Springfield Catholic bishop plans same-sex marriage ‘exorcism,’ blasts Illinois pols for ‘twisting the words of the pope’Continue reading.
Springfield bishop pushes against gay marriage vote, empathizes with gays and lesbians ‘dealing with this condition’
SPRINGFIELD-The spiritual leader of Roman Catholics in the state capital Tuesday urged the Illinois Senate to vote down legislation authorizing gay marriage and offered pastoral help for gays and lesbians to “live a life of chastity.”
“As the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, I strenuously object to this legislation and hope our elected officials will see the value marriage contributes to the common good of our society,” said Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, who testified against the same-sex marriage legislation.
The bill sponsored by state Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) is scheduled to be voted on by the Illinois Senate on Thursday, which also is Valentine’s Day.
Paprocki described “true marriage as a fundamental human good that unites one man and one woman in a unique sharing of the whole of their lives.”
He went on to express empathy for same-sex couples and offered help to gays and lesbians confronting their “condition.”
“The Catholic Church has great love and compassion for those who experience same-sex attraction and offers pastoral help for people dealing with this condition to help them live a life of chastity,” Paprocki said in a written statement issued late Tuesday afternoon.
“This is a separate issue, however, from the definition of marriage as a natural institution between a man and a woman committed to an exclusive and life-long relationship open to the potential to bring new life into the world,” he said.
The gay-marriage legislation (Senate Bill 10) has the backing of President Barack Obama, Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
On Tuesday, Quinn reiterated his belief that the legislation will pass the Senate and ultimately reach his desk.
“I do think the Senate will vote yes for marriage equality on Thursday,” the governor told reporters in Chicago. “I intend to sign that bill this year.”