Pope Francis Allows Priests to Forgive “Grave Sin” of Abortion: “There is No Sin God’s Mercy Can’t Reach”

National   Steven Ertelt   Nov 21, 2016   |   10:04AM    Washington, DC

In a new letter issued today, Pope Francis has made the decision to allow Catholic priests to forgive what he called the grave sin of abortion. The head of the Catholic Church acknowledged that there is no sin that God’s grace and mercy cannot cover.

All Christians believe that the forgiving power of God through his son Jesus Christ can wash away any person’s sins regardless of how horrible they are seen in the eyes of people. The Pope’s letter today puts that belief into practice with regard to abortion.

For Catholics, Pope Francis has declared that abortion, which remains a “grave sin” in the eyes of the Catholic Church, can be forgiven by priests for the foreseeable future — instead of requiring the intervention of a bishop.

“I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life,” the pope wrote in the letter. “In the same way, however, I can and must state that there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father. May every priest, therefore, be a guide, support and comfort to penitents on this journey of special reconciliation.”

The pope indicated he was extending the ability to absolve abortions “lest any obstacle arise between the request for reconciliation and God’s forgiveness.”

When it comes to abortion, millions of women across the world are silently grieving after regretting aborting their child. Regardless of spiritual views or denominational affiliation, millions of women struggle with a spiritual ramifications of abortion and feel a strong disconnect with God.

For Catholic women, the Pope’s new letter provides a new ability for Hope and healing and the chance to reconnect with God.

Responding to the letter, Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life told LifeNews: “The announcement of Pope Francis that he is extending indefinitely the faculties of priests worldwide to absolve those who repent of the sin of abortion is something we at Priests for Life both expected and gratefully welcome.”

“We who oppose abortion do not oppose those who have abortions. Rather, we embrace them with mercy and forgiveness. We have ministered to people who have had as many as 25 abortions, and we see that it impacts the entire family: parents, grandparents, siblings, and beyond,” he explained. “We will continue to provide training for clergy and laity alike regarding the wounds abortion brings and how to lead people to healing.”

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“We are privileged to facilitate the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion, Rachel’s Vineyard, a ministry about which Pope Francis has personally expressed to me his enthusiastic support and gratitude. Likewise, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign (a joint project of Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life) is one of our projects which, through the power of testimony, invites people to take hold of God’s mercy after abortion,” Pavone said.

The full text from Pope Franics reads:

Given this need, 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. The provision I had made in this regard, limited to the duration of the Extraordinary Holy Year,[14] is hereby extended, notwithstanding anything to the contrary. I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life. In the same way, however, I can and must state that there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father. May every priest, therefore, be a guide, support and comfort to penitents on this journey of special reconciliation.

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