De pastor en de hulpverlener: Ontwikkelingen in de wereld van het justitiepastoraat na 1990

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    In 2019, the Dutch Catholic Prisoner’s Chaplaincy celebrated its 70th birthday. As the history from 1949-1989 has been written already, this article pays attention to the developments between 1989 and 2019. It is based on various scientific publications by the Chaplaincy itself, and on the articles published in the professional (and ecumenical) journals Zandschrift and Pastorale Verkenningen. The paper starts with a summary of the history before 1989 from which four themes are distilled that constituted the framework of the developments after 1989. Then, three general characteristics of the period 1989-2019 are given: first, the names of the Chief Chaplains that directed the Catholic Chaplaincy, second, the diversification of prison regimes, third, the diversification of the prisoner’s population (both cultural-religious as in psycho-social problems). The chaplains and the Chaplaincy had to relate themselves in the period 1989-2019 towards the governmental policy of severe and stricter regimes on the one hand, and more (preventive) care and cure on the other. For the chaplains, this resulted in a greater integration in the prison institutions, and also in more reflections on the Christian tradition of forgiveness and mercy and its relevance for society and culture, not just in the prison system. Also, ‘restorative justice’ became an important focus for both the chaplains and the judicial system. The relation with the state changed fundamentally with the institution of the Directorate General for Spiritual Care and with the introduction of new denominations (Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism). The chaplains reformulated their work in more general, non-denominational terms as specialists on religious traditions, as contributing to personal and institutional well-being, and they promoted professional standards. The paper concludes that in the period 1989-2019, catholic chaplains experienced a tension between being a pastor on the one hand and being a social worker on the other. Four threats are foreseen for the future: 1. societal secularization and diminished importance of the (Catholic) Church as the tradition in which the chaplains function; 2. Diversification of the society and of population of prisoners, which increases the number of denominations and demands more flexibility of individual chaplains; 3. The increased number of prisoners with social and psychological shortcomings, or addictions, which demands more professional skills and 4. The trend of severe punishment but also more heavy forms of crime, doing a greater appeal on the theological and spiritual sources of chaplains. The roles of pastor and social worker may not be completely compatible, but for the future they must be kept together in reaction to these threats.
    Original languageDutch
    Title of host publicationLiefde in tijden van detentie
    Editorsryan van eijk, theo w.a. de wit, reijer j. de vries, sjaak körver
    Place of Publicationnijmegen
    PublisherWolf Legal Publishers (WLP)
    Number of pages13
    ISBN (Print)9789462405868
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Publication series

    Namecentrum van het justitiepastoraat

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