Pope Francis: Abortion is forgivable
Vatican: Pope Francis has declared that priests have the permanent right from now on to forgive abortions. His remarks come at the end of the Catholic Church’s jubilee year during which he had temporarily granted priests this power.
In an Apostolic letter the pontiff also restated that abortion was a “grave sin” which ended “innocent life”. Catholics who have or perform an abortion can be immediately excommunicated from the Church. A Vatican spokesman confirmed that “there is no type of laxness here” regarding the Church’s position on the morality of abortion, but that the power given to priests meant God’s mercy could cover all sin. “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],” Pope Francis said. “Mercy cannot become a mere parenthesis in the life of the church; it constitutes her very existence.
“May every priest, therefore, be a guide, support and comfort to penitents on this journey of special reconciliation.” Experts say that although the declaration may not have a practical impact, it is a shift in the Church’s traditional approach to abortion. BBC