Strategically prophetic priests: An analysis of competing principal influence on clergy political action
We assess clergy political activism dynamics using data from a national survey of Roman Catholic priests. Like their elite counterparts in interest groups and other secular political institutions, clergy encounter expectations and demands from competing principals when determining how to publicly act on key political issues. Building on insights from decades of clergy politics scholarship, we leverage new perspectives of principal-based influence by examining how Catholic priest perception of both local parish finances and diocesan bishop expectations affect their reported political actions. Our findings are consistent with the notion that parish and bishop principals condition priest political behavior, controlling for priest ideology. However, priest political action proves more sensitive to parish financial concerns than bishop encouragement.
Catholic, Clergy, Political behavior
Calfano, Brian Robert, Elizabeth A. Oldmixon, and Mark Gray. "Strategically prophetic priests: An analysis of competing principal influence on clergy political action." Review of Religious Research 56, no. 1 (2014): 1-21.
Review of Religious Research