Sep 02, 2015 08:35 AM EDT

Pope Francis News: Priests Can Liberate 'The Sin Of Abortion' During The Catholic Church's Jubilee Year Of Mercy

Pope Francis, leader of the Catholic Church, has announced Tuesday that priests can liberate "the sin of abortion" to those who truly ask for forgiveness during the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

CNN Philippines reported abortion was viewed by the Catholic Church as a "moral evil." Under the laws of the Church, women who have undergone complete abortion including those who have aided them to accomplish the deed are automatically excommunicated, but, it also recognizes mitigating circumstances — whether she was forced to do so or not and her age.

Fortunately, Pope Francis has given a directive to all priests worldwide and authorizing them that from Dec 8, up to Nov. 20, 2016, as part of the Church's Jubilee celebration of the Year of Mercy, those who committed abortion will be absolved.

The Pope said, "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."

Pope Francis also made mention of the encounters he had with women who were subjected to such procedure. He said that those women he met carry carry a scar in their heart of that agonizing and painful.

According to The Boston Globe, The pontiff's call ushered in the efforts of the Catholic Church to extend a hand to those who have long felt estranged from the church as stated by some priests, parishioners and activists.

In a statement, Archdiocese of Boston leader Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley said that the decision to grant all priests to spread the power of forgiveness "has given the church and the world a great gift."

Rev. Richard C. Flaherty of the St. Anthony Shrine remarked that Pope Francis' message would demonstrate that the church's doors are open to everyone.

As for Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik, his thoughts about the message of the Pope was that people should pursue asking for forgiveness and that priests should be quick to offer it.

He said, "God's mercy is there for anybody and for any sin," as per Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

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