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Mrs. Fuertella wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a lifelong Catholic, past middle age.

In the last year, I've been doubtful about some of the Church's teachings. A very recent question has me wondering.

  • Why would the Pope say that — for the period of one year — he authorizes all priests to render forgiveness in the sacrament of Reconciliation to women who have had an abortion who confess and repent of it?
  • Why only one year?

It's like he's declaring:

This is a limited time offer! Get in on it now!

Thank you for your help.

Mrs. Fuertella

  { Why would the Pope limit a declaration which helps so many woman who have had an abortion? }

Paul replied:

Dear Mrs. Fuertella,

What he stated has been open to much interpretation.

Abortion is one of those few sins that incur an automatic excommunication. This means only a bishop has the power to forgive this particular sin in Christ's name. Bishops may grant this power to the priests of their diocese, and in most diocese in the U.S., priests have already been granted this power however it is not the case world-wide.

What the pope is saying is that all bishops (around the world) shall grant this power to all their priests during this Jubilee Year of Mercy. When the year is over, if a bishop wants to take back the power invested in him regarding excommunicable offenses, he may, or he may decide to continue to allow his priests to absolve this sin.



Mrs. Fuertella replied:

Dear Paul,

Thank you for your fast answer.

I appreciate it.

Mrs. Fuertella

Paul replied:

You're welcome.


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