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What do you think? Pope Francis alters rules on Catholics and abortions

This is the big religion story for the day. I'd love to find out what readers think about this. Email me your views at chinton@oklahoman.com. -- Carla Hinton, Religion Editor

Pope Francis rocked the Catholic world -- again -- on Tuesday by announcing that contrite women who have had an abortion can seek forgiveness from priests during the church's upcoming "Year of Mercy."

Traditionally, people involved in the procurement of abortion, condemned as a grave sin by the church, are considered automatically excommunicated, and only a bishop can lift the ban. Under the new, temporary policy, Francis is essentially suspending bishops' power to prohibit priests from offering forgiveness.

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