Exclusive: Bishop Paprocki’s Letter in Defense of Marriage to be Read at All Springfield Masses This Sunday

As I wrote yesterday, lawmakers in Springfield, Illinois are trying to bring up a bill to redefine marriage. If proponents of same-sex marriage believe they have enough votes they will try to get the bill to the floor as early as today.

Efforts to bring the issue up to a vote already have hit a snag, however, and as a result the bill to redefine marriage will probably be voted on as an amendment to a totally unrelated bill involving car rentals (seriously).

If you live in Illinois and haven’t yet contacted your lawmakers in Springfield to demand they protect marriage please do so now! You can use this form or (preferably) call their office directly.

I’m glad to report that yet another brave bishop in Illinois is taking this debate as an opportunity to educate his flock and urge them to take action. Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Diocese of Springfield has instructed all of his priests to read this at Mass on Sunday:

SSM-Illinois +Paprocki Letter 1-2-2013

Bishop Paprocki was last mentioned on these pages when he summed up the election in a single sentence.

Bishop Paprocki and Cardinal George are not the only faith leaders to speak out in defense of marriage. Over 1,700 faith communities in Illinois have signed on to a letter demanding that the laws of their state reflect the true reality of marriage.

Please pray for the protection of children and marriage in Illinois!



  • http://www.facebook.com/ruth.boll Ruth Boll

    Excellent letter with lots of truth.

  • Maria K

    I live in a Republican district, sorry! All mine are voting against it. But the Dems have a super majority. I am praying for the children of our state.

  • Greg B.

    I wonder how many parishioners, whether they are LBGT themselves or with loved ones who are, will stand up, walk out, and never cross the church’s threshold again. We know that the overwhelming majority of Catholics support marriage equality. Expect moves like this to continue to drive more and more of them away. I see more church closings coming….

  • Patrick

    Well-reasoned, well-expressed. I’m impressed. Thanks for helping shape this discussion. The blogosphere needs more smart people like you participating here. These are such important issues. Thanks.

  • http://www.trans-cendence.blogspot.com/ Joann Prinzivalli

    It saddens me that Bishop Paprocki’s letter, and the purportedly “moral” teachings of the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church, are based on such a bizarre misunderstanding of nature and natural law. Bishop Paprocki leads with a lie – that the Illinois bill is a threat to religious freedom. The bishop prefers to assault the religious freedom of people who believe differently – the bill does not require the Catholic Church to sacramentalize same-sex marriage (which *would* be an assault on Catholic religious liberty, just as requiring a white supremacist church to accept non-white members would be an assault on their religious freedom). Religious liberty is a freedom that is not the sort of licentious assault on others that the Church teaches – and I call the Church’s position on religious freedom licentious because it implies that Catholics should have right to interfere with the religious freedom of others in the public square. Religious freedom for all requires a concommitant responsibility for each one of us to respect the religious freedom of others. Freedom of faith does not imply freedom of action in the public square.

    The next lie is the implication that making marriage law fully gender-neutral involves a redefinition of marriage. Under the law applicable in the various states of the United States from colonial times to the late 1840’s (later in some states), under the common law, “the two become one and that one is the husband” – making the legal status of a wife not terribly different from that of a slave or a “civilly dead” felon. By legislation and court decisions, most American jurisdictions have evolved laws by which the bundles of rights, responsibilities, duties and privileges that appertain to the marital relationship have become gender-neutral – by and large, by the late 1980’s, the bundle for husbands became the same as the bundle for wives. And the last remaining “change” is in one small area of connubium, which is the “right to marry.” Making that one change, allowing access to same-sex couples, makes no change in the bundles of rights and responsibilities civilly applicable to opposite-sex couples.

    The “natural law” argument advanced by the Magisterium is, similarly, based on false assumptions. If one observes human nature as it actually exists, the conclusion one might come to is that humans are not naturally monagamous. What marriage laws (and sacraments and/or blessings, in the religious sphere) do, is create an *unnatural* situation – but one that has benefits for society. The idea is that we can rise above our natures! The sad twisting of natural law by Catholic Church teaching in thi area is unfortunate.

    This comment has gone on far too long – but trust me, based on my reading of the bishop’s entire letter, I could eviscerate the entire thing. It is very sad that the teaching authority of the Church that threw me out in 1999 because my existence was “creating a scandal in the Church,” much as some gay friends of mine were thrown out because their Canadian marriage was deemed to be such a scandal, has continued to follow a path to immoral outrage.

    My suggestion to Illinois Catholics who are exposed to the bishop’s letter: you have been imbued with the capacity of reason and an informed conscience, and to the extent that the teachings of the Magisterium tend toward evil, as this teaching does, your informed conscience should allow you to reject it – in which case, I would welcome you to the “Cafeteria” if I were still involved with the Church.

    (sorry I didn’t see the “verify e-mail address” thing yesterday before posting – I did the verification now, so I hope this gets through moderation)



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