Pope John Paul II met on Thursday with the head of the German bishops' conference, in a new effort to resolve longstanding difficulties over the German bishops' involvement with abortion counselling.
    Under a German law passed in 1995, women seeking an abortion must produce a certificate to demonstrate that they have received counselling at an approved centre. Many counselling centres affiliated with the Catholic Church continue to provide those certificates. Some German Catholics argue that it is intrinsically immoral for Church employees to provide a certificate which clears the way for an abortion. Others respond that if the Church did not provide that service, pregnant women would not come in to the Church-affiliated counselling centers, and so the employees there would not have the opportunity to persuade the woman to continue her pregnancy.
    Catholic World News reports that the German bishops appealed to Rome for guidance after finding themselves split on the issue.

3:32pm 21/5/99 / Catholic World News


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