A theology professor explains that the Pope hasn't changed anything on abortion

A theology professor explains that the Pope hasn't changed anything on abortion

by digby

Well, not exactly.  But since women are assumed to not understand the evil that they do when they mercilessly murder fetuses, they can be forgiven if they properly repent:

As with other recalibrations announced by Pope Francis, the supposedly radical change in the Vatican’s approach to abortion is being dramatically overblown in the press.

In practice, it is very common to find in a church vestibule a poster asking women whether they are “hurting after an abortion.” And providing a contact to talk it over with a friendly pastoral adviser.

Women who have abortions are not hounded or shamed in Catholic churches; to the contrary, the attempt is made to communicate forgivenness and support.

And on doctrine, this is not a shift that is, in any way, shape or form, about whether or not procuring an abortion or performing one is an intrinsic, objective evil, the killing of innocent human life.

Instead, the Pope is emphasizing what is always true in Catholic teaching: that for an objectively evil act to be an actual subjective sin, besides being actually objectively and gravely evil, one must know it is objectively and gravely evil, and one must freely will to do it anyway.

The Pope is recognizing what most people in the pro-life community and many others already recognize. Namely, that sometimes an abortion doesn’t seem like much of a choice to the woman procuring it. People feel trapped by circumstances, and in such cases the guilt is not fully mitigated but somewhat mitigated, at least.

One can imagine such a person feeling even immediate regret and sorrow for the sin and also feeling victimized by circumstances. The Church wants to be there for that person, and the Pope is making it easier for the Church to be there.

The Pope is saying that the Church has an ordinary outlet for reconciliation and forgiveness, and that is the sacrament of penance or reconciliation.

So, the change proposed here is pastoral in nature, not doctrinal. It is intended to emphasize that the Church is an agent of mercy, primarily, and not an agent of condemnation.

In addition, all the usual conditions apply here. One must be truly sorry for one’s sins, all of them, not just this one, and make a firm promise of amendment of life.

he goes on to explain that all that's happened is that now local priests can forgive the dizzy broads who made this horrible error without really knowing any better without be designated by a bishop to have the power to do it. That's literally the only thing that has changed. Women who make the evil choice to have an abortion need to prove to a celibate male priest that she didn't know what she was doing and then perhaps she won't be excommunicated. So that's nice.