Francis calls on priests to pardon women who have abortions during the upcoming Jubilee year — overruling hardline traditionalists within the Catholic Church.
I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness.
Francis says he knew that while “abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness” many others “believe that they have no other option” and that he has “met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonising and painful decision”. He also calls for amnesty for prisoners in jails across the world who have repented.
The Jubilee Year has always constituted an opportunity for great amnesty, which is intended to include the many people who, despite deserving punishment, have become conscious of the injustice they worked.