AN INCREASING number of priests who left the active ministry are seeking to return, according to the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
in a report in the 1300-page book, Activities of the Holy See 1980 the Congregation says that its disciplinary office "has cared especially for the rehabilitation to active pastoral service of numerous subjects who, after sonic period of defection. have brought to maturity signs of' repentance,
It adds: "There have been further increases in requests for reintegration and rehabilitation by priests who for various reasons 'had previously obtained a dispensation from priestly obligations."
The book. which went on sale in Rome earlier this month, is an unofficial but authorised summary of the activities of the Pope and the Vatican during the year. The Congregation for Sacraments and Divine Worship expressed concern over "authorisation abusively given to deacons and even to women Religious" to confer the sacrament of annointing of the sick. "The only minister of this sacrament is the priest," it said.