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 drew heightened attention throughout the recent
Jubilee Year of Mercy. The announcement that Pope Francis has continued — going
forward beyond the Jubilee Year of Mercy — to extend the faculty to absolve the
sin of abortion to all priests throughout the world 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