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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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Family Size Can Be Determined By Reproductive Rights: Study

To make freedom of choice a reality, the report urges countries to offer universal access to quality reproductive health care

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A community health worker holds up contraceptives during a lecture on family planning at a reproductive health clinic run by an NGO in Tondo city, metro Manila. VOA

Family size is closely linked to reproductive rights, according to the State of World Population 2018 report.

The U.N. report says people in developed countries tend to have lower fertility rates because of greater access to family planning services, modern contraceptives and age-appropriate sex education.

The director of the U.N. Population Fund office in Geneva, Monica Ferro, says in places where reproductive rights are constrained, either due to lack of resources or government mandates, people have a limited ability to choose the size of their families.

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Google suspends Ireland’s Abortion Referendum Ads, VOA

“Many sub-Saharan African countries, for example, have fertility rates of four or more births per woman,” Ferro said. “At the other end of the spectrum, you have some eastern Asian and European countries with fewer than two births per women. In both cases, individuals face obstacles to the full realization of their reproductive rights.”

The world population is expected to increase by 2.5 billion by 2050, to nearly 10 billion people, with sub-Saharan Africa expected to contribute more than half of that growth.

Women in Africa must overcome many legal and social barriers to achieve control of their fertility, Ferro said.

reproductive rights
Women in Africa must overcome many legal and social barriers to achieve control of their fertility.

“Women may not have the access to medical services,” she told VOA. “They may not have the access to child care. They may not have access to all the institutional and social support that comes with being ready or being able to plan your fertility.”

Also Read: Brisbane, Australia Protests Against Plans To Decriminalise Abortion

To make freedom of choice a reality, the report urges countries to offer universal access to quality reproductive health care, including modern contraceptives and better education.

It also advocates for a change in men’s attitudes toward a woman’s right to choose the number, timing and spacing of children. (VOA)