VATICAN CITY — The Roman Catholic Church will allow priests throughout the world to grant absolution for abortion, the Vatican said on Monday, making permanent a policy that Pope Francis announced a year ago.
In a document marking the conclusion of the church’s yearlong Jubilee of Mercy, the pope extended a policy of allowing priests — and not only bishops or special confessors — to grant forgiveness for abortion, which the church considers a sin. The announcement was a signal of the pope’s vision of a more welcoming, merciful and inclusive church.
While firmly restating his opposition to abortion as “a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life,” the pope affirmed 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.” The document, an apostolic letter, was signed on Sunday after a Mass denoting the end of the jubilee year. It was made public on Monday. Continue reading