The research paper examines the role of priests as teachers in the instructional settings of the Catholic Church.
The research of a Goan Catholic priest has revealed that a parish priest’s credibility has a direct bearing on Church attendance amongst parishioners.
The study by Pilar Father Peter Raposo reveals that when priests convey competence, trustworthiness, goodwill, closeness, and are both responsive and assertive, parishioners are more engaged in the church service.
Findings of Father Raposo, former editor of Vavraddeancho Ixtt, and researcher Dr Sean M Horan were published in the Journal of Communication and Religion. It asserts that perception of priest’s credibility affects parishioners’ responsiveness during church attendance.
The research paper entitled, “Priest as Teacher I: Understanding Source Credibility” examines the role of priests as teachers in the instructional settings of the Catholic Church.
This study is the first in the Priest As Teacher series conducted by the same researchers. In line with the same program of research, the two communication researchers have also examined priests’ communicative misbehaviors, and the effect of parishioners’ nonverbal responsiveness on priests’ performance as teachers, which are currently in the press and due for publication.
The study says that priests ought to have training programs addressing instructional communication practices where priests are trained to communicate credibility and nonverbal immediacy during services, where appropriate, along with responsive behaviours.
Fr Raposo (MA, DePaul University and MA, Sikkim Manipal University) is currently pursuing the doctoral programme of Communication Studies at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, and teaches at the same University. He is the former secretary & media spokesperson of the Archbishop of Ranchi.
The researcher Sean M. Horan (PhD, West Virginia University) is an Assistant Professor in the College of Communication at DePaul University and studies communication in romantic relationships as well as communication in instructional settings.