Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, has expressed support of a priest who refused Holy Communion to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who supports abortion.
Following the priest’s withholding of the sacrament, Paprocki replied to a pro-life activist’s email about the issue. Matt Abbott at RenewAmerica published the bishop’s response:
Dear Mr. [name redacted], Senator Durbin was informed several years ago by his pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish here in Springfield that he was not permitted to receive Holy Communion per canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law. My predecessor upheld that decision and it remains in effect. It is my understanding that the senator is complying with that decision here in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.
Paprocki has been an ardent enforcer of the Church’s teachings on the sanctity of human life and marriage.
In October, Paprocki derailed an attempt by the gay activist Rainbow Sash Movement to have prayer inside Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Springfield specifically for the Illinois legislature’s approval of a same-sex marriage bill.
Paprocki warned that people who call themselves Christians should not profane God by asking Him to publicly degrade the sacrament of matrimony.
The following month, Paprocki performed an exorcism at the cathedral on the day Gov. Pat Quinn (D-IL) signed the same-sex marriage bill into law.
Paprocki referenced Pope Francis’s words about same-sex marriage while he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, referring to it as “a move of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God.”