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Pope strips some authority from German bishop

In a rare disciplinary move, Pope John Paul II has stripped a German bishop of some of his authority, after the bishop refused to follow a direct order from Rome to stop abortion counseling in his diocese.

Catholic World News reports that because Bishop Franz Kamphaus of Limburg defied a Vatican directive regarding the policies of Church-related counselling centres in his diocese, Pope John Paul stripped him of his authority over those centres.

Bishop Kamphaus remains the head of the Limburg diocese, but his jurisdiction does not include the counselling centres-- which will now follow the policy set by Rome.

The Pope's action, announced on Friday, came after Bishop Kamphaus-- alone among the 28 diocesan bishops of Germany-- refused to comply with a Vatican policy that had been set in 1999. The policy called for an end to the issuance of certificates that could be used to fulfill the legal requirements for obtaining an abortion.



12 Mar 2002