Statement of Bishop Loverde regarding forgiveness of the sin of abortion

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With all of the Catholic faithful, I welcome Pope Francis' message of mercy, which has been a consistent theme of his pontificate since its outset, and to which he will draw heightened attention during the upcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy. The announcement that Pope Francis is extending the faculty to absolve the sin of abortion to all priests throughout the world during the Jubilee Year of Mercy again illustrates his profound commitment to making God's mercy ever more available.

Within the Diocese of Arlington, both my predecessor Bishop Keating and I have given our priests the ability to forgive the sin of abortion. I also want to reassure those who have already celebrated the sacrament of Penance that their sins, including the sin of abortion, confessed with a contrite heart are forgiven forever. Let us rejoice with all who experience the mercy and peace of God through the forgiveness of sins in the sacrament of Penance!

While Confession offers the necessary spiritual healing to those involved with abortion because of the gravity of the sin, there is also need for post-abortive healing, often so that one can forgive oneself. Project Rachel provides professional, sensitive and confidential help to anyone in need. Please call 1-888-456-HOPE or 703-841-2504, or visit our website at

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015