Thursday, October 30, 2008

Psychological Tests for New Priest

So, I just heard on BBC that Pope Benedict just approved new psychological tests for people who are discerning the priesthood. I still have not made up my mind about this (and really don't know enough about it), but I am curious about your opinions:

Is it a good idea to subject priests to a psychological test before the priesthood? What would rule out a candidate? According to the BBC, it is to make sure people discerning can "control their sexual urges". That sounds fine, since a priest should be able to do such (towards males or females). I'm kind of interested in this new movement though.


The Catholic Journeyman said...

Not sure the BBC has the entire group of motives for the testing correct. The sex abuse thing is too obvious to be the only criteria. As I see it, self-Control is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be perfected in our faith life. If you have to test to rule out Clergy candidates the Seminary has bigger problems to fix at that point.

We give a Catholic version of the time ested MMPI to RCIA catechumens/candidates after the rite of welcome, however it is not taught as a madatory thing... as an elective to evaluate what might be naturally fitting for them in serving the Church from a Lay standpoint.

Stephanie said...

I figure the Church knows more than I do about the formation of priests and such, so I trust they have good reason for these kinds of decisions. :-) I think it's a good sign, after the past several decades of all kinds of problems (not just sexual) among the clergy, that attention is being paid to such things.

Rene'e said...

I think any attempt to prevent the abuse which happened in the Church is positive.
I am skeptic about Psychological testing in general as a means to “weed” out those who would not be qualified for any position in general. Such test require honestly and humility when participating. I am not sure how reliable or accurate the tests would be.

I agree with Stephanie, I trust the Church knows more about these types of issues than I, so I guess we will see in the long run.

BTW Stephanie, I do respect the right of all voters to vote their consciences.

Stephanie said...

Thanks Renee. :-)

God Fanboy said...

Do teachers have to take psychological tests? There are people who are corrupted psychologically in all walks of life. I'm sure B16 has thought long and hard about this and i pray he has made the right decision. What do i know, i'm just a simple blogger,lol.

Maybe this can help weed out some of the bad. After all the church is both divine and human... Because of it's human part there will always be scandals.

"The kingdom of Heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad." Mt 13:47-48