Misericordia et Misera 12: An Extension of Penance Faculties

john-8One notable bit picked up by various media from the Mercy Jubilee was the faculty to forgive abortions. This faculty continues from here on out:

12. Given this need, lest any obstacle arise between the request for reconciliation and God’s forgiveness, I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion. The provision I had made in this regard, limited to the duration of the Extraordinary Holy Year,[Cf. Letter According to Which an Indulgence is Granted to the Faithful on the Occasion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, 1 September 2015] is hereby extended, notwithstanding anything to the contrary. I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life. In the same way, however, I can and must state that there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father. May every priest, therefore, be a guide, support and comfort to penitents on this journey of special reconciliation.

In the US, confessors have long had this ability. I’m not sure how well bishops and local clergy make this broadly known. Pope Francis gets credit here for an initiative some bishops and conferences have already extended.

No problem also for the Holy Father to encourage the practice of confession to a priest of the SSPX:

For the Jubilee Year I had also granted that those faithful who, for various reasons, attend churches officiated by the priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, can validly and licitly receive the sacramental absolution of their sins.[Cf. ibid] For the pastoral benefit of these faithful, and trusting in the good will of their priests to strive with God’s help for the recovery of full communion in the Catholic Church, I have personally decided to extend this faculty beyond the Jubilee Year, until further provisions are made, lest anyone ever be deprived of the sacramental sign of reconciliation through the Church’s pardon.

Follow this link for the full document, Misericordia et Misera.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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One Response to Misericordia et Misera 12: An Extension of Penance Faculties

  1. Liam says:

    The nuanced technical bit for the last item is that it does not so much grant a faculty to the priests as validate the reception of a sacrament by the faithful in the context where the absence of such a faculty would otherwise render it invalid. It is a new instance of Ecclesia supplet.

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