The need of personality tests and psychological evaluations will crackdown the rise of “narcissism” among clergymen.
The director of the church’s Ministry Division, Julian Hubbard, stated that the tests could also be a “useful tool in helping candidates grow in self-awareness”.
Though various tests like group discussions, questionnaire, written and oral exercises are already in use for the assessments by Church of England.
Hubbard reiterated that there is need for more vetting of clergymen, especially with the controversy of sexual abuse of minors by clergymen.
He added that: “This has been given added focus by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and the requirement to provide greater assurance on the effectiveness of the selection process. So we are examining its potential as a means to identify candidates who might pose a risk to others,”
“But this is not only about safeguarding,” Hubbard added. “It is vital to use all means available to find people with the right skills and aptitudes for this unique, but very challenging, calling.”
The Telegraph reported that clergy are in positions of power, which has made some of them to misuse it, making narcissism as one of the biggest red flags in the church.
Over 30% of clergy in Canada Protestant Churches met the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, according to a book Let Us Prey: The Plague of Narcissist Pastors and What We Can Do about It, a book by North American researchers R. Glenn Ball and Darrell Puls.
Mark Vernon, a psychotherapist and former Church of England priest, said narcissists are attracted to power, adding that Church leaders in the U.K. want to make sure narcissism isn’t allowed to spread in their country either.
“The church offers a particular route which would appeal to some who like the entitlement – you’re called a reverend, you sit in high places, you wear special clothes, you’re seen as authoritative, you have captive audiences, you’re spiritually elite – whatever it might be, people get drawn to that way of trying to cope with that sense of self-dissatisfaction,” he told The Telegraph.