A Rhode Island priest has announced he will block Holy Communion to lawmakers who support a pro-abortion bill.
Father Richard Bucci warned pro-abortion politicians that they would be denied Holy Communion if they attended mass at his Catholic parish, Sacred Heart Church in West Warwick, Rhode Island.
Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed a bill in 2019 that preserves federal abortion protections in state law.
Turnto10.com reports: Bucci told NBC 10 News Monday he placed in letter in the weekend bulletin at the end of January listing lawmakers by name, saying they should not be allowed to receive communion, serve as godparents, witness marriages, or serve in other church functions.
He said the news is not a surprise, since the church has been taking a pro-life stance for more than 2,000 years.
“This is pro-choice, this is not pro-abortion,” said Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee (D-Dist. 33).
On Monday, Diocese spokesperson Carolyn Cronin told NBC 10 the Church provides “detailed norms for preparation and reception” for each sacrament, but it’s “the pastor’s duty to apply them within his parish, in accord with Church law. This includes the proper reception of Holy Communion as outlined by the Code of Canon Law. Because the Church entrusts to each pastor the duty of teaching, sanctifying, and governing his parish, the daily pastoral and administrative decisions are made at the local parish level.”
Sen. Adam Satchell, who represents residents of West Warwick, said he found out about the letter from friends to attend Sacred Heart, calling it disappointing.
“I was recently asked to be my nieces godfather and I happily accepted,” Satchell told NBC 10 Monday. “My wife was excited, it was going to be her first godchild, and now we can’t.”
Several pro-life groups expressed their support for Bucci’s letter, including Rhode Island Citizens for Life.
“The question is why is only Father Bucci communicating that hypocrites are not welcome at Holy Communion? Why aren’t more priests and pastors reminding folks that God is not fooled by politicians who take part in a worship service and then pass laws where viable babies can be murdered for Planned Parenthood’s profit,” Crey Jeffrey said in a statement to NBC 10 Monday. “Both church and state should be promoting safety for all people not just for folks fortunate enough to be born.”
McEntee, who received a copy of the letter in the mail, called it a personal attack on her and her family.
She claims Bucci asked her to leave a family member’s funeral at Sacred Heart in December 2019 after saying “Good morning” before reciting the second reading.
Bucci told NBC 10 he told her she was not allowed to deliver a eulogy.
During the last two years, McEntee’s older sister, Ann Hagan, testified publicly before state lawmakers in support of the new statute of limitations law, claiming she was repeatedly abused by a former Sacred Heart priest as a child.
“If he wants to weigh the heinous crime that his predecessor committed on my sister, compared to what he believes I did wrong by voting for what I believe is right for the people of the state of Rhode Island, I don’t think they even compare,” McEntee said Monday.
Bucci told NBC 10 he will be issuing a response at the next weekend mass.
“It is appalling for Reps. McEntee, Caldwell, Casimiro, and Cassar or any other government official to rail against a religious leader for articulating the doctrines and discipline of the religion for which he has been ordained to teach and to guide,” said Barth Bracy, the Executive Director of Rhode Island State Right to Life Committee. “The attitude of these representatives may be appropriate in Xi Jinping’s tyrannical communist regime, but have no place in our representative democracy which regards elected officials as public SERVANTS, sworn to uphold the Constitution, including the rights afforded under the First Amendment, namely, to freely practice our religion unencumbered by the state or its agents.”
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