LIMBURG, Germany --(AP Story from ProLifeInfo.org) A Roman Catholic diocese has reached an agreement with
the Vatican that allows its pro-life program to continue offering
certificates of counseling to women who may then seek an abortion.
Bishop Franz Kamphaus of Limburg said the compromise would allow him to
continue offering the certificates until the end of the year. They serve
as proof of counseling and must be obtained by women in Germany to legally
have an abortion.
About 20,000 women seek abortion counseling in Catholic-run centers each
year, and church officials say at least 5,000 of them decide afterward not
to have an abortion. "The idea is namely to maintain a presence, where
life is at its greatest risk, with women who are uncertain whether they
should abort their child or not," Kamphaus said.
The German Bishops Conference, which decided in 1999 to comply with the
pope's request to stop issuing the certificates, said it welcomed
Kamphaus' agreement with the Vatican. Germany's other dioceses have
already ceased to issue the certificates, although many continue to offer
The Vatican and the German Catholic had been attempting to balance the
desire not to appear to legitimitize an abortion with the desire to help
women choose pro-life alternatives.