Just Ministry: Professional Ethics for Pastoral Ministers

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At a time when concerns for misconduct, abuse scandals, and liability have brought pastoral ministers under greater scrutiny than ever before and have threatened to undermine their morale, Just Ministry offers a positive perspective on the vocation of pastoral ministry and wise ethical guidance to foster integrity in ministry.

This is a helpful training and evaluative resource for those involved in pastoral ministry as ordained clergy, religious, or lay ministers. Key concepts are illustrated through case studies and practical strategies for acquiring and developing virtues, as well as preventative education for pastoral ministry in avoiding misconduct.

By examining the professional aspects of a ministerial vocation, this book provides a guide for ministers to be accountable in offering their pastoral service with expert knowledge and skill and with good moral character. It builds upon a theology of vocation, a covenantal model of ministry, and a vision of professional identity.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809146314
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2010
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 414,535
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

1 Ministry as Vocation 1

Vocation 3

Called 5

To Be Human

To Be a Disciple

God's Providence

Gifted 11

Discerning Gifts

Freedom for Ministry

Service 16

Community 17

Called from the Community

Serve the Community

Sustained by the Community

2 Ministry as Profession 21

On Being Professional 22

Called 24

Covenantal Model of Pastoral Ministry

Symbolic Representative of the Holy

Gifted 30

Specialized Knowledge and Skill

Theological Reflection

Service 34

Mission of the Church

Officer of the Church

Fiduciary Duty

Community 37


Code of Ethics

3 The Minister's Character 44

The Virtue of Virtue Ethics 46

Character 48

Intention 49

Emotions 50

Imagination 56

Virtues 60

Forming Character 68

Implications for Ministerial Formation 74

Selection 74

Emotional Development 76

Spiritual Practices 77

Friendships 78

Mentors and Models 78

Community's Culture 79

4 The Virtuous Minister 81

Cardinal Virtues 83

Charity 83

Justice 85

Fidelity 87

Self-Esteem 89

Prudence 93

Everyday Virtues 96

Gratitude 96

Generosity 100

Compassion 102

Humility 106

Holiness 109

Courage 111

5 The Dynamics of Power 117

Ecclesial Warrants 118

Church as Hierarchy 118

Church as Communion 119

Church as Sacrament 120

Personal Power 121

The Professional Pastoral Relationship 121

The Nature of Personal Power 123

Institutional Sources of Power 123

Personal Sources of Power 124

Extra-Rational Sources of Power 126

Symbolic Representation

Religious Authenticity

Boundaries 129

Common Boundaries 130

Challenges to Forming Boundaries 131

The Fiduciary Responsibility

The Lure of the Friendship Model

Dual Relationships 137

Social Power 143

Organizational Culture 144

The Clerical Culture 146

The Call for Accountability 148

Assessing the Use of Power 151

Ethical Criteria 151

Psychological Model 152

The Model of Jesus 153

6 Sexuality 156

Sexual Conduct 159

Sexualized Behavior 161

Sexual Abuse 161

Sexual Exploitation 163

Sexual Harassment 164

Sexual Fantasy 166

Cybersex 168

Good Touch/Confusing Touch/Bad Touch 172

Ethical Assessment 178

Justice 179

Fidelity 180

Strategies for Prevention 181

7 Confidentiality 189

The Presumption of Confidentiality 191

Ethical Foundations 193

The Dignity of the Person 193

Justice 194

Fidelity 195

The Limits of Confidentiality 195

Canon Law 196

Civil Law 200

Ethical Limits 204




Betrayals of Confidentiality 209

Invasions of Privacy 210

Pastoral Visits 211

Illustrations in Preaching and Teaching 211

Prayers of the Faithful 213

Records and Recordings 213

Environment 213

Gossip 214

Pastoral Publications 215

Strategies for Prevention 216

8 Pastoral Care 218

Preaching 219

Fidelity to the Text 221

Fidelity to Experience 222

Fidelity to the Community 223

Preaching on Moral Issues 225

Managing Finances 227

Pastoral Moral Guidance 231

Appendix: Statements of Ministerial Commitment 240

Mrs. Pat Morgan 241

Br. Jeff Shackelton, OFM 245

Notes 251

Index 269

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