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Pope tells priests to forgive abortion, limited time only




Pope Francis leaves Saint Peter's basilica at the Vatican, at the end of a prayer as part of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, on September 1, 2015. Pope Francis on September 1 called on priests to pardon women who have abortions, and the doctors who perform them, during the upcoming Jubilee year -- overruling hardline traditionalists within the Catholic Church
Pope Francis leaves Saint Peter's basilica at the Vatican, at the end of a prayer as part of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, on September 1, 2015. Pope Francis on September 1 called on priests to pardon women who have abortions, and the doctors who perform them, during the upcoming Jubilee year -- overruling hardline traditionalists within the Catholic Church
ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images

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Pope Francis will allow priests to forgive women who've had abortions.

He's designated next year as the Year of Mercy. Women who've had abortions are now included, despite abortion being considered a grave sin -- grounds for excommunication.

That's not changing, despite the absolution offered next year. However, the offer of forgiveness is for a limited time only,  starting when the Holy Jubilee kicks off on December 8, 2015 and ending November 20, 2016.

While more Catholics are leaving the Church than joining, is this an effective way to bring back Catholic women, who were excommunicated from the church?

Guest:

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, a professor of Anthropology and director of the program in Medical Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley

Jay Tolson, has written about religion for U.S. News and World Report and is now editor of Hedgehog review for the Institute for Advanced Studies in culture at University of Virginia