The Illinois Roman Catholic bishop who conducted an exorcism service the day the state's marriage equality bill was signed into law says he wasn't being hateful -- he was performing a "loving" act of discipline, like a parent correcting a child. And he has reiterated his belief same-sex marriage is "the work of the devil."
"Any good parent will tell you that sometimes you have to discipline your children," Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the diocese of Springfield, the state capital, said in a recent video interview with LifeSite News, an antigay or, in its own description, "pro-family" site. "Sometimes you have to say 'no,'" Paprocki continued. "Sometimes you even have to punish."
He continued, "When a parent does those things, they're not being hateful towards their children, they're actually being very loving by correcting them and showing them the right way to do things."
Paprocki read the church's rite of exorcism at a service at Springfield's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception November 20, the date Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Illinois marriage equality bill into law. The law takes effect June 1. He told LifeSite News it wasn't the type of dramatic exorcism portrayed in movies. "Paprocki said that the prayer of 'minor exorcism' -- the same prayer that is said during Baptism -- is used when the Church is under persecution or some opposition," the site reports.
He said he has received support for his action from Catholics and members of other denominations, and he asserted that most of the criticism has come from the "secular media" and politicians who "have an agenda to push."
He also said he was following Pope Francis's lead in condemning same-sex marriage. When the pope was a cardinal in Argentina and that nation was enacting marriage equality legislation, he called same-sex marriage a "machination of the Father of Lies."
"That's a phrase right out of the Gospel of St. John where Jesus calls the devil -- Satan -- the Father of Lies," Paprocki told LifeSite News, adding, "My whole point for doing the prayer service is realizing it's the work of the devil that's behind this."
He further asserted recognizing same-sex marriages as valid is "an untruth in terms of the reality of marriage. ... People can love each other, and hopefully people of the same sex do love each other -- there's nothing wrong with that -- but that's not marriage, it doesn't have to be marriage, it shouldn't be marriage."
Watch the interview below.