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Professionalising the Shepherds

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In this article, we present some results of a survey among Dutch Catholic pastors about their attitudes toward the church and professionalisation. After clarifying attitudes based on theological concepts like authority, apostolicity and local leadership, we examine attitudes towards aims and responsibilities of professionalisation policies. Then we interpret the relationship of the two groups of concepts as a theological legitimation of pastoral aspirations towards professional development and emancipation. According to a multi-level party model of professionalisation we discuss church constraints relating to professionalisation, and the chances of support for a policy aimed at professionalisation. Finally, we discuss the theological advisability of pastoral professionalisation, by determining its moral contribution to the development of the church.


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