The Sacrament of Penance and Abortions

Pope Francis has frequently urged Catholics to use the great gift of the Sacrament of Penance (Confession) and exhorted priests to be welcoming and compassionate to penitents. He has renewed this message as we prepare for the Year of Mercy, which begins on 8 December 2015. Recently, he has especially invited those who have been involved in abortions to find God’s mercy in the Sacrament and ensured that all priests will be able to bring penitents back into full communion with the Church.

I join with the Pope in his invitation and take the opportunity to remind our people that, in Australia, priests already have the faculty to absolve all sins and, in cases of abortion, lift excommunications.

May this Year of Mercy help all of us to recognize our own needs for forgiveness and healing and to build a Church together that is merciful like God.

+Michael McKenna

Bishop of Bathurst