Vatican Offers Pilgrims Abortion Forgiveness for 6 Days
Excommunications to be lifted at Madrid's World Youth Day
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2011 2:33 AM CDT
Priests attend the inaugural mass of the World Youth Day at Cibeles square in Madrid yesterday.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The Vatican is marking World Youth Day celebrations in Madrid by offering women who have had abortions an easy way to become Catholics again, reports the Guardian. Abortion is punishable by instant excommunication and "normally, only certain priests have the power to lift such an excommunication, but the local diocese has decided to give all the priests taking confession at the event this power," explains a spokesman for Pope Benedict XVI.

Some 200 confession booths have been set up in central Madrid for the 6-day event, which is expected to attract well over a million pilgrims as well as plenty of protesters. The Spanish government will be covering some of the costs of the $72 million event, which will include a visit from the pontiff tomorrow. Even some members of the clergy are questioning the wisdom of holding such a lavish celebration when Spain is in the midst of an austerity drive, and youth unemployment has reached 40%, the New York Times finds.

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Aug 22, 2011 8:07 AM CDT
Women Who Had Abortions Can Be Catholics again...Why Not Child Rapists Can
Aug 19, 2011 5:41 PM CDT
Why do they create their own policies as they see fit? This is trully unbelievable, just so that they can gain financial help from those "poor" women. They should then pay for the mass, so church winns. What is next, alloving gays to marry in the catholic church, I bet.
Aug 18, 2011 12:06 PM CDT
This church is so insulting, and so oblivious.