Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

11/23/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

It is not hateful to say that an immoral action is sinful. On the contrary, the most compassionate thing we can do is help people to turn away from sin

The 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. If the diocesan bishop, in particular situations, judges it appropriate to announce gatherings of the faithful for prayer, under the leadership and direction of a priest, elements for arranging a rite of supplication may be taken from [the texts provided in these appendices].

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/23/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: same sex marriage, gay marriage, Springfield, Illinois, exorcism rite, Governor Pat Quinn, Bishop Thomas Marriage, Gay Rights, homosexual unions, Holy Hour, deliverance, Deacon Keith Fournier


SPRINGFIELD,ILL (Catholic Online) - I recently wrote an article entitled Fidelity and Infidelity: Bishop Paprocki and Governor Quinn. A Tale of Two Catholic Leaders In that article I contrasted the scandalous and unfaithful action of a Catholic Governor named Pat Quinn with the courageous and faithful action of a Catholic Bishop named Thomas Paprocki. I also set the relationship within a context of history and moral theology.

On September 20, 2013 the Governor committed an egregious act of public scandal, while all the while claiming to be a Catholic Christian. He signed a piece of legislation which will undermine marriage - and the family and society founded upon it.He committed this act in a public ceremony before thousands of people. With his signature he attempted to commit some kind of legislative alchemy. He purported to make into marriages relationships which can never fulfill the ends of marriage, homosexual and lesbian partnerships.

Philosophers speak of ontology as the science or philosophy of being, the essence of a thing. For example, a rock is a rock and not a cabbage; a man is a man and a woman is a woman. Marriage is ontologically between a man and a woman, ordered toward the union of the spouses, open to life through the conjugal act in procreation. It also forms the foundation of family, which is the first society.

There can be no such thing as marriage between two same sex people engaging in sexual acts, even if they engage in such acts only with one another and for a protracted period of time. This is true no matter what a Court, legislature or misguided Governor may try to claim - and then seek to impose - to the contrary.

As a Catholic, I grieve when fellow Catholics, such as the Governor of Illinois, lead the current cultural assault on Marriage. It does not serve the common good, scandalizes the faithful, and confuses the public.Governor Quinn should go to confession and get right with the Church. Catholic Politicians who errantly lead the effort to grant legal equivalency between homosexual paramours and married couples are engaging in a very serious error and jeopardizing their own souls. They are wrong in their policy position. They are also being unfaithful to the teaching of their Church.

That same day, Bishop Thomas Paprocki, a courageous and faithful Catholic Bishop, led a very different ceremony at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Sixth and Lawrence Streets, in Springfield, Illinois. He presided over a Holy Hour where the Most Blessed Sacrament was exposed. He offered "Prayers of Supplication and Exorcism in Reparation for the Sin of Same-Sex Marriage." These prayers for "Supplication and Exorcism Which May Be Used in Particular Circumstances of the Church" were taken from the Appendices to the 2004 Latin edition of the Rite of Exorcism.

The Introduction of the Rite explains, The 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. If the diocesan bishop, in particular situations, judges it appropriate to announce gatherings of the faithful for prayer, under the leadership and direction of a priest, elements for arranging a rite of supplication may be taken from [the texts provided in these appendices].

In announcing his intention to lead this prayer the Bishop clearly explained that since same-sex marriage is contrary to the plan of God (see Genesis 1:27 and 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-9), those who contract civil same-sex marriage are culpable of serious sin. He also noted that politicians who enacted civil same-sex marriage legislation are "morally complicit as co-operators in facilitating this grave sin."

I am pleased to present for our readers around the globe the full homily which this courageous Bishop gave at the Holy Hour in full below. It can be printed in a pdf format right here.

*****

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Springfield, Illinois

* Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki, Bishop of Springfield in Illinois

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

We are gathered here today in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for a special Holy Hour before the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament to participate in "Prayers of Supplication and Exorcism in Reparation for the Sin of Same-Sex Marriage."

I wish to preface my reflections by saying that I am conducting this prayer service and am speaking to you now with great reluctance. I did not seek to enter any controversy and I don't relish being part of one. But I have given this matter a great deal of thought and prayer, which has led me to the conviction that God is calling me to speak out and conduct these prayers.

In our prayers, we must be open to hear where God is leading us and to embrace the path that He offers. That is a much different starting point than beginning with our own wants, desires, and conclusions. That is why we pray every day, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."

Our prayers at this time are prompted by the fact that the Governor of Illinois today is signing into Illinois law the redefinition of civil marriage, introducing not only an unprecedented novelty into our state law, but also institutionalizing an objectively sinful reality.

