"Pope Francis has extended indefinitely the power of Catholic priests to forgive abortions, making the announcement in an apostolic letter released Monday.
It continues a special dispensation granted last year for the duration of the Year of Mercy -- which finished Sunday -- which gave all priests, rather than just bishops, the power to absolve the sin of abortion.
The announcement reiterates that the Church`s stance on abortion has not changed -- it is still viewed as a `grave sin.` But it makes it easier for women who have had abortions to be absolved for their actions, and rejoin the Church.
`I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life,` the Pope`s letter states."
The idea that any man can forgive sin, let alone a fraternity of pedophiles, is anathema to any person, regardless if they`re Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim or atheist.
If you grant a human being the power to forgive your transgressions, in effect your giving him power over your body, mind and spirit.
I don`t begrudge a person the right to join an organized religion, but this is the 21st century, and no rational person should deify a mortal to the point where he can absolve us of our sins.
The idea that a patriarchal organization that treats women like 2nd class citizens is being magnanimous by forgiving women who`ve had abortions is loathsome.
A woman`s decision whether or not to have an abortion is between her and her God if she`s religious, or between her and her conscience if she`s atheist or agnostic.
Certainly she should consult with the father of her unborn child, but why should she care what a celibate priest of an organization that doesn`t allow women to be leaders thinks?
If a woman has been ostracized by the Catholic Church for having an abortion, she should interpret that as a divine sign to leave the misogynist religion.
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