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Olympia Peccerillo wrote:

Hi, guys —

Good morning,

I am so happy to have found your website and hope to get an answer to a very confusing issue for me, one that the priest in my local parish is not responding to.

  • Can you please help me to understand the Pope's year of forgiveness for abortion?
  • If the Pope is in control, and is the one who can grant forgiveness for a limited period of time for a specific sin, then why did Jesus have to die on the Cross?

As I read the Bible, it specifically teaches that Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins always and forever. All that is required is that we repent. Jesus does not put a limitation on how or when we can receive forgiveness.

I thought we were always forgiven as long as we repented.

Thank you,

Olympia

  { Can you explain the year of forgiveness and if the Pope forgives, why did Jesus have to die for us? }

Mike replied:

Dear Olympia,

You said:

  • Can you please help me to understand the pope's year of forgiveness for abortion?

I found this article, written by a Catholic bishop that will give you a good understanding:

As the article above points out, what the pope is doing is:

  • calling the unbaptized who have had an abortion to be completely absolved of this sin by getting baptized with a contrite repentance not to commit this sin again, and
  • calling the baptized who have had an abortion to be completely absolved of this sin by going to Confession with a contrite repentance not to commit this sin again.

It may be better to think of this Year of Mercy as a year of encouragement to those who have had an abortion . . . to be completely absolved of this grave sin.

That said, even after this year of mercy is up, both baptized and unbaptized women, or men (who have been an accomplice in an abortion), are welcome to be absolved of this sin through the appropriate channels of grace: [Baptism or Confession].

Because many media outlets are on the far liberal side, your confusion on this issue is totally understandable.

You said:

  • If the Pope is in control, and is the one who can grant forgiveness for a limited period of time for a specific sin, then why did Jesus have to die on the Cross?

Rather than saying, the pope is in control, I would say Our Lord is in control but He has delegated His authority to the successors of St. Peter and has chosen specific men from generation to generation to administer the sacrament of Confession through which He (Jesus) absolves us of our sins.

As I read the Bible, it specifically teaches that Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins always and forever. All that is required is that we repent. Jesus does not put a limitation on how or when we can receive forgiveness. I thought we were always forgiven as long as we repented.

You are totally correct but it also says in the Scriptures that Jesus ascended into Heaven saying:

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Matthew 28:19-20

Implied in the Lord's Word are that His Apostles and disciples will do this because He (Jesus) is:

  • sending them into the World,
  • will guide them, and
  • administer His Grace through them to the world from Heaven.

This is what the priest does. No priest can forgive sins by his own mortal self; he [the priest] allows Jesus to forgive sins of all fallen believers:

  • through his earthly ministry
  • through His Priesthood . . . a sacrament He instituted before going to the Father.

I hope this helps,

Mike

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
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