Thomas J. Paprocki
Thomas J. Paprocki
|Reference style||The Most Reverend|
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
|Posthumous style||not applicable|
Thomas John Paprocki (born August 5, 1952) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He currently serves as Bishop of Springfield in Illinois since his installation on June 22, 2010. From 2003 until his installation he served as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Early life and education
The third of nine children, Thomas Paprocki was born in Chicago, Illinois; he has six brothers and two sisters. A lifelong fan of hockey, he began playing at a young age in the basement of his father's drugstore and supports the Chicago Blackhawks. He graduated from Quigley Preparatory Seminary South in 1970, and then entered Niles College, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974.
Paprocki was ordained to the priesthood by John Cardinal Cody on May 10, 1978, and then served as associate pastor at St. Michael's Church in South Chicago until 1983. In 1981, he earned his Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law and founded the Chicago Legal Clinic to assist the working poor and disadvantaged.
Paprocki served as administrator of St. Joseph Church from 1983 to 1986, and as vice-chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago from 1985 to 1987. He then furthered his studies in Rome at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he obtained a Licentiate in Canon Law (1989) and Doctorate in Canon Law (1991). Upon his return to the United States, he was named chancellor of the Archdiocese in 1992, and later pastor of St. Constance Church in 2000. In 2013 he received an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.
On January 24, 2003, Paprocki was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago and Titular Bishop of Vulturaria by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following March 19 from Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., with Bishops Raymond E. Goedert and Ricardo Watty Urquidi, M.Sp.S., serving as co-consecrators. As an auxiliary, he served as Episcopal Vicar for Vicariate IV, and as the Cardinal's liaison for Polonia and for Health and Hospital Affairs. He is also a member of the Boards of Directors of the Polish American Association and the Polish American Leadership Initiative.
When Governor Rod Blagojevich issued an executive order in 2005 requiring all pharmacists in the state to dispense prescription contraceptives, Paprocki condemned the order in Blagojevich's presence, saying, "I am dismayed that our secular society has reached the point that individuals are being required by law to violate their personal religious beliefs in order to accommodate the selfish demands of special interest groups."
In November 2008, Paprocki spoke out against the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), saying, "It could mean discontinuing obstetrics in our hospitals, and we may need to consider taking the drastic step of closing our Catholic hospitals entirely. 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." In a subsequent interview with The Chicago Tribune, he reaffirmed his position, saying, "If Catholic hospitals were required by federal law to perform abortions, we'd have to close our hospitals."
When remarking about who was responsible for the sexual abuse crises in the Catholic Church, he said that the devil was the principal force behind the lawsuits.
In April 2012, he was named as part of a three-member board of American Catholic Bishops (together with the chair, Seattle's Archbishop, J. Peter Sartain, and Toledo's Bishop, Leonard P. Blair, who had done some preliminary work beforehand) charged by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) with a multi-year investigation into the U.S. Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). He coined the name of the Fortnight for Freedom, a campaign of the American bishops on behalf of religious liberty.
In September 2012, Paprocki told his parishioners that voting "for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy." His article went on at length discussing how the Democratic Party embraced objectionable doctrines.
In November 2013, Paprocki said that Satan was behind Illinois recent legalization of same-sex marriage and held an exorcism ceremony, during which he read the exorcism rite, "in reparation for the sin of same-sex marriage".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thomas J. Paprocki.|
- "Holy Goalie". USA Hockey Magazine.
- "Biographical Summary". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.
- "Bishop Thomas John Joseph Paprocki". Catholic-Hierarchy.org.
- "Pope Accepts Resignations of Chicago Auxiliaries, Names Three Others". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 2003-01-24.
- "Thomas Paprocki is named Advocates Man of the Year". Illinois Bar.
- Diocesian Bio
- "Gov. Blagojevich takes emergency action to protect women’s access to contraceptives". Office of the Governor.
- "Bishop Thomas Paprocki - Diocese of Chicago". Episcopal Spine Alert. 2005-04-16.
- Ertelt, Steven (2008-11-11). "Catholic Bishops Urge Huge Anti-FOCA Campaign to Stop Abortion Expansion". LifeNews.com.
- Brachear, Manya (2008-11-11). "Catholic bishops plan to forcefully confront Obama". The Chicago Tribune.
- Bruce Rushton (December 8, 2011). "Holy warrior: On the ice and in the pulpit, Bishop Thomas Paprocki takes hard shots". Illinois Times.
- Press Office of the Holy See
- Laurie Goodstein (November 20, 1010). "For Catholics, Interest in Exorcism Is Revived". New York Times.
- Goodstein, Laurie (June 13, 2012). "Bishops Defend Fight Against Obama’s Policy on Birth Control Coverage". New York Times. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
- Think and pray about your vote in the upcoming election, by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, Catholic Times, September 23, 2012
- Illinois bishop plans gay-marriage exorcism