paprockiIn an apparent effort to be as melodramatic as possible, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield has announced that he will be holding “prayers of exorcism” over the “sin” of same-sex marriage in Illinois:

Scheduled for approximately the same time that Gov. Pat Quinn signs into Illinois law the redefinition of civil marriage, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will offer “Prayers of Supplication and Exorcism in Reparation for the Sin of Same-Sex Marriage” at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Sixth and Lawrence streets in Springfield, on Wednesday, Nov. 20, from 4 to 5 p.m. Clergy, religious and laity are invited to attend.

“The context for this prayer service may be understood by recalling the words of Pope Francis when he faced a similar situation as Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 2010,” Bishop Paprocki said.

In a theme that’s becoming more common, Bishop Paprocki is having to contend with the fact that the current Pope has made it clear that he’s tired of the strange obsession with gay people that’s been a hallmark of the Church lately:

[D]uring the House debate last week, an even higher Catholic authority was cited. House Speaker Michael Madigan, quoting Pope Francis: “If someone is gay, and he searches for the lord, and he has goodwill, who am I to judge?” (Madigan was paraphrasing. The actual quote is: ” [I]f a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge.”)

As if to refute that widely-cited remark, Paprocki deployed his own quotation from the pope, when he was in his previous job as a cardinal in Argentina, calling same-sex marriage legislation there “destructive of the plan of God.”

Maybe the Pope has evolved on the issue. What’s Paprocki’s excuse?