‘Pedophilia didn’t kill anyone’: Priest defends denying communion to lawmakers for abortion rights
A priest claimed that unlike abortion, “pedophilia doesn’t kill anyone,” days after barring lawmakers who support abortion rights from attending church events and getting communion from his parish in Rhode Island, United States.
Rev. Richard Bucci of the Sacred Heart Church maintained this stance, saying others might compare abortion to pedophilia, a controversy which has been hounding the Catholic Church for a long time.
“We are not talking about any other moral issue, where some may make it a comparison between pedophilia and abortion. Pedophilia doesn’t kill anyone and this does,” Bucci told NBC-affiliate WJAR on Feb. 10.
The 72-year-old priest added that abortion is the slaughter of innocent children, claiming that more have been killed by abortion than there are children who have been sexually abused.
Bucci distributed fliers last week where he called out each lawmaker who last year voted to preserve the right to an abortion in the state, as per local paper Providence Journal on Feb. 1.
“In accord with the teaching of the Catholic Church for 2,000 years, the following members of the legislature may NOT receive Holy Communion, as are all the officers of the state of Rhode Island, as well as Rhode Island’s members of Congress,” the fliers were quoted as stating.
These legislators would not be allowed to act as witnesses to marriage, godparents or lectors at any church functions, according to the report.
Child sexual abuse and suicide
Amid Bucci’s claim that “pedophilia doesn’t kill anyone”, studies have found out that child abuse has been linked to deaths, mainly through suicide.
For one, a study by experts from the University of Manchester and University of South Wales concluded that people who were sexually abused as children are three times more likely to commit suicide.
The research, published in Psychological Medicine early last year, showed that children who experienced multiple abuses (sexual, mental, emotional, physical) are five times more likely to take their own lives.
The study highlighted another research in 2010 which found that between 1964 and 1995, people who had been sexually abused are 18 times more likely to commit suicide.
Bucci stressed that he is acting in accordance with the Canon Law of the Church.
“If they are proud of what they have done, why do they want to keep it a secret?” the priest was quoted as saying about the legislators. “We all hear about responsibility. Let them take responsibility. If they think this is a good and wholesome and holy thing … they should be proud of it, and why should I hide that from my parishioners?”
Democratic state representative Justine Caldwell meanwhile refuted Bucci’s claim of lawmakers hiding their votes, calling the Church’s defense as “laughable.”
“None of our votes are hidden – I campaigned on this issue! If they just wanted to do a PSA, they didn’t have to say we couldn’t be godparents or receive communion. No one has a problem with their votes on the record,” she said on Twitter on Feb. 2.
“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,” she said in her following tweet.
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
The priest’s decision to publicly call out the legislators came shortly after the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark case in the U.S. back in 1973 that gave pregnant women the option to have an abortion. Ian Biong/NVG
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