Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-5nwft Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-29T02:24:04.061Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Determining the Good and Human Culpability: Catholic Catechesis on Overcoming the Anxiety of Sin

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2024

Daniel J. Goodey*
Affiliation:
The Open University Faculty of Social Sciences, Psychology and Counselling Perthshire, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Abstract

This article focuses on the implications of modernity for human culpability and moral responsibility. Although the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is most often approached theologically and pastorally, this article is intended as an answer to Pope Benedict XVI's call to explore catechesis through new lenses by adopting a psychological therapeutic approach. As such, this article will examine how the rejection of religious ascription to God for defining and determining the good and re-ascribing it to humanity leads to a rupture and the psychological conditions of anxiety, depression, and melancholia. The article will go on to argue for a Lacanian reading of Thomas Aquinas’ definition of the good and how the Thomistic understanding provides a more comprehensive approach to determining culpability and overcoming the associated fear which leads to anxiety, depression, and melancholia.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © 2023 Provincial Council of the English Province of the Order of Preachers

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

References

Wansbrough, H. (Ed.). The New Jerusalem Bible. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company. 1985.Google Scholar
Church, Catholic. Catechism of the Catholic Church. London: Bloomsbury. 2017.Google Scholar
Allen, J., Martín, I, Harris, E., Giangravè, C., White, C., Kirby, J., Lynn, T., Levitt, S., Collins, C., & Carvalho, N.Church scrambles to save ‘endangered sacrament’ of confession’. Crux: Taking the Catholic Pulse. Denver. Crux Catholic Media. 2016.Google Scholar
Aquinas, Thomas. On Evil [Quaestiones disputatae De malo]. Translation by Regan, Richard. Ed. Davies, Brian. Oxford. Oxford University Press. 2003.Google Scholar
Aquinas, Thomas. The Summa Theologica. Trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province. Complete & Unabridged. Kindle Edition. Coyote Canyon Press. 2010.Google Scholar
Baxter, A. J., Scott, K. M., Ferrari, A. J., Norman, R. E., Vos, T., & Whiteford, H. A. Challenging the Myth of an ‘Epidemic’ of Common Mental Disorders: Trends in the Global Prevalence of Anxiety and Depression Between 1990 and 2010. Depression and Anxiety, 31(6), 506516. 2014.10.1002/da.22230CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Beattie, Tina. Theology after Postmodernity: Divining the Void - A Lacanian Reading of Thomas Aquinas. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2013.10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199566075.001.0001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Beattie, Tina. ‘Deforming God: Why Nothing Really Matters: A Lacanian Reading of Thomas Aquinas’. The Dominican Council. 2014.Google Scholar
Boyle, Leonard. ‘The setting of the Summa Theologiae’. Aquinas's Summa Theologiae: Critical Essays. Ed. Davies, Brian. London: Roman and Littlefield, 2006. [Boyle's essay originally in Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, Toronto, 1982.]Google Scholar
Chenu, M. D. Nature, Man, and Society in the Twelfth Century: Essays on New Theological Perspectives in the Latin West. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 1997.Google Scholar
Cohn, Hans W. Existential Thought and Therapeutic Practice: An Introduction to Existential Psychotherapy. London. Sage Publications. 1997.10.4135/9781446279878CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Davies, Brian. Ed. Aquinas's Summa Theologiae: Critical Essays, London: Roman and Littlefield. 2006.Google Scholar
