ETHICS IN PASTORAL MINISTRY
Pastoral ministry received a scholarly attention merely in this century. However, the Church has been on the move in the establishment of the Kingdom of God and was concerned about the redemption of souls. Our model in this regard is Jesus of Nazareth who went about doing good. Over-exposure to the world and unstable involvement in the institutional services have brought forward numerous challenges to the Pastors and some find it difficult to overcome these challenges. Secularization, globalization and the material affluence have considerably affected the pastors. There lies the relevance for spiritual, disciplined and the holistically efficient pastors for the successful completion of the ministry started by Jesus. Professionalism and excellence shall not be emphasized at the cost of Gospel values; instead, the pastors have to read the signs of the time and shall be capable of giving the core message of the Gospel in the present context. This article is an attempt to get into some of the current challenges of the pastors and emphasizes certain ethical principles in pastoral ministry.
Craig Dykstra, “Pastoral and Ecclesial Imagination,” in For Life Abundant: Practical Theology, Theological Education and Christian Ministry, Dorothy C. Bass and Craig Dykstra, ed., Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008, 41–61, at 48.
Don Browning, The Moral Context of Pastoral Care, Philadelphia: West Minister Press, 1976, 14.
Edwards & Edwards, “Priests’ Experience of the Meaning of Integrity with Special Reference to Vocation,” 38.
Gaylord Noyce, Pastoral Ethics, Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1988, 30.
Here what I mean is the recent incident where a few priests exploited a woman with confessional secrets.“Secret Confession Allegedly Used to Blackmail, Abuse Woman; 5 Kerala Priests Suspended,” Hindustan Times, Jun 25, 2018.
https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/factchecker-misquoting-francis-of-assisi/ accessed on 10.05.2020.
Jay Adams E. Pastoral Leadership, Shepherding God’s Flock, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1978, 20.
Joseph Aubry, “Ongoing Formation: Continuing Renewal” The Way Supplement 41 (Summer 1981) 74–-88, at 78.
Mary Warnock, Imagination, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1976, 193.
Mutuae Relationes, the document published in May 1978, by the Sacred Congregations of Bishops and of Religious and Secular Institutes, on mutual co-operation, 40–43.
Pope Francis, “International Theological Symposium on the Priesthood,” Vatican: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, February 17, 2022.
S.D. Edwards & D.J. Edwards, “Priests’ Experience of the Meaning of Integrity with Special Reference to Vocation,” Theologia Viatorum 40, 1 (2016) 25–42.
Second Vatican Council, Presbyterorum Ordinis, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, ed. Austin Flannery, Vatican Council II, Bombay: Pauline Publications, 1975, 14.
Seward Hiltner, “The Meaning and Importance of Pastoral Theology” in The Blackwell Reader in Pastoral and Practical Theology, J. Woodward & S. Pattison, ed., Oxford/Massachusetts: Blackwell, 2000, 28.
St Paul in Athens, Preaching to Philosophers (Acts 17:15-34).
Thomas J. McGovern, Priestly Identity: A Study in the Theology of Priesthood, Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2002, 118.
Thomas Punnapadam, The Heart of a Pastor: Personal Reflections on Ministry, Bengaluru: Kristu Jyoti Publications, 2015, 69.