- May 9, 2012
Pope Francis has announced that priests will henceforth be allowed to directly give absolution in confession for the sin of procuring an abortion. In reality, they've had that power for almost a year during the just completed Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy that started on December 8th last year. This announcement extends that power for the foreseeable future.
Abortion was previously regarded as one of the "reserved sins" - considered so serious that an ordinary priest did not have the authority to forgive them. The person seeking penance must go to a higher ecclesiastical authority such as a Bishop (or even the Holy See itself) to obtain absolution.
In the context of controversies that have dogged the Church for decades now, it's notable that the sin of sexually abusing a child was and still is not considered to be a "reserved sin". It can be forgiven directly by an ordinary priest.
RTÉ News: Pope extends power to forgive abortion to priests
Didn't the late JC die so that all sins (past, present and future) were forgiven?
Thus don't RC church priests forgive all sins during confession? Or does the RC church reserve the right to keep some sins on the books?