Pope Says Priests Can Forgive Abortion for ‘Contrite’ Women Seeking Forgiveness

popePope Francis has let it be known that priests can now forgive women who have gotten abortions, but only under certain conditions.

A letter released by the Vatican today about taking care of people in the Holy Year devotes a whole section to abortion, which starts out with a lamentation of “a widespread and insensitive mentality [that] has led to the loss of the proper personal and social sensitivity to welcome new life.”

His Holiness says he understands the pressures women feel when they decide to get abortions and how they “bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision,” and so he says priests should be able to forgive women who have gotten abortions, provided the following:

I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it. May priests fulfil this great task by expressing words of genuine welcome combined with a reflection that explains the gravity of the sin committed, besides indicating a path of authentic conversion by which to obtain the true and generous forgiveness of the Father who renews all with his presence.

You can read the full letter here.

[h/t Time]
[image via screengrab]

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