The Pope seems to be referring to the power to lift the excommunication that results from the canonical crime of abortion. I think I read somewhere recently that, while most bishops in the United States have granted this power to their priests, that is not the case everywhere in the world.
Yes, I read the same thing, Anita. I thought that the faculties to lift the excommunication had been extended to all priests all over the world but that is not the case. In the past, women who had had an abortion could only confess and be absolved by the local ordinary since it is one of the reserved sins.
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