BONN, Germany, Nov 23 ( – The German Bishops Conference announced Tuesday that the Catholic Church-run counselling centres will stop issuing certificates for abortion counselling since such certificates are used to allow abortions. After the latest intervention by Pope John Paul II this past weekend the bishops have agreed to phase out the certificate program by the end of 2000. 

A lay group claiming to be Catholic decided in September to offer counselling with certificates in case the bishops opted out of the program. The controversy with Rome over the issuing of the certificates commenced in 1995 just after the counselling law was implemented in late 1994. 

With files from the Washington Post.