Pope Francis tells priests to pardon women who have abortions

Pope Francis has decreed that Catholic women who have had abortions can be pardoned by their priests – but only for the duration of a special “year of mercy”, which will last from December until next November.

Women can be absolved of the “sin of abortion” if they seek forgiveness with a “contrite heart,” the Argentinean pontiff said, as the Vatican prepares for the start of the Holy Year of Mercy on Dec 8.