Priest-Psychologist Hangs Himself

October 2002

With the pending Vatican investigation of U.S. seminaries, not only are homosexuals in the seminaries on the defensive, but so are the shrinks employed by vocations directors and seminary officials to weed out orthodox candidates and seminarians. Moreover, the psych profession in general is under a cloud because bishops have said they reassigned pederast priests on the advice of shrinks.

In the August 2 National Catholic Reporter, John L. Allen Jr. says that “the use and abuse of psychological evaluation is expected to be a major bone of contention” in the Vatican investigation. Allen says: “One catalyst [for the Vatican’s scrutiny of psychology] has been the much-discussed book Goodbye, Good Men, by Michael Rose, who argues that the priest shortage in the United States has been artificially exacerbated by liberal vocations directors and seminary formation teams hostile to conservative candidates. The primary tool used to screen out conservatives, according to Rose, is psychological evaluations labeling them ‘rigid’ and ‘intolerant.’ Meanwhile morally lax candidates, including future abusers, got clean bills of health.”

In the same article, Allen, the Reporter’s Rome Correspondent, interviews Fr. Franco Imoda, Rector of the Gregorian University in Rome and “a Jesuit identified perhaps more than any other figure in the Catholic church with the use of psychology in spiritual formation.” A Ph.D in psychology, Imoda is the cofounder of the Gregorian’s Institute for Psychology, now 32 years old, which has performed over 7,000 psychological evaluations on candidates for the priesthood.

Imoda says: “If these [psychological] instruments are being used to exclude people simply for being traditional, it’s wrong.” That’s reassuring. But as we shall see, it’s just double-talk.


You have two options:

  1. Online subscription: Subscribe now to New Oxford Review for access to all web content at newoxfordreview.org AND the monthly print edition for as low as $38 per year.
  2. Single article purchase: Purchase this article for $1.95, for viewing and printing for 48 hours.

If you're already a subscriber log-in here.



New Oxford Notes: October 2002

Read our posting policy Add a comment
Be the first to comment on this note!


©