Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic church has bestowed to all priest in the world the ability to forgive the sins of abortion contrary to the usual procedure followed by the church before a woman who committed abortion is absolved.
The 79-year old Argentine Pope wrote in a letter as the church marks end of ‘Holy Year of Mercy” on Sunday, November 20, stated thus:
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“I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion.
“I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life. In the same way, however, I can and must state 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 the Father. May every priest, therefore, be a guide, support and comfort to penitents on this journey of special reconciliation.
“The provision I had made in this regard, limited to the duration of the Extraordinary Holy Year, is hereby extended, notwithstanding anything to the contrary.”
For decades now, the Roman Catholic regards abortion as a great sin that those who undertook them or carried them are excommunicate from the church and can only regain total absolution by a Bishop if they acknowledge and confession their sin.
Sometime last year, Pope Francis had acknowledged what he described as the “existential and moral ordeal ‘faced by women who have terminated pregnancies and said he had “met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonising and painful decision’.
Meanwhile, he brought the jubilee year to an end by closing the bronze-panelled Holy Door in Saint Peter’s Square on Sunday. The Pope gave an interview in which he criticised abortion as “a horrendous crime.”