Church attendance linked to priest’s credibility: study


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.

Source: oheraldo

Church Attendance Linked To Priest’s Credibility: Study


  1. March 10, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    How true that we all want our parish priest to first be a friend, and then the rest follows automatically. If he becomes a friend, he will become someone you can trust and talk to.
    I remember a parish priest when I lived in Andheri; he was an absolute pompous ass; more interested in letting me know on the first meeting that he had just come back from London; I couldn’t be bothered with him, but I pitied him for his stupidity.
    I was born in Khotachi Wadi, Girgaum. Here all of my era will remember dear Fr. Edgar D’Souza, the assistant parish priest at St Teresa’s Church; although he gave almost all of us a good ” KATOOS ” on the head when we stepped out of line in catechism class; or that lovingly fierce pinch on the tummy ( which really hurt ), we still loved him. By the way his sermons at 5.30 AM mass on Sundays was totally boring.
    Fr. Edgar never forgot to wish you on your birthday, he always attended a family function when invited;and he knew EVERY parishioner by name. And then he either officiated or definitely attended every parish funeral.That is the type of priest who could be your friend.
    R I P Fr. Edgar


  2. Isaac Gomes said,

    March 11, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Nothing can be farther from the truth i.e. a parish priest’s credibility has a direct bearing on Church attendance amongst parishioners.

    This is proved by the poster below which was put up on the gate of Auxilium Parish Kolkata and photographed last Sunday 9th March 2014 by one of the parishioners,

    There are a number of priests who jell with parishioners and have very good potential to be parish priests. But because they are honest and try to be upright, they are shunted around here and there.

    Isaac Gomes

    Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2014 01:16:52 +0800
    Angelina Nirmala (

    Dear Fr Provincial,

    On Friday 31st January 2014 night at 10:20 pm, a heavily intoxicated Fr K.K. Sebastian was spotted near Kazi Nazrul School by amazed on-lookers. He was being taken to Auxilium Parish in a cycle rickshaw. Leaning on the left side of the rickshaw, he could hardly sit properly with saliva dropping out of his wide open mouth.

    On being questioned by the witnesses, the rickshaw puller said that Fr K.K. Sebastian was put on the rickshaw near Topsia crossing by a couple and vomited on the way. It’s a shame he is still called a priest and allowed to preach abstinence, purity and holiness.

    All the witnesses including some people of the locality were aghast at this inebriated state of Fr K.K. Sebastian – the king of Auxilium Parish drooling on a rickshaw!

    According to inside sources he first went to Don Bosco Park Circus on the occasion of Foundation Day. He slipped out after a while and headed to China town to indulge in Chinese New Year fiesta and drank upto his throat!

    This is another classic contribution of Fr K.K. Sebastian as Auxilium Church Parish Priest, to the Salesian Community! He can safely call himself Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde whom you have been sheltering in spite of his many gory slip ups.

    Don’t you think it is high time you threw him out of priesthood? Please remember, parishioners are seething with anger and they may do the needful if you don’t.



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