Catholic priest says 'pedophilia doesn't kill, but abortion does' after banning 44 lawmakers from communion

Reverend Richard Bucci defended his move to ban lawmakers who supported state's abortion rights bill from receiving communion at his parish

                            Catholic priest says 'pedophilia doesn't kill, but abortion does' after banning 44 lawmakers from communion
(Getty Images)

A Rhode Island priest who made headlines last week by banning lawmakers who supported the state's abortion rights bill from receiving communion at his parish has doubled down on his statement in the most spectacular fashion: by defending pedophilia.

Reverend Richard Bucci had passed out fliers to his parishioners listing the names of all 44 members of the legislature who voted in favor of the Reproductive Privacy Act that codified the privacy rights guaranteed by the decision reached in the United States Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade, and which was signed into law last Spring.

Citing '2,000 years' of Catholic teachings, Bucci, of West Warwick, said the lawmakers would not only be banned from receiving communion, but also from acting as witnesses to marriage, serving as Godparents, and performing readings at weddings and funerals.

The decision has already directly affected Sen. Adam Satchell, who represents residents of West Warwick, and who was recently asked to be his niece's Godfather. He had happily accepted the position but was not allowed to make it official because of Bucci's barring, reported WJAR.

He defended his decision following backlash from numerous quarters and hit out at those who had brought up the Catholic church's ongoing battle with allegations of pedophilia in the argument, claiming more children had died from abortion than had been abused.

"We are not talking about any other moral issue, where some may make it a comparison between pedophilia and abortion," he said. "Pedophilia doesn't kill anyone and this does."

If anything, the pedophilia comment has irked lawmakers much more than his act of barring them from communion. State Representative Carol Hagan McEntee, who had fought for the state's law to extend the statute of limitations for child sex abuse survivors, in particular, took offense.

"When he says that pedophilia doesn't kill people, well, he clearly doesn't understand," she said. "He should've come to the statehouse and listened to the testimonies because there are a lot of victims who are no longer with us. The injured voices that I heard — they've stolen their childhoods. They've practically destroyed their lives."

State Representative Julie Casimiro, who was also named in the flier, pointedly said that the "Catholic Church needs to take a look at themselves and ask why they are closing churches and losing worshipers" and suggested it had to do with "Bucci's most recent statement was that 'no one has ever died from pedophilia.'"

Then, in a Facebook post, she said the General Assembly should respond to his list of lawmakers not welcome in his parish by posting "a list of pedophile priests not welcome at the State House" and that it was "a much longer list."

Bucci called abortion the "slaughter of innocent children" and that no one should be surprised by the church's stance since it has been a pro-life one for more than 2,000 years.

"Now, I don't know what else I have to say about it, this is the teaching of the church," he said. "The Canon Law of the church, the Second Vatican Council, and the First Catechism of the church. I don’t know what more evidence I should have to present.

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