Pope Francis is continuing his streak of relative Pope radness by sending out missionaries in honor of the Catholic Church’s Holy Year of Mercy to pardon women who have had abortions and doctors who have performed them.
Although the notion that a woman needs to be pardoned simply for making a decision about her own body (and that issuing said pardon requires a landmark act of mercy on the behalf of a man) carries with it a lot of insulting and problematic implications, Pope Francis’ decision is unprecedented, and surprising considering he’s condemned the procedure in the past as “frightful” and “a horror.” UPI points out that despite Francis’ new mission of mercy, abortion is still considered a mortal sin in the Catholic Church and punishable by excommunication. Sigh.
In addition to pardoning women for having the gall to make decisions about their own lives, the church will also be doling out mercy to anyone who “either perpetrate
or participate in corruption,” with Pope Francis warning in the Bull of Indiction document that “this festering wound is a grave sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance, because it threatens the very foundations of personal and social life.”