MORE than one in ten of priests seeking a secular life who have been helped by "Compass," the small group of people who attempt to resettle them, are now probation officers.
Mr. Douglas Gibson, the group's administrator, said last week that over the past four years they had seen 192 priests and nuns who had decided to leave the religious life, and they were at present receiving an average of three to four applications each week.
"Celibacy is the main issue," said Mr. Gibson, "and 70 per cent of the priests who have come to us are now married.
"ROOT CAUSE" "We always ask if they have told their religious superiors of their decision, and if they have not we urge them to do so."
Speaking broadly, Mr. Gibson said, the root cause was the loneliness of a priest's life., combined with the fact that not all who had been ordained were capable of a celibate life. He said the group needed about £300 a year to carry on, although all its members were unpaid. their bank balance was down -to £10 and without some financial help they would be forced to curtail their activities. He asked anyone who would Iike to help to send donations to him at 10 Wyndham Place, London, W.1.