Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
AskACatholic.com
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Adoration
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines & Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life and Family
back
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

SpeakingForAFriend wrote:

Hi Father,

I want to ask some questions.

  1. If someone has had an abortion or actively helps someone get an abortion (which results in automatic excommunication — Latae senentiae), and after that, she moved to another diocese:
    • can she receive forgiveness from the bishop in her current diocese? or
    • does it have to come from the bishop of her previous diocese (where the sin was committed)?

  2. If a priest wants to inform a bishop about an abortion sin in order to receive a right from a bishop to absolve that sin, can it be done by phone?

  3. Can a bishop give permission to a priest to absolve that sin via a phone call or text message?

SpeakingForAFriend

  { If she moved, can she receive forgiveness for an abortion from the bishop in her current diocese? }

Mike replied:

Dear SpeakingForAFriend,

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. The state of our web apostolate is a little short on help, canon law wise. We had a canon law priest who was helping us but he was promoted by Pope Francis to a Bishop.

We are looking for, and hope to find, a web/e-mail savvy priest soon, who can answer questions like yours which, I believe, falls in the realm of canon law. All the current Catholic apologists who answer questions from the website are just faithful lay Catholics (none of us are priests) so you can take any of our answers with a grain of salt.

That said, you said:

  1. If someone has had an abortion or actively helps someone get an abortion (which results in automatic excommunication — Latae senentiae), and after that, she moved to another diocese:
    • can she receive forgiveness from the bishop in her current diocese? or
    • does it have to come from the bishop of her previous diocese (where the sin was committed)?

  2. If a priest wants to inform a bishop about an abortion sin in order to receive a right from a bishop to absolve that sin, can it be done by phone?

  3. Can a bishop give permission to a priest to absolve that sin via a phone call or text message?

I would think that the bishop in the diocese in which the person has moved to would be able to absolve this person of their sin.

In many dioceses, bishops are also giving the authority to absolve the sin of abortion to pastors and/or priest in their dioceses. No priestly absolution could be given via a phone call or text message.

The sacraments are encounters with Christ (who is represented by the priest). They are not encounters with technology like cell phones, smart phones, or whatever.

Mike

Anonymous Andrew replied:

Hi, Mike:

To confirm your answer: Any confessor now has the authority to absolve the sin of abortion.

This permission had been granted in the US and some other countries previously, and Pope Francis made it universal during the Year of Divine Mercy and afterward:

12. Given this need, lest any obstacle arise between the request for reconciliation and God’s forgiveness, I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion.

The provision I had made in this regard, limited to the duration of the Extraordinary Holy Year, [14] is hereby extended, notwithstanding anything to the contrary. I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life. In the same way, however, I can and must state that there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father. May every priest, therefore, be a guide, support and comfort to penitents on this journey of special reconciliation.

Confession must be made in person, and the priest will be able to lift any excommunication related to abortion, without needing to consult a bishop.

Also, there is no geographical restriction on where the Confession has to be made. Confession may be made in any place where Confessions are offered, in the person's current diocese or elsewhere.

God bless!

— Andrew

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.