EWTN Catholic Q&A
Abortion absolution
Question from Anonymous on 12-21-2012:

Dear Judie, Q: I am wondering if I am a damned soul. I thought God loved me but after talking to my priest I'm not so sure.

I am 55. In my life I have had 4 abortions. Yes, four. I'll skip the back story and explanations. Regardless of what I was told the buck stops here. I murdered 4 children. The irony is that I have no living children of my own. I'm divorced and alone.

Anyway, I've confessed all to my parish priest who I think was badly shocked and appalled by what I told him. My penance was to write letters to the babies. No prayers, nothing. That was rather bizarre, I thought. After confession I was crying and I said "Father am I going to go to hell?". He looked down, shuffled around and said "Well, there's always hope, isn't there?". Is it possible I need Absolution from a bishop or something? I do not feel that his absolution was sincere. I don't feel forgiven and I've never had this sensation after confession. Maybe this is the unforgiveable sin. Thank you for your help.

Answer by Judie Brown on 12-22-2012:

Dear Anonymous

While I cannot read the mind of the priest who heard your confession, have you penance and apparently absolved you from your sins by blessing you at the end of the Sacrament, I do know the purpose of the sacrament which is to receive forgiveness if one has a sincere desire to repent and never offend God again in the same way.

You are not condemned to Hell because only God knows the sincerity of your heart, your sorrow for the abortions and so forth. My opinion is that the priest handled your confession badly and again, I cannot explain his comments.

FORGIVENESS comes from God, and I do believe there is therapeutic relief involved in writing to your four aborted children, even naming them and attending a RACHEL'S VINEYARD retreat so that you can put their little souls to rest in your heart and with your faith in tact. Please contact them: 1-877-HOPE-4-ME (877-467-3463) Their retreat schedule for 2013 is on line: http://rachelsvineyard.org

Judie Brown