West Warwick priest at center of controversy injured in crash

NBC 10 News
March 4, 2020

The Rev. Richard Bucci of Sacred Heart Parish in West Warwick was hurt in a car crash in Lynn, Massachusetts.

[with video]

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence said Wednesday that a West Warwick priest who became embroiled in a controversy over comments he made about pedophilia and abortion was hurt in serious car crash north of Boston.

The Rev. Richard Bucci of Sacred Heart Parish was injured in the single-car crash on the Lynnway in Lynn at about 1 p.m. Tuesday. The front end of the car was ripped apart.

State troopers said they believe the driver struck a tree and a pole, trapping him inside the car.

"The Diocese requests prayers for Father Bucci, and his family, friends and parishioners during this difficult time," a statement from the diocese said.

Massachusetts State Police said Bucci was believed to be at Lahey Hospital in Burlington. The cause of the crash was under investigation.

There was a somber mood Wednesday at Sacred Heart, where parishioners gathered for morning Mass.

"I'm really heartsick that this happened to him," said Jill Razza. "We were all crying and it was such a shock, such a shock. I mean he's had such, you know, hateful messages being sent to him."

Bucci last month infuriated survivors of clergy sex abuse when he compared pedophilia to abortion.

"We're not making a moral comparison between pedophilia and abortion. Well, pedophilia doesn't kill anyone, and this does," Bucci said to NBC 10 News.

Bucci was responding to a question about his decision to ban lawmakers who supported an abortion rights bill from receiving Communion.

The priest later clarified that his comments were "imperfectly said" and that if anyone supported clergy sex-abuse victims it's him.

Bucci also said he never meant to lessen the crime of pedophilia, but instead wanted to emphasize his feelings on abortion.


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