Can someone whose had an abortion be a good Catholic?


Can you still be considered a good Catholic if you have an abortion? What about in cases of rape?


The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,” [definition:] “by the very commission of the offense,” and subject to the conditions provided by canon law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society
(CCC 2272).

If a person who has had an abortion repents, she may be reconciled to the Church through the sacrament of confession. Once sacramentally absolved, she is restored to a state of grace and may be considered a Catholic in good standing.

There is no exception for cases of rape. As tragic and horrific as rape is, it does not grant license for the murder of an innocent child. Someone who finds herself pregnant after a rape should go to a local crisis pregnancy center. The staff will help her find counseling services, and, if she chooses not to raise the child herself, put her in touch with reputable adoption agencies.

Recommended reading:

In Gentle Hands by Laura Stucky and Brian Kravec

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