Pope gives Catholics “abortion holiday”

August 19, 2011 • 5:01 am

Also according to CNN, the pope, who is visiting Spain, has given Spanish priests the right to absolve Catholics of abortion.  Until now, only a few select priests have the right to absolve Catholic women of this mortal sin and the automatic excommunication that follows.  CNN explains:

“All the priests that are administering the sacrament of confession during World Youth Day have the general authority to give absolution from the penalty of excommunication for abortion if someone comes to confession… if someone has this need,” Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi told CNN on Thursday, referring to the event that brought Pope Benedict XVI to Madrid on Thursday for a four-day visit.

Madrid Archbishop Antonio María Rouco Varela announced the extension of such authority to more priests in a statement on the archdiocese’s website, saying the move was made in hopes that “all of the faithful who attend the celebrations of the 26th World Youth Day in Madrid can more easily attain the fruits of divine grace, that the doors to a new life open for them.”

Here’s the stipulation:

Varela said the Roman Catholic Church “has conferred to all the priests legitimately approved to hear sacramental confessions, who are in the archdiocese of Madrid during August 15 to 22, the delegated power to remit during the sacrament of penance the excommunication… corresponding to the sin abortion, to the faithful who are truly sorry, imposing at the same time a convenient penance.”

Now remember, the Catholic church considers abortion a “grave evil” that, if not expiated through confession, becomes a mortal sin that can send a person to Hell.  So what’s happening is that the Pope has proclaimed that God is excusing people from Hell if they happen to confess to priests who happened to be around Madrid in one specific week. How does the Pope know that?  This kind of shenanigan makes a mockery of the Church’s policy toward abortion, and of the supposed moral authority of the Vatican.

There have been lots of protests in Spain because the Pope’s visit is very expensive, angering those Spaniards who suffer from the country’s financial austerity.  Here’s one poster from a Spanish trade union site, which sums up many people’s feelings about the Catholic Church:

h/t: Sigmund

50 thoughts on “Pope gives Catholics “abortion holiday”

    1. And if you act now, you can get two abortions forgiven for the price of one – just pay shipping and handling.

    2. Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.

      “Get ’em while they’re hot! Time’s running out, hurry down today and pay no interest until Purgatory!”

    3. Come on down to Crazee Bennies, you’d have to be insane to take him up on this offer. *

      *Free childcare for all qualified contestants.

      1. Yes – all of you are right, & it just shows that twisted morality is associated not with a genuine care for life (personally I am not fond of abortion, anymore than I favour killing any living creature without good reason, but respect the right of women to choose) but rather with a religious obsession & desire to increase the number of RCs.

    4. Yeah, this is a Special, to glorify the arrival of the King. Make me agree more on the idea that organized religions are nothing more than corporate positioning warfare, as in iOS vs Androids. With major difference the business side is honestly stated their aims, the religious side is not.

  1. I had always thought that all sins could be absolved if confessed to a priest who subsequently chose to absolve you. Also, is there automatic excommunication for actual murderers?

    1. The RC position on this is that as a successor to the apostles, the pope inherits the power to forgive sins. However he can delegate this power to others but does not have to do so equally. Traditionally the graver the church considers a sin the higher ranking the cleric you need to find in order to obtain absolution. Some sins can only be absolved by the pope himself, but these usually involve various forms of heresy and haven’t figured much in modern times. Normally the “sin” of abortion can only be forgiven by a bishop or someone of higher rank. I’m not sure what the position regarding murder is; however recent history indicates that any old priest can forgive child abuse.

    2. You are not automatically excommunicated for murder, nor for rape.

      There are two things that will get you excommunicated: being involved with trying to ordain women or being involved in an abortion.

      This is why some months ago when a very young girl was raped and impregnated by her step-father, her mother and her doctors were excommunicated for opting for an abortion (she was pregnant with twins and carrying to term would have killed her). Her rapist was not excommunicated.

