On Sunday, Pope Francis stunned the world with a letter giving priests the power to forgive women who’ve had abortions.
‘I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion.’
Mind you, Pope Francis still adheres to the Catholic Church’s barbaric doctrine, which insists that having an abortion is a “grave sin.” Still, this marks a huge change that makes the Church far more welcoming towards women — and which will likely allow many lapsed Catholics to return.
‘In the same way, however, I can and must state that there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father.’
As The Washington Post explains, Pope Francis first gave priests the power to forgive abortions for his 2015-2016 jubilee Year of Mercy, which ended on Sunday. His new letter makes this ability permanent.
‘Before the Year of Mercy, abortion was in a class of sins considered “crimes,” which required a higher authority than a priest to absolve. A woman might have to confess her sin to a bishop, for example, rather than her parish priest.’
Unfortunately, too many U.S. Catholics and other right-wing “Christians” would rather punish women than forgive them. On Monday Fox & Friends reported on Pope Francis’ abortion announcement, and drew quite a few scathing responses.
Pope Francis grants priests the right to forgive abortioin pic.twitter.com/zMhpioFGCx
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) November 21, 2016
This response to Pope Francis’ abortion announcement from a man who proudly calls himself “Deplorable Marvin” truly stands out. What kind of person calls the leader of the largest Christian church in the world — with 1.27 billion members — an “asshole?”
@foxandfriends Who does this asshole really think he is? Jesus Jr.?
— Deplorable Marvin (@marbenjes) November 21, 2016
Yet these other responses also give pause. The kind of conservatives who once groused about liberal “cafeteria Catholics” accepting some Church doctrines and not others are now hypocritically doing the same thing. The Catholic Church adamantly holds that its adherents must give a “religious submission of the intellect and will” to its teachings (CIC 752).
What part of the doctrine of Papal Infallibility do they not understand? If practicing Catholics had to accept the word of conservative popes like Pope Benedict XVI, then they also need to accept the word of more liberal popes like Pope Francis. As the old adage goes, “the Lord works in mysterious ways.”
@foxandfriends The pope is a commie, and now he is a killer.
— Steve (@Demshatetruth) November 21, 2016
@foxandfriends In the best interests of Catholicism a new Pope needs to be selected immediately. A Conservative this time not a Liberal.
— Xcaliber (@xcaliber12345) November 21, 2016
@foxandfriends Charles Manson would be a better pope than this guy!
— Mr Scrap Metal (@MrScrapMetal) November 21, 2016
@foxandfriends This Pope is DESTROYING Catholicism. He can’t just change the word of God to suit himself! Shameful. Needs to be replaced.
— Howard Barraclough (@1Howard2) November 21, 2016
THE WORLD IS
UPSIDE DOWN !!!!
— Maxie Kennedy (@ImForYOUAmerica) November 21, 2016
And finally, one tweeted response that brings up a valid point.
— Shiva (@shivabeach) November 21, 2016
Watch: Fox news reports on Pope Francis giving all priests power to forgive women for abortions.
In another segment, Fox News religion contributor Father Jonathan Morris assured readers Pope Francis’ abortion announcement is “more of a policy change than a change of doctrine.”
Featured image: Video screen grab via Fox News.