BREAKING NEWS: Catholic Church Announces Shift On Abortion, Priests To Absolve Women Seeking Forgiveness

Catholic Church Announces Shift On Abortion
Photo Courtesy: United Press International

ROME, ITALY – September 1, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) – The Roman Catholic church has announced a major shift in its stand on abortion.

According to a statement released by the Vatican early Tuesday, Roman Catholic priests will be allowed to absolve women of “the sin of abortion” should they seek forgiveness during the church’s Holy Year of Mercy, which begins December 8, 2015.

“I am well aware of the pressure that has led women to this decision. I know that this is an existential and moral ordeal,” wrote Pope Francis.

“The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the Sacrament of Confession with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father,” the Pope said. “For this reason too, I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it.”

“May priests fulfill this great task by expressing words of genuine welcome combined with a reflection that explains the gravity of the sin committed, besides indicating a path of authentic conversion by which to obtain the true and generous forgiveness of the Father who renews all with his presence.”

Abortion is strictly forbidden by the Catholic church and can lead to excommunication. In the past, only senior church officials could grant forgiveness for women who have had an abortion.

Pope Francis’ announcement was first released on the Vatican’s website.

Back in March, the pontiff said the Holy Year of Mercy, which runs through November of 2016, would allow the Catholic church a chance to promote greater inclusiveness.

The statement released Tuesday seemed to reiterate that stance.

“The experience of mercy, indeed, becomes visible in the witness of concrete signs as Jesus himself taught us,” wrote Pope Francis. “Each time that one of the faithful personally performs one or more of these actions, he or she shall surely obtain the Jubilee Indulgence. Hence the commitment to live by mercy so as to obtain the grace of complete and exhaustive forgiveness by the power of the love of the Father who excludes no one.”



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