Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki

Birthday: 5 August 1952
Education:

Quigley Preparatory Seminary South, Chicago, IL
Bachelor’s of Arts – Niles College of Loyola University, Chicago, IL
Bachelor’s in Sacred Theology – St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, IL
Juris Doctor – DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, IL
Licentiate of Canon Law – Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy
Doctor of Canon Law – Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy
Master’s in Business Administration – University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN

Ordination: 10 May 1978
Episcopate: 19 March 2003
Facebook Twitter 217-698-8500 tjpaprocki@dio.org

Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki on the Issues

Viganò testimony

Supports investigating Archbishop Viganò’s claims
  • In November 2018, Bishop Paprocki called for for more action to be taken by the Church during the sex abuse crisis. He stated that bishops have a responsibility to “take care of our sheep” who are “crying out for some action.” (LifeSiteNews)
  • On August 28, Bishop Paprocki issued a statement saying Pope Francis’ comment about Archbishop Vigano’s testimony were “not adequate.” Paprocki said given the gravity of the allegations “it is important for all the facts of this situation to be fully reviewed, vetted, and carefully considered.” Pope Francis should “make public the pertinent files indicating who knew what and when about Archbishop McCormick.” (LifeSiteNews)

Amoris Laetitia

Does not allow Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics
  • Bishop Paprocki defended Archbishop Charles Chaput’s guidelines on communion for the divorced and remarried after liberal Cardinal Kevin Farrell said Chaput’s guidelines were causing division. Paprocki pointed out that Chaput’s guidelines, which disallow communion for divorced and remarried Catholics engaged in a sexual relationship, uphold long-standing Church teaching on divorce and communion. (LifeSiteNews)
  • Bishop Paprocki rebuked a homosexual activist in 2016 who said in a letter to the editor of an Illinois newspaper that persons in “irregular” marital situations can receive Holy Communion if their “conscience” tells them. The activist cited Cardinal Cupich in his letter. In an op-ed for the newspaper, Paprocki rejected that possiblity. Persons in “irregular” marital situations need to repent of their sins, resolve to live according to Christ’s teachings, and receive absolution in the confessional before receiving Holy Communion, he wrote. (LifeSiteNews)

Pro-life leadership

Not enough evidence collected on this issue
  • Bishop Paprocki said the annual Respect Life Mass for his diocese on September 28, 2013. After Mass he lead a rosary walk to an abortion clinic to hold a prayer vigil. (Catholic Times)
  • Bishop Paprocki said the Rosary and Mass at the 2010 Illinois Catholic Prayer Breakfast on April 30, 2010. The event featured many pro-life Catholic leaders. (Pro-Life Action League)

Homosexuality

Upholds Church teaching on homosexuality
  • In 2017, Bishop Paprocki issued a decree to all priests and staff in his diocese concerning same-sex “marriage.” The decree “prohibits same-sex weddings to be performed” by diocesan personnel or to take place in Catholic facilities. Paprocki’s decree also restricted people living in same-sex unions from “receiving the sacraments or serving in a public liturgical role” unless they have repented. (Effingham Daily News)
  • In 2014, Bishop Paprocki explained to 400 people what the Church teaches about same-sex “marriage” at a prestigious seminary in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. (The Catholic Telegraph)
  • Bishop Paprocki performed a public exorcism after Illinois legalized gay “marriage” in 2013. Paprocki said redefining marriage is an “unprecedented novelty” and the institutionalization of an “objectively sinful reality.” (LifeSiteNews)
  • Bishop Paprocki debated dissident nun Sr. Jeannine Gramick about gay “marriage” in June 2013. Paprocki defended Church teaching against the hostile, mostly pro-gay audience. He also revealed that his former secretary was brutally murdered by a homosexual activist simply for suggesting he change his lifestyle. (LifeSiteNews)
  • In 2006, Bishop Paprocki defended Church teaching on gay “marriage” and discussed the harmful effects of legalizing same-sex unions at a conference hosted by Loyola University of Chicago’s School of Law. (Catholic Culture)

