The Catholic Church's special Holy Year of Mercy ending on a big announcement. Pope Francis granting all priests the ability to forgive abortion. The Church considers abortion a grave sin, and in most parts of the world, only the most senior clergy could absolve it. Francis temporarily extended that power to all priests last year.
But now it appears indefinite, signing the decree on Monday. All part of the Pontiff's broader legacy of a more inclusive and forgiving doctrine. He's faced criticism from some conservative clergy concerned with the changing face of the church. Vatican officials quick to state it isn't easing its stance on abortion.
>> Technically everyone who is involved in an abortion, that is the woman, nurses, the doctor, whoever supports this matter, the sin of abortion involves all. Thus the pardon of the sin of abortion equally covers everyone, involves everyone who has played a part in this sin.>> In the United States and some other countries, regional bishops had already delegated that power to lower priests, Francis now making it a new normal for Catholics everywhere.