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Thomas J. Paprocki

Styles of
Thomas J. Paprocki
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Monsignor
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.[1] 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.[1] He graduated from Quigley Preparatory Seminary South in 1970, and then entered Niles College, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974.[2]

From 1974 to 1979, he studied at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, where he earned a Bachelor's in Sacred Theology (1976), Master's in Divinity (1978), and Licentiate in Sacred Theology (1979).[2]


Paprocki was

Paprocki served as administrator of St. Joseph Church from 1983 to 1986, and as vice-

Episcopal career

On January 24, 2003, Paprocki was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago and Titular Bishop of Vulturaria by Pope John Paul II.[3] 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.[3] 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.[2] He is also a member of the Boards of Directors of the Polish American Association and the Polish American Leadership Initiative.[2]

When Governor Rod Blagojevich issued an executive order in 2005 requiring all pharmacists in the state to dispense prescription contraceptives,[7] 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."[8]

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."[9] 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."[10]

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.[11]

On April 20, 2010 he was appointed as the bishop of Springfield in Illinois by Pope Benedict XVI.[12] He was installed at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on June 22, 2010.

in November 2010, he organized a conference on exorcism.[13]

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).[14] He coined the name of the Fortnight for Freedom, a campaign of the American bishops on behalf of religious liberty.[15]

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 .[16]


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