Davies, Brian. Thomas Aquinas on God and Evil. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2011.10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199790890.001.0001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Freud, Sigmund. ‘Obsessive Actions and Religious Practices’ (1907). In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume IX (1906-1908). Trans. McWatters, R. C.. 1924.Google Scholar
Freud, Sigmund. Future of an Illusion. London. Penguin Books. 2008.Google Scholar
Flynn, Gabrielle & Murray, Paul. Ressourcement: A Movement for Renewal in Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology. Oxford. Oxford University Press. 2012.Google Scholar
Garrigou-Lagrange, Reginald. ‘Where is the new theology leading us?’ (‘La Nouvelle Théologie où va-t-elle?’) Rome. Angelicum. 23. 1946.Google Scholar
Garrigou-Lagrange, Reginald. ‘The Structure of the Encyclical Humani Generis’. (‘La Sintesi Tomistica’) Trans. Aversa, A.. Brescia. Queriniana. 1953.Google Scholar
Gonzales, Robert A. ‘The Ambiguity of the Sacred in the Philosophy of Schopenhauer’. Auslegung: A Journal of Philosophy 19.2: 143166. 1993.Google Scholar
Kent, Bonnie and Dressel, Ashley. ‘Weakness and wilful wrongdoing in Aquinas's De Malo’. Aquinas's Disputed Questions on Evil: A Critical Guide. Ed. Dougherty. Cambridge, M. V.: Cambridge University Press. 4853. 2016.Google Scholar
Kierkegaard, Søren. The Concept of Anxiety - A Simple Psychologically Oriented Deliberation. Trans. Hannay, Alastair. London. W.W. Norton. 2015.Google Scholar
Koenig, Harold G.Religion and Anxiety’. Catholic Exchange. 2012. https://catholicexchange.com/religion-and-anxiety. Last accessed, 23/07/2021.Google Scholar
Lacan, Jacques. The Ethics of Psychoanalysis 1959–1960: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Trans. Porter, Dennis. Ed. Miller, Jacques-Alain. London. Routledge. 1992.Google Scholar
Lacan, Jacques. Anxiety: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book X. Ed. Miller, Jacques-Alain. London: Polity Press. 2016.Google Scholar
Lubac, Henri de. The Discovery of God: Resourcement – Retrieval and Renewal in Catholic Thought. Grand Rapids, MI: William B Eerdmans Publishing. 1996.Google Scholar
Mearns, D. & Thorne, B. Person-Centred counselling in action (4th ed.). London: Sage Publications. 2013.Google Scholar
Mearns, D. & Cooper, M. Working at Relational Depth in Counselling and Psychotherapy (2nd ed.). London: Sage Publications. 2018.Google Scholar
Milbank, John. The Suspended Middle: Henri de Lubac and the Renewed Split in Modern Catholic Theology, 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: William B Eerdmans Publishing. 2014.Google Scholar
Nichols, Aidan. ‘Thomism and the Nouvelle Théologie’. The Thomist: A Speculative Quarterly Review. 64. 1. 2000.10.1353/tho.2000.0000CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pattison, Mark. ‘Cardinal challenges bishops to undergo their own conversion, renewal’. Catholic News Service. 2012. https://www.usccb.org/offices/general-secretariat/usccb-general-assembly-2012-november-cns-stories#presidential. Last accessed, 23/07/2021.Google Scholar
Ratzinger, Joseph Cardinal. Gospel, Catechesis, Catechism: Sidelights of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. San Francisco. Ignatius Press. 1997.Google Scholar
Roberts, Robert Campbell, & Talbot, Mark R.. Eds. Limning the Psyche: Explorations in Christian Psychology. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. 1997.Google Scholar
Saliga, C. M. and Quijano, C.Spiritual Care in Hospital Policies: Incorporating Sacramental Interventions’. Ethics and Medics, 32:2, 34. 2007.10.5840/em20073224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schürmann, J. & Margraf, J.Age of Anxiety and Depression Revisited: A Meta-Analysis of Two European Community Samples (1964-2015)’. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 18(2), pp.102-112. 2018.10.1016/j.ijchp.2018.02.002CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sophocles, . ‘Antigone’. The Oedipus Plays of Sophocles: Complete Texts of Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone. London: Mentor Books, New English Library Ltd. Pp. 165210, 1963.Google Scholar
St. Hilaire, Robert. ‘The Cosmic Side of OCD’. Church Health Reader. Winter 2012, http://chreader.org/cosmic-side-ocd. Last accessed 21/12/17.Google Scholar
