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lascuba

Pope Francis tells priests to forgive abortion

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lascuba

http://www.ibtimes.com/pope-francis-for ... en-2076989

It's been a long time since my Catholic school days, but since when has this hierarchy of forgiveness been a thing, with certain sins requiring special forgiveness from a bishop? (I'll refrain from mentioning how easily pedophile priests are forgiven. *Cough*) I thought it was confess to a priest for everything.

I know this is meant to be one of those things where I'm supposed to be impressed at how cool this Pope is, but no. Fuck this guy and his brilliant PR team.

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kpmom

Agree 1000% lascuba. Not impressed at all.

So friggin' nice of him to forgive women, but only if they're really, really, really contrite. They must have a contrite meter in the confessional.

Come and get your forgiveness! Just for the upcoming year only!! Once it's gone it's gone forever!! Hurry!! :roll:

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VelociRapture

I have to admit to liking Pope Frank better than some of the past few Popes - at least this guy is trying to change the tone of the things they're saying, rather than just flat out being an ass about it. I'd really prefer if he would go completely rouge and stop toeing the Church line on LGBTQ rights, pedophilia, and women's health issues. . . but, I can't win them all.

I honestly do appreciate the fact that he seems to genuinely care about the poor though - throughout his career with the Church that has been one of his main concerns and its nice to see someone high up in the Church putting more of a focus on that. If he could just stick to talking about that and stop inserting the Church into issues that are none of their concern then I would be a very happy girl.

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lascuba

I think he's a lot better than Benedict and Jon Paul II, absolutely, and I agree about his concern for the poor. This latest stunt bothers me because I don't actually expect the Church to change it's positions on women's reproductive rights and LGBT issues (and I don't much care if they ever do), so these PR moves where he pretends to be compassionate and reasonable over these issues are just absurd and such blatant attempt to rebrand the Vatican that the fact that lightening doesn't strike him down for lying is proof that there's no god. I don't want a "compassionate" face put on the belief that women are basically chattel.

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lascuba
I think he's a lot better than Benedict and Jon Paul II, absolutely, and I agree about his concern for the poor. This latest stunt bothers me because I don't actually expect the Church to change it's positions on women's reproductive rights and LGBT issues (and I don't much care if they ever do), so these PR moves where he pretends to be compassionate and reasonable over these issues are just absurd and such blatant attempt to rebrand the Vatican that the fact that lightening doesn't strike him down for lying is proof that there's no god. I don't want a "compassionate" face put on the belief that women are basically chattel.

ETA: He also bothers me--or more fairly, the public response to him bother me--because he says a lot of things that have long been the Vatican's positions and people react like he's actually saying something profound and doctrine changing. The Vatican has LONG deferred to science when it comes to evolution and climate change; the church has always held that all sins are forgivable through Christ and confession. He says very little that's actually new but we're supposed to see him as this subversive Pope.

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ShepherdontheRock

Well, basically, all of the above.

I'm not super feeling this pope, and don't understand the love for him. I think in many ways, he's just as problematic as the last two, but has cloaked a lot of the more problematic things in nice rhetoric.

And IMO, I think the Catholic church has gotten too many passes that other churches, ie the Mormons, have not been given, when it comes to being problematic af. Between the Inquisition, the genocides against Native Americans, the Magdalene laundries, Mother Teresa, and the sex abuse scandals, they have A LOT to answer for. Having a slightly nicer leader won't cut it for me.

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VelociRapture

ETA: He also bothers me--or more fairly, the public response to him bother me--because he says a lot of things that have long been the Vatican's positions and people react like he's actually saying something profound and doctrine changing. The Vatican has LONG deferred to science when it comes to evolution and climate change; the church has always held that all sins are forgivable through Christ and confession. He says very little that's actually new but we're supposed to see him as this subversive Pope.

Oh I agree. His PR Team could have done wonders for the Duggars recently. Thankfully, they're a bit too busy revamping the Pope's image at the moment.

