Pope Francis extends special permission on abortion

A worshipper presents Pope Francis with a photomontage of an imagined meeting between the pope and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end of a Mass on the occasion of the closing of the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
A worshipper presents Pope Francis with a photomontage of an imagined meeting between the pope and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end of a Mass on the occasion of the closing of the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is allowing all priests to absolve the “grave sin” of women who have abortions, extending special permission he had granted them in 2015 for the just-ended Holy Year of Mercy.

Francis wrote in a document made public Monday by the Vatican “there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart,” while staunchly reiterating that “abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life.”

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