FROM Frances Kissling
Pope Francis Expands Forgiveness for the "Sin of Abortion" Pope Francis says priests can forgive women who've had abortions, considered a grave sin by the Catholic Church. Over the next Holy Year, women who repent and confess can be absolved by any ordained priest. Reformers within the church see this as an olive branch in the divisive debate over abortion. Conservatives are framing it as nothing more than a bolstering up of the power of priests. Frances Kissling is the president of the nonprofit Center for Health, Ethics and Social Policy and a former president of Catholics for Choice . Photo courtesy of the Catholic Church of England and Wales
How Will Pope Francis Change the Catholic Church? Since Pope Francis was elected in March, he has challenged the Roman Catholic establishment, using words like “obsessed” and “narcissistic.” Instead of abortion, gay marriage and contraception, he’s emphasized social justice and the plight of the poor. But he hasn’t changed a word of church doctrine. Is he a liberal poised to come out of a theological closet—or a master of public relations, who can make hard teachings go down easy? He’s already an immensely popular figure worldwide. Will he change the church in America—and why should non-Catholics care? Pope Francis comes from Argentina. He’s the first non-European ever to preside over the Vatican. In just 7 months, he’s made a host of controversial statements in interviews with reporters—and he’s become hugely popular with Roman Catholics all over the world. We’ll hear a variety of opinions about his style, his doctrine—and his potential influence worldwide and here in America.
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