The paper “ Pastoral Care – Positive Pastoral Counseling, Effective Training Initiatives, and Moral Development” is a persuading example of an assignment on religion and theology. First of all, the author discusses how pastoral care can involve better training initiatives and motivate pastors to teach and care for others along the uniting aspect of providing positive pastoral counseling. The pastoral responsibility, according to Brenner, is to educate and help form the conscience of individuals and communities along the lines of counseling and shared community, and to pay attention to the words of the letter in its general condemnation of certain things outside of Church life.
Leaders of Church life and prayer will be able to spread to word of the gift of peace and other gifts of pastoral training in many ways, and churches and individuals must not lose sight of the original impetus of counseling as a historical profession, as Brenner mentions, in all the modern talk. Overall, it is hoped that the pastoral response to the issues raised by counseling will help to convert present difficulties into future opportunities, especially in terms of training. In one study, 87% of the pastors surveyed in the research reported through survey self-report, a qualitative methodology, that they were dissatisfied with training initiatives and wanted more training (Brenner, 1997). It is important, therefore, to advocate training and educational programs.
Pastoral teachers can help communities and individuals in the formation of a conscience that is based on principles discussed in Brenner, namely those of peace and security, which are goals that make the conscience averse to insecurity. Insecurity and peace are discussed as they might be represented in a pastoral manner as a literal matter of life and death so that collusions are made between the two to facilitate greater understanding and compassion (Brenner, 1997). It is definitely the pastoral responsibility to educate the conscience of the community and the intellect regarding the importance of counseling as well as appropriate training for counselors. The author hopes that pastors will make the gospel of peace explicit, and will not put forth their own opinions that differ with those in the letter as the teachings of the Church. For example, pastors who would preach that counseling is not acceptable or a lack of training is morally acceptable would be expressing their own opinions and not those of the Church, which is an option for the individual.
Question 2: How can pastoral care address current challenges and include factors of moral development as well as status in society?
In the Urias text, faith today is comprised of the challenge of finding a destination. This challenge must encourage the individual to rise above the immorality of not having a goal and pay attention to what the Bible and Church authority state. In this way, they will come to the assimilation of knowledge that stresses moral adherence and be educated to the dangers of non-adherence. In the text, to reach a role, society has defined what is an acceptable range of what is accepted. It is also part of the pastoral responsibility to engender in the conscience and intellect of the community and individual a reverence for life that sees counseling as a force of positive nature that is morally aligned to the forces of life as they have been separated and polarized within a religious context.
The practice of prayer is advocated to bring individuals a personal kind of peace, and the peace that is inherent in the prayer is stressed as a positive union between the individual and God that promotes peace and security as the counseling objective. This is discussed as a gift from God that can be respected through prayer and dedication, and it should be the pastor’s responsibility to often mention peace as a goal and a positive state. In terms of penance, this should also be directed towards the goals of peace, justice, and security, so that pastoral difficulty can be turned into opportunities. “ The Church’s educational programs must explain clearly those principles or teachings about which there is little question… (and) seek to make explicit the gospel call to peace and the tradition of the Church… applied to concrete situations” (Urias, 2004). This text also shows the church in how it is aligned with social behavior (norms). If an individual deviates from that range of possibilities, that individual will confront social pressure of some type within any organization. Within the Church structure, that which is considered normal behavior and that which is considered abnormal is, to a greater or lesser extent, determined by how that individual behaves relative to societal expectations within the Church structure.
Environmentally, it is of note when following this paradigm socio-culturally that if an individual grew up in an environment where a lot of importance was placed on the Church, the Church itself may not have been really there for them in terms of authority and moral development. In terms of moral development, the codes of society are also important to consider in a socio-cultural estimation of this section. If a person is brought up in a religious environment, the morality of their situation is rather explicit in socio-cultural terms. That is, the individual in this sense was held up not indirectly, but explicitly and directly to a religious cultural code of morality from a young age onwards, and may have even felt stifled very often by the expectations of moral belongingness that this implied.