Bishop Paprocki on Anti-Catholic Bigotry

Monday, September 9, AD 2013

12 Responses to Bishop Paprocki on Anti-Catholic Bigotry

  • 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.”

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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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What Faith Was That, Governor?

Friday, December 3, AD 2010


Pat Quinn is the Governor of the State of Illinois.  He was Lieutenant Governor under Rod Blagojevich and took over after Blago was impeached and convicted by the State Legislature.  Quinn bucked the Republican tide this year and won election to a four year term, narrowly defeating pro-life Republican Bill Brady.  In that campaign Quinn emphasized that he is a pro-abort.

Pat Quinn claims to be a Roman Catholic.  The State Legislature this week passed a civil unions (pretend marriage) bill for homosexuals.  Quinn has vowed to sign it.

Gov. Pat Quinn – who campaigned on the issue, lobbied members and was on the floor of the House for much of Tuesday’s debate – lauded the House’s action. Quinn said he would sign the bill if it passes the Senate, where a vote is expected today.

“My religious faith animates me to support this bill,” Quinn, a Catholic, told reporters after the vote. “I think, as a matter of conscience, this was the right vote.”


The Bishop of Springfield, Thomas Paprocki, wasted no time correcting the Governor:

After the Illinois House of Representatives approved legislation that would require the state to recognize same-sex unions, Governor Pat Quinn was quoted as saying, “My religious faith animates me to support this bill.” He did not say what religious faith that would be, but it certainly is not the Catholic faith. If the Governor wishes to pursue a secular agenda for political purposes, that is his prerogative for which he is accountable to the voters. But if he wishes to speak as a Catholic, then he is accountable to Catholic authority, and the Catholic Church does not support civil unions or other measures that are contrary to the natural moral law.

The Governor met the Bishop’s rebuke with a shrug of indifference:  Asked about the bishop’s statement, Quinn said, “I follow my conscience. My conscience is not kicking me in the shins today.”

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12 Responses to What Faith Was That, Governor?

  • Bishop Paprocki most appropriately availed himself of this opportunity (“teachable moment”) to make perfectly, succunctly clear the Church’s Truth on this faith and morals issue.

    There is another form of bankruptcy (besides fiscal bankruptcy): moral bankruptcy.

    IL is bankrupt on both counts. It just hasn’t declared bankruptcy . . . yet.

  • My guess is that this is more about Quinn paying back the gay activist groups who contributed money to his campaign, than it is about his faith. I don’t recall him making an issue of civil unions/gay marriage until maybe a couple of months before the election.

    Do these statements indicate that Bp. Paprocki will invoke Canon 915 against Gov. Quinn or is considering it? Anything is possible, I suppose. However, if he did, I don’t know that it would have much of an effect. You see, Quinn still has a home in Chicago, and most of his public appearances on weekends are in that area. More likely than not he goes to Mass there. The Cathedral is only 2 blocks from the governor’s mansion and I belong to that parish but I have yet to see him or any other well-known, Catholic statewide official at a weekend Mass. Of course, maybe I’m just going to Mass at the wrong times 🙂 A formal canonical action, if it comes to that, would need Cardinal George and all the bishops of Illinois on board to really be effective.

  • The news just gets worse and worse for the Land of Lincoln. I applaud the Bishop for his clear remarks.

    Disaster I fear looms for Illinois, that’s what happens when your state is taken over by Public Service Unions.

  • “I follow my conscience. My conscience is not kicking me in the shins today.”

    He’s a pol from Chicago. What conscience?

    What is disgustingly amusing about this is that the Governor professes it a matter of conscience that the gay lobby be given a bauble that was dreamed up around about 1986. Our social policy is being set by people who are driven by fashion and when asked to explain themselves have nothing to offer but ‘whatever’.

  • My guess is that this is more about Quinn paying back the gay activist groups who contributed money to his campaign, than it is about his faith.

    Thirty some years ago, the National Organizaton for Women had occasion to complain that state Governors were unwilling to horse trade to get their pet project (the ‘Equal Rights Amendment’) passed. I think it was Governor Thompson of Illinois who offered in reply that for the opposition it was a matter of conscience as well and ‘you don’t trade a constitutional amendment for a job or a bridge’. I guess standards in Illinois have been in long-term decline.

  • Actually this bill opens up even more cans of moral, societal, and fiscal worms than just gay marriage…

    Because the civil unions provided for in this bill are open to BOTH opposite-sex and same-sex couples, some senior citizens think it might provide a convienient resolution to the dilemma of widows/widowers who want to remarry without losing Social Security, pension or other benefits from their previous spouses.

    A civil union under this law would be recognized by the State and grant all the rights the State normally grants to married couples (inheritance, insurance coverage, medical decision making, etc.), but since it wouldn’t be recognized by the FEDERAL government, wouldn’t affect Social Security benefits or change one’s income tax filing status.

    So, what happens if a Catholic or mixed-faith couple, one or both of whom is widowed and has a pension or other source of income they would lose upon remarriage, decides to opt for a civil union instead, and then decides to marry in the Church? What are they going to tell the priest when he asks for their marriage license? What is the priest going to do when he discovers they don’t have one? Is the couple guilty of fraud or cooperation with evil? Does their legal status impinge upon whether or not the sacrament is valid?

