The Pope has just issued a pastoral letter highlighting the guidelines for the upcoming Jubilee for Mercy or the Holy Year of Mercy. In the letter, the Pope gives faculties to all priests around the world to forgive the sin of abortion. American priests already had the faculties. Moreover, the Pope also extended the faculties to schismatic priests from the Society of St. Pius X which was founded by the heretical archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1970. This move is seen as an attempt by the Pope to further enhance a return of that group back to the Catholic Church.
On the topic of abortion, a woman who has an abortion (miscarriage not applicable) obtains an automatic excommunication or what is called “latae sententiae.” This can only be removed by a bishop via absolution. A bishop can give faculties to certain priests to remove it however. The faculties the Pope is granting will be only for the Year of Mercy. The message is clear: God forgives everyone.
I am hoping the lines for Confession will be big this upcoming Holy Year of Mercy!