Media Statement: Hope and Healing After Abortion
Pope Francis shares the importance of Mercy toward those seeking forgiveness after abortion
Garden Grove, calif., (Sep. 1, 2015) –
Many have seen or heard the news that Pope Francis will allow all priests during the Jubilee Year of Mercy “to absolve of the sin of abortion of those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it.” The Church teaches that a woman and those directly involved in an abortion incur a grave sin and separate themselves from the Church and God. Normally the sin of committing an abortion can only be absolved by a Bishop, or certain priests delegated by him. The Holy Fathers announcement offers a great opportunity to clarify that there is always forgiveness available in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) for abortions, and that most if not all U.S. Bishops have for many years granted their priests the faculty to remove the penalty of excommunication.
The hurt and pain that follows abortion are tremendous and heart wrenching. Both women and men are deeply wounded. Pope Francis stated: “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.” The papal announcement comes at time in which we will examine the ways we are to live out the mercy of Christ and be mercy to others. The upcoming Year of Mercy is rooted in reconciliation and will be a time to reach out to those who are lost in the woes of hurt and sin and offer the profound mercy and love of Christ who saves all.