This year is the jubilee year of the Mercy of the Roman Catholic Church, and it will end in a really merciful way.
Pope Francis, born as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the 266th pope in the history of the Vatican and the first pope from the Americas, was elected in March 2013. He decided to make this big decision and to send a very important message at the end of this Holy Year to all believers: God’s Mercy have no limits.
Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter with title Misericordia et Misera (meaning Mercy with Misery) was published on November 21st . “Given this need, lest any obstacle arises between the request for reconciliation and God’s forgiveness, I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion“, said Pope in the letter. This decision needs to send the message 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“, but is important not to forget that the abortion will always be considered as a serious sin, almost like a murder: “abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life’’. According to BBC, in 2014 Pope Francis spoke about this act as a ’’horrific” symptom of a “throwaway culture’’ which is giving no value to human life because ’’some human beings are discarded as unnecessary“
The right to forgive for this sin previously had only bishops and designated special confessors. This power means that regular priests now can give forgiveness and to able women to rejoin the Church more quickly. According to the Christianity, there is no sin which can not be forgiven after the true repentance, but this Pope’s decision makes this process a lot easier.
This act is just one more step in making the Catholic Church more tolerant. In the spring of this year, the Pope published 256 pages long document which speaks of marriage, sexuality, and divorce. This document is called Amoris Laetitia (meaning The Joy of Love) and it guarantees forgiveness to divorced or remarried without cold bureaucracy.
Reactions to the Pope’s act are positive. Experts are indicating that this declaration means a significant change in the Roman Catholic Church.
“He sees mercy as absolutely the key“, said Father James Bretzke, a professor of moral theology at Boston College, about the Pope Francis and his pontificate.