It is not hateful to say that an immoral action is sinful. On the contrary, the most compassionate thing we can do is help people to turn away from sin. To ignore another person's wrongful actions is a sign of apathy or indifference, while fraternal correction is motivated by love for that person's well-being, as can be seen by the fact that our Lord Jesus himself urged such correction. Indeed, the call to repentance is at the heart of the Gospel, as Jesus proclaimed, "The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the Good News"(Mark 1:15).

​The Good News is that God's mercy and forgiveness extend to those who repent. Mercy does not mean approving of something that is sinful, but does absolve the wrongdoer after a change of heart takes place in the sinner through the gift of God's grace. It is not the Church that must change to conform its teachings to the views of the world, but it is each individual who is called to be configured to Christ.

As we heard in the Gospel passage that was just read, Jesus tells His disciples, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation. . . . Signs like these will accompany those who have professed their faith: they will use my name to expel demons" (Mark 16:15-17). Thus it is through the power of Jesus that evil is displaced from our hearts and is replaced by divine love. This change of heart involves a spiritual battle that is not easily won, but in which we receive the assistance of angels, under the leadership of Saint Michael the Archangel (cf. Daniel 12:1-3). We need not fear this battle, for Christ has conquered sin and death, and in Christ rests our hope of final victory.

​As such, I do not stand here before you as a self-righteous saint who has achieved spiritual perfection, but as a sinner who has received Jesus into his heart as his Lord and Savior. To acknowledge one's sinfulness is indeed the starting point of what it means to be a Christian. However, our Christian identity does not end with this admission of sin, but finds its salvation in accepting the saving grace of our Most Holy Redeemer, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who died on the cross to forgive our sins and rose from the dead to lead us to the reward of eternal life in His Kingdom. Our second reading from Saint Paul's Letter to the Ephesians affirms this: "It is in Christ and through His blood that we have been redeemed and our sins forgiven, so immeasurably generous is God's favor to us" (Ephesians 1:7).

Pope Francis expressed this essential message in his recent interview published in various Jesuits publications in these words: "The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all. The confessor, for example, is always in danger of being either too much of a rigorist or too lax. Neither is merciful, because neither of them really takes responsibility for the person. The rigorist washes his hands so that he leaves it to the commandment. The loose minister washes his hands by simply saying, 'This is not a sin' or something like that. In pastoral ministry we must accompany people, and we must heal their wounds."

This is a key point which the secularists are missing: they think that stressing God's mercy means that sins are no longer sins. On the contrary, God's mercy is a great gift of grace precisely because sins are sins and they call for repentance and forgiveness.

Note from the interview, when he was asked to describe himself, Pope Francis said simply, "I am a sinner." After a brief pause, he amplifies this self-identity in the understanding of a Christian who has been saved by Christ, saying, "I am a sinner whom the Lord has looked upon."

This is not the first time that I have offered prayers of repentance here in our Cathedral. On December 12, 2011, I offered a service of "Repentance and Prayer for those Harmed in the Church," at which I said, "I express repentance for the sins of the members of the Church who have harmed others. Sometimes these harms were evil in themselves, such as the sins of racism and the sexual abuse of minors, as well as other forms of unchastity.

At other times, the harms may have been done in the context of actions that were in themselves not sinful and may even have been necessary for pastoral or economic reasons, such as the closing of a church or school, but nevertheless were done in a way that was insensitive to the feelings of those who would be affected.

Therefore we pray for all those who have been harmed." This prayer service was modeled along the lines of Pope John Paul II's "Day of Pardon" held on the First Sunday of Lent, March 12, 2000, as part of the observation of the Great Jubilee of the new millennium, in which Pope John Paul II said that the Church "should kneel before God and implore forgiveness for the past and present sins of her sons and daughters."

While prayers of supplication in reparation for sin may be easily understood as our pleas and entreaties to God for forgiveness of sins and deliverance from temptation, the meaning of the term "exorcism" in the title of this prayer service is not so readily apparent and requires some explanation. Indeed, some have ridiculed our Church's use of this ancient religious practice. We must remember the encouragement of Pope Saint Leo the Great, who said over 1,500 years ago, "The Church is not diminished by persecutions, but rather increased." It should also be noted that the bill that the Governor is signing today is called the "Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act," which purportedly provides that "the Act does not interfere with any religious beliefs about marriage."

