View of Catholic Church and view of psychoanalysis are the two different approaches to human nature. In a recent article published on Vatican Insider this subject is approached in not deep enough way from my personal point of view. I will try to introduce a few extra points so the reader can get a bigger picture and make up his own mind.
In my opinion these two opposing views are enemies as faith requires blind believe without questioning. Good or bad just have faith in what I’m saying. In the past ages you couldn’t question Bible or even read it. Bible was chained to the altar. In that approach there is no intellectual effort whatsoever. To the great degree your life depends on adopted religion or ideology. When you are blindly obedient to anything it might have unforeseen consequences. Psychoanalysis on the other side requires you to look into things in more detail. To confront unpleasant things, to analyze it and learn from it - not call them as Almighty Evil. Psychoanalysis is not perfect and Freud himself was mistranslated and misunderstood. He was the man interested in archaeology through which he was trying to understand unconscious. He knew that in mythology there is lots of wisdom. He knew that unconscious is not one dimensional and concrete structure. It moves all the time and he was trying to describe it.
Freud’s work banned as “moral sin” by Church has simple explanation. Church doesn’t want you to progress intellectually. That’s what happened in Dark Ages. For 500 years Church was systematically destroying all knowledge in the filed of science, medicine, technology, education. The great library in Alexandria has been burned down by Church with 700 000 rolls and 270 000 ancient documents gathered by Ptolemy Philadelphus. You can only imagine what impact it must have done to the future generations. Reading and studying was forbidden even amongst bishops. Later on it was famous “witch hunt” where many women has been accused, tortured and killed for simply being herbalists and knowing works of nature. So there is a lot in my opinion to that “Freud considered religion the greatest obstacle to human happiness and it was no mystery that he hated the Catholic Church”. Facts speaks for itself.
It is encouraging that Pope Pius XII was interested in science. That raise a questions though. Having for about two thousand years established vision of God and creation of the universe did he started having doubts ? Or maybe it is just pure human curiosity to find out more about life ? Could there be a quite different reason for that ? Through science we can understand much more about life and some of the things are quite revealing.
It is encouraging also that Church is trying to do something about pedophile priests. Why they are not prosecuted as any other pedophiles but instead moved to different dioceses is intriguing question. This abuse of children and cover ups has been well pictured in the movie Spotlight (2015) which is based on facts. Movie itself was quickly taken off the cinema screens. I guess, for now we have to welcome lectures by psychoanalysts at Pontifical Universities. That is a good start.
In my opinion overall Freud had a much more healthier approach than Catholic Church. He said in The Future of an Illusion: “Religious doctrines….. are all illusions, they do not admit of proof, and no one can be compelled to consider them as true or to believe them”.
It looks to me that Catholic Church is trying to be progressive. Medieval methods are not working as they used to. After all you can’t control human nature. Church is successful in this for a very long time but looks like time has come for them to change their tactics.