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)