Pope Francis said in a letter published by the Vatican on Tuesday that priests would now have the discretion to forgive women who’ve had abortions, at least during Holy Year. The directive is a somewhat shocking Church change that upends the previous practice of near-automatic excommunication for those who’ve undergone the procedure. Reuters reported the pontiff said he’s “met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision,” and he’s been convinced of the suffering of their “existential and moral ordeal,” that he’s pressing forward the change. Many women, the Pope said, “believe that they have no other option.” “I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it,” the letter said.

Article here