“I want to insist as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin because it puts an end to an innocent life,” the pope said, according to Vatican Radio.
He added: “I can and I must state that there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father.”
The pope also opposed the death penalty, saying, “There can’t be a true punishment that comes without hope. If a penalty doesn’t have hope, it’s not a Christian penalty, it’s not human.”
The pope said although the year has ended, “the doors of mercy of our heart continues to remain open.”
Holy doors were opened at cathedrals around the world during the 12-month jubilee, which called on Catholics to reflect on the theme of mercy.
The previous jubilee was in 2000, under St. John Paul II. The event is usually marked every 25 years but the pope has the power to call an “extraordinary” jubilee.
Copyright 2016 WFAA