|Germany||POPE WRITES TO GERMAN BISHOPS ON ABORTION|
Germany's Catholic bishops said on Friday they would wait until next week before responding to a letter from Pope John Paul II that reportedly demands they stop issuing abortion certificates after counselling pregnant women.
``The German church will not stop counselling pregnant women,'' Johannes Dyba, Archbishop of Fulda, told ZDF television. ``The only question is whether we will continue to issue the certificates or not.''
Under German law, a woman seeking an abortion must first discuss her decision with an advisory service in order to get a certificate before she can go ahead with the abortion.
A sixth of Germany's some 1500 advice centres are run by the Catholic Church.
Pro-life activists and church members had argued that being able to issue abortion certificates increased the number of women seeking counselling by Catholic groups and in turn the chance they would change their minds.
Reuters 11:42am 21/6/99