VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will give all priests discretion to formally forgive women who have had abortions and seek absolution during the Roman Catholic Church's upcoming Holy Year, in the Argentine pontiff's latest move toward a more open and inclusive church.
In a letter published by the Vatican Tuesday, Francis wrote, "I think in particular of all the women who have resorted to abortion. I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision."
The pope said he had "met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision." READ MORE OF THIS STORY ON VOA NEWS