Reverend Richard Bucci distributed fliers among parishioners which contained names of all 44 legislation members who supported the Reproductive Privacy Act, which was recently signed into law.
After banning lawmakers who supported the state's abortion rights bill, a priest in Rhode Island has outraged everyone with a shocking statement. According to CBS News, Reverend Richard Bucci distributed fliers among parishioners which contained names of all 44 legislation members who supported the Reproductive Privacy Act, which was recently signed into law. Citing the Catholic Church's teaching, the flier stated that it would also ban these people from serving as godparents, being witnesses in weddings, and taking part in readings during weddings and funerals. Following this, he attended an interview where he continued his rhetoric and claimed that pedophilia wasn't as harmful as abortion.
Speaking to news outlet WJAR, he said, "Pedophilia doesn't kill anyone and this does." Furthermore, he noted that more kids have lost their lives due to abortion than said abuse. Unsurprisingly, this statement didn't sit well with many, especially State Representative Carol Hagan McEntee. The Democrat has worked on extending the statute of limitations for child sex abuse survivors in Rhode Island. "When he says that pedophilia doesn't kill people, well, he clearly doesn't understand," McEntee explained. "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."
Revealing the extent of damage it has caused several impressionable children, she continued, "The injured voices that I heard — they've stolen their childhoods. They've practically destroyed their lives. And the ones we still hear from are the lucky ones because they're the ones who are still alive; they didn't die of an overdose or suicide. You know, there's plenty of those that never made it long enough to come forward." Supporting McEntee, her colleague State Representative Julie Casimiro said, "The Catholic Church needs to take a look at themselves and ask why they are closing churches and losing worshipers."
Casimiro is one of the lawmakers whose name was published in the fliers. Hinting at the gross statement made by Bucci, she added, "Could it be because Fr. Bucci's most recent statement was that 'no one has ever died from pedophilia?' Fr. Bucci and the diocese need to take a look from within. They need to get their own house in order. The Pope should make a visit to Rhode Island!" Soon after distributing the fliers Bucci claimed that lawmakers were upset as their names had been made public, according to the Providence Journal. "If they are proud of what they have done, why do they want to keep it a secret?" he asked.
Priests like him help explain why people are leaving the Catholic Church in droves. Pedophilia destroys lives. Sometimes abortion saves lives. These lawmakers should just go to the Episcopal Church—or maybe just send this priest a photo of their best middle-finger salute.— Pamela Clare (@Pamela_Clare) February 11, 2020
However, making the votes public was not what concerned the lawmakers. In fact, one Democratic state representative regarding Bucci's claim as a "laughable" one since their votes on every issue is immediately registered on the General Assembly's website after being tallied. The problem, for some, was the divide it created between the church and state. Then there were others who were unimpressed by the Catholic Church's hypocrisy and the way it handled its own pedophilia scandal.
They have a problem with the lack of respect for the separation of church and state, and for our votes on behalf of our constituents being punished by a church who protected child abusers.— Justine Caldwell (@Justine4RI) February 1, 2020
CBS News reports that McEntee has had a lengthy and upsetting relationship with Sacred Heart Church in West Warwick, Rhode Island. Speaking about the place where Bucci now presides, she alleged how her older sister, Ann Hagan Web, was repeatedly sexually molested by a priest there. Both McEntee and her sister attended Sacred Heart School from kindergarten through the eighth grade. Thus, she feels that Bucci's reaction to the Reproductive Privacy Act was more about her work with child sex abuse survivors than about the law.
"I just think it's concerning that this is the church that is taking issue with this, out of all the churches in Rhode Island. Personally, I feel this is a continued attack by him on me and my family because of what happened to my sister. And he's come up with this latest way," she added. Supporting this view, Casimiro wrote in a statement, "Fr. Bucci would love to have you all think this is about the codification of Roe V Wade. If it was, why wasn't the list published last year when we took the vote? Why did only a few lawmakers receive the mailing at home? This is retribution to the Hagen-McEntee family for shining the light on sexual assault within the Catholic Church and Sacred Heart, in particular."Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.