On This Day … 03 October

People (Deaths)

  • 2014 – Benedict Groeschel, American priest, psychologist, and talk show host (b. 1933).

Benedict Groeschel

Benedict Joseph Groeschel, C.F.R. (23 July 1933 to 03 October 2014) was an American Franciscan friar, Catholic priest, retreat master, author, psychologist, activist, and television host.

He hosted the television talk programme Sunday Night Prime (originally Sunday Night Live) broadcast on the Eternal Word Television Network, as well as several serial religious specials.

He founded the Office for Spiritual Development for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. He was Associate Director of the Trinity Retreat House for clergy and executive director of St. Francis House.

He was professor of pastoral psychology at St. Joseph’s Seminary in New York and an adjunct professor at the Institute for Psychological Sciences in Arlington, Virginia. He was one of the founders of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and among his close friends were Mother Teresa, Mother Angelica and Alice von Hildebrand.

Pastoral Psychology

One application of the psychology of religion is in pastoral psychology, the use of psychological findings to improve the pastoral care provided by pastors and other clergy, especially in how they support ordinary members of their congregations.

Pastoral psychology is also concerned with improving the practice of chaplains in healthcare and in the military.

One major concern of pastoral psychology is to improve the practice of pastoral counseling. Pastoral psychology is a topic of interest for professional journals such as Pastoral Psychology, the Journal of Psychology and Christianity, and the Journal of Psychology and Theology.

In 1984, Thomas Oden severely criticised mid-20th-century pastoral care and the pastoral psychology that guided it as having entirely abandoned its classical/traditional sources, and having become overwhelmingly dominated by modern psychological influences from Freud, Rogers, and others.

More recently, others have described pastoral psychology as a field that experiences a tension between psychology and theology.

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