You can see an update to this story here.
Today's story comes from my home state: Rhode Island. A pastor at a church in West Warwick distributed a flier that contained the names of every state legislator who voted to protect abortion rights in the state last year.
Rev. Richard Bucci, 72, serves parishioners at Sacred Heart Church. He decided to celebrate the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling on January 22nd by passing out the flier to his parishioners on Sunday, the 26th.
Above the names of the legislators read this message: "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. In addition, they will not be allowed to act as witnesses to marriage, godparents, or lectors at weddings, funerals, or any other church function."
Bucci took full responsibility for the flier, which he also mailed to the homes of several of the legislators.
Speaking to the Providence Journal about the situation, Bucci said, "If they are proud of what they have done, why do they want to keep it a secret? 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?"
Rep. Carol McEntee, who lives in South Kingstown and is featured on the flier, angrily responded to the situation.
She said that her sister, Dr. Ann Hagan Webb, endured years of sexual abuse at the same church where Bucci serves (Bucci was not responsible for the abuse).
McEntee said, "This is nothing more than another vicious outburst by Father Bucci. He is unfit to be a priest, and I call on him to resign immediately. ...I also call on Bishop [Thomas] Tobin to withdraw and disown this notice and issue a full apology to all individuals who are listed in this notice."
"He uses last year's vote to codify Roe v. Wade as the excuse to send this notice. I believe that the underlying problem for Father Bucci and the Catholic Church is last year's passage of the legislation spearheaded by me and my sister to extend the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse. They refuse to own up to the crisis that they have created and the lives they have destroyed," she added.
The misplaced self-righteousness of Bucci would be funny if it was not so woefully ignorant and coming from, of all people, a Catholic priest.
I mean, if Bucci bothered to read his Bible then he might be familiar with what happens in the eighth chapter of the Gospel of John: "So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."
The Catholic Church is guilty of many sins, many of which I have covered, and some which McEntee's own sister suffered at the very church where Bucci now preaches.