Washington, DC—Judie Brown, president of American Life League, the oldest national Catholic pro-life education and advocacy organization in the United States, issued a statement in response to Pope Francis' letter announcing a special Jubilee Year of Mercy, authorizing priests worldwide to absolve the sin of abortion when penitents follow prescribed action, including participation in the sacrament of reconciliation.
Judie Brown stated:
In his encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae, Saint John Paul II wrote the most beautiful words ever directed to the mother who has aborted her baby:
I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child.
Today we have learned of the loving statement rendered by Pope Francis, which in its essence repeats the loving embrace of these mothers and their need to be forgiven. Pope Francis said: “I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision. What has happened is profoundly unjust; yet only understanding the truth of it can enable one not to lose hope. The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the sacrament of Confession with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father.”
In this era when big abortion is making money on the body parts of aborted children while deceiving the mothers of those children into believing an abortion serves a higher purpose, it is our hope that expectant mothers who do submit to abortion will find the courage to confront their pain, their loss, and their grief. By seeking the forgiveness of God that awaits them in the sacrament of Confession, eternal mercy will help in their healing after an abortion.
We thank Pope Francis for bringing this ministry of mercy contained in Catholic teaching to the forefront during these troubled times.
Media Availability – Judie Brown, president of ALL, is available for in-depth media appearances and interviews. Her knowledge concerning the pro-life movement internationally and specific insight into Roman Catholic teaching as a basis for a culture of life make her an ideal candidate for your consideration.
CONTACT American Life League’s chief communications officer, Matt Wielgos, at 540-846-3822 (for immediate response). E-mail MWielgos@ALL.org for non-immediate queries and related requests.
American Life League was co-founded in 1979 by Judie Brown, a three-time appointee to the Pontifical Academy for Life. ALL is the oldest national Catholic pro-life education and advocacy organization in the United States. For more information, please visit http://www.ALL.org or call 540-659-4171.