  • “Because the civil unions provided for in this bill are open to BOTH opposite-sex and same-sex couples, some senior citizens think it might provide a convienient resolution to the dilemma of widows/widowers who want to remarry without losing Social Security, pension or other benefits from their previous spouses.”

    I don’t wish to insult you Elaine, but that observation was worthy of an attorney! 🙂

    The dirty little secret about gay marriage and civil unions is that, outside of the activist homosexuals, there is precious little evidence that homosexuals en masse are much interested in either one. The type of gaming of the system you mention regarding heterosexuals using civil unions to get around social security regulations, or losing health insurance or pension benefits for that matter, might be the chief legacy of the creation of these pretend marriages. Legislation always has unintended consequences and this might well be one in the case of civil unions.

  • Bravo Bishop Paprocki!! I love how he spoke up and set the record straight.

    It’s really all about these secularists tearing down the family and the importance of marriage, and not about them participating in marriage or civil unions.

  • Another group that may be interested in civil unions as a “lite” form of marriage: young people who want to get on their significant other’s health insurance plan (if it doesn’t already cover domestic partners) but aren’t yet ready for a “real” wedding because they can’t afford the big bridezilla party, or for other reasons.

    However, the ability to have one’s wedding… er, civil union, cake and eat it too won’t last very long if and when the federal government decides to recognize same-sex unions or put them fully on a par with civil marriage. That might please gay activists but probably won’t please the opposite-sex couples who use civil unions to game the benefit system.

  • Quinn needs to be told: “Get thee behind the church, Satan!” Then maybe he will start properly forming his conscience.

  • This is as much a rebuke of Quinn as it is the blue collar Chicago catholics who voted him back into office. The fact that catholics continue to vote for such pro-aborts is also a poor reflection on the unfortunate ineffectual leadership of Cardinal George.

  • So…

    I gather Quinn is not permitted to receive at any Catholic parish within the Springfield diocese? Is that right?

    I ask because doing so would be, under the circumstances, dangerous for Quinn personally. St. Paul asserts that some folk get sick or die as a chastisement from God for taking the body and blood while not properly disposed.

    So, did Bishop Paprocki take this additional pastoral step of keeping Quinn out of harm’s way? (I suppose he could have done it privately.)

Does the Devil Exist?

Wednesday, August 4, AD 2010

Does the devil exist? — That’s the question posed by Fr. N. Schwizer (Vivicat, August 3, 2010):

In the Gospel, we often hear of Jesus expelling demons. Perhaps this fact seems somewhat strange to us because being possessed by a demon seems to us as something exclusive to those times. However, it also happens today even though it may be less frequent.

But the ultimate question for mankind today is…..does the devil exist as a person or not? As it is, modern man and inclusively the modern Christian man hardly even believes in the devil. The devil has been able to succeed today with his best maneuver: to put his existence in doubt. [more]

Christ expelling the devil

To illustrate the point, Fr. Richard McBrien (National Catholic Reporter) mocks a certain Bishop Thomas Paprocki for announcing a special Conference on the Liturgical and Pastoral Practice of Exorcism, to be held in Baltimore in early November, just before the bishops’ semiannual meeting.

That the conference would focus on “not only the theological and scriptural foundations of the rite of exorcism” but “the necessary, practical insights into the many liturgical, canonical and pastoral issues associated with exorcisms and the church’s battle against the demonic presence in the world” is, to McBrien, a subject of ridicule:

The priest who sent me a copy of this letter wrote across the top, in capital letters, “CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS? IN 2010.”

His question was rhetorical, of course.

Paprocki was recently appointed Bishop of Springfield, IL by Pope Benedict XVI, who has been known to take the existence of the devil — and exorcism — rather seriously himself.

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8 Responses to Does the Devil Exist?

  • I just just had a conversation about this the other day with a friend – she is of the opinion (I used to hold this view) that all “demonic” possession is simply mental illness and I pointed out that some folk exhibited no mental illness before their possession or after their exorcism and that scores of witnesses have testified to the supernatural events that take place during the rite…and that even rabbis at times have had to call upon Catholic priests to help their afflicted members throw off the demon…and frankly to not believe there is a devil is to deny the experience of Christ with Satan in the desert…I”ll take Christ’s word on this issue..

  • Of course the devil exists. He’s probably on the 9th Circuit.

  • Was there supposed to be a link to information about the conference? Because it’s not working when I click on it, it just sends me back to this article here.

    I cannot think of a better endorsement of my new bishop than to discover that Richard McBrien doesn’t like him! 🙂

  • Yes, she does; I used to date her.

  • j. christian, that was awesome!

  • Wow! Thank you for the link! I really appreciate it!


  • Who is Keyser Soze? He is supposed to be Turkish. Some say his father was German. Nobody believed he was real. Nobody ever saw him or knew anybody that ever worked directly for him, but to hear Kobayashi tell it, anybody could have worked for Soze. You never knew. That was his power. The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. And like that, poof. He’s gone.

  • Yup, the Devil exists! It is the politicians like Palin and Obama and their type!