The topic of abortion is not only a controversial one in politics but also religion. Catholicism strictly forbids abortion because it ends a human life. While many followers adhere to the rules put in place, it has been reported that Pope Francis has had a change of heart.
According to CNN, in an apostolic letter released earlier today, Pope Francis has given priests the power to forgive abortions. The letter which was made public by the Vatican, shared his personal beliefs about the controversial topic.
"There is no sin that God's mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled," he wrote. ""May every priest therefore, be a guide, support and comfort to penitents on this journey of special reconciliation," the letter continues. "I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion."
Due to the fact that the Catholic Church holds abortion as one of the most serious sins, it was long struggle for a bishop who could either hear the woman's confession himself or delegate that to a priest who was expert in such situations.
This decision comes as part of the Church's Year of Mercy, which ran from December 8, 2015 through November 20, 2016. The Pontiff says this was a chance for Catholics to "rediscover the core, to return to what is essential" and to "rediscover the youthful, beautiful face of the church, the face that is radiant when it is welcoming, free, faithful, poor in means but rich in love, on mission."
Although Pope Francis grants priests to forgive the sin of abortion, the Catholic Church's stance on the issue has not changed. While it is still viewed as a serious sin, Pope's blessing of forgiveness allows women who have hd abortions to be absolved of their actions and rejoin the church.
Pope Francis has been on a more forgiving path compared to other Pope's in the past and this latest move speaks to his intentions for the future of the church.
"God has no memory of sin, but only of us, of each of us, we who are his beloved children," he said. "And he believes that it is always possible to start anew, to raise ourselves up."
Do you agree with Pope Francis's decision? Let's discuss!