Pope Francis has made yet another shocking announcement regarding a controversial matter.
Earlier in his papacy, His Holiness announced the church should apologize to all the gay people they have offended over time, and also ask for their forgiveness. "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?"
This time, Pope Francis has made an amendment to the church's views on abortion. An apostolic letter was released today that marked the end of the Year of Mercy.
"I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life. 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. May every priest, therefore, be a guide, support and comfort to penitents on this journey of special reconciliation. I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion."
This is a huge move for the Catholic Church, which has long held that abortion is a moral evil. Priests were granted permission to forgive abortions during the Year of Mercy, which was from December 8, 2015 until November 20th 2016. However, Pope Francis has now opted to allow this permission to continue in perpetuity.
"The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented," says Pope Francis.
This is a big step for the Catholic Church and another way Pope Francis is paving a more forgiving and inclusive direction for the future.
What do you think about Pope Francis' decision? Let us know in the comments!