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Pope Francis Breaks New Ground by Extending Abortion-Forgiving Powers to all Priests

Catholic doctrine has always frowned upon abortion, considering it a grave sin that warrants excommunication

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Vatican City, November 21, 2016: Pope Francis on Monday said priests would now be able to absolve the sin of abortion indefinitely.

The decision was published in the Apostolic letter “Misericordia et Miseria,” which was released following the conclusion of the Catholic Jubilee year of mercy on Sunday, EFE news reported.

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“Lest any obstacle arise between the request for reconciliation and God’s forgiveness, I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion,” he wrote.

Catholic doctrine has always frowned upon abortion, considering it a grave sin that warrants excommunication.

Pope Francis acknowledged this, but said he believed there was no sin that God’s mercy could not reach.

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“May every priest, therefore, be a guide, support and comfort to penitents on this journey of special reconciliation,” read the document.

This letter, in which he invited believers to extend their time of pardon, reconciliation and charity towards those who need it most, also included other rulings authorised during the Jubilee, such as the absolution of priests of the Society of Saint Pius X.

The society rejected the reforms introduced by the Second Vatican Council, for which it has been stripped of canonical authority and legitimacy within the Church since 1988.

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The Pope wrote that all people have their own histories and burdens and deserved mercy.

“This demands, especially of priests, a careful, profound and far-sighted spiritual discernment, so that everyone, none excluded, can feel accepted by God,” he said. (IANS)

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Goodbye Holy Smoke, Vatican City bans Sale of Cigarettes

The Vatican, a tiny walled city-state surrounded by Rome, is one of the few states to ban smoking.

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sale of cigarettes
The faithful gather in front of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. VOA

Vatican City, November 10, 2017 : Pope Francis has ordered a ban on the sale of cigarettes inside the Vatican from next year because of health concerns, a spokesman said on Thursday.

“The motive is very simple: the Holy See cannot be cooperating with a practice that is clearly harming the health of people,” spokesman Greg Burke said in a statement.

He cited World World Health Organization (WHO) statistics that smoking causes more than seven million deaths worldwide every year.

Cigarettes have been sold at a discounted price to Vatican employees and pensioners.

Vatican employees are allowed to buy five cartons of cigarettes a month. Many Italians ask their non-smoking friends who work in the Vatican to buy cigarettes for them because they cost much less than in Italy, where they are subject to heavy taxes.

Burke acknowledged that the sale of cigarettes has been a source of revenue for the Holy See, adding, “However, no profit can be legitimate if it is costing people their lives.”

The spokesman said the sale of large cigars would continue at least for the time being because the smoke is not inhaled.

The Vatican, a tiny walled city-state surrounded by Rome, is one of the few states to ban smoking. Bhutan, where smoking is deemed bad for one’s karma, banned the sale of tobacco in 2005. (VOA)

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