SPRINGFIELD, Ill., November 20, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Springfield Diocese held a rare public exorcism service at the Cathedral on Wednesday afternoon, at the same time Governor Pat Quinn was expected to sign Illinois’s same-sex “marriage” bill into law.

An exorcism is a casting out of evil.  Usually, an exorcism is performed on an individual believed to have been corrupted by evil spirits, but in an interview with the Chicago Tribune, diocesan spokeswoman Kathie Sass explained that Wednesday’s service was to be a general exorcism “specifically designed to pray for the limitation of the work of the devil and the work of evil in the world.”

She warned that anyone hoping to see spinning heads or projectile vomiting at the service, as portrayed in the grisly 1970s horror film “The Exorcist,” was bound to be disappointed.

“This is not a Hollywood version,” Sass told the paper.

Sass told the Tribune that Catholics participate in “minor exorcisms” every time they renew their baptismal promises – which include a public rejection of Satan and all evil – for instance, at Easter, and during all baptisms.

In announcing Wednesday’s service, Paprocki referenced the introduction to the rite of exorcism, which explains that "[t]he presence of the Devil and other demons appears and exists not only in the tempting or tormenting of persons, but also in the penetration of things and places in a certain manner by their activity, and in various forms of opposition to and persecution of the church.” 

Paprocki said that under certain circumstances, a bishop may judge a cultural situation sufficiently grave to warrant a public exorcism. 

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To explain why he believes marriage redefinition fits the bill, the bishop quoted Pope Francis, who faced a similar situation when Argentina debated same-sex “marriage” in 2010, while he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. 

Back then, the future pontiff wrote:  “The identity of the family, and its survival, are in jeopardy here: father, mother, and children. The life of so many children who will be discriminated beforehand due to the lack of human maturity that God willed them to have with a father and a mother is in jeopardy. At stake is the total rejection of God's law engraved in our hearts.”  The future pope also asserted that gay “marriage” is not a political struggle, but a plot by Satan to “confuse and deceive the children of God.”

“Pope Francis is saying that same-sex 'marriage' comes from the devil and should be condemned as such,” Paprocki said. 

The bishop had harsh words for Catholic politicians whom he said took the pope’s infamous “Who am I to judge?” comment out of context and twisted it in order to justify their support for redefining marriage, including Governor Quinn and House Speaker Michael Madigan.

“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.

“All politicians now have the moral obligation to work for the repeal of this sinful and objectionable legislation,” Paprocki added. “We must pray for deliverance from this evil which has penetrated our state and our church.”