Title page for ETD etd-10082011-114158

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Kgabe, Vicentia
URN etd-10082011-114158
Document Title Abuse of alcohol by Anglican clergy : challenge to pastoral care
Degree PhD
Department Practical Theology
Advisor Name Title
Prof M J Masango Supervisor
  • parish leadership
  • rector
  • rectory
  • sacraments
  • the Anglican Church
  • constitution and canons
  • diocesan leadership
  • discernment process
  • holy communion
  • congregation
Date 2011-09-08
Availability unrestricted
The Anglican Church is experiencing a growing number of clergy who abuse alcohol, and this has made people to ask whether clergy still embody the image of God or if they are “alcoholics.” I therefore undertook to do a research on this problem to ascertain whether the church creates alcoholics or are alcoholics attracted to the ministry.

Questionnaires designed for laity, clergy and the diocesan leadership were given to them to find out if alcohol and alcoholism is a problem to the church and what could be the cause of it. Realizing that the questionnaires may not be sufficient, five case studies we used. These case studies are real stories from different priests across Southern Africa. They are more detailed and shed a light to the problem of alcoholism among the clergy.

Through the questionnaires and case studies, the researcher found that ministerial stress, family stress, financial problems, lack of recreational time and peer pressure contribute to clergy being alcoholics. Moreover, the diocesan leadership has not devised means to assist alcoholic priests on permanent bases. Sending an alcoholic priest to rehabilitation centres has been the modus operandi and there is no follow up from the leadership until the said priest relapses. Families of alcoholic clergy have been left to find their own ways of healing. The parish too, has not received much help. The question asked is how the parish heal and not take out its pain on a new priest who comes after the alcoholic priest.

The researcher recommends that as part of the discernment process, a psychologist be involved to help to ascertain whether a candidate to ministry does / have exposure to alcohol and to what extend his condition can be a hindrance to performing his priestly calling. With many clergy, the signs were there when they went to the Discernment Conference and no one picked them up.

And as part of clergy training and formation, the abuse of alcohol and its consequences should be discussed and on-going assistance should be accessible to both clergy and their families. Though this research was not aimed at stopping priests from being alcoholics, the researcher hopes that it helps the clergy to realize what alcohol do to their ministry, families and themselves so that they can make wise choices when it comes to taking alcohol.

© 2011 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Kgabe, V 2011, Abuse of alcohol by Anglican clergy : challenge to pastoral care , PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10082011-114158/ >


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