  2. He must have been in a good mood. Maybe he had an extra helping of alter wine that day. 😀 He’ll probably regret it in the morning. Lol

    1. That’s altar wine. It becomes alter wine when the priest does the bells & smells thing & says the magic secret words so it can become da blood uv da savier.

  3. But Jerry, it’s all teh atheists fawlt!!!!!!11!!

    You see, it’s the dangerous rise in secularism that is causing the church to engage in this kind of cynical moral relativism…

  4. Abortion is unforgivable! You will burn in hell for it!
    Unless you confess. Then it’s OK.
    But ONLY this week. Miss it and you will BURN IN HELL!

    1. What if a woman is worried that she might be pregnant but doesn’t know for sure yet. Can she get a forgiveness to be used later? Or can get out of hell free cards only be used after the abortion? Inquiring minds want to know. See the problems you create when you do this kind of stuff, Benny? It was a lot easier back when they sold indulgences for sins – so much cleaner.

  5. The fundamental rules change so much, it almost seems like they are just making this stuff up.

    What happened to that purgatory place again?

    **Sarcasm end**

    1. Or the simple change of no meat on any Friday to no meat on Fridays during Lent. Now there are people in hell for eating a turkey sandwich on a Friday in Dec and other people in hell for having an abortion and being so STUPID as to die before the pope allowed this loophole.

      Tim Minchin has a song about the pope that is playing on a loop in my head right now.

  6. Wait a second, if the Catholic Church CAN keep people that have had an abortion out of hell, yet they normally choose not to, then aren’t they consciously and purposefully allowing people to burn in Hell? Which, since Hell is eternal, would be far worse that just getting an abortion.

    1. Think of it this way. A pope (especially pope Benny the inflexible) will change his mind when hell freezes over. He changed his mind on this one, so ergo, if you end up in hell at least you can get in a little skiing

      1. The ninth circle of Hell is already frozen over. That’s where traitors are entombed in a lake of ice. (Don’t people read the classics anymore?) No hills, but maybe you could do some figure skating.

        1. Duh? Which of us hasn’t read Divina Commedia (and in the original Italian), and discussed it’s allegorical motifs repeatedly around the family dinner table and at work? Yes, you are correct to point out that the 9th circle was a frozen place known as lake Cocytus and had four rounds of traitors buried progressively deeper in the icy lake, with Satan himself buried waist deep at the center. A pick up game of hockey might work well, but I was looking for a bit of snow on a higher circle for some slalom, but it I guess it would be all downhill from there.

  7. Don’t miss the great graphic at the RH side of that sign. But what’s the white thing under the Euro symbol?

  8. Are they taking a lesson from Madison Avenue, or did Madison Avenue learn from the Church? (And am I dating myself by referring to Madison Avenue?) They know attendence is going to be down in Spain fot the Pope’s visit, so they need something to bring in the crowd. You can’t afford not to go!

    1. “And am I dating myself by referring to Madison Avenue?”

      Suppose you were? (It doeesn’t occur to me that you are, which means, I suppose, that I don’t know that I myself am apparently “dated.”) In the direction of what contemporary Mecca of advertising do moderns current bend?

  9. Great. Maybe he can absolve himself for obstructing justice in the case of Fr. Maciel and the rest of the serial child rapists he shielded and continues to shield from prosecution. And, sure. Why not. While he’s at it, he can absolve himself for his active role in the sub-Saharan AIDS genocide.

    Remind me again why this monster isn’t in The Hague…?



  10. “How does the Pope know that? ”

    My understanding has been that the Pope has the authority to make such things true, so it doesn’t take any knowledge:

    Matt 16:19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

  11. As a Protestant I was always a little envious of my Catholic brothers and sisters, with their history of literature, architecture and art. They had Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, and Graham Greene, for example, and we had…pretty much nobody.

