Pope Francis extends permission to absolve women making abortions

Pope Francis is allowing all priests to absolve the "grave sin" of women who have abortions, extending special permission he had granted them in 2015 for the just-ended Holy Year of Mercy.

Francis wrote in a document made public Monday by the Vatican "there is no sin that God's mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart," while staunchly reiterating that "abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life," The Associated Press reports.

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