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Pope Francis on Abortion

 

 


Women who had abortions can be forgiven in Holy Year

Pope Francis will give all priests discretion to formally forgive women who have had abortions during the Roman Catholic Church's upcoming Holy Year, in the Argentine pontiff's latest move towards a more open and inclusive church.

In Church teaching, abortion is such a grave sin that those who procure or perform it incur an automatic excommunication. Usually only designated clergy & missionaries can formally forgive abortions. But from Dec.8 to Nov. 26, during an extraordinary Holy Year or "Jubilee" on the theme of mercy announced by Pope Francis in March, all priests will be able to do so, he said in a letter published by the Vatican.

In the letter, Francis described the "existential & 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 agonizing and painful decision". He has shown no intention of retracting the Church's opposition to abortion, but has alarmed conservatives by taking a less forceful tone.

Source: Thomson-Reuters coverage of Pope Francis' 2015 U.S. visit , Sep 1, 2015

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Page last updated: Jun 16, 2017