Bp. Paprocki bans pro-abortion politicians from Holy Communion

Bp. Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, the capital city of the state, has issued a decree on 2 June which bans pro-abortion politicians from receiving Holy Communion in the diocese entrusted to his care.

The trigger for this was the effort to pass the state’s “Reproductive Health Act” which declares abortion to be a “fundamental right”. Catholics voted for this.

Bp. Paprocki – who acts like a bishop in a time when few bishops act like bishops – wrote:

“I declare that Catholic legislators of the Illinois General Assembly who have cooperated in evil and committed grave sin by voting for any legislation that promotes abortion are not to present themselves to receive Holy Communion without first being reconciled to Christ and the Church in accord with canon 916 of the Code of Canon Law.”

Of course those politicians have also committed public scandal.  Reparation has to be made also publicly.

Paprocki wrote:

“In view of their gravely immoral action to deprive unborn children legal protection against abortion, it must be said that any Catholic legislator who sponsored, promoted, advocated, or voted for these pro-abortion bills has acted in a seriously sinful manner unfaithful to the 2,000-year-old Christian teaching against abortion and therefore, would place themselves outside of the full communion of the Catholic Church.”

Wanna see the decree?

Decree per canons 915-916 – 6-2-2019

Fr. Z kudos to Bp. Paprocki.

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  1. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    May his tribe increase.

    [I don’t know if Bishop Paprocki reads this blog, but just in case…]

    Thank you, Your Excellency, for laying out for your brother bishops so straightforwardly what must be done, and why.
    Thank you, Your Excellency, for dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, so that these public officials know what they have done and what they must do for the good of their souls.
    Thank you, Your Excellency, for not relying only on Canon 916.

    A question occurs to me, though: in the Ordinary Form, where (in many dioceses) Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are in use, since it’s not the normal (responsibility?) of the layman to refuse Holy Communion, is something being done to help them recognize these men, should they present themselves for Holy Communion?

  2. Traductora says:

    This is refreshing. Hopefully he won’t backtrack, ala Bp Tobin. Personally, I think Bp Tobin was probably forced to backtrack (but allowed to append a modified qualification) by whoever is his superior or possibly from Rome, and I hope the same thing doesn’t happen to Bp Paprocki.

  3. Semper Gumby says:

    Excellent. May Bishop Paprocki’s tribe increase indeed.

    That Decree is serious but it reads a bit like poetry:

    Now therefore…

    Well done. A local, tactical victory, but a victory nonetheless to build on. Time to pray for the wayward souls, get a swig from the canteen and a dehydrated beef patty, then once again shoulder Decrees and set out for the next village to give Grave Sin a proper bashing.

  4. Gab says:

    Bishop Paprocki’s decree is an act of Charity and of duty in persona Christi but sadly those politicians will take no heed.

  5. Chuck Ludd says:

    Pray hard for Bishop Paprocki.

  6. TheBackPew says:

    I will be driving through Springfield tomorrow en route to ordinations in Detroit and will offer a rosary and a chaplet for His Excellency as I enjoy the honor of passing through his fortress of faith.

  7. Pius Admirabilis says:

    Deo gratias!

    And, if His Most Reverend Excellency does read this blog: Thank you, Your Grace! May God bless you abundantly, and may the Holy Ghost give you strength to continue this battle!

  8. SanSan says:

    Yes, God bless this holy Bishop! May many others follow suit so that souls can be saved! Thank you Jesus!

  9. KateD says:

    God bless Bishop Paprocki and all the faithful priests, bishops, religious and prelates of the Church who have the courage to speak and live in God’s Word. They lead the people to Him by their example. We will continue to pray for those consecrated to Him who are unfaithful and do not proclaim or live the Word in fidelity and thereby lead their flocks astray.

    “So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” ~Matthew 10:32-33

    And then he continues:

    “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.” ~Matthew 10:34-39

    So there you have it.