Stanley, Scott. ‘Young and Clueless: Thinking about the Big Rise in Anxiety’. Psychology Today. New York. Sussex Publishers. 2017. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sliding-vs-deciding/201711/young-and-clueless-thinking-about-the-big-rise-in-anxiety. Last accessed 23/07/2021.Google Scholar
Taylor, Charles. A Secular Age. Harvard. Harvard University Press. 2007.Google Scholar
Zalewski, S.The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation as an Encounter with God and Experience of His Mercy’. Roczniki Teologiczne, 63(05), pp.71-89. 2016.10.18290/rt.2016.63.5-4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zarzycka, B. & Zietek, P.Spiritual Growth or Decline and Meaning-Making as Mediators of Anxiety and Satisfaction with Life During Religious Struggle’. Journal of Religion and Health, 58(4), pp.1072-1086. 2019.10.1007/s10943-018-0598-yCrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wansbrough, H. (Ed.). The New Jerusalem Bible. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company. 1985.Google Scholar
Church, Catholic. Catechism of the Catholic Church. London: Bloomsbury. 2017.Google Scholar
Allen, J., Martín, I, Harris, E., Giangravè, C., White, C., Kirby, J., Lynn, T., Levitt, S., Collins, C., & Carvalho, N.Church scrambles to save ‘endangered sacrament’ of confession’. Crux: Taking the Catholic Pulse. Denver. Crux Catholic Media. 2016.Google Scholar
Aquinas, Thomas. On Evil [Quaestiones disputatae De malo]. Translation by Regan, Richard. Ed. Davies, Brian. Oxford. Oxford University Press. 2003.Google Scholar
Aquinas, Thomas. The Summa Theologica. Trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province. Complete & Unabridged. Kindle Edition. Coyote Canyon Press. 2010.Google Scholar
Baxter, A. J., Scott, K. M., Ferrari, A. J., Norman, R. E., Vos, T., & Whiteford, H. A. Challenging the Myth of an ‘Epidemic’ of Common Mental Disorders: Trends in the Global Prevalence of Anxiety and Depression Between 1990 and 2010. Depression and Anxiety, 31(6), 506516. 2014.10.1002/da.22230CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Beattie, Tina. Theology after Postmodernity: Divining the Void - A Lacanian Reading of Thomas Aquinas. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2013.10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199566075.001.0001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Beattie, Tina. ‘Deforming God: Why Nothing Really Matters: A Lacanian Reading of Thomas Aquinas’. The Dominican Council. 2014.Google Scholar
Boyle, Leonard. ‘The setting of the Summa Theologiae’. Aquinas's Summa Theologiae: Critical Essays. Ed. Davies, Brian. London: Roman and Littlefield, 2006. [Boyle's essay originally in Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, Toronto, 1982.]Google Scholar
Chenu, M. D. Nature, Man, and Society in the Twelfth Century: Essays on New Theological Perspectives in the Latin West. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 1997.Google Scholar
Cohn, Hans W. Existential Thought and Therapeutic Practice: An Introduction to Existential Psychotherapy. London. Sage Publications. 1997.10.4135/9781446279878CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Davies, Brian. Ed. Aquinas's Summa Theologiae: Critical Essays, London: Roman and Littlefield. 2006.Google Scholar
Davies, Brian. Thomas Aquinas on God and Evil. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2011.10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199790890.001.0001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Freud, Sigmund. ‘Obsessive Actions and Religious Practices’ (1907). In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume IX (1906-1908). Trans. McWatters, R. C.. 1924.Google Scholar
Freud, Sigmund. Future of an Illusion. London. Penguin Books. 2008.Google Scholar
Flynn, Gabrielle & Murray, Paul. Ressourcement: A Movement for Renewal in Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology. Oxford. Oxford University Press. 2012.Google Scholar
Garrigou-Lagrange, Reginald. ‘Where is the new theology leading us?’ (‘La Nouvelle Théologie où va-t-elle?’) Rome. Angelicum. 23. 1946.Google Scholar
Garrigou-Lagrange, Reginald. ‘The Structure of the Encyclical Humani Generis’. (‘La Sintesi Tomistica’) Trans. Aversa, A.. Brescia. Queriniana. 1953.Google Scholar