And I absolutely agree about public reaction. Just because he is saying something a bit differently doesn't mean the intent or message is different too.

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takers401
http://www.ibtimes.com/pope-francis-forgive-abortions-vatican-will-allow-priests-absolve-contrite-women-2076989

It's been a long time since my Catholic school days, but since when has this hierarchy of forgiveness been a thing, with certain sins requiring special forgiveness from a bishop? (I'll refrain from mentioning how easily pedophile priests are forgiven. *Cough*) I thought it was confess to a priest for everything.

I know this is meant to be one of those things where I'm supposed to be impressed at how cool this Pope is, but no. Fuck this guy and his brilliant PR team.

I was taught that certain sins automatically excommunicated you (although at the moment all I can think of is abortion) and that to have that status removed so you can be brought back into communion with the church you needed to visit a Bishop or higher.

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Boogalou

I know this is meant to be one of those things where I'm supposed to be impressed at how cool this Pope is, but no. Fuck this guy and his brilliant PR team.

Exactly this. He is like the Bates' to Benedict's Duggars - same shit, different accent. Francis just presents everything in a nicer package.

Just because you wash some people's feet doesn't change the fact that your institution (and the one you lead) is utterly sexist and discriminates against women. Not to mention many of the Catholic Church's other faults.

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Cleopatra7

Why exactly is this news? According to Catholic dogma, there's no sin that can't be forgiven in Confession, as long as you are contrite (at the time, anyway). I know getting an abortion is supposed to be immediate excommunication, but how would anyone in the church hierarchy even know this (and there are plenty of Catholic women getting abortions, receiving communion, and not confessing or feeling sorry about it). Francis probably thinks he's being really magnanimous, but there's nothing new here.

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Grimalkin
Why exactly is this news? According to Catholic dogma, there's no sin that can't be forgiven in Confession, as long as you are contrite (at the time, anyway). I know getting an abortion is supposed to be immediate excommunication, but how would anyone in the church hierarchy even know this (and there are plenty of Catholic women getting abortions, receiving communion, and not confessing or feeling sorry about it). Francis probably thinks he's being really magnanimous, but there's nothing new here.

I don't think priests can give absolution for murderers and rapists and such without some sort of approval, not sure of the right phrasing. I thought you had to also face consequences for some sins. I went to Catholic school as a kid but my family is not Catholic, and it was more academic than religious. I converted as an adult, but there are lots of holes in what I learned.

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HighlandCow

There are a lot of South American countries where abortion is ILLEGAL in ALL circumstances:

Brazil

Colombia

Chile

Dominican Republic

El Salvador

Guatamala

Haiti

Honduras

Mexico

Nigaragua

Panama

Paraguay

Venezuela

I know civil law and religious proclamations are not the same thing but these are all VERY Catholic countries, so the two are inextricably linked.

A law, in general, has to be enforceable and generally consistent with public opinion. A law that goes against public opinion is generally unenforceable over the long term.

I'm not Catholic, so I'm not clear on the details of how confession works, but if it is true you could be excommunicated for having an abortion, I don't think it matters if you tell anyone or not, the message is clear that you did something unforgivable. That sentiment will shape public opinion and in turn, the law.

I get what people here are saying, it is not a feminist stance, but considering the culture in some of these countries, it might be more radical than you think.

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Foudeb

I don't think priests can give absolution for murderers and rapists and such without some sort of approval, not sure of the right phrasing. I thought you had to also face consequences for some sins. I went to Catholic school as a kid but my family is not Catholic, and it was more academic than religious. I converted as an adult, but there are lots of holes in what I learned.

Nah, any priest can forgive you for plain old rape and murder. Abortion us listed as a graver sin (like assaulting the pope, using a communion wafer for anything other than it's intended purpose, ordaining a priest without authorisation etc). Those automatically excommunicate you, meaning you are no longer part of the church and thus go straight to hell, whereas just, say, raping and killing a child doesn't make you any less catholic, you just need to make sure you confess before dying if you want to avoid hell.

