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Martin Burnham

Narcissism as a Paradigm for Clericalism: The Implications for Training of Roman Catholic Seminarians

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Clericalism is a policy of maintaining or increasing the power of a religious hierarchy. Although clericalism has gained attention as a concern among newly ordained priests Roman Catholic priests (Horan, 2013), little empirical research has been conducted on this topic. Participants included three registered parishioners serving in liturgical ministries who were interviewed in face-to-face, semi structured interviews for this grounded theory pilot study. This qualitative study sought to identify clericalism in newly ordained Catholic priests and its effects on Catholic parishioners. I established trustworthiness for this study by utilizing a research journal (Corbin & Strauss, 2015), constant comparison in data analysis (Corbin & Strauss, 2015), peer debriefing (Hays & Singh, 2012), and a research team for consensus coding (Hays & Singh, 2012). In participant interviews, I expected to see a range of parishioner reactions to newly ordained priests’ ministry. In this poster session, I will be presenting an overview of relevant literature, a description of procedures of this pilot study, and discussion of preliminary findings from the research.

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