A nine year old girl was pregnant with twins, raped by a step father. The previous Pope, Benedict, ruled that even though an abortion was required, this would exclude the little girl and her mother permanently from the Church. Under Pope Benedict, abortion was an unpardonable sin.
Now we learn Pope Francis has changed the rules. Abortion has become a pardonable sin. The new Pope has dispatched emissaries around the world to notify clergy they are to pardon those who have had abortions.
I must give a disclaimer here, I don’t understand why anyone cares what any Pope thinks is a sin or what level of a sin something is. People are perfectly able to figure out for themselves what they should and should not do.
I’ve tried to understand how this might change the thinking of a pregnant Catholic woman contemplating an abortion. Perhaps before this Pope’s change she would have thought she must keep the abortion a secret because she would be excluded from some Catholic ceremonies. Now, she knows she would be forgiven.
The odd thing about the Catholic faith is that its people look to the clergy to learn how and what they are supposed to think. It has been said on this blog’s discussion page doing the religion this way is rational because views are not all over the park.
This rather dramatic change, however, shows that if you get an out-of-the-box Pope. The faithful are instructed to slip out-of-the-box as well.
[A link discussing this development is found in comments.]