Bishop Paprocki on Anti-Catholic Bigotry

Hattip to Matt Archbold at Creative Minority Report.  Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Springfield diocese in Illinois speaks out on something which should be obvious to all faithful Catholics:  the growing power in our society of bigots who hate Catholicism:


“We [Christians] find ourselves now – just in this short period of time –  where the early Christians found themselves in the Roman Empire. So the church  in 2,000 years, we started out as being a persecuted faith, with Constantine  being an accepted established faith, then for centuries, kind of moving in that  direction that had this close relationship between the secular world’s values  and Judeo-Christian values,” Bishop Paprocki said. “And now I think we are  moving in a direction that – not only is it more than secular – it’s a  rejection. It’s an outright rejection [of Judeo-Christian values]. It’s a pagan  kind of a culture.”

“The reality is that – ironically, it is becoming more like the Church was in  the time of John Paul II in Poland under Communism where you [Christians] lived  in a very hostile environment. We still have the First Amendment of our  Constitution but that is being sorely tested. “

Go here to read the rest.  I think the Bishop also understands that some of the worst anti-Catholic bigots are within the Church, cheering on the secular authorities in their actions against the Church:

Springfield, Ill. Bishop Thomas Paprocki faced a hostile Jesuit alumni group during a May talk on the Church’s teachings on homosexuality, reports LifeSiteNews. Two thousand members of the Jesuit Alumni in Arizona – graduates of 28 Jesuit universities and 47 Jesuit high schools, now living in Arizona – sponsored the event at Phoenix’s Shadow Rock United Church of Christ. It featured talks by Bishop Paprocki and dissenting New Ways Ministry leader Sister Jeannine Gramick. Bishop Paprocki defended the Church’s teachings on homosexuality before a hostile crowd, and shared that his own secretary had been murdered by a homosexual activist.

During his talk, which argued in favor of traditional marriage, Bishop Paprocki received heckling and insults from the crowd.

While the event was titled “Two Catholic Views on Marriage,” Bishop Paprocki corrected that error.

“There is only one authentic Catholic view,” said Bishop Paprocki. “There are two views being presented here tonight by two people who are baptized Catholics, but only one of those views, the one I will present, is consistent with Catholic teaching, while the other view clearly dissents from Catholic teaching.”



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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. Nietzsche was absolutely right in his criticism of George Eliot:

    “They are rid of the Christian God and now believe all the more firmly that they must cling to Christian morality. That is an English consistency; we do not wish to hold it against little moralistic females à la Eliot. In England one must rehabilitate oneself after every little emancipation from theology by showing in a veritably awe-inspiring manner what a moral fanatic one is. That is the penance they pay there.

    We others hold otherwise. When one gives up the Christian faith, one pulls the right to Christian morality out from under one’s feet. This morality is by no means self-evident: this point has to be exhibited again and again, despite the English flatheads. Christianity is a system, a whole view of things thought out together. By breaking one main concept out of it, the faith in God, one breaks the whole: nothing necessary remains in one’s hands. Christianity presupposes that man does not know, cannot know, what is good for him, what evil: he believes in God, who alone knows it. Christian morality is a command; its origin is transcendent; it is beyond all criticism, all right to criticism; it has truth only if God is the truth–it stands and falls with faith in God.”

    Pascal had pointed out the same truth two centuries earlier; “Thus, without Scripture, which has only Jesus Christ for its object, we know nothing and see only obscurity and confusion in God’s nature and ours.”

  2. I think the Bishop also understands that some of the worst anti-Catholic bigots are within the Church, cheering on the secular authorities in their actions against the Church:

    More precisely, they have the same list of anointed and benighted as the secular culture and their participation in Catholic discussions is in search of opportunities to condescend to people. (The two most obvious examples do not post here much anymore).

  3. I think that the motivations for Catholic persecution are the same today as they were under Nero, Caligula, Lenin, Hitler, et al.

    The Church was the first and only catholic/universal religion. The innumerable pagan religions were national or tribal (today Islamic pan-Arabism) and all easily coexised with other pagan superstitions; or could be dealt with piecemeal. No pagan mytholgy posed a challenge/threat to the empire/state.

    Christianity places one universal, divine (teaching) authority over all and everyone and everything. It was a threat to the liberal state and its horrid plans.

    Same thing today. The Church is the only universal institution standing in opposition to these rats and their dastardly agendae.

    The all-devouring state cannot countenance a serious competitor.

