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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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Pope Francis. Facebook

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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U.S. President Donald Trump to Prohibit Abortion Referrals by Family Planning Clinics

The administration plan also would prohibit federally funded family planning clinics from being housed in the same location as abortion providers.

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Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks at the Susan B. Anthony List 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala at the National Building Museum, May 22, 2018, in Washington. VOA

The Trump administration said Friday that it would bar taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring women for abortions, a move certain to be challenged in court by abortion rights supporters.

The final rule released Friday by the Health and Human Services Department pleased religious conservatives, a key building block of President Donald Trump’s political base.

The administration plan also would prohibit federally funded family planning clinics from being housed in the same location as abortion providers.

Planned Parenthood has said the administration appears to be targeting them, and calls the policy a “gag rule.”

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Abortion is a legal medical procedure, but federal laws prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman. Pixabay

The regulation was published Friday on an HHS website . It’s not official until it appears in the Federal Register and the department said there could be “minor editorial changes.” A department official confirmed it was the final version.

Known as Title X, the family-planning program serves about 4 million women annually through independent clinics, many operated by Planned Parenthood affiliates, which serve about 1.6 million women. The grant program costs taxpayers about $260 million annually.

Abortion is a legal medical procedure, but federal laws prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman.

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The final rule released Friday by the Health and Human Services Department pleased religious conservatives, a key building block of President Donald Trump’s political base.Pixabay

Abortion opponents praised the administration’s move.

“We are celebrating the newly finalized Title X rules that will redirect some taxpayer resources away from abortion vendors,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said in a statement. Although federal family planning funds by law cannot be used to pay for abortions, religious conservatives have long argued that the program indirectly subsidizes Planned Parenthood.

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A group representing family planning clinics decried the administration’s decision.

“This rule intentionally strikes at the heart of the patient-provider relationship, inserting political ideology into a family planning visit, which will frustrate and ultimately discourage patients from seeking the health care they need,” Clare Coleman, head of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, said in a statement. (VOA)