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When Values and Ethics of Care Conflict: A Lived Experience in the Roman Catholic Church

Zigan, Krystin, Heliot, YingFei G., Le Grys, Alan (2021) When Values and Ethics of Care Conflict: A Lived Experience in the Roman Catholic Church. Work, Employment and Society, . ISSN 0950-0170. E-ISSN 1469-8722. (doi:10.1177/0950017021990552) (KAR id:87078)


This article investigates contemporary understandings of the ethics of care. While the ethics of care is predominantly known as showing empathy and support to others, analysing the complex relationship between institutional and personal values of clerical leaders and the congregation in

the Roman Catholic Church in England reveals very different understandings. The sociological and psychological concepts of authority, pastoral care and identity are used to analyse the role of a female youth work leader in a Roman Catholic parish who is exposed to different (conservative

and liberal) leadership approaches. She explains how her views on care, gender and participation differ from those of three clerical leaders and powerfully illustrates the resulting conflicts between the priests but also towards the congregation. This story shows that individual agency influences strong conservative institutional values and that leadership in faith-based organisations needs to embrace the complex interplay between institutional and personal dynamics.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0950017021990552
Uncontrolled keywords: ethics of care, gender, identity, leadership, pastoral care, pastoral power, Roman Catholic Church
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Leadership and Management
Funders: University of Surrey (
Depositing User: Krystin Zigan
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2021 13:21 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 19:19 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Zigan, Krystin.

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Le Grys, Alan.

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