Abortion politics

Upholds Church teaching on abortion politics
  • After the state of Illinois passed the Reproductive Health Act which declared abortion a “fundamental right,” Bishop Paprocki issued a statement barring Catholic legislators who voted for the act from receiving Communion in his diocese. Those legislators who have “obstinately persisted in promoting the abominable crime” will only be readmitted to Holy Communion “after they have truly repented these grave sins” and “made suitable reparation for damages and scandal.” (LifeSiteNews)
  • In July 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that union members do not have to pay fees to unions which they do not wish to belong to. The U.S. Bishops issued a statement disagreeing with the ruling, but Bishop Paprocki made a video saying he disagreed with them, pointing out that many unions give hundreds of thousands of dollars to pro-abortion groups. (LifeSiteNews)
  • In February 2018, Bishop Paprocki barred pro-abortion U.S. Senator Dick Durbin from receiving Holy Communion. In a statement, Paprocki cited Canon 915 for his decision. (Catholic Herald)
  • Bishop Paprocki co-wrote a statement in November of 2011 with the other five bishops of Illinois denouncing Catholic Governor Pat Quinn for claiming that his decision to present an award at a pro-abortion event was the “proper Christian thing to do.” The statement said Quinn’s pro-abortion stance is “irreconcilable with any honest profession of the Catholic faith” and that his action rewards those who kill children in their mother’s womb. It also said that “those acting in the manner of the governor should not be given special recognition on church property or at functions held in support of church ministry.” (LifeSiteNews)
  • While serving as auxiliary bishop of Chicago in 2008, Paprocki told his fellow bishops at the Fall bishops gathering that if Catholic hospitals were forced to participate in abortion it would be better to shut them down. “It would not be sufficient to withdraw our sponsorship or to sell them to someone who would perform abortions. That would be a morally unacceptable cooperation in evil. I do not think I’m being alarmist in considering such drastic steps. We need to respond in a morally appropriate, responsible fashion,” he said. (LifeSiteNews)

Contraception

Faithful to Church teaching on contraception
  • In 2017, Bishop Paprocki issued a statement clarifying who should refrain from receiving Holy Communion. Paprocki took a strong stance against the use of contraception saying, “Those who use artificial contraception should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives.” (Effingham Daily News)
  • Bishop Paprocki’s diocese sued the Obama administration over the HHS contraception mandate in 2012. (Journal Star)

“LGBT” ideology

Upholds Church teaching on “LGBT” ideology
  • In July 2017, Bishop Paprocki came under strong attack by liberal priests and bishops for denying active homosexuals Catholic funerals. Paprocki defended his stance by citing Canon Law. He claimed the criticism was proof that a “strong” LGBT lobby has infiltrated the Church, singling out pro-homosexual Vatican adviser Fr. James Martin. (LifeSiteNews)
  • In 2016, Bishop Paprocki wrote a strongly worded pastoral letter denouncing the errors of transgenderism, gender ideology and the absurdity of transgender bathrooms. (Catholic Times)

Liturgy

Promotes reverent liturgy
  • Bishop Paprocki said a Solemn Pontifical High Mass on the Feast of the Sacred Heart at Sacred Heart Church in Springfield on June 8th, 2018 (New Liturgical Movement)
  • Bishop Paprocki was in attendance at an ad orientem mass celebrated by Cardinal Burke in Latin at a Fraternal Society of St. Peter church in Rockdale, Illinois on October 20th, 2017. (FSSP)
  • In 2015, Bishop Paprocki invited priests from the pro-Latin Mass Canons Regular of St. John Cantius to operate a parish on the eastside of Springfield. (The State Journal-Register)
  • After the 2015 March for Life in Washington, D.C., Bishop Paprocki said a pontifical High Mass at St. Mary Mother of God church. Gregorian chant and several polyphonic motets were sung by the schola of the Lyceum School in South Euclid, Ohio. (Rorate Caeli)

Marriage and Family Life

Not enough evidence collected on this issue
  • In a 2016 video messages, Bishop Paprocki denounced the idea of a “destination wedding.” He explained that a Catholic wedding is meant “to include the community of faith” rather than be an “exclusive and private party.” Paprocki said Catholic weddings should be celebrated at a local Catholic church in order to “preserve the value that holy matrimony is a sacrament of the Church” since “the church building itself is a sacred place dedicated to God.” (Catholic Times)
  • During Lent in 2015, Bishop Paprocki called the film “Fifty Shades of Grey” a “morally offensive” movie. Paprocki stated that he “feels sorry” for those who have seen it because of the “very disturbing images” they witnessed. He said people should not watch the movie and instead “reflect on the true purpose of human sexuality and its relation to marriage, procreation, and family life.” (Catholic Times)

Education

Not enough evidence collected on this issue
  • Bishop Paprocki said it was “shameful” that Georgetown honored pro-abortion politician Dick Durbin in February 2018. Paprocki said the school ignored the Church’s “clear teaching” that Catholic institutions are not to honor politicians who are in defiance of fundamental Catholic moral principles. (LifeSiteNews)