    Sheep can be difficult. That crozier isn’t just for looks! In this announcement the Bishop has been kind and is gently calling his wandering sheep in. But at a point, some sheep are obstinate and have to be caught by a heel. Others will charge and threaten the shepherd, they try to establish them self as the leader of the sheep and seek to lead them where they think is best… that’s when the crozier comes in handy. Seriously, every Bishop should be, at some point in his
    formation, made to actually herd sheep…so much of Jesus’ analogy has been missed by our modern bishops. Can’t work the real sheep? No miter for you! NEXT!

  10. bookworm says:

    “is something being done to help them recognize these men, should they present themselves for Holy Communion?”

    The legislative leaders cited by name in the Canon 915 decree are frequently in the news and are likely recognizable to many Springfield residents — particularly Speaker Madigan, who has held his seat for 30+ years, is known to dine every night at the same restaurant on session days, and has long been cited as the real “power behind the throne” in Illinois (Democrat) politics. I would recognize either him or Sen. Pres. Cullerton on sight, and I’m not that good at remembering faces. Most of the legislators affected live in the Chicago metro area anyway and rarely, if ever, attend Mass in Springfield so I don’t think the issue is likely to come up here.

    There’s also more to report…. in his column in the diocesan newspaper/magazine Catholic Times, the Bishop cites Lincoln’s House Divided Speech and his conviction that the nation could not endure “half slave and half free”. The Bishop states that today, the nation “cannot endure, permanently, half pro abortion and half pro-life. It will become ‘all one thing, or all the other’.” The column is in the print version and was not yet online last I looked, but should be up fairly soon. Visit ct.dio.org and click the link to Catholic Times.

  11. Thank you Bishop Paprocki. Hold fast.

  12. CasaSanBruno says:

    Bp. Paprocki is a man of God: fearless, prayerful, intelligent. I pray that the other 2,999 bishops follow his lead.

  13. John21 says:

    This reminds me of an anti-abortion bill that could’ve passed the US Senate had each Catholic voted in favor…

    Meanwhile, the fine people at 40 Days for Life recently announced that the 100th Planned Parenthood facility has closed in this country. I think they keep track of the ones that they “target” with their 40-day prayer vigils & fasting campaigns. God can still act even when our politicians and courts push against Him!

  14. bookworm says:

    Additionally, it would be fairly easy to match up names and faces by going to the http://www.ilga.gov website, checking the voting record for SB 25, then going to the “Members” link for pictures and short bios of House and Senate members.

    Senate vote record is here:http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/votehistory/101/senate/10100SB0025ham001_05312019_113000C.pdf

    House vote record is here: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/votehistory/101/senate/10100SB0025ham001_05312019_113000C.pdf

    Don’t be thrown off by the “MHDCC-Psychiatric Exam” label on the vote record; that is a reflection of the fact that the original subject matter of the bill was mental health. It was later gutted and replaced with the text of the abortion bill.

  15. bookworm says:

    Oops, sorry, both those links I posted were the Senate vote record. HERE is the House vote record:


  16. JustaSinner says:

    Now, if this were Medievil times, local citizenry would disappear said ex-communicants. Sad, but let them argue their fate with God.

  17. bookworm says:

    Also, I am pleased to report that of the 4 House members and 2 Senators who represent areas within the Springfield Diocese and had given the Bishop their word back in March that they would vote against the (original) abortion bill, 5 of them voted no on the final bill; one voted present. Three were Democrats and three were Republicans. Don’t know which, if any, of them are Catholic. I haven’t checked the record real thoroughly but I would guess that few, if any, downstate Democrats — who tend to be much more socially conservative and are an increasingly endangered species — voted for this thing.

  18. KateD says:


    John21~ How about a 40 Days for Life held outside these legislative houses where they have voted for child murder.

    Bookworm~Post their pictures in the vestibules like criminals at the post office. (Note the principle oft used by my husband: Better to ask forgiveness than permission…ahem…it is the Catholic Church after all :D)

  19. tho says:

    Perhaps Bishop Paprocki would loan his backbone to Cardinal Dolan, and others like him, who sit idly by while Catholic politicians trash church teaching.

  20. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:


    There is, somewhere a site called


    but I don’t remember its suffix.

  21. comedyeye says:

    Bishop Paprocki was my first choice for Archbishop of Chicago.

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