Date of Award

Spring 1974

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Niemiec, Carl J.

Second Advisor

Topetzs, Nich J.

Third Advisor

Ivanoff, John


Little systematic or scientific research has been done with men who have left the active, priestly ministry; but strong negative feelings against them have been emanated by ecclesial and lay sources alike. On the basis of social and time factors this would not seem to be a homogeneous group. Some have married, others have not. Some chose to be laicized, others have not. Some have been out of the ministry appreciably longer than others and may have had time to better adjust to a new life style. This research was designed to test whether or not significant differences in personality traits existed between these varying groups of ex-priests as well as between this entire group of ex-priests and a similar group of men still active in the priesthood. The MMPI and o one page questionnaire were the instruments used. From the MMPI the validity, clinical, and the research scales of ego-strength, dependency, and prejudice, were employed. Initially the results were used to determine whether the mean scores of the comparison groups on any of the scales would prove to be significant and thus reflect personality differences. Secondly, the results were viewed as profiles indicative or not indicative of pathology. One page questionnaire was designed to tap the attitudes of these men toward the Church and their status in the Church, as well as to gather the data necessary for subgrouping. The population included an experimental group of forty-six men still active in the ministry. The findings of this research resulted in the following. There was no significant difference in the personality traits as measured by the MMPI between men who have left the active ministry through laicization and those who chose not to be laicized...



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