Pope Francis Outshines Republicans by Forgiving Women Who Have Had Abortions

Pope Francis
The Pope, once again, has moved in the opposite direction of the Republican mainstream, declaring that, as part of the Church’s jubilee year of mercy (8 December to 20 November 2016), women who have had abortions should be granted forgiveness: “The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented,” he wrote in a letter released today by the Vatican. The woman seeking forgiveness must express regret and contrition for the abortion.

The Pope explained that “I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal.” He went on to observe that,

“The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realizing the extreme harm that such an act entails. Many others, on the other hand, although experiencing this moment as a defeat, believe that they have no other option.”

One of the serious problems of our time is clearly the changed relationship with respect to life. A widespread and insensitive mentality has led to the loss of the proper personal and social sensitivity to welcome new life. The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realizing the extreme harm that such an act entails. Many others, on the other hand, although experiencing this moment as a defeat, believe that they have no other option. I think in particular of all the women who have resorted to abortion. I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision. What has happened is profoundly unjust; yet only understanding the truth of it can enable one not to lose hope. The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the Sacrament of Confession with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father. For this reason too, 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 for it. May priests fulfil this great task by expressing words of genuine welcome combined with a reflection that explains the gravity of the sin committed, besides indicating a path of authentic conversion by which to obtain the true and generous forgiveness of the Father who renews all with his presence.

The Vatican clarified in a subsequent statement that the Church does not “condone abortion nor minimize its grave effects.”

This is, as Sarah Pulliam Bailey and Michelle Boorstein write at The Washington Post, a “temporary ‘mercy’ window.” In fact, as some will no doubt note, this is far from an open-minded attitude toward women’s reproductive rights.

As The Atlantic tweeted,

Nevertheless, it is still by an order of magnitude superior to the Republican Party’s position, though such claims have already drawn criticism. Daniel Burke at CNN, for example, noted this afternoon that,

According to a new poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, 51% of American Catholics believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 45% say it should be illegal in all or most cases. In the hours after Francis’ announcement, Catholics on both sides of the debate were seeking to spin the popular pontiff’s remarks.

The remarks must be taken as they stand. Regardless of interpretations of incidents of abortion in the Bible, Pope Francis is saying that abortion can be forgiven. The simple fact is, no spin required, that this is not language used by the largely evangelical Republican base.

The Republican Party has long been waging a war on women’s reproductive rights as party of a broader war on women which includes job opportunities, education, and pay. Ted Cruz has gone one further this year: anxious to make himself relevant, he has declared war on Planned Parenthood, and even asked pastors to violate federal law so that he can score points with the Republican base.

Jubilee years have been decreed every 25 or 50 years since 1300.

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12 Replies to “Pope Francis Outshines Republicans by Forgiving Women Who Have Had Abortions”

  1. I was raised catholic. I thought all you needed to do was ask for forgivness, and it was given. I didn’t realize it was optional. Is it like getting a judge in a court case that you know is going to nail your ass to the wall. One million Hail Marys may take a while, but you might get to the light at the end of that tunnel. I don’t know one practicing catholic who even goes to confession anymore. So as much as I like Pope Frank, it’s still between that paticular person and their god, or ther conscious.

  2. ‘Kindness and Consideration’, Something we seldom see from Hate-Filled-Conservatives.

    I tell me Sons…don’t allow the GOP to remove Abortion Rights and tell them what it was like when poor women had no where to turn.

    Meanwhile…
    The Wealthy Mom’s merely took their daughters off-shore for an Expensive Safe Abortion!

    (Plus, Women have sought abortions for thousands of years! Japanese women used dry seaweed)

    Safe and Rare should be the way.
    Also, I’ve read how Teens are using IUD’s…which is simple, forget Pills and when they want to become pregnant it’s easily removed. That’s the way to go…

    Unless we sterilize young boys until they’re adults! Think the GOP would go for that?

  3. The only unforgivable sin is blaspheming the Holy Ghost/Spirit. All have sinned and fallen short of the roy of the Lord.

    By his stripes you are healed. We are saved by Grace. We all sin. We have all done things we are ashamed of. That does not condemn us to examination in the after life. Just ask for forgiveness, admit your sins, and don’t repeat them.

    We have politician’s that cheat, steal are fear and hate mongers, adulterers, drug addicts, alcoholics, worship money, and power, are homosexuals, lack a heart, dispose the most vulnerable among us; have the audacity to point there Volddrmort soulless, amoral, cold hearted fingers at the rest of us and call us sinners!

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Do not judge,least you be judged.

    Christianity is about starting anew. The only person who keeps looking back at out past and reminding us of our past is Satan and his minions. Look to the future and remind Satan of his future, aka Republicans. Whatever the…

  4. That’s all well and good, as it should be. However, he seems to have given the priesthood child molesters the same pass.

  5. The Pope outshining the Republicans isn’t saying much. It is a very low bar. A burnt out light bulb outshines Republicans.

  6. I doubt seriously if any of the cretins who throw temper tantrums about the Pope’s message will actually read his exact words on forgiving women who abort (too many words!)…

    …they’ll manage to mangle the message to suit their evil as always. Ho-hum. Moving on…

    (Frankie rocks! Keep it going, babe!)

  7. Forgiveness? FOR WHAT?

    In many ways this pope is exceptional, but his views on women leave a lot to be desired – to put it mildly – and until they keep their noses out of women’s bodies and give women the same opportunities in their church as they give men…

    I am fed up, sick and tired of the Catholic Church and religious right thinking they have ANY business in women’s health.

    The days of dictating to women are done.

  8. …if you look at when/where Pope Francis came from; his current level o’ liberalism IS miraculous…OK, so he ain’t in step with current liberals…live with it…

  9. I don’t need some man’s ‘forgiveness.’
    In fact, they should be begging forgiveness from every woman who has been held captive by their Pride and Vanity. Which is about every woman breathing and dead.

  10. Fuck Tha Pope (When It Comes to Abortion Forgiveness) Yesterday, when Pope Francis, whose papacy seems to be based on the principle of “Let’s not change doctrine, but let’s just not be dicks about it,” issued a letter declaring that for one year and one year only, all priests can forgive the “sin” of abortion and cleanse the baby-killing whores so they can get to Heaven (which is not where aborted babies go, according to Catholicism, but, hey, limbo babies are still adorable). – See more at: http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/?tw_p=twt#sthash.YiURyEvD.dpuf

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