Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) — Pope Francis is now allowing Catholic priests to forgive abortions.
In an apostolic letter made public Monday by the Vatican, the pope permanently extended this power to priests, meaning they would not need the permission of a bishop or special confessor.
Although priests in the U.S. and U.K. already had the authority to forgive abortions, permission was temporarily granted to all priests in the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
The pope also again condemned the act of abortion in the letter and called it “a grave sin.”
“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,” he wrote. “May every priest, therefore, be a guide, support and comfort to penitents on this journey of special reconciliation.”
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