Patologia kierownictwa parafialnego

Janusz Mariański


The theme concerns with the parish leadership functional dimensions. There exists a set of parish leadership phenomena which can be called pathological. On the one hand these are behaviours from the sociological point of view appreciated negatively as they deviate from the normative Church system. On the other, however, these are symptoms reflecting the abnormalities and inefficiencies of functioning of ecclesiastical institutions, characterized by deviations from model assumptions.

The author concentrates himself on ten aspects of the problem, which — as it seems — are of crucial importance in revealing the severe pastoral difficulties of today. Among other things he tries to answer the questions: should the parish community leader have the traits of a superior or of a leader; which functions performed by priest are of principal importance; which goals — particular or communal, material or spiritual satisfactions should determine his daily activity; should one prefer the position achieved by individual (the stabilization tendencies in parish leadership) or the daily activity based on qualifications (change contra status)?

The problems of distorting of informations, overloading by precepts and of anonymity in intra-parish relations pertain to various forms of bureaucracy, which is negatively assayed in view of essential goals of the Church. The issues taken in the form of two alternatives: the giant parishes or micro-parishes and autonomy or dependency, are connected with certain „afflictions” of parish organization structure.

The analized functional abnormalities of parish leadership are obvious in confrontation with model functioning. The social harmfulness and discordance with socio-religious goals broadly viewed allow to treat them as pathological symptoms.

The prophylactic activity should be based on the possibly earliest pointing at the principal pathological features of parish leadership and on providing the rich means of their elimination. In parish and Church there exist enormous social powers facilitating the counteraction against the functional abnormaities and facilitating the improvement process and the increase of organizational efficiency.

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