Local Catholics react to pope's new stance forgiving abortion

1 year 5 months 3 weeks ago September 01, 2015 Sep 1, 2015 Tuesday, September 01 2015 Tuesday, September 01, 2015 3:52:00 PM CDT in News
By: Tyler Murry, KOMU 8 Reporter and The Associated Press
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA - Local priests and pastors said the pope's new stance on abortion announced Tuesday remind people of the need to forgive and not punish.

Pope Francis said he is letting all priests in the church's upcoming Year of Mercy absolve the "sin of abortion" if women seek forgiveness with a "contrite heart." It is part of the Holy Year of Mercy, which runs Dec. 8 through late November 2016.

"The pope wants to make it clear that all priests have permission to absolve abortion during this year," said Michael Flanagan, associate pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. 

Flanagan said the pope's statement also affects the hierarchy in the Catholic Church. Before, those involved with an abortion were excommunicated from the Catholic Church, and only a bishop could lift the ban. The new policy suspends the bishops' power to prohibit priests from giving forgiveness.

Joseph Corel, vicar general for the Diocese of Jefferson City, said, "Pope Francis is saying this is a grave sin. This is wrong, and you should never do this, but if you do this, it means I want to you to be healed and reconciled."

A new poll by the Public Religion Research Institute shows 51% of American Catholics say abortion should be legal in all cases, while 45% say it should be illegal.

"We are polarized right now," Flanagan said. "We need to take time for mercy and to talk while not being so angry at each other."

Local members of the Catholic Church said the comments by the pope are meant to create more understanding and reduce divides in the world.

"We are here to forgive, and we all need forgiveness," Flanagan said. "In particular, all those who are suffering or feel isolated, he is trying to bring them back into the community."

Pope Francis said in a letter Tuesday he has met many women bearing "the scar of this agonizing" decision to abort.

Corel said he hopes the pope's comments will allow people from both sides of the abortion debate to have a conversation without anger and hatred.

"If you can look at the two philosophies, the two viewpoints, and see if they can actually dialogue, then I think this goes a long ways," Corel said. 

More News

Grid
List
FULTON - Drive down memory lane to Fulton's Auto World Museum and transport yourself through the decades. Bill Backer,... More >>
1 hour ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 4:07:47 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri House members have passed a bill to reduce the duration of state jobless benefits to... More >>
1 hour ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 3:51:43 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia man accused of plotting a terror attack with people he believed were members of ISIS was... More >>
1 hour ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 3:47:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A new ordinance in St. Louis prohibits discrimination based on "reproductive health decisions." It's an effort... More >>
2 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 2:47:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The investigatory subcommittee created to examine harassment and hostile working conditions in Missouri’s prisons heard from two... More >>
2 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 2:45:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man is fighting the Hershey Company in federal court for allegedly under-filling two of its candy... More >>
3 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 2:03:00 PM CST in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's GOP legislative leaders say it should be up to schools to decide how to handle... More >>
3 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 1:40:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is largely reversing his proposed cut to in-home care services for low-income... More >>
4 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 12:57:00 PM CST in News
WENTZVILLE (AP) — Police in the eastern Missouri town of Wentzville are investigating after a woman working inside the General... More >>
6 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 11:11:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - In a partnership with Kickstarter, the True/False Film Festival has introduced a childcare initiative to provide support for... More >>
6 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 10:15:00 AM CST in News
HANNIBAL (AP) — Thirteen people from Missouri and Illinois face federal charges for allegedly conspiring to distribute cocaine and other... More >>
7 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 9:59:00 AM CST in News
CLAYTON (AP) — A St. Louis County man has been found guilty of looting a Foot Locker store during riots... More >>
9 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 7:47:00 AM CST in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police have identified the man killed by an officer after allegedly shooting at police... More >>
9 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 7:45:18 AM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA – About 45 concerned Mid-Missourians had the opportunity to ask the important questions they want experts to answer Wednesday... More >>
15 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 1:47:00 AM CST in News
BOONE COUNTY - A motorcycle crash sent one person to University Hospital Wednesday night, according to a Boone County Sherrif's... More >>
21 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 7:43:00 PM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Cyber Crimes Task Force investigated an apartment at the Lakewood Apartment Complex Wednesday afternoon. ... More >>
21 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 7:30:00 PM CST in News
BOONVILLE - The MUSTANG Drug Task Force arrested nine people and indicted a dozen more on charges related to the... More >>
23 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 6:02:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The arrest of one Columbia man accused in a terrorist plot left members of the community in shock... More >>
1 day ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 4:39:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 65°
6pm 66°
7pm 65°
8pm 65°
9pm 64°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
5:00p
American Dad!
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
Powerless
8:00p
The Blacklist
9:00p
The Blacklist: Redemption
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Riverdale
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld