Chaput Praises Pope’s Abortion Stance

"This action in no way diminishes the moral gravity of abortion."

Archbishop Charles Chaput. Photo | Jeff Fusco

Archbishop Charles Chaput. Photo | Jeff Fusco

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput on Tuesday praised Pope Francis‘ decision to allow priests to forgive abortion during the Catholic Church’s forthcoming “Jubilee Year of Mercy.”

“Pope Francis’ recent remarks on absolution for the sin of abortion demonstrate his commitment to all those in need of healing,” Chaput said in a statement released by the archdiocese. “With a special ‘Jubilee Year of Mercy’ set to begin in December, the timing is very welcome.”

Abortion is considered by the church to be a grave sin, and in much of the the world a senior church official is required to give permission for absolution. The policy has been different in Philadelphia, Chaput said.

“For many years now, parish priests have been given permission to absolve the sin of abortion here in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia,” Chaput said in the statement. “But the practice has not been common in various other regions of the world.”

Chaput added: “This action in no way diminishes the moral gravity of abortion. What it does do is make access to sacramental forgiveness easier for anyone who seeks it with a truly penitent heart.”

The Jubilee year starts December 8th, on this year’s Catholic feast of the Immaculate Conception, and ends November 20, 2016, the day celebrated as the feast of Christ the King. Pope Francis visits Philadelphia on September 26th and 27th.

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