Pope Francis grants all Catholic priests power to forgive abortion
Leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis on Monday empowered all Roman Catholic priests to forgive abortion, a right previously reserved for bishops or special confessors.
The Pope who has demanded more inclusiveness and forgiveness in the Roman Catholic Church made the announcement in a document known as an “apostolic letter” after Sunday’s close of the Church’s “Holy Year of Mercy.”
The Pope said, “That abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life” but “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).”
He had already temporarily allowed all priests to give what is called “sacramental absolution” for abortion during the Holy Year, from December 8 to November 20, but Monday’s letter suggested that the change would last for at least the rest of his papacy.
He added, “I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion.
“The provision I had made in this regard, limited to the duration of the Extraordinary Holy Year, is hereby extended.”