The Social Role of the Priest as Perceived by Polish Youth. A Sociological Analysis
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Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan
Publication date: 2015-09-30
Polish Sociological Review 2015;191(3):315–328
With this article I show the perception shared by high school and university students in Poland concerning the role of the priest in the Church and society. The basis of these findings are the results of three sociological studies that I carried out in years 1983, 1998, and 2008, realized among 976 high school students and 414 university students in Kalisz, Poland. In the given 25 year period, the perception of the role of the religious priest in the Church and the parish, as well as his social role in a democratic state, underwent major changes. Both types of roles—religious and social—recognized by the audited youth differ significantly from their definition as given by the doctrine of the Catholic Church. The youth imagine the priest in these roles in a different way than the Church and concentrate their attention on those elements that have practical significance. Indicators of these changes are included in the statistical tables.