    But now? I mean, I don’t like to just be a bigot against all Catholics or anything, but at one point do you just say BASTA! The arrogance of this. The manipulation, the banality, the market-drivenness of it, the crassness and stench. Not enough that they have to shelter child rapists, but now they’re playing Cracker Jack prize games with ethical issues that some of us still struggle with? Really big and painful issues, reduced to a Groupon offer?

    Tim Minchin has it so totally right in “The Pope Song.” Eff the mothereffing pope.

    1. Oh, I feel the need to mention that I am in fact an atheist now (a Protestant atheist, as the old Irish joke has it), and NOW? Philip Pullman, Ian McEwan and Salman Rushdie. Suck on that both Protestants AND Catholics.

    2. “The manipulation, the banality, the market-drivenness of it, the crassness and stench. Not enough that they have to shelter child rapists, but now they’re playing Cracker Jack prize games with ethical issues that some of us still struggle with? Really big and painful issues, reduced to a Groupon offer?”

      But don’t forget, if you’re a Spanish Catholic who starts from the premise that Papa Razzo is the Vicar of Christ on Earth, this is just another example of his power and mercy (PR’s, not Christ’s – well, Christ’s through PR). He didn’t have to absolve all those sinful women, but he did – just like JC with Mary M. They won’t react as we do, at all. And they are his vict^h^h^h audience, not us.

  12. For those who are interested, the Spanish site against the Pope is an Anarchist’s web page promoting a T-shirt sale.

    Here is the translation:;

    “Atheist T-Shirt Exhibition
    The Local Federation of CNT-AIT and Santi Ochoa will organize an exhibition of Santi Ochoa’s photographs of t-shirts with interesting or funny depictions of faith, religion, the Pope, the separation of church and state (although some of us think we’d be better off without either of them), religious people, etc. Those interested will be able to visit the exhibit during the same dates as the Week of Atheist Cinema in our location at Tirso de Molina 5 from 7 pm until the last scheduled movie ends:
    (flickr link)
    Along with this exhibit you will be able to see printed designs that some of the many sympathizers of this campaign have sent to us.
    Just in case you haven’t heard:
    Danger, the Pope is coming!”

    The site http://peligroquevieneelpapa.wordpress.com has many posts on the different “campaigns” and such against Youth Day 2011.

  13. Who told the Pope it was OK for a few days to absolve people of this most grievous sin? Who told other Popes during the Inquisition it was a mortal sin and they surley were witches and said it was OK to put them to the stake. The answer as always is God. What a mockery of this imaginary thing called God. Poor millions of ignorant Catholics that have suffered years of agony over this sin and worse,committed suicide to punish themselves get the suffering over quickly. But, then they remembered,it will do me no good for He will get me even in death. 2,000 plus years of mythological suffering. OH but I forgot,it serves a purpose because He wants us to suffer. Bushit!

  14. No, No. You-all don’t understand. This doesn’t have to be rational. It doesn’t have to make sense. You-all seem to think that the pope works for doG, but it is the other way around. Whatever the pope decides to do is binding on doG – at least on the doG in the pope’s mind. So if the Rattenfaenger declares an absolution special, doG will just have to forgive those people (Matthew 16:19)

    The real question is, of course, will the Faenger give absolution to that australian bishop who dared to suggest that RCC Inc executives needed to keep an open mind on the subject of ordaining women and married men (because of the great shortage of “vocations”). I’m betting that won’t happen…

  15. “So what’s happening is that the Pope has proclaimed that God is excusing people from Hell if they happen to confess to priests who happened to be around Madrid in one specific week. How does the Pope know that? ”

    Not a Catholic, but I have some idea of how the Church operates, and this is incorrect. Only God can forgive sins, not the Church. What the Church can do, however, is reduce or eliminate the earthly penalties for sin. Such penalties include excommunication and penance. In this case, the Church is lifting excommunication from the person confessing. That doesn’t change anything with regard to a person’s fate in the next life.

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