Abortion and Mercy: Responses to Pope Francis's Remarks

AN NRO SYMPOSIUM September 2, 2015

What did Pope Francis say Tuesday in his statement about abortion and mercy? Is it any different from what the Church has always taught? National Review Online consults experts in theology, medicine, and post-abortion ministry.  


The pope knows that abortion is serious. He understands that many women are struggling with the aftermath of their decision (sometimes made under extreme duress), especially in light of recent videos that reveal the truth about abortion. The Church has always loved the sinner and abhorred the sin. And in a letter yesterday, the Vicar of Christ acted as did the Father of the Prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). He reached out with merciful arms to those who have “resorted to abortion” and offered the sacramental opportunity for reconciliation for “one who has repented,” and “approaches the Sacrament of Confession.” Pope Francis is counting on, and inviting the Catholic clergy to welcome back the contrite, hurting mothers and to help them understand not only the gravity of their action, but also the infinitude of divine mercy so that genuine healing and conversion can occur. Some of the greatest defenders of life in this present age are post-abortive women who are authentic witnesses. What is unique is that the pope “conceded to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve the sin of abortion for those who seek forgiveness.” In granting to all priests special authority to forgive the sin of abortion for the duration of the Jubilee, Christ’s Vicar has opened up the floodgates of healing mercy for countless women who have been wounded by the abortion industry. The upcoming Year of Mercy is a unique opportunity calling forth special grace. A good confession and a good confessor can start the life-changing healing process for many women.

Read more at http://www.nationalreview.com/abortion-mercy-pope-francis-remarks