The priest recently barred legislators who supported the Rhode Island state abortion rights bill from receiving communion.
RHODE ISLAND USA (The Washington Post) Catholic priest Richard Bucci of the U.S. state of Rhode Island said that unlike abortion, “pedophilia doesn’t kill anyone. He used this argument to justify his decision in late January to ban 44 pro-choice politicians from receiving communion in his parish.
“Pedophilia doesn’t kill anybody, but [abortion] does,” Bucci, of Sacred Heart Church in West Warwick, told the WJAR network, claiming that the number of children killed by abortion is higher than the number of children who have been sexually abused.
The priest, 72, distributed a letter to parishioners listing the legislators by name and surname. “According to the teachings of the Catholic Church for 2,000 years, the following members of the legislature cannot receive Holy Communion,” he wrote.
In addition, the 44 legislators who voted in favor of the Reproductive Privacy Act, enacted last March, will not be able to act as wedding witnesses, be godparents or perform any other function of the Church.
“Now, I don’t know what else I have to say about this, this is the teaching of the Church. The Canon Law of the Church, the Second Vatican Council and the First Catechism of the Church. I don’t know what other evidence they should present.” Bucci said, adding that anyone who permits or encourages abortion must be separated from the body of Christ, that is, from the Eucharist.
The remarks incensed several state lawmakers, including Rep. Carol McEntee (D), who was among those named in Bucci’s letter. McEntee, who grew up a parishioner of Sacred Heart, is no longer allowed to participate in weddings or funerals at the church. She said Bucci even forced her out of her cousin’s funeral last year, shouting for her to leave. Bucci has disputed that version of events.
“What is it that he’s trying to say? That my vote on choice is worse than what pedophile priests have done for decades? I disagree,” McEntee told The Washington Post on Tuesday. “I think what they’ve done is a lot worse. They’ve taken children and ruined their lives, and left the rest of us to pick up the pieces.”
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