Thomas John Paprocki, the Roman Catholic bishop of Springfield, Illinois on Monday dropped the facade that the church's opposition is based on religious freedoms.

In an interview with Catholic radio, Paprocki admitted that the church's opposition is not rooted in how civil marriage affects it and its members.

“I don't want to give the impression that if we get enough exemptions into the law or enough protections into the law that would protect religious freedom that we would be okay with same-sex marriage,” Paprocki said. “That's not what we're saying here.”

“What I'm saying is, I don't believe that there is any provision that they could make that is going to allow for same-sex marriage to become the law without having some implication or some adverse fallout.”

“So just to be clear about that. We're not saying, 'Well, give us enough protection here for our religious liberties and we'll be okay with same-sex marriage' – we're not saying that at all.”

“The whole idea is really fundamentally flawed and is just unacceptable,” he added.

Paprocki added that the state could legalize marriage for gay couples but it would “have no moral meaning.”

(Listen to the audio at

(Related: Illinois bishop says gay marriage would 'harshly' discriminate against Christians.)