HomePhilippine Journal of Counseling Psychologyvol. 22 no. 1 (2020)

Life Experiences of Resigned Priests in the Philippines

Joaquim Mascarenhas | Niño Jose Mateo



We explored the circumstances, challenges and coping strategies of resigned priests in the Philippines. Using a qualitative approach, we interviewed seven resigned priests (5 Filipinos & 2 Europeans) residing in the Philippines. Results showed that an overall discontent and gradual de-socialization were precipitating factors leading to resignation from priesthood. The adjustment to secular life, which includes forming relationships and regular employment marred by the stigma surrounding their resignation were mentioned as significant challenges for them. Their ability to access internal and external resources served as an important factor in helping them deal with these challenges. However, having a baby and being laicized were two important factors that eased up their personal and social situations. The findings of this study were found to have important implications to developmental transitions and the provision of appropriate counseling services to this special population.