SAN FRANCISCO, November 25, 2013 ( – The U.S. bishops' leader on the subject of marriage and family says that it is “disgraceful” that an Illinois Catholic lawmaker recently invoked Pope Francis to defend her vote to redefine marriage.

Earlier this month, Illinois legislators voted to change the legal definition of marriage to include homosexuals. At the time State Representative Linda Chapa LaVia said, “As a Catholic follower of Jesus and the pope, Pope Francis, I am clear that our Catholic religious doctrine has at its core love, compassion, and justice for all people.”

Governor Pat Quinn, who is also a Catholic as well as a Democrat, signed the bill into law.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the USCCB's Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, said it was “disgraceful that some legislators would manipulate the words of Pope Francis to suggest that he would support marriage redefinition.”


Abp. Cordileone cited the pope's first encyclical, Lumen Fidei, which states: “I think first and foremost of the stable union of man and woman in marriage.”

The pontiff went on to call marriage and procreation “a manifestation of the Creator's goodness.”

However, some leftist media and supporters of same-sex 'marriage' have pointed to the Pope's response to a question during an interview about homosxual priests as an indication that the Church is softening its stance on homosexual issues. “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” he said.

However, Catholic commentaros have pointed to the pope's strong statements against same-sex 'marriage' while a cardinal in Argentina.

“Pope Francis has forcefully reminded us that we are to show love and respect to all people and to seek their greatest good,” Archbishop Cordileone said. “He therefore continues to clearly promote and defend marriage and family, recognizing that this is in everyone’s best interest as members of a common society.”

He added, “The courageous efforts of those, including religious leaders and legislators, who helped defend marriage in Illinois is to be commended. The defense of truth and goodness is never in vain.”

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His words echoed those of Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, who conducted a public exorcism as Governor Quinn signed the bill.

“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.”