Paprocki's announcement last week that he would offer prayers of "exorcism in reparation for the sin of same-sex marriage" on the day of Quinn's bill signing has drawn nationwide attention.
In a culture where the concept of exorcism is primarily shaped by a 1970s horror film, the announcement stirred confusion and discomfort, which Paprocki has declined to resolve. Even the Chicago Archdiocese's designated exorcist declined to answer questions about the public rite that is more often private.
In fact, some Catholics believe the ritual Wednesday could cast off more Catholics than demons. On Tuesday, 14,000 petitioners called on the bishop to cancel the event.
"It may be edifying and it may be raw meat for people on the Catholic right for whom this is a make-or-break issue," said Michael Budde, a political science professor who is chairman of Catholic studies at DePaul University. "There's always a danger of tying things like Christian ritual to politics of the day to the extent that you politicize liturgy."