Sunday, 04 August 2019 13:33

Arming the faithful

Answers to questions regarding Bishop Paprocki’s recent decree

On June 6, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki issued a decree barring Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton from receiving holy Communion in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and advising all Illinois Catholic lawmakers who supported extreme abortion legislation to not present themselves to receive holy Communion. The decree came as these lawmakers showed obstinate and persistent support for promoting and advancing the evil of abortion.

House Bill 40 legalized taxpayer funding for abortion and Senate Bill 25 makes abortion a fundamental right, allows for the killing of innocent children up to the moment of birth, and requires private insurance to pay for abortion, among other anti-life changes.

Since the announcement, the bishop’s office and our diocese have been flooded with calls, letters, and social media messages — from all over the world — the overwhelming response supportive of the decree, despite what some secular media outlets conveyed. This includes roughly 400 supportive emails and letters compared to about 50 that were not supportive. Response on Bishop Paprocki’s and the diocese’s social media accounts were about 90 percent positive to 10 percent critical. That said, some have questioned the decree citing the separation of church and state, the historical clerical sex abuse crisis, how his action is pastoral, other important social issues, among other reasons.

If you have questions regarding this decree or have received questions from family and friends, you will find responses to many common questions and concerns, along with the decree itself, at This is an effort to arm you, the faithful, with more information so you can better understand the step Bishop Paprocki has taken and the rationale behind it.

Bishop Paprocki took no joy in issuing the decree. His effort is that of a shepherd. He wants these lawmakers to repent, to protect the integrity of the holy Eucharist, and prevent scandal among the Catholic faithful.