The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the
Psychological Well-Being of Catholic Priests in Canada
Among the general population, frontline workers have been identified to be at heightened risk for negative mental health consequences related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Catholic priests, who minister to approximately 30% of Canadians, in their role as frontline workers, have been profoundly limited in the provision of pastoral care due to public health restrictions. However, little is known about the impact pandemic distress has on this largely understudied population. Four hundred and eleven Catholic priests across Canada participated in an online survey during May and June 2021. Multiple regression analysis examined how depression, anxiety, traumatic impact of events, loneliness, and religious coping style affect the psychological well-being, satisfaction as a priest, and priestly identity of participants. Results demonstrated that pandemic distress significantly impacts the psychological well-being of priest participants. Depression and loneliness surfaced as significant considerations associated with lowered psychological well-being. While neither anxiety nor traumatic distress reached a significance threshold, the religious coping style of participants emerged as an important factor in the psychological well-being of priests. Results of the study contribute to the understanding of how the pandemic has impacted a less visible group of frontline workers.
Kappler, S, Okozi, I., Diouf, F., Hartinger, K. (2022). The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Psychological Well-Being of Catholic Priests in Canada. Religions 2022, 13, 718. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13080718
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