The Sun Times is reporting that same-sex marriage supporters and members of the pro-homosexual Rainbow Sash Movement planned to gather at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Tuesday at the conclusion of a daylong rally in support of a stalled bill that would legalize the unions in the state of Illinois. Participants said they wanted to form a "loud Catholic Presence for marriage equality" by praying the rosary for same-sex marriage just before the 5:15 Mass.
Paprocki disrupted those plans, however, when he refused to allow them admittance to the cathedral.
"It is blasphemy to show disrespect or irreverence to God or to something holy," he said in a written statement.
"Since Jesus clearly taught that marriage as created by God is a sacred institution between a man and a woman (see Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-9), praying for same-sex marriage should be seen as blasphemous and as such will not be permitted in the cathedral."
Therefore, anyone wearing a rainbow sash or who otherwise identified themselves as affiliated with the Rainbow Sash Movement were not permitted into the cathedral and anyone who got up to pray for same-sex marriage was asked to leave.
Paprocki added: “Of course, our cathedral and parish churches are always open to everyone who wishes to repent their sins and ask for God’s forgiveness."
Even though gay activists reacted with the usual vitriol against the "homophobic bishop", the public was surprisingly supportive of Paprocki's right to profess his faith.
Commenting on a story about the incident which appeared in Springfield's State Journal Register, someone named "Annie Oakley" summed up what appeared to be the sentiments of most who read the story: "I'm not a fan of organized religion and I'm not a fan of the Catholic persuasion but . . . your right to equality stops at their right to religious freedom. I do support marriage equality, but I do not support you thinking you can take your fight into a religious institution. If you wanted the gay rights supporters to recite the rosary, then it should have been done on the sidewalk in front of the institution. Your political agenda, while valid, is not superior to their religious doctrine nor does it negate their first amendment rights."
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