The unconventional Pope Francis

Published On: Jul 29 2013 11:20:49 AM CDT   Updated On: Jul 29 2013 02:53:04 PM CDT

Pope Francis is breaking with tradition and changing the tone of the papacy, both to the delight and chagrin of the Catholic Church.

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Pope Francis rocked the Catholic world on Sept. 1 by announcing that women who have had an abortion are not automatically excommunicated but can seek forgiveness from priests during the church's upcoming "Year of Mercy." The Pope's policy, which does not change church doctrine, technically applies only to Year of Mercy, a centuries-old Catholic practice during which believers may receive special indulgences for their sins. Vatican officials say it is possible the pontiff will allow the abortion policy to continue in perpetuity.

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