Perhaps a large part of the negative reaction is because most people don't know what the Church teaches about exorcism, since they get their misleading information and sensational ideas on this mainly from Hollywood. The fact is that a "minor exorcism" takes place in every Baptism and Confirmation ceremony when we renounce Satan and all his works and empty promises. This prayer service will be along those lines. I'm not saying that anyone involved in the redefinition of marriage is possessed by the devil, which, if that were the case, would require the remedy of a "Major Exorcism," but all of us are certainly subject to the devil's evil influences and in need of protection and deliverance from evil.

​Our prayer service today and my words are not meant to demonize anyone, but are intended to call attention to the diabolical influences of the devil that have penetrated our culture, both in the state and in the Church. These demonic influences are not readily apparent to the undiscerning eye, which is why they are so deceptive. A helpful resource in this regard is a recent book by Father Louis J. Cameli, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, called The Devil You Don't Know: Recognizing and Resisting Evil in Everyday Life. While the popular tendency may be to identify the devil only with his extraordinary activity, which is diabolical possession, Father Cameli writes about the ordinary work of the devil: deception, division, diversion and discouragement.

The deception of the Devil in same-sex marriage may be understood by recalling the words of Pope Francis when he faced a similar situation as Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 2010. Regarding the proposed redefinition of civil marriage in Argentina, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio wrote on June 22, 2010, "The Argentine people must face, in the next few weeks, a situation whose result may gravely harm the family. It is the bill on matrimony of persons of the same sex. 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. A clear rejection of the law of God, engraved in our hearts, is in jeopardy. . . . Let us not be naive: it is not a simple political struggle; it is an intention [which is] destructive of the plan of God. It is not a mere legislative project (this is a mere instrument), but rather a 'move' of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God."

The Pope's reference to the "father of lies" comes from the Gospel of John (8:44), where Jesus refers to the devil as "a liar and the father of lies." So Pope Francis is saying that same-sex "marriage" comes from the devil and should be condemned as such.

Another major deception or distortion of marriage is the view that it is not ultimately about generating life, but rather is mainly about a romantic relationship designed for individual (not even mutual) fulfillment. That distorted understanding cuts across opposite-sex marriage and same-sex marriage proponents in our culture. We are all summoned to reflect more deeply on the truth of marriage.

It is also a deception to say that there will be no adverse effects on children being brought up in the household of a same-sex couple.

The division brought about by the Devil due to same-sex marriage may be seen in the way our society, our families and our friendships have become so divided and polarized over this issue.

The diversion of the Devil in same-sex marriage may be seen in the fact that so much of our time, energy and resources are being spent in addressing this issue, when there are more pressing needs facing our state and our Church.

The work of discouragement by the Devil in same-sex marriage is apparent in the message being conveyed to defenders of traditional marriage that the universal redefinition of marriage is unstoppable, so we might as well just stop trying. But the legalization of abortion on demand forty years ago did not silence those who believe that abortion is contrary to God's law. On the contrary, Roe v. Wade only heightened the need for more concerted efforts to protect all human life from conception to natural death. So, too, the legal redefinition of civil marriage does not put an end to the need for discourse and action to defend natural marriage in accord with God's plan, but only serves to heighten the need for greater efforts in this regard.

The Prayers for "Supplication and Exorcism Which May Be Used in Particular Circumstances of the Church" are taken from the Appendices to the 2004 Latin edition of the Rite of Exorcism, the introduction to which explains, "The 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. If the Diocesan Bishop, in particular situations, judges it appropriate to announce gatherings of the faithful for prayer, under the leadership and direction of a Priest, elements for arranging a rite of supplication may be taken from [the texts provided in these appendices]."

Same-sex marriage is contrary to the plan of God, as described in the Bible, when Jesus cites the Book of Genesis in asking the Pharisees, "Have you not read that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female and declared, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife, and the two shall become as one?' Thus they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, let no man separate what God has joined."

Since the legal redefinition of marriage is contrary to God's plan, those who contract civil same-sex marriage are culpable of serious sin. Politicians responsible for enacting civil same-sex marriage legislation are morally complicit as co-operators in facilitating this grave sin. We must pray for forgiveness of these sins and deliverance from this evil which has penetrated our state and our Church. The Church stands ready to extend God's mercy to those who confess their sins with true repentance and a firm purpose of amendment in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

We must also affirm the teaching of the Catholic Church that homosexual persons "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition." The Church loves homosexual persons and looks upon them with compassion, offering assistance through support groups such as the Courage Apostolate to live in accord with the virtue of chastity. Indeed, all people all called to chastity, which for a man and woman united in matrimony means for the husband and wife to be faithful to each other.

In conclusion, I quote from a homily given in the second century: Let me say also that when we are given a warning and corrected for doing something wrong, we should not be so foolish as to take offense and be angry. There are times when we are unconscious of the sins we commit because our hearts are fickle, lacking in faith. Futile desires becloud our minds. We need to pull ourselves up, therefore, because our very salvation is at stake.

