I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. 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. For this reason too, I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it.
Gosh. In the spirit of reciprocity, I am compelled to make an equal offer. I know that it is an intellectual ordeal, and that deep in their hearts priests are scarred and regretful at their abandonment of the integrity of their minds, their lifelong commitment to an amoral and corrupt institution, and the emotional stunting involved in a life of celibacy.
I have decided that all atheists have the discretion to forgive and accept the apologies of any priest who willingly renounces the church, now and forever, and for that matter, at all times in the past. It’s not really a power for me to give, but hey, I’m just returning his favor.
By the way, all atheists have the discretion to say “Fuck you” to patronizing priests who think they have the power to forgive you for acts for which you have no regrets.
It’s amazing how powerful we all are.