Francis isn't even saying abortion is like rape and murder here - all it means is that, although you are no longer a catholic, getting back into the church is now, for one year only, a lot easier. This way the church will get a few souls back that might otherwise have turned Protestant.

It's not a Francis thing either, John Paul offered the same deal in 2000.

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ShepherdontheRock

Nah, any priest can forgive you for plain old rape and murder. Abortion us listed as a graver sin (like assaulting the pope, using a communion wafer for anything other than it's intended purpose, ordaining a priest without authorisation etc). Those automatically excommunicate you, meaning you are no longer part of the church and thus go straight to hell, whereas just, say, raping and killing a child doesn't make you any less catholic, you just need to make sure you confess before dying if you want to avoid hell.

Francis isn't even saying abortion is like rape and murder here - all it means is that, although you are no longer a catholic, getting back into the church is now, for one year only, a lot easier. This way the church will get a few souls back that might otherwise have turned Protestant.

It's not a Francis thing either, John Paul offered the same deal in 2000.

whoa, wait? So it's benevolent for a raped 10 year old who had a medically necessary abortion to not go to hell?

Wow.

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Foudeb

whoa, wait? So it's benevolent for a raped 10 year old who had a medically necessary abortion to not go to hell?

Wow.

Yep. Every sperm is sacred!

Her rapist however only needs to be genuinely contrite, confess and receive absolution to go to heaven. To join all the pedophile priests I presume are already there.

On the positive side, catholic hell isn't fire and brimstone, it's just being removed from the proximity of god. To this atheist, that sounds like a rather nice place to be. I'm looking forward to it.

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Diana

Nah, any priest can forgive you for plain old rape and murder. Abortion us listed as a graver sin (like assaulting the pope, using a communion wafer for anything other than it's intended purpose, ordaining a priest without authorisation etc). Those automatically excommunicate you, meaning you are no longer part of the church and thus go straight to hell, whereas just, say, raping and killing a child doesn't make you any less catholic, you just need to make sure you confess before dying if you want to avoid hell.

Francis isn't even saying abortion is like rape and murder here - all it means is that, although you are no longer a catholic, getting back into the church is now, for one year only, a lot easier. This way the church will get a few souls back that might otherwise have turned Protestant.

It's not a Francis thing either, John Paul offered the same deal in 2000.

Its funny because im baptized catholic and cuturally catholic went to catholic schools and never heard of that, not that i am doubting you or anything. Im sure a lot of catholics in my country have abortions since its legal and mayority of population its baptized, and i never in my life know of someone being excomunicated for that.

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ShepherdontheRock

Yep. Every sperm is sacred!

Her rapist however only needs to be genuinely contrite, confess and receive absolution to go to heaven. To join all the pedophile priests I presume are already there.

On the positive side, catholic hell isn't fire and brimstone, it's just being removed from the proximity of god. To this atheist, that sounds like a rather nice place to be. I'm looking forward to it.

I took a "levels of hell based on dante" internet quiz once. Apparently I'm going to Limbo. The most boring level of hell. But then again, I get to be surrounded by philosophers and shit, so it balances out.

I'll be able to tell Maurice Ravel I'm a great fan!

Better than Muslim hell, where you literally boil for eternity.

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Diana

I took a "levels of hell based on dante" internet quiz once. Apparently I'm going to Limbo. The most boring level of hell. But then again, I get to be surrounded by philosophers and shit, so it balances out.

I'll be able to tell Maurice Ravel I'm a great fan!

Better than Muslim hell, where you literally boil for eternity.

Acording to the Pope Limbo doesnt exist, so you are good. :lol:

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Foudeb

Isn't limbo for babies who died before baptism? Considering how many pregnancies end in miscarriages it's bound to be overcrowded in there.

@ Diana most Catholics I know also use birth control and don't have a problem with that, so their parish priests must be using some personal common sense to deal with it even though you'd be hard pressed to find high ranking clergy to condone the pill. It's about the culture and sense of community I guess, more than the rules. I'm just too much of a black and white person to subscribe to a system whose tenets I disagree with.

