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Study reveals clergy's struggle to maintain holiness

New research conducted by an Adelaide university shows that many pastoral leaders are struggling to maintain meaningful relationships with their people and their God.

The Catholic Leader reports that the finding comes out of doctoral research through the School of Psychology at the University of South Australia and will be included in a book, Hard to be Holy, by Paul and Libby Whetham.

The interdenominational research shows the clergy commonly have few friends, poor general relating skills, lack intimacy with their partners or those closest to them and experience loneliness.

The research found, aditionally, that those who were most lonely had a less personal relationship with God, often seeing prayer of Bible reading as part of an already stressful workload.

The findings are part of a stody of 60 clergy from five major demoninations in southern NSW, conducted by counselling lecturer Dr Paul Whetham.

Catholic Leader