Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, private response on the faculty to absolve the sin of abortion during the Jubilee Year of Mercy, 24 November 2015.
Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts
Prot. N. 15208/2015
Città dal Vaticano, 24 November 2015
Most Reverend Monsignor,
I make reference to the letter from the Nunciature, N. 9346/15 dated 11 November 2015, in which you submitted to this Pontifical Council a dubium regarding the precise content of the faculty to which the Holy Father made reference in his letter of 1 September last year, addressed to His Excellency, the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, where he writes: “I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to grant to all priests for the Jubilee Year the faculty to absolve from the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite repentance, seek pardon for it.”
In this regard, taking into account the context of the aforementioned Pontifical Letter, as well as other previous interventions of the Supreme Pontiff, there is no doubt that, in accord with the terms used, His Holiness intended clearly to make reference to the delict of canon 1398 CIC, and to the jurisdictional faculty required by canon 1355 § 2 CIC in order to be able to absolve from the latae sententiae penalty incurred after this delict by all subjects who, in whatever way, incur the censure of excommunication.
Consequently, there is no reasonable doubt not to hold that with the expression “to grant to all priests for the Holy Year the faculty to absolve from the sin of abortion,” His Holiness intends to confer on these priests everything which they need — in this case, the jurisdiction to remove (absolve) the latae sententiae censure of excommunication, in order to be able to confer validly the Sacrament of Confession and, therefore, to forgive the sins confessed (cf. c. 138 CIC, in fine, as well as cc. 132 § 1, 966 CIC).
Hoping to have been able to dispel the dubia which you indicated, and expressing happily the availability for other eventual clarifications, we take this opportunity to express to Your Excellency the greatest devotions and affections.
+Francesco Cardinal Coccopalmerio
Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, private response on the faculty to absolve the sin of abortion during the Jubilee Year of Mercy, 24 November 2015. Unofficial translation by John A. Renken. Original accessed 3 November 2018 at: http://www.delegumtextibus.va/content/dam/testilegislativi/risposte-particolari/cic/Circa%20la%20facolt%C3%A0%20di%20assolvere%20dal%20peccato%20di%20aborto%20concessa%20a%20tutti%20sacerdoti%20per%20l%27Anno%20Giubilare.pdf