Reflections on Institutional Catholic-ism: A Critical Perspective

Reflections on Institutional Catholic-ism: A Critical Perspective

by Harry Gael Michaels


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Many Catholics, today, struggle with issues of faith in the Church and yet, as children, have been intimidated from questioning the “sacred dogma” for fear of jeopardizing their “immortal soul”. To a child growing up Catholic the unquestioned authority of priests pre-dispose children to the seductive influences of this kind of power and with priestly robes cast an aura of Godly authority. Speaking as a retired mental health professional this situation is dangerous to the psychological development and wellbeing of children. The power and authority of priests leave many children with such awestruck reverence to the extent that nothing uttered or performed by a priest would dare to be challenged---even by parents. This essay is about Catholic authoritarian dogma and mandatory instruction that can hinder the developmental tasks of childhood from the establishment of basic trust to adolescent identity and beyond. Faith in the Church must be tempered by a healthy regard for the advancement of knowledge, enlightenment and true faith in God’s universe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781948779371
Publisher: Toplink Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 03/05/2018
Pages: 60
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.14(d)

About the Author

The author is a product of maternal Catholic parentage, parochial elementary schooling and Jesuit education up through college and he is writing with intimate experience of what it is like growing up Catholic. The studies that underlie these writings carry with it a disturbing free-floating and existential anxiety because the essential emotional anchor is hauled up and stowed until one finds the wind and bearing toward a more authentic spiritual life. The author is not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water but does think it is time to change the water and think in terms of Catholicity rather than Catholic-ism. These terms are more fully defined in the text of this essay.

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