Challenges of the emotional life of the Priest

Dr. Chiclana delves into Solitude and Priestly Life


Dr. Carlos Chiclana, psychiatrist and psychotherapist, researched the challenges, risks, and opportunities of the emotional life of the priest. The results and discussion of the more than a thousand responses collected have recently been published in Scripta Theologica, which has kindly provided free access.

One of the priests’ concerns was loneliness. However, it was not stated what type of loneliness they were referring to. For this reason, a new study has been launched that aims to better understand the loneliness that worries priests and thus seek appropriate solutions. If you are a priest or seminarian, you can participate here: Solitude and priesthood

The renowned psychiatrist, Carlos Chiclana, has launched an in-depth study that addresses the needs, shortcomings, and emotional challenges of priests and seminarians. The results of his research underline the vital importance of providing them with adequate support during their training.

Recently, Dr. Chiclana published a book focused on celibacy. What motivated you to make this decision? “I have been fortunate to share formative experiences with more than a thousand different priests and numerous lay people, and I have observed a growing interest in understanding and living celibacy better,” explained the author.

The interest in better understanding this reality of celibacy arises from real experiences with individuals who live this vocation, as well as their contributions and doubts. According to Dr. Chiclana, conversations in training meetings with priests, and religious and lay people revealed the need to delve deeper into this topic to offer clarity and practical help.

Doctor Chiclana

Celibacy, is something obsolete? For Dr. Chiclana, not only is it not obsolete, but it is more alive than ever, with numerous people eager to live it fully. He believes that exploring celibacy with interest and enthusiasm can significantly enrich the Christian life.

Who is this book primarily aimed at? The author notes that it is written both for those who live celibacy as a specific vocation, and for any Christian interested in understanding how this practice enriches the life of the Church and individual vocation.

Dr. Chiclana also highlights the relevance of celibacy for married people, since, according to the Catechism, celibacy and marriage are inseparable and complement each other.

The Importance of Friendship in the Life of a Priest

As a mental health specialist and author of a study on affectivity and priestly life, Dr. Carlos Chiclana reveals key conclusions for the emotional life of priests. His research, published in the academic journal Scripta Theologica, identifies eight dimensions crucial to the development of priestly affective life.

The study, which interviewed 140 priests, highlights the importance of aspects such as the relationship with God, friendship with various people, continuous spiritual accompaniment, active brotherhood among priests, ongoing formation, physical and mental personal care, psychological knowledge and a clearly structured mission.

Dr. Chiclana emphasizes the need to address the loneliness that many priests experience, proposing additional research to better understand its causes and offer practical tools for support.


Dr. Carlos Chiclana’s research sheds light on the emotional needs of priests and seminarians, highlighting the importance of comprehensive support during their formation. His studies not only explore the challenges of celibacy, but also offer valuable tools for cultivating meaningful relationships and an emotionally healthy life in the priestly context.


Dr. Chiclana delves into
in Solitude and
Priestly Life