It is a Jubilee Year, a.k.a. a Catholic year of Mercy, and Pope Francis is yet again proving to be James Dean levels of cool by directing priests to pardon women who have had abortions.
Generally, this is a good thing. Because it’s a year of mercy, priests are encouraged to pardon and forgive all “sinners.” Which is to say that women who have had an abortion have sinned, and have something they should be repentant for in the first place. That’s definitely true if you follow the doctrines of Catholicism — but hopefully one of these days we can get to a place where personal decisions about reproductive rights aren’t something any woman have to be sorry about, in church or anywhere.
We love that since 2013 Pope Francis has been making it rain all sorts of liberal goodness, from saying gay people shouldn’t be turned away from the Catholic church to letting divorced people take communion. There’s been a lot of progress since he took charge, absolutely. But it is a slow and often frustrating uphill journey toward actual ideological changes concerning the Catholic Church’s view of women’s reproductive rights. On that front, we still have a long way to go.
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