Pope Francis extends Catholic priests’ power to forgive abortion

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CNN: “Pope Francis has extended indefinitely the power of Catholic priests to forgive abortions, making the announcement in an apostolic letter released Monday.

It continues a special dispensation granted last year for the duration of the Year of Mercy — which finished Sunday — which gave all priests, rather than just bishops and specially designated confessors, the power to absolve the sin of abortion.”

Opinion: Having once been a Catholic I was a bit confused by this news. Little did I know that only bishops had the ability to forgive certain sins, making me wonder if there are any sins that only the Pope can forgive?

And indeed, now that abortion has been handed to the priests, there are 4 sins only the pope can forgive:

  • Defiling of the Eucharist, either by spitting it out or using it in a Satanic ritual
  • Attempting to assassinate the Pope
  • A priest breaking the seal of confession by revealing details about a repentant sinner
  • A priest offering absolution to his own sexual partner

For Catholics on our website, here are two of over 100 Scripture on forgiveness. The OT points to Creator God to forgive sin:

Micah 7:18-19 “Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea.”

In the NT, it is only the Son who provides redemption:

1 Col. 1:13-14 For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Repentance, a change of heart and mind is required, not penance which is works:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

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