Can abortion be forgiven?
Adoration tonight, 7 pm, SAA Church. All are invited to adore Jesus in the Eucharist, even for just a few minutes.
An anonymous blogger recently asked*, "What does mortal sin (from not going to Mass to having an abortion) do to a person's soul? It seems that this creates a HUGE seperation from God so Satan must kick in and the sould MUST be affected some how. I am asking this because someone very close to me had an abortion and she will not confess it to a priest. She is tormented over it. I told her that I would ask you on this site if it is a sin which can be forgiven. She does not believe it can be forgiven. Thank you."
Anon, thank you very much for your extremely important question and comments. First and foremost, the sin of abortion can be forgiven in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Church has made it much more expedient in recent years for women like your friend to receive absolution and begin the healing process. It used to be that the bishop was the only one who could absolve an abortion; now, priests like me have the faculty to forgive and absolve that sin.
Next, I would ask you to pass on a very significant passage from the Gospel to your friend: "Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin" (Mk 3:28-29). Your friend should take consolation with this statement of all Lord that all sins can be forgiven.
But, she also needs to be careful with what He says next about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit occurs with "anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit" (Catechism, #1864). Basically, this is when someone either doesn't believe a) that God will forgive him/her or b) that He has the power to forgive certain sins.
I don't write this to make her feel any more guilty than she already does; that is the last thing I would want with her or anyone. My intention is to answer your question, but also to strongly encourage her to trust in the Mercy of Christ. He will forgive her of her sin just like he forgave the woman caught in adultery (see Jn 8). It is only in Christ that your friend's healing can take place. He has ordained men like me to be ministers of His Mercy. If she comes to Christ through a priest like me, she will receive the mercy, compassion, love, and forgiveness of her Heavenly Father.
* Mortal sin "destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God's law; it turns man away from God" (CCC, #1855). The soul in mortal sin is in total darkness, and experiences death. It has no life within it (see Jn 6:53). The word mortal means deadly; "there is such a thing as deadly sin" (1 Jn 5:16).