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Tue Sep 1, 2015, 02:12 PM

 

Pope Francis Will Allow Priests to Forgive Women Who Have Had Abortions

Francis announced this today;

On Tuesday, Pope Francis announced that during the church's upcoming Holy Year of Mercy, which runs from December 8, 2015, to November 20, 2016, he will allow priests the discretion to forgive women who have had abortions. The move effectively lifts the church's policy that can lead to women being excommunicated for procuring an abortion, for the time being at least. In normal circumstances, these women are required to seek forgiveness from a senior priest who specializes in such confessions, which can be a complicated process.

In a letter from the Vatican, Francis called on the church to practice mercy toward women who seek such forgiveness:
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 fulfil (sic) 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.




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Reply Pope Francis Will Allow Priests to Forgive Women Who Have Had Abortions (Original post)
47of74 Sep 2015 OP
freshwest Sep 2015 #1
pnwmom Sep 2015 #2

Response to 47of74 (Original post)

Wed Sep 2, 2015, 01:04 AM

1. I told someone about this today. It blew their mind! n/t

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Response to 47of74 (Original post)

Wed Sep 2, 2015, 11:42 AM

2. It was a shock to me that abortion required a special kind of confession -- and it turns out

that this was because of a change made during John Paul's reign. Before then an abortion could be forgiven like any other sin.

John Paul's edict said that Bishops had to issue special decrees if they wanted to allow regular priests to absolve confessions of abortions. Otherwise, it had to be done at a higher level. In the US most bishops issued the decrees, but not in much of Europe.

So I probably wasn't the only one surprised by Pope Francis's announcement. The general practice in the US has been for regular priests to absolve confessions of abortion. So in the US, his announcement changes little.

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