Pope Francis asks priests to forgive abortion

Pope Francis has told priests to forgive repentant women who have had an abortion.

In a letter to the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, the pontiff urges priests to express “words of genuine welcome” to repentant women who have undergone abortions, “combined with a reflection that explains the gravity of the sin committed.” He tied his decision to the yearlong jubilee celebration of Catholic faith, which begins in December.

“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,” the pope said in a letter addressed to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council.

The Catholic Church deems abortion a “moral evil” and “gravely contrary to the moral law.” A person who cooperates in an abortion should be excommunicated under canon law, although that person can be welcomed back into the church if the person is truly repentant and asks for forgiveness.

While the papal letter does not change church doctrine, it brings to the fore an issue Francis has talked little about during his papacy. In writing to Fisichella, the pope addressed “the tragedy of abortion” and said some people do not realize the “extreme harm” caused by terminating a pregnancy.

Francis also turned at length to women who believe they have no other option but to go through with an abortion.

“I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal,” the pope wrote. “I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision.”

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13 thoughts on “Pope Francis asks priests to forgive abortion

    • TO FORGIVE—OR NOT?

      A STORY

      ‘At one time a rich man called upon one of his debtors to pay up a huge amount that he owed. The debtor pleaded his inability. On the spot, the rich man forgave all. Shortly afterwards, the freed debtor grasped the throat of a man who owed him only a few dollars and demanded that he pay or else. The rich man, on hearing about this was angry and recalled the debtor to exact all he owed.

      The story was told by Jesus. He also said that God will not forgive us our huge debt if we do not forgive others their small (by comparison) debts. He should know. As the Saviour of the world “He paid a debt He did not owe; we owed a debt we could not pay.” His death on the cross was the tremendous price paid for my debt of sin against God. I am freely, totally forgiven.

      We need to reach out for that forgiveness and when we do, we will realise how necessary it is for us to forgive another human being.”……… Challenge, the Good News paper

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    • DOES John 20:23 MEAN THAT CATHOLIC PRIESTS CAN FORGIVE SINS?

      No, but try and convince a Catholic! LOL, this is the defining issue that made me leave this religion. I had just experienced the most incredible, beautiful, ‘FORGIVING’ encounter with the Living God after I had gone through months of praying and pleading for His help to overcome a besetting sin, and after sharing this profound experience with close Catholic ‘Defenders of the Faith’, was attacked and beset upon and told that my sin WAS NOT forgiven until I confessed it to a priest, because ONLY a priest could forgive my sins!

      And…..only recently these same ‘friends’ told me that they were still praying for the ‘salvation of my soul’…..19 years later! 😯

      https://carm.org/John2023-priests-forgive-sins

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    • “The psalmist does not say God will save us from death; merely that God will be with us when we walk through the shadow of the valley of death. The message is that we will not be abandoned.”

      Thank God! I know that He loves us…..and imperfect me It’s His love that sustains me, in good times and in bad—praise God!

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    • As ye believe, so shall it be. You will receive from God according to your faith. If you believe a priest can be an intermediary in your forgiveness, recognising this can only happen with true repentance, so it will be.

      How many times does Jesus tell us it’s no good expecting something without believing it will be so? Even if our faith is as small as a mustard seed. Count the number of times he talks about this. That doesn’t mean we can just get whatever we want, regardless – our hearts must be in the right place.

      Sometimes it’s hard to accept something like that, thinking we are deceiving ourselves, unless we can hear it from another person.You may be one who feels a direct connection to God, but if not, a priest can really be His servant in this.

      Not that they always have been. Or are now.

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      • As ye believe, so shall it be.

        Of course this applies to the person who is contemplating the scriptures and trying to understand what is required from them; not the person who is just following tradition or their own desires. Many of the prophets pbut hit their head against the wall because people did not want to change their ways. Luke 11:39 comes to mind.

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  1. Well if there’s anybody qualified to lecture women about their bodies and reproductive issues it’s gotta be a celibate old man right ?

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      • In fact a celibate old man might be better than a man who thinks he owns his own woman.

        Or better than one who quotes Paul as saying wives should obey their husbands, while forgetting he also said that husbands should honour their wives.

        In like manner he advised ‘Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord’. And how many stop there, forgetting to complete the quote – ‘Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.’

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      • Like Pauline, I ask ‘Please explain’. I’m presuming the ‘he’ is Paul? Who is the chauvinistic old busy-body?

        I’m a bear of very little brain. Sorry.

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      • Here’s a hint it would be the guy at the top of the page. You know the one who believes that if a woman has a pregnancy terminated (no matter what her personal or medical circumstances) then she should be repentant and ask a man for forgiveness,

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