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Diana
Isn't limbo for babies who died before baptism? Considering how many pregnancies end in miscarriages it's bound to be overcrowded in there.

@ Diana most Catholics I know also use birth control and don't have a problem with that, so their parish priests must be using some personal common sense to deal with it even though you'd be hard pressed to find high ranking clergy to condone the pill. It's about the culture and sense of community I guess, more than the rules. I'm just too much of a black and white person to subscribe to a system whose tenets I disagree with.

yeah limbo was for babies that died before baptism, so they didnt go to hell.

But pope benedict said limbo doesnt exist i dont know if francis changed it back.

Yeah i was talking about abortion, the pill obviously i dont know anyone that its against, i mean its very extrange for someone here to have more than 2 kids, and obviously everyone is still having sex, so...

In my catholic school we had sex education actually, and the pill condoms diu etc were all talked about.

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Foudeb

If you don't want more kids (and Francis said that's fine) you're supposed to abstain at strategic moments during your cycle - and if that doesn't work just abstain full stop. Every sperm is sacred...

Again some parish priests are a lot more tolerant than others as sticking to the rules makes them lose souls from an already depleted flock to other denominations but I, personally, struggle not to call that hypocrisy.

(Not meaning that as a criticism by the way, just my personal reaction to catholic dogma)

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Diana
If you don't want more kids (and Francis said that's fine) you're supposed to abstain at strategic moments during your cycle - and if that doesn't work just abstain full stop. Every sperm is sacred...

Again some parish priests are a lot more tolerant than others as sticking to the rules makes them lose souls from an already depleted flock to other denominations but I, personally, struggle not to call that hypocrisy.

(Not meaning that as a criticism by the way, just my personal reaction to catholic dogma)

Well i dont know. I guess its supposed to be like that, but my school was run by nuns and we had sex education classes that talked about the pill and all anticonceptives( and it was talked like it was normal, not like it was a big deal)

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Cleopatra7
If you don't want more kids (and Francis said that's fine) you're supposed to abstain at strategic moments during your cycle - and if that doesn't work just abstain full stop. Every sperm is sacred...

Again some parish priests are a lot more tolerant than others as sticking to the rules makes them lose souls from an already depleted flock to other denominations but I, personally, struggle not to call that hypocrisy.

(Not meaning that as a criticism by the way, just my personal reaction to catholic dogma)

The "every sperm is sacred" notion comes from Aristotle, who believed that semen contained a homoculus or "little man" that was fully developed but just needed a nice womb to incubate in. The homoculus was believed to have all of the genetic material needed to create a baby (which was always believed to be male; female babies were considered defective males) so children were believed to literally belong to their fathers, while the mother was completely unrelated to them and had no claim to them in the event of a divorce. It wasn't until the 19th century that the female role in human reproduction was fully understood. Anyway, Thomas Aquinas picked this view up from Aristotle, and it became part of Catholic moral theology. This is why Pope Pius IX thought that masturbate on was skin to genocide, because it was killing all the "little men" (see his encyclical Castii Connubi for more on this). While the existence of homoculi has been definitively disproven, I think this view lives on in the Catholic anti-abortion movement and explains why they attribute more abilities to embryos and fetuses than they actually have.

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Alexa

I love this post. I never knew abortion was a sin that could get you excommunicated in the Catholic church.

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Coconut Flan
I was taught that certain sins automatically excommunicated you (although at the moment all I can think of is abortion) and that to have that status removed so you can be brought back into communion with the church you needed to visit a Bishop or higher.

That is the way it is. Although a bishop can delegate the ability to forgive the abortion to one, some, or all priests in the diocese. In a lot of dioceses in the US, the bishops have made the delegation to all priests in the diocese so it's become like any other confession. The logistics of having a person confess to the priest, have the priest go to the bishop, and then transmit the result all while maintaining anonymity for those who want it is difficult at best.

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