


  14. - Frank talks - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:23 pm:

    Pro-life amiright? Always amazed me how some clergy are fire and brimstone on Pro-life issue but fall to the wayside when caring for the poor. Or as in this case protecting the general public in a global pandemic.
    Maybe God created the disease it was a holy Act of God? So any outcomes are from the degradation of society? Just throwing out some possibilities.


  15. - rentoria sanatoria - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:32 pm:

    Paproki thinks that Trump appoints the next Pope like he appoints SCOTUS. Fool.


  16. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:37 pm:

    All the credentials in the world don’t make you smart. But I have to give credit, at least he stayed away from 1930s Europe analogies.


  17. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:38 pm:

    Pro *some* life, I guess

    Really not surprised. Paprocki is a troglodyte and a not insignificant part of why I’m a former Catholic


  18. - Concerned Dem - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:43 pm:

    Bishop Paprocki is Pro Life*

    *Unless preserving said life interferes with SHG football being played in the fall as God intended, not in the early spring which is well known as the Devil’s season.


  19. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:43 pm:

    “He is a 1981 graduate of DePaul University’s College of Law.”

    Good thing he had something to fall back on because he wouldn’t be able to feed himself as a practicing attorney.

    – MrJM


  20. - 1st Ward - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:44 pm:

    “In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, experts warned that lack of action to stop the spread of this virus could result in tens of thousands of Illinoisans losing their lives”

    It is no longer the early days of the pandemic. CDC continues to revise mortality statistics lower and lower (most recently last week). It is estimated that only 10% of the country has been infected after 7+ months. NYT story today says obese people “may respond poorly to a vaccine” based on the H1N1 pandemic. CDC says 44% of Americans are obese or 154 million. To the Bishops point what’s the future plan in this state? Stay in purgatory for another one, two, three years?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/29/health/covid-obesity.html


  21. - Feeder Pig - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:49 pm:

    Ponder these truths from the Psalms 62:10

    Mortals are a mere breath,
    the powerful but an illusion;
    On a balance they rise;
    together they are lighter than air….
    Power belongs to God;


  22. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 3:53 pm:

    No snark, I appreciate all those helping me, I took my own advice after I typed and googled, threw in the Kaffee line to make fun of my own “unknowing”, and what cool here, we correct each other when we don’t know. Good stuff.

    To the post,

    ===“People do have freedom of religion, the right to worship and so on. And yet, it’s not an absolute right if the public good, and public health, is jeopardized as a result,” Cardinal Cupich said.===

    This is a shepherd, protecting his sheep, at a financial cost, then noting others are facing that situation too.

    === “What we did in the last six months was really extraordinary, in shutting everything down, putting people out of work, telling them to stay home, don’t go to school, don’t go to church.”===

    - Bishop Paprocki

    And to that quote, Bishop Paprocki’s thoughtfulness to “extraordinary”, was the Vatican wrong closing, and asking parishes in Italy to “obey” (follow) the mandates to refrain from Mass, as to save lives?

    I’m Catholic, said it here many times. My faith also hinges on knowing things like The Sermon on the Mount and realizing when the Mass is about the Church or it workings, and when prayer *alone*, when no one is watching, or watching online is also how we are told to pray in that Sermon.

    I’m still confused, is Bishop Paprocki wrapping the Bible with the constitution, or is the Bible holding the constitution in its Books?

    Maybe I’ll read Matthew again and find the answer there.


  23. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 4:11 pm:

    “to taking everyone off the road to save from vehicular deaths.” So he’s arguing that if the bridge has washed out over the river, it’s unconstitutional to put up “Road Closed” signs?


  24. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 4:21 pm:

    OW just because he went to law school doesn’t mean he passed the Illinois Bar. Maybe check on that. Of course he could be making a splash so he can become a law partner with that Eastern Block guy that bats 100 per cent in Clay County.


  25. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 4:26 pm:

    - DuPage Saint -

    I’m gonna chalk this whole thing up as the difference between paper law and trial law(?)

    :)


  26. - low level - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 4:29 pm:

    He lost me after his exorcism years ago. Just absurd and ridiculous.

    If I were the administration I wouldn’t bother responding. Seriously. The Bishop has no credibility unless you’re a member of Opus Dei or that far right group Barrett is part of.


  27. - Give Me A Break - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 4:38 pm:

    As long as the Bishop and his friend Ken Leonard have issues with the way the Gov is handling this, how about they allow the Gov to conduct Sunday Mass and call plays during the next SHG game?


  28. - Colin O'Scopy - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 4:45 pm:

    Bishop Paprocki should concentrate on saving souls whilst Governor Pritzker continues to concentrate on saving lives.


  29. - Paddyrollingstone - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 4:55 pm:

    Hard to figure out what the Bishop’s point is here. I am a Catholic and have been going to Mass weekly since the Chicago Arch re-opened our Parish. We do a good job of social distancing and have taken steps to make the Mass less risky for those in attendance. Besides the distance, the masks and the lack of the physical sign of peace, it looks like a regular Mass. Our faith has lost nothing because of these necessary steps. Indeed, I believe it has made us appreciate our faith more.


  30. - Rudy’s teeth - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 4:58 pm:

    Is this the same Bishop Paprocki who served in the Archdiocese of Chicago? Wonder if he wore a blindfold the entire time he ministered to the flock? Seems he couldn’t identify the pedophile priest at St. Agatha in Chicago. His moral authority is lacking.


  31. - former state employee - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 4:58 pm:

    The bishop has been on the fringes and contrary to the Cardinal on a number of issues……move this guy somewhere, please.


  32. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 5:36 pm:

    “I’m gonna chalk this whole thing up as the difference between paper law and trial law(?)”

    Who is Lt. Weinberg in our little melodrama here?


  33. - Kippax Blue - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 5:38 pm:

    Perhaps Paprocki could do another exorcism-this time on the virus. He’s gotta get one of those exorcisms to work… he’s just got to.


  34. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 5:51 pm:

    === Who is Lt. Weinberg in our little melodrama here?===

    Open casting I guess…


  35. - Anon E Moose - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 5:53 pm:

    “some real legal and constitutional concerns”

    You’re a constitutional scholar now, padre?


  36. - West Side the Best Side - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 6:12 pm:

    The Bishop is listed on the ARDC website as authorized to practice law, so he obviously passed the bar. The Cardinal went along with legal and scientific guidelines and shut down churches, and is reopening them following the same guidelines. He also says Mass from the Cathedral which is broadcast on ABC 7 at 9:30 on Sundays which will continue through the end of the year. Nothing like having TV time limitations to deliver concise, cogent homilies.


  37. - Huh? - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 6:36 pm:

    “The cardinal admits the pandemic is creating a financial challenge for the church”

    This is the reason the cardinal has problems with the Governor’s executive orders. The church’s offering plates are probably a bit barren.


  38. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Sep 29, 20 @ 8:16 pm:

    Paprocki, the Trump of the Catholic Church.


  39. - HighSox - Wednesday, Sep 30, 20 @ 8:54 pm:

    A lot of commenters are expressing their emotions without any factual evidence (yeah, that includes you, OW). I don’t know the Bishop, I do know coach Leonard-an upstanding individual. If Give me a Break has more insight about how the relationship between Sunday mass, the Bishop & SHG, it should be more clearly explained.


  40. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 1, 20 @ 12:24 pm:

    === A lot of commenters are expressing their emotions without any factual evidence (yeah, that includes you, OW)===

    … which I mocked about myself AND then mocked the silly that appears to be going on down there, outside health concerns.

    Anything else?


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