Forgive and Repent: The Pope Forgives Abortions


The Pope announced that all priests are now allowed to forgive abortions.

Natalia Rodriguez, Staff Writer

The Vatican has long been known to have a rather unforgiving stance when it comes to abortion. Since the very beginning of its existence, the Catholic Church has considered abortion to be a “moral evil,” and believed that performing an abortion is equivalent to murder. However, Pope Francis recently wrote an apostolic letter changing the way the Catholic Church deals with abortion; all Catholic priests are now allowed to forgive abortions.

This change in the Roman Catholic Church does not alter their pre-existing beliefs on abortion itself. Abortion is still regarded as a “grave sin,” and getting an abortion results in excommunication; Pope Francis reaffirmed the Vatican’s opposition. Previously, only bishops and specially designated confessors were granted the right to forgive abortions, making it difficult for women to seek forgiveness. With the new policy, it is now easier for those women to rejoin the church since they can consult their local priest. Internationally, some communities made the process of absolving an abortion long and complicated with frequent delays and, often times, rejection.

“I like to think that God is the most forgiving person in the universe. If people want to do what they want with their bodies it should be their choice and in the end god is the only one to judge. I think it’s a great thing – I support it completely,” senior Gaby Vega said.

This new policy is a part of the Vatican’s “Jubilee of Mercy” (also referred to as the Year of Mercy), an initiative to make the Catholic Church a more merciful and welcoming institution. This year-long endeavor makes it easier for observant catholics, who may have sinned, to rejoin the Church. Emphasizing God’s forgiving nature, the Year of Mercy promotes a unified church, allowing those who had been rejected, to reconcile and rejoin. The new policy is also represents how the Vatican has become more forgiving under Pope Francis.

Pope Francis’ new policy on abortion and forgiveness embodies the positive changes in the Roman Catholic Church. With a more inclusive, welcoming, and merciful institution, Catholics now see a more positive future for the Church and its followers.