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Chaplaincy

Religious spiritual care

Religious spiritual care in so-called special institutions (enumerated above) is organized according to three different principles. Hospitals and residential social care institutions only make this care possible to religious specialists, granting them also access to premises for collective care. As a rule, hospitals have arranged Catholic chapels (with the exception of some multi faith premises). In prison and in the police, the state has introduced coordinators of religious spiritual care. These are two civil servants, though Catholic priests by profession in practice, with more formal duties, foremost connecting prisoners and police officers with relevant religious specialists. The State has placed the Military Vicariate into the formal structure of the Slovene army. As it is evident from its name, this is a Catholic institution, headed by a Catholic priest but also employing some Lutheran religious specialists and pastoral assistants. The state has introduced this kind of spiritual care with agreements with the Catholic and Lutheran churches in 2000. Performing full pastoral activity even among civil employees of the Ministry of Defence, the scope of the Military Vicariate is far exceeding the notion of religious freedom (that would be the performance of religious spiritual care at missions and peacekeeping operations of Slovene Army abroad, when professional soldiers are displaced from their homes, isolated and exposed to extreme psychic experiences). Despite several requests of the second and the third religious community by the number of adherents, the Islamic Community in the Republic of Slovenia and the Serbian Orthodox Church, the State has so far not included their religious specialists in the formation of the Military Vicariate.

D 22 June 2021    AGregor Lesjak

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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