  4. I have a theological question. I can’t say what in the interview got me thinking about this; it’s something that’s been on my mind a lot lately. There’s a Catholic principle that grace builds on nature. You don’t find this concept in Protestantism; in fact, Calvinism teaches the opposite, and there’s quite a bit of Calvinism in the American Evangelical movement. When we identify ourselves as Christians in the US, we carry the baggage of Protestant errors. That hurts us in discussions about things like natural law.

    Without the idea of grace building on nature, the supernatural becomes unnatural. My question is, where is the principle that grace builds on nature stated?

  5. From Paprocki’s interview:

    I think some of the people that have been very articulate in refuting this have been members of the black community, African Americans who resent, frankly, depicting this as a civil rights issue. They say, “I have no choice over the color of my skin.” Whereas the way we live our lives – in terms of our sexual activity – we do have choices over that.

    Yes. We are being persecuted because we want to teach our children to… have less sex outside of marriage, rather than more sex outside of marriage.

    To the adult gay male, this is child abuse. Potential child abuse, of the infant gay male.

  6. Standing on the principle of separation of church and state, the state refuses to protect virtue or even to defend a person’s First Amendment civil rights to practice virtue. (All this while redefining virtue) The individual who is called a bigot must know that this is the personal and private opinion of the name-caller and counts only as one opinion. “That is your opinion, sir, or madam and I do not share it. If you put it in writing and can bring proof this slander may be addressed in court.” The mob-mentality is too lazy to think as individual, responsible persons. Unfortunately, too many of these are in Congress.
    “Bishop Paprocki began by telling the crowd how his secretary, a mother of four, had been murdered by a homosexual man after she suggested that he change his lifestyle.” The mother was not entitled to her opinion.

  7. Another thought: “God save the Queen” cannot be said by atheists in Great Britain. “God bless America” cannot be said by anybody in America. The state has no control over the privacy of one’s home, so, “Go say your prayers in private.” cannot be a public law, nor does it fullfil the First Amendment civil rights of citizens who wish to pray as Freedom of religion, speech, peaceable assembly and the common good, a virtue inside and outside, in public and in private.

  8. Pinky

    You may well be thinking of St Thomas Aquinas

    “Cum enim gratia non tollat naturam, sed perficiat, oportet quod naturalis ratio subserviat fidei; sicut et naturalis inclinatio voluntatis obsequitur caritati”

    [Since therefore grace does not destroy nature but perfects it, natural reason should minister to faith as the natural bent of the will ministers to charity.]” — Thomas Aquinas, ST, Iª q. 1 a. 8 ad 2

  9. MP-S – Thanks. That’s exactly the kind of clear statement I was looking for. Can you tell me if it has a pre-Thomist origin? I can see how it would fit perfectly into his philosophy, and I think it’s essential to a healthy understanding of man and God. Indeed, the whole idea of natural virtues would seem to require something like it. It surprises me how black-and-white evangelical thinking can be – black as sin, washed whiter than snow, no understanding of human nature growing toward God, no framework for explaining the persistence of habitual sin after baptism, and no sacrament for removing that sin.

    There aren’t many (maybe any) things that the Church assumes without stating clearly and with footnotes.

  10. Pinky asked, “Can you tell me if it has a pre-Thomist origin?”

    I do not know of one, at least, nothing so explicit. I believe this insight is based on St Thomas’s study of Aristotle. What St Thomas is doing throughout his work, it seems to me, is harmonising the Virtue Ethics of Aristotle, with the Law concept of Judeo-Christian morality; for this, of course, he needs a concept of human “flourishing,” which he finds in natural reason (but always, in the concrete, illuminated and supported by grace)

    Earlier theologians, in the West at least, writing under the influence of the Pelagian controversy and of St Augustine, of St Prosper of Aquitaine and the Council of Orange were inclined to take a much gloomier view of fallen human nature, not far removed from the Reformers’ doctrine of Total Depravity. In the 17th century, this led to Jansenism, a sort of Catholic Calvinism. It led Pascal to say that “We do not understand the glorious state of Adam, nor the nature of his sin, nor the transmission of it to us. These are matters which took place under conditions of a nature altogether different from our own, and which transcend our present understanding.” and “You are not in the state of your creation.” This can be given an orthodox sense and the Later Augustinians in the 18th century (Joannes Laurentius Berti, Fulgentius Bellelli and Cardinal Henricus de Noris) did just that.

    But St Thomas’s remains the prevailing one

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