Pope relaxes forgiveness rules on abortion

VAITICAN CITY –– Pope Francis is making it easier for women and doctors to seek forgiveness for abortion, by allowing all priests to forgive it.

In Catholicism, abortion is viewed as such a grave sin that it can punished with excommunication.

In most countries, only a bishop can approve forgiveness for abortion. They would then delegate an expert priest to hear the confession.

The change is only for the coming Jubilee Year, beginning in December.

However, the rule relaxation will not affect Catholics in England, Wales and Scotland as all priests there can already forgive abortion without seeking permission from a bishop.

The Pope said many women who sought an abortion did so because they “believe that they have no other option”.

He added that he had “met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonising and painful decision”.

The easing of the rules is being seen as a shift in Catholic Church policy, reflecting the Pope’s outspoken views on compassion and mercy.

Pope Francis has described abortion as an “agonising and painful decision”.

“’I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to allow all priests for the Jubilee Year to absolve of the sin of abortion those who procure it and who also seek forgiveness,” Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis is aware that the decision will not be welcomed by traditionalists, says the BBC’s David Willey in Rome.

However, in contrast to his predecessors, he regards compassion and mercy as virtues that outclass all others.

The Jubilee Year runs from December 8, 2015 to November 26, 2016 and is seen as one of the Catholic Church’s most important events.

It normally takes place every 25 years unless a pope declares an extraordinary one to draw attention to a particular issue.

The Pope has previously denounced abortion as part of a throw-away culture.

“It is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day,” he said in 2014.

“Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as unnecessary,” he added.

Pope Francis has been viewed as progressive on other controversial issues. In 2013, on the topic of homosexuality, he said: “Who am I to judge?”

However, he has not changed Church policy on contraception.

Speaking earlier this year, Pope Francis said that although contraception remains forbidden, there was no need for people to breed “like rabbits” to be good Catholics.

Source: (BBC)

3 Responses to Pope relaxes forgiveness rules on abortion

  1. Maria Leclair
    Maria Leclair September 2, 2015 at 3:29 am

    He has his nose in everything except for where it is most needed. He should stop preaching what he believe people want to hear. He needs to start focusing on the pedophils within the Catholic church. He has to stop transferring pedophils from one jurisdiction/country to another when they are caught and start turning them over to the police. Instead he hides and protects them from being punished. How can anyone trust this man, who runs one of the wealthiest organizations in the world, lives like a king and protects pedophils? Can you honestly believe anything this man tells you? For all we know he can be a pedophile himself!

  2. Michael Burke September 2, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Pope Francis is a true servant of God and his people. He fights for human dignity and the sanctity of life. He has always lived modestly – as a cardinal he always travelled by bus – and has shunned the trappings of wealth at the vatican refusing to stay in the usual vatican rooms and taking a small room instead. He leads by example, changing rules ensuring there are safeguarding responsibilities in each parish and punishing priests and others who disgrace themselves and have caused so much damage to those least able to defend themselves. He now offers solace and support to those who have taken the decision to end the life of the unborn children who will never see the light of day as he puts it. He certainly is rich – but not with money. His riches cannot be bought.

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