All priests can absolve sin of abortion, Pope says
WOMEN who have had abortions will be able to seek absolution from all priests during the RC Church’s Holy Year of Mercy in 2016, the Pope has announced. In an open letter, Pope Francis said that while abortion was a “tragedy”, the “forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented”. The RC Church considers abortion “a grave offence” to which the canonical penalty of excommunication is attached. At present, absolution cannot be granted “except by the Pope, the bishop of the place, or priests authorised by them”.
Commemorative plaque unveiled in Monaco
THE Chaplain of St Paul’s, Monaco, the Very Revd Walter Raymond, represented the diocese in Europe at the unveiling of a plaque in the principality to remember 90 Jews who were arrested and deported during the Second World War. Prince Albert II also offered a formal apology from the Monegasque authorities for allowing the deportations. Only nine of the 90 survived the Holocaust.
Police arrest Christian protester in China
A LAWYER who has helped churches in China to oppose attempts to tear down the crosses from their buildings (News, 14 August) has been arrested, and could face six months’ detention. The Associated Press reported that Zhang Kai was taken into police custody from the city of Wenzhou, where the Christian community has been fighting government efforts to remove crosses. A colleague told the news agency that he was forbidden to see Mr Zhang, who has reportedly been charged with endangering state security.