Authoritarianism and fear as components of dysfunction in contemporary Catholicism
Bishop, James Joseph
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Authority is legitimate, constructive, and moral. “For there is no authority except from God” (Rom: 13.10). Authoritarianism, however, is illegitimate, destructive, and immoral, with fear being an insidious inherent component. Any organization which is controlled by a single person tends to become authoritarian. Through its laws and prohibitions an authoritarian regime inflicts psychological abuse on its followers in opposition to the words of Jesus: “Their rulers lord it over them . . . but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant” (Mark: 10.42-43). To what extent, if any, does the Roman Catholic Church demonstrate authoritarianism? This thesis will explore this possibility by considering secrecy, infallibility, democracy, dissidence, sexuality, homophobia, misogyny, clericalism, the sensus fidelium, and pedophilia in the Catholic Church. Finally, this thesis will suggest, also, possible solutions to any observed defects.
- Theology