Citing the 2,000-year-old teaching of the Catholic Church against abortion, the pastor of a church in Warwick, R.I. distributed a flier after Mass listing 66 lawmakers who "may NOT receive Holy Communion," and added that they are not allowed to "act as witnesses to marriage, godparents, or lectors" at any church function.
Revernd Richard Bucci, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in West Warwick, R.I., stressed that the politicians on the list voted to establish abortion in Rhode Island law last year, so they should be proud of what they did.
“If they are proud of what they have done, why do they want to keep it a secret?" Bucci told The Providence Journal. "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?” he said.
However, pro-abortion Rep. Julie Casimiro (D-North Kingstown) complained, "I think the General Assembly should post a list of pedophile priests not welcome at the State House. ... Being pro-choice doesn't mean you are pro-abortion."
State Rep. Justine Caldwell (D-East Greenwich) said, "the idea that they would be sending that out rather than taking care of their own house is just baffling to me."
Pro-abortion Rep. Liana Cassar (D-Barrington) asked, "wow ... does this mean I have to tell my goddaughter that I'm not the Godmother anymore?"
Rep. Carol McEntee (D-Narragansett) told ABC 6, "It's hate speech all the way. ... I think the bishop should promulgate rules and regulations that affect all parishes and not allow one rogue pastor to promulgate ancient rules.”
In a statement, the diocese said, "For every sacrament, the Church provides detailed norms for preparation and reception. It is 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.”
Former Councilman Joseph Gallucci told The Providence Journal, “Personally, if it was me and my name appeared [in any list that showed] the way I voted, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. That’s me.”
"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," Barth Bracy, the executive director of Rhode Island State Right to Life Committee, told local NBC affiliate Turnto10.
"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," said Bracy.