Vatican City, Sep 1, 2015 / 06:33 am (CNA/EWTN News) - In a new set of pastoral guidelines for the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has made some significant moves, allowing all priests to forgive the sin of abortion and granting SSPX priests the faculty to forgive sins.
“One of the serious problems of our time is clearly the changed relationship with respect to life,” the Pope said in a Sept. 1 letter addressed to Archbishop Rino Fisichela, president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, charged with organizing the Jubilee.
In today’s society “a widespread and insensitive mentality” has become an obstacle to welcoming new life, with many who don’t fully understand the deep harm done by the “tragedy of abortion,” he said.
However, Francis also noted that there are many women who, despite thinking abortion is wrong, feel that they have no other choice.
“I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision,” he said.
A woman who obtains an abortion automatically incurs a latae sententiae (automatic) excommunication, as well as those who assisted her in the process. Normally the sin of committing an abortion can only be absolved by a bishop, or certain priests appointed by him. read more...