Even though the practical effect of this announcement is unclear, it enhances his theme of papacy: That the doors of the Church must remain open, just as God’s forgiveness and mercy extend to all those who repent from sin.
It is to be noted that the stance of Catholic Church on abortion hasn’t changed, which still views it as a “grave sin.”
But it makes it easier for women who have had abortions to be absolved for their actions, and rejoin the church.
In his letter Pope states, “I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life.”
“In the same way, however, I can and must state that there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father.”
It added, “May every priest, therefore, be a guide, support and comfort to penitents on this journey of special reconciliation.
“I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion.”