It appears that on a whim, the Pope can determine whether God will forgive or not.
Last year he decided that priests around the world could forgive the “sin of abortion” from December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016. This was deemed the Church’s Year of Mercy. Evidently mercy in the Roman Catholic Church is not necessarily shown in other years, at least not as freely. When mercy ran out on November 20, 2016 the Pope magnanimously determined to extend the grace of God for awhile longer. In fact, Pope Francis has not yet determined how long this stint of mercy will last. His grace has swelled to the extent that as top Vatican official, Monsignor Rino Fisichella told a news conference at the Vatican, “from the women to the nurse to the doctor and whoever supports this procedure. . . The sin of abortion is inclusive. Thus forgiveness for the sin of abortion is all-inclusive and extends to all those who are participants in this sin.”
This news item will give us the opportunity to explore the scriptures to discover how freely God forgives and how far reaching His forgiveness extends.