Blessed John Paul II's message to women who have aborted their children is theologically significant since it is found within the most important encyclical of his pontificate - Evangelium Vitae from 1995. Paragraph 99 speaks directly to post-abortive women. Pope John Paul II speaks as one who knows that Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Divine Mercy of the Eternal Father and that the depths of His forgiveness is infinite. The words of His Holiness resound with the message of mercy and the Gospel of Life proclaimed by Christ. Below is the pertinent passage:
I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.
- Pope Blessed John Paul II's Evangelium Vitae, 99 (1995)
One must admire how the Holy Father speaks of mercy, but also the need for penance and sacramental absolution. Also, he commissions these women to crusade against legalized abortion. His Holiness calls them to forgiveness, but also calls them to action.
A question for you the reader: How will abortion be made universally illegal? So far, modern democracies are unable to stop it. Will it be post-abortive women who fight against abortion? Will it take a supernatural miracle? A different form of government? More papal teaching? Bishops placing politicians on public censures? Interdicts? How does this horror stop? Please leave a comment and join in on the discussion.