Panjim: A research by a Pilar priest reveals that a priest’s credibility has a direct bearing on Church attendance amongst parishioners. Father Peter Raposo along with Dr. Sean M. Horan in a recent study published in the Journal of Communication and Religionascertains that perception of priest’s credibility affects parishioners’ responsiveness during church attendance.
The research paper entitled, “Priest as Teacher I: Understanding Source Credibility”, marks a new program of research examining the priest-parishioner communication behaviors in the instructional setting of the Church.
This program of research examines the role of priests as teachers, and accordingly examines communication behaviors in the instructional settings of the Catholic Church. The foundation of this argument is that priests are perceived as teachers and churches represent an instructional communication setting.
When priests convey competence, trustworthiness, goodwill, closeness, and are both responsive and assertive, parishioners are more engaged in the church service, the study revealed.
It recommends that priests’ ought to have training programs addressing instructional communication practices where priests are trained to communicate credibility and nonverbal immediacy during services, where appropriate, along with responsive behaviors.
This study is the first in the Priest As Teacher series conducted by the same researchers.
In line with the same program of research, the two communication researchers have also examined priests’ communicative misbehaviors, and the effect of parishioners’ nonverbal responsiveness on priests’ performance as teachers, which are currently in the press and due for publication.
The researcher Sean M. Horan (PhD, West Virginia University) is an Assistant Professor in the College of Communication at DePaul University and studies communication in romantic relationships as well as communication in instructional settings. Horan was recently identified as the 15th most published Communication researcher between the years of 2007-2011. He is frequently featured in national and international media, and authors the monthly series Adventures in Dating for Psychology Today.
Pilar priest Raposo (MA, DePaul University and MA, Sikkim Manipal University) is currently pursuing the doctoral program of Communication Studies at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, and teaches at the same University.He is the former Editor of Catholic Weekly, VavraddeanchoIxttand, Secretary and Media Spokesperson of the Archbishop of Ranchi.