Summer 1971

Page 19

Eugene C. Kennedy

Reflections on the Psychology of American Priests

Priests have their biggest challenge and most serious difficulties in devewping to the fulness of their human potential.

"Yes," a learned Churchman was heard to ask in the midst of a recent discussion on the priesthood, "but what makes a priest different from other men?" Although the theological answer to this is one thing, the psychological answer is simple and clear: developmentally, the American priest is more like other men than different from them. This truth echoes the familiar insight of psychiatrist Harry Stack Sullivan: "We are all much more simply human than anything else." The long time cultural bias toward regarding the priest as some131