When it comes to the pro-life movement, few groups have been as active than Roman Catholics. And that makes today’s news all the more interesting.
Pope Francis has officially given Catholic priests the indefinite power to forgive women who receive abortions. Historically, the responsibility of absolving the sin of abortion belonged to Catholic bishops, but Francis granted all priests this specific right last December for the “Year of Mercy,” which ended on Sunday. Today the Pope addressed the continuation of the abortion pardon in an apostolic letter and explained that while abortion is still a grave sin to the Catholic church mercy will be extended to those who repent.
“I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life,” the Pope’s letter states.
“In the same way, however, I can and must state that there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father.”
“May every priest, therefore, be a guide, support, and comfort to penitents on this journey of special reconciliation.
“I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion.”
Aaron Cline Hanbury is a contributing editor for RELEVANT. You can follow him on Twitter at @achanbury