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Pope Francis to grant Catholic priests right to forgive abortion

Pope Francis (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

Pope Francis (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

Pope Francis will allow Catholic priests the power to forgive abortion, he announced in a letter released Monday.

The letter states: “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,” the letter continues. “I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion.”