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Pro-life campaigners respond to Pope's permission for some priests to forgive abortion

1 September 2015

Pro-life campaigners have responded to Pope Francis's granting of a time-limited permission for certain priests to forgive abortion.

John Smeaton, chief executive of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), the UK's largest pro-life organisation, commented: "The Catholic Church's teaching on abortion is crystal clear; and Pope Francis himself has been very clear about the wrongness of abortion, both as Pope and before that as archbishop of Buenos Aires.

"Permission for ordinary priests to absolve abortion without consulting their bishops is not unprecedented and has been allowed in many places. However, we would be concerned that a too widespread permission could be misinterpreted as the Church softening its teaching on abortion that it is the taking of the life of an innocent human being. It is very important in the context of next month's Synod on the Family that there should be no ambiguity about the Church's teaching on the sanctity of human life and the evil of abortion."

For a more detailed comment or to request an interview with John Smeaton, please contact Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's Media Manager, on:

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