That's not actually much of a paraphrase. Here's what Francis wrote: "I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it." This comes after Francis has psychoanalyzed women who have had abortions and proclaimed, "I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision. What has happened is profoundly unjust; yet only understanding the truth of it can enable one not to lose hope. The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the Sacrament of Confession with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father."
You got that? You want to be part of our club, you gotta be sad and sorry about your abortion, ladies. Oh, by the way, we're still gonna condemn the shit out of you because that's what we do, but you get this Holy Year (are other years unholy?) to come clean, tell your priest who has been telling you that you can be excommunicated for abortion that you have had one, and all will be well and you can eat the Christ crackers with a free conscience.
The Rude Pundit's first thought was in a mighty tweet of mightiness, where he said that women should tell Francis to shove his mercy up his ecumenical ass. Then people starting tweeting back, which is what people do, that he didn't understand, that he must not be Catholic, that if he was Catholic, he'd get what a huge, huge deal this is. And then the Rude Pundit felt pity, which made him drink whiskey, which made him angry, so he started looking up nun and priest porn, and then Pope porn, and then Craigslist ads that referenced the same, and that was the beginning of a downward spiral that ended with strangers sporting Jesus butt plugs and crucifixes shoved into the most sacred of places. You don't need to know more, but the Lord was referenced on several occasions.
Of course, it's virtually impossible for anyone not Catholic to understand. But we can all understand that if you feel you are worth more because a religious leader says your sins are forgiven, that's fucked up. Read the whole letter from Francis. There's some hoodoo shit in there. Apparently, you should be striving for a Jubilee Indulgence in this Jubilee Year. Says El Papa, "To experience and obtain the Indulgence, the faithful are called to make a brief pilgrimage to the Holy Door, open in every Cathedral or in the churches designated by the Diocesan Bishop, and in the four Papal Basilicas in Rome, as a sign of the deep desire for true conversion." That's cult-worthy. (And, let's face it, all religions are cults with better marketing.)
But, hey, the Pope doesn't hate the gays. He says Christians should get off their asses and do something about the poor. He thinks that wealth is bullshit. He wants nations and corporations and individuals to act on climate change. If there is one upside to this offer of redemption, it's that maybe, perhaps, some women who have had abortions and who want to take part in a Christian faith won't end up in one of the totally fucked-up evangelical faiths. Those assholes will forgive anything as long as you take a plunge in their icky pool and pledge some cash.
Most women, though, have got to be thinking, "I don't feel like shit for having an abortion. So fuck that guy."