Pope al­lows all priests to ab­solve ‘grave sin’ of abor­tion

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

Say­ing noth­ing is beyond the reach of God’s mercy, Pope Fran­cis told Catholics world­wide he is al­low­ing all priests to ab­solve the faith­ful of abor­tion — women and health work­ers alike — even while stress­ing that it is a grave sin in the eyes of the church to “end an in­no­cent life.”

In an Apos­tolic Let­ter made pub­lic Mon­day, Fran­cis said he was ex­tend­ing in­def­i­nitely the spe­cial per­mis­sion he had granted to all rankand-file priests dur­ing the just ended Holy Year of Mercy.

“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, the pope wrote in the 10-page let­ter, signed Sun­day, the day the Holy Year ended.

But, he added: “I wish to re­state as firmly as I can that abor­tion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an in­no­cent life.”

Ab­so­lu­tion had long been a mat­ter for a bishop.

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