Pope Makes Groundbreaking Announcement

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Pope Francis making a groundbreaking announcement from the Vatican today…  the pope says from now on, priests can absolve any woman who confesses to having an abortion. Fox News religion correspondent Lauren Green has more from New York.

Pope Francis continues his transformation of the catholic church…

Announcing Monday that all priests can now absolve a woman who confesses to having an abortion…

And the forgiveness is not only extended to the women –

 but also, their partners and medical staff who participated in the procedure.    

Monsignor Rino Fisichella / archbishop of Vicohabentia:

 (translated) “the sin of abortion is inclusive. So, forgiveness for the sin of abortion is all-inclusive. And extends to all those who are participants in this sin.”

The announcement continues a special exemption granted last year for the year of mercy — which finished Sunday —

 giving all priests – not just bishops – the power to absolve the sin of abortion.

But the church’s overall stance on the procedure won’t be changing any time soon…

The pope staunchly reaffirming his opposition —

 calling abortion, a “grave sin” which ends human life.

Pope Francis:

 (translated) “getting rid of babies before they are born, this horrendous crime: they get rid of them because it is better like that, because it is convenient, it is a huge responsibility – that is a grave sin, no?”

While the change has caused some controversy, most rank-and-file Catholics are welcoming it…

Many are calling the announcement another signal of the pope’s vision for a more welcoming and inclusive catholic church. 

Father Jonathan Morris / fox news religion contributor:

“no human action is bigger than god’s grace and mercy. And I think what he’s saying here is, remember, there’s always a new beginning.”

In the catholic church, those who procure or perform abortions face automatic excommunication… 

There’s no sign pope Francis is currently considering a change to that rule.  

In New York, Lauren Green, Fox News

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