A LARGE number of former priests are being invited to attend a Catholic Renewal Movement conference on the priesthood to be held in London on October 25.
The movement's newsletter this month notes "with concern that in this Holy Year of Recon-. ciliation no apparent move has been made by the Church authorities to heal the deep wounds that lie within the Roman Catholic ordained ministry."
An unsigned article in the newsletter said that the calibre of those leaving ought to be significant, adding "perhaps even more significant are the ones left behind."
It continued: "Many of our priests can't cope, can't relate to lay-people particularly the young, educated lay. Some, and it seems to me an increasing number, have a drink problem."
Those leaving the priesthood still suffered some injustice and humiliation, and a lay group should care enough to speak out, said the article.
The conference will look at what Scripture says about the priesthood, how much the historical development of the ministry has helped the Christian mission and how priests who have resigned can continue their ministry if they wish.
CRM sent a letter to the National Conference of Priests before their annual meeting this month expressing concern about priests who had resigned. The NCP passed a resolution they had earlier tabled urging that bishops make full use of laicised priests.
The conference will be held Lt the French Church, Leicester Square, the fee of €1.50 in
eluding lunch. Bookings are being arranged by Martin Prendergast. 54 Forest Court, I Holden Avenue, London, N12.