During shroud display, Turin will forgive women who had abortions

With the aim of ensuring that the public display of the Shroud of Turin promotes conversion and healing, the archbishop of Turin has given priests throughout the archdiocese special permission to offer absolution to women who confess to having had an abortion.

The display of the shroud, traditionally regarded as the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, from April 19 to June 24 should be “a time of grace that translates into attitudes of conversion, the fruit of repentance and newness of life,” Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia wrote in a decree signed Feb. 18, Ash Wednesday.

According to the Code of Canon Law, “A person who procures a completed abortion” automatically incurs excommunication. Only the bishop or a priest he designates can lift the excommunication. In some dioceses, the local bishop formally has granted the ability to all priests, while in Turin and other places, the bishop grants the ability only on special occasions.

cruxnow.com/church/2015/02/26/during-shroud-display-turin-will-forgive-women-who-have-had-abortions/

This is good news!

What?
You mean a woman who goes to a priest for confession about an abortion can have forgiveness from some priests all of the time…and from *other *priests (like the ones in Turin) only on “special occasions?”

Is this true for a person who has killed an adult?

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Depends on what the local bishop has granted to his priests.
Each bishop is autonomous and can do as he chooses in such matters

Well, the woman has to be un-excommunicated first. Not every priest can do that.

No. There are only certain sins (seven, I think?) that incur automatic excommunication, and the penalty is meant to highlight the especially grievious nature of the sin, in this case, of one that our culture does not consider particularly serious. In order for a person to be excommunicated, they must be aware that it is an excommunicable offense prior to the abortion, and there are certain mitigating factors (being under duress, under age 16, etc) that would reduce culpablity so that the person was not excommunicated (although it still might be mortal sin).

Excommunication is a medicinal “punishment” - meant to emphasize the serious nature of the chosen sin and the urgent need to reconcile with the Church. In the case of murder, everyone generally recognizes that it is seriously wrong and so excommunication is not necessary as a consequence (though it remains, like abortion, a grave sin). In the United States, all priests generally have permission to lift the excommunication in the confessional.

This disturbs me greatly. A woman shouldn’t incur any more penalties for getting an abortion than any other sinner. I thought by excommunicated that just meant that the woman had to go to Confession; I didn’t know that even after the Confession they weren’t forgiven and absolved. Imagine being a woman who feels guilty about an abortion and wishes to confess only to be told by the priest that you are still excommunicated and have to appeal to the bishop. How devastating would that be. If that happened me, I’d feel totally abandoned by both God and the Church.

The post abortive woman is forgiven her sin,through thevSacrament of Reconciliation,thus bringing her back into the Church.

Apparently, in Turin she isn’t. She is officially excommunicated, except when the bishop feels like granting mercy and removing the additional step. That is what the story is about and what upsets me so much. Only on “special” occasions can a woman be absolved through Reconciliation alone. I didn’t think that an extra step existed and that is what confuses me. There shouldn’t be extra steps with Reconciliation.

I see what you are saying and I agree.

Same here.

stcatherinefan, The penalty is only incurred if the person is aware that it is an excommunicable offense at the time the sin is committed. They also need to be aware of the scope of the law. A person not aware of the penalty does not incur it

I say this gently because I realize that a lot of people regret their participation in abortion, but why should there not be additional steps to reconciliation? Is abortion really just like any other sin? It’s the murder of an innocent, defenseless child, before the child has had an opportunity to be baptized, by his very mother. I’m hard-pressed to think of a sin that is more grievous. Certainly there are situations the mitigate guilt. And God’s mercy is limitless. But all sin has consequences, and some of them are temporal ones like the fact that by committing them a person places himself outside the Church and needs to do something extra to be reconciled to it. We could probably come up with any number of analogies for ways this happens in secular life; i.e., situations in which seeking forgiveness is only the first step to making things right when we’ve offended someone.

It should also be noted that the penalty is not just incurred by the mother. Any person who participates in this sin (by encouraging, paying for, performing, forcing another to commit it, etc) is guilty of the sin of abortion.

God bless.

Just when you think the National Catholic Reporter is going to go out of business, a new version pops up with the backing of the Boston Globe.

This is just so interesting. So, if you know that abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication in accordance with the Code of Canon Law 1398, and you get an abortion, you’re excommunicated. If you didn’t know about 1398, and you get an abortion, you’re not excommunicated? Murderers of adults and child molesters really get it easy! The confessor can’t even force them to turn themselves in as a requirement for absolution…

If by easy, you mean they completely separate themselves from the source of all love and goodness and imperil their immortal souls by risking everlasting torment, then yes, murderers and child molesters have it easy. :wink:

That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. How would someone decide if they are aware of the penalty? Does a priest get to decide if they are? So if you go to a priest who is having a bad day or is a crabby confessor or just doesn’t like women, he gets to decide this? Oh and as another note, it varies by dioceses. I’ve never heard of this happening in the U.S. and it varies when it does.

I say this gently because I realize that a lot of people regret their participation in abortion, but why should there not be additional steps to reconciliation? Is abortion really just like any other sin? It’s the murder of an innocent, defenseless child, before the child has had an opportunity to be baptized, by his very mother. I’m hard-pressed to think of a sin that is more grievous. Certainly there are situations the mitigate guilt. And God’s mercy is limitless. But all sin has consequences, and some of them are temporal ones like the fact that by committing them a person places himself outside the Church and needs to do something extra to be reconciled to it. We could probably come up with any number of analogies for ways this happens in secular life; i.e., situations in which seeking forgiveness is only the first step to making things right when we’ve offended someone.

Abortion generally takes place under duress which puts it at a lower level of culpability than many other crimes. How about priests using their collar to sexually abuse children? That strikes me as a much more grievous sin than a desperate, poor woman who gets an abortion. And no there shouldn’t be an extra step. How awful to be a woman who regrets her abortion and seeks forgiveness from the Church but to be told by a priest in certain dioceses that they are still excommunicated and not forgiven?

It should also be noted that the penalty is not just incurred by the mother. Any person who participates in this sin (by encouraging, paying for, performing, forcing another to commit it, etc) is guilty of the sin of abortion.

God bless.

It makes sense to excommunicate people who are profiting from abortion but it doesn’t make sense to treat women the same way as you would treat an abortion doctor.

Well, they won’t be excommunicated. They don’t have to go through the semi-public humiliation of having to go to confession to a bishop. They are under no obligation to go to the civil authorities and receive justice.

Exactly!

Not that they have it easy, but they don’t have to go through more steps to come back.

When there are dividing lines like these, abortion vs. murder, we run into trouble. What if a woman does not have an abortion, but murders the child as soon as he’s born? According to this, she’d escape the penalty of excommunication, even though the newborn is just innocent and helpless as he was moments earlier.

They’re either aware or they’re not. If a person knows that the sin of abortion incurs this penalty and they freely choose to do it anyway, they are choosing to accept the penalty. If they don’t know the penalty, they still commit grave sin but are not excommunicated from the Church. The priest you get in confession doesn’t decide for you and it’s not recorded anywhere.

This is true, and in fact these mitigating circumstances you describe would also make it so the woman would not incur the penalty of excommunication (though abortion remains a grave sin).

This site might be helpful. ewtn.com/expert/answers/abortio2.htm

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