Unforgivable: Pope Francis Allows Priests to ‘Forgive’ Abortions
Pope Francis is allowing all priests to absolve women of the “grave sin” of abortion, extending indefinitely special permission he had granted for the duration of the just-ended Holy Year of Mercy.
Francis wrote in the Apostolic Letter made public by the Vatican on Monday that “there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled” with God.
But he also wrote: “I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life.”
Because the Roman Catholic Church holds abortion to be such a serious sin, it had long put the matter of granting forgiveness for it in the hands of a bishop, who could either hear the woman’s confession himself or delegate that to a priest who was expert in such situations.