Pope Francis makes headlines once again, Now according to a new report, He will now allow Roman Catholic priests to absolve women who have had abortions if they seek forgiveness during the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy, the Vatican announced TuesdayThe pontiff said he will allow priests “discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it” during the special year, beginning December 8. “I am well aware of the pressure that has led [women] to this decision,” he wrote in the announcement. “I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal.”

Abortion is considered a grave sin by the Catholic church, and those who seek it are usually excommunicated. In normal circumstances, forgiveness can only be granted by senior church figures. Deputy Vatican spokesman Father Ciro Benedettini told Reuters that “for now” the change would apply only during the Holy Year. The pope’s letter did not mention people who perform abortions. FULL REPORT