Those who keep God's commandments will have reason to rejoice. For a short time in this world they may have to suffer, but they will rise again and their reward will endure for ever. No one who holds God in reverence should grieve over the hardships of this present time, for a time of blessedness awaits him. He will live again in heaven in the company of all those who have gone before him; for all eternity he will rejoice, never to know sorrow again.

May God give us this grace. Amen.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More U.S.

School shooting in Washington state leaves 2 dead, five injured Watch

Image of Kids and parents react to news of the shooting.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A shooting has occurred at a school in Washington, in which authorities believe a bullied student shot and killed another. The shooter is also believed to be dead. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A school shooting has taken place at Marysville-Pilchuck High School ... continue reading


Guns Do Not Have Rights, People Do. Legitimate Self Defense is One of Them

Image of Guns have no rights, only people do.Yes, one of them is the Right to Self Defense - and the Right to defend your neighbor. You may ask,

By Keith A. Fournier

We live in a precarious time in the United States of America. Many of us are deeply concerned about the effort to infringe upon the fundamental rights which were delineated in the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution. I have written extensively about ... continue reading


Rest in Peace, Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete: Communion and Liberation Priest Enters Eternal Encounter Watch

Image of Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete was a leader in the ecclesial movement called Communion and Liberation. He was also a gifted writer, known for his naturally supernatural holiness of life. Those whom he touched are a living testimony to a life - and a priesthood - which was well lived. In encountering him, they encountered Jesus Christ. That experience is the very heart of the Gospel, the meaning of the Christian claim. It is the key to understanding the Church. It is the spirituality of Communion and Liberation.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

As we pause to honor Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete, Communion and Liberation Priest, may our prayers accompany him, lighting his passage into the eternal encounter with the Lord whom he loves. Let us also ask for his prayers - and follow his example. Let us decide to ... continue reading


How far will it spread? A New York doctor has tested positive for Ebola Watch

Image of 33-year-old Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, had recently returned to the U.S. after treating Ebola patients in Guinea.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A New York doctor who had recently returned from Guinea has tested positive for Ebola, the fourth person diagnosed with the disease in the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Craig Spencer worked for Doctors Without Borders where he was treating ... continue reading


Same-sex couples line up to be wed in Wyoming Watch

Image of After the state formally dropped its defense of a law defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, Jennifer Mumaugh says that attitudes across the state have shifted in recent years to be more open to gay couples.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Same-sex couples began lining up around the block in Wyoming for marriage licenses this week. U.S. District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl, appointed by President Barack Obama struck down the state's gay marriage ban last week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Will they riot after this? Autopsy, analysis shows officer Wilson was telling the truth Watch

Image of New analysis and witness reports suggest that officer Darren Wilson was being attacked by Michael Brown and shot him in self defense.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New evidence from Ferguson Missouri seems to vindicate the testimony of officer Darren Wilson, showing that the fatal shooting of Michael Brown may not be as cut and dry as many of the protestors in the area believe. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to ... continue reading


Is this a sign of things to come? 2014 midterm most expensive on record Watch

Image of Early voting has already started in several states including Kansas and Illinois.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Well underway, the 2014 midterms are set to be the most expensive midterms ever, according to projections that the Center for Responsive Politics released on October 22. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While heavily overshadowed by global affairs like the ... continue reading


ACTIVE SHOOTER - Kids, teachers, community terrorized by admin, police at Thompson Jr. HS in Bakersfield in the name of safety? Watch

Image of Terrorization in the name of safety is still terror.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The latest school shooting did not make the national news yesterday because allegedly it was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated against kids and a working-class community in the name of safety. For about 30 minutes on Tuesday, students, faculty, and their parents ... continue reading


Catholic school forbids Hollywood lesbian drama from shooting on location Watch

Image of In the scene to be filmed at the school, Moore's character, a New Jersey police detective with terminal cancer, applies for a domestic partnership with her partner, played by Page in order to pass on her pension legally after her death.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While actresses Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are big names in filmland, their largesse didn't get them past the authorities at Salesian High School in New Rochelle, New York. The catholic school has declined their request to use their location for a ... continue reading


On the Feast of St. John Paul II, His Prophetic Warning to the U.S. Requires a Response Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier standing under the beautiful bronze statue of John Paul II in Denver, Colorado.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In an address given during that 1976 Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia for the bicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla spoke some words which I believe were prophetic. - We are now standing in the face ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 25th, 2014 Image

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. Chrysanthus was an ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter