Prolife Forum: abortion
abortion QUESTION from Mrs. Joana Camacho March 14, 2001 If a woman who has had an abortion and has been absolved through Confession, is she then able to receive Holy Communion? Thank you for your answer.
ANSWER by Mr. Troy Martz on April 16, 2001
Dear Mrs. Camacho:
Simply, yes. Not only is she able, but after making a good confession the Church encourages frequent reception of the Eucharist.
How do we know these sins are forgiven? Jesus tells us:
John 20:19-23 On the evening of that first day of the week, even though the disciples had locked the doors for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood before them. 'Peace be with you,' He said. When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. At the sight of the Lord the disciples rejoiced. 'Peace be with you,' He said again. 'As the Father has send me, so I send you.' Then He breathed on them and said: 'Recieve the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men's sins, they are forgiven them; if you hold them bound, they are held bound.' This is the most profound concept for our age -- we can know that our sins are forgiven. That is why Christ gives His forgiveness through the Successors of the Apostles, the Bishops and their representatives, the priests. He knows that we need someone to hold us accountable to repent and that we need the reassurance that our sins are indeed forgiven when we truly repent.
Think of the analogy of the sin as being like a deadly cancer. Using the instrument of the priest, the Great Physician Jesus removes the cancer and saves your life. You will no longer die from the cancer. Now he offers you the best Medicine imaginable, the Bread of Life. The sin that was once killing you is gone and Jesus nourishes you with His own Body and Blood, the source of which is the Body of Christ, the Church.
There is one problem -- we sometimes listen when Satan tries to tell us that our sins are too horrible to be forgiven. This in itself leads to the Unforgivable Sin. Jesus tells us that all sins can be forgiven EXCEPT the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Many scholars argue about the exact nature of this sin, but I believe it is clear in light of the text above. It is in giving the Holy Spirit that Jesus gives the authority to forgive sins to the Apostles (and their successors). Denying the Apostolic authority to truly forgive sins is blasphemy against the Spirit. Once we recognize that the Holy Spirit is powerful to forgive all of our sins, we are able to receive the forgiveness Jesus gives us through the Church. If God - Who is All Holy - will forgive us, we can not withhold forgiveness from ourselves.
Hopefully this helps. The pain caused by an abortion can last a long time. The healing process must begin with accepting the forgiveness Christ offers us through His Church. I would also recommend anyone dealing with this pain contact Project Rachel, a post-abortion ministry dedicated to helping with the healing needed after abortion. For more information about this loving ministry, go to www.hopeafterabortion.com.
Pax Christi (Peace of Christ) Troy Martz
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