As the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy draws near, Pope Francis on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 directed that Catholic priests can now forgive women who have had abortions.
This was contained in a letter from the Vatican, where the pope stated that some women who fall under that category must have felt that abortion was their only option.
In as much as abortion is against the Catholic doctrine, the Pope urged them to stop focusing on hot button issues like abortion, contraceptives and gay marriage and concentrate more on being merciful and welcoming.
The letter read: “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,
“I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision,” he wrote. “I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision.”
He gave all priests what he referred to as “the discretion to absolve the sin of abortion” during the church’s upcoming Year of Mercy.
The chief spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, Joseph Zwilling, said: “That’s been the practice in New York for about 25 years.
“Pope Francis has made this universal with his announcemenllow Catholic priests to forgive women who have had abortions.
“I hope they know that they are not cut off from the church that forgiveness and reconciliation is possible.”