Gonzales, Robert A. ‘The Ambiguity of the Sacred in the Philosophy of Schopenhauer’. Auslegung: A Journal of Philosophy 19.2: 143166. 1993.Google Scholar
Kent, Bonnie and Dressel, Ashley. ‘Weakness and wilful wrongdoing in Aquinas's De Malo’. Aquinas's Disputed Questions on Evil: A Critical Guide. Ed. Dougherty. Cambridge, M. V.: Cambridge University Press. 4853. 2016.Google Scholar
Kierkegaard, Søren. The Concept of Anxiety - A Simple Psychologically Oriented Deliberation. Trans. Hannay, Alastair. London. W.W. Norton. 2015.Google Scholar
Koenig, Harold G.Religion and Anxiety’. Catholic Exchange. 2012. https://catholicexchange.com/religion-and-anxiety. Last accessed, 23/07/2021.Google Scholar
Lacan, Jacques. The Ethics of Psychoanalysis 1959–1960: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Trans. Porter, Dennis. Ed. Miller, Jacques-Alain. London. Routledge. 1992.Google Scholar
Lacan, Jacques. Anxiety: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book X. Ed. Miller, Jacques-Alain. London: Polity Press. 2016.Google Scholar
Lubac, Henri de. The Discovery of God: Resourcement – Retrieval and Renewal in Catholic Thought. Grand Rapids, MI: William B Eerdmans Publishing. 1996.Google Scholar
Mearns, D. & Thorne, B. Person-Centred counselling in action (4th ed.). London: Sage Publications. 2013.Google Scholar
Mearns, D. & Cooper, M. Working at Relational Depth in Counselling and Psychotherapy (2nd ed.). London: Sage Publications. 2018.Google Scholar
Milbank, John. The Suspended Middle: Henri de Lubac and the Renewed Split in Modern Catholic Theology, 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: William B Eerdmans Publishing. 2014.Google Scholar
Nichols, Aidan. ‘Thomism and the Nouvelle Théologie’. The Thomist: A Speculative Quarterly Review. 64. 1. 2000.10.1353/tho.2000.0000CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pattison, Mark. ‘Cardinal challenges bishops to undergo their own conversion, renewal’. Catholic News Service. 2012. https://www.usccb.org/offices/general-secretariat/usccb-general-assembly-2012-november-cns-stories#presidential. Last accessed, 23/07/2021.Google Scholar
Ratzinger, Joseph Cardinal. Gospel, Catechesis, Catechism: Sidelights of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. San Francisco. Ignatius Press. 1997.Google Scholar
Roberts, Robert Campbell, & Talbot, Mark R.. Eds. Limning the Psyche: Explorations in Christian Psychology. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. 1997.Google Scholar
Saliga, C. M. and Quijano, C.Spiritual Care in Hospital Policies: Incorporating Sacramental Interventions’. Ethics and Medics, 32:2, 34. 2007.10.5840/em20073224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schürmann, J. & Margraf, J.Age of Anxiety and Depression Revisited: A Meta-Analysis of Two European Community Samples (1964-2015)’. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 18(2), pp.102-112. 2018.10.1016/j.ijchp.2018.02.002CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sophocles, . ‘Antigone’. The Oedipus Plays of Sophocles: Complete Texts of Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone. London: Mentor Books, New English Library Ltd. Pp. 165210, 1963.Google Scholar
St. Hilaire, Robert. ‘The Cosmic Side of OCD’. Church Health Reader. Winter 2012, http://chreader.org/cosmic-side-ocd. Last accessed 21/12/17.Google Scholar
Stanley, Scott. ‘Young and Clueless: Thinking about the Big Rise in Anxiety’. Psychology Today. New York. Sussex Publishers. 2017. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sliding-vs-deciding/201711/young-and-clueless-thinking-about-the-big-rise-in-anxiety. Last accessed 23/07/2021.Google Scholar
Taylor, Charles. A Secular Age. Harvard. Harvard University Press. 2007.Google Scholar
Zalewski, S.The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation as an Encounter with God and Experience of His Mercy’. Roczniki Teologiczne, 63(05), pp.71-89. 2016.10.18290/rt.2016.63.5-4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zarzycka, B. & Zietek, P.Spiritual Growth or Decline and Meaning-Making as Mediators of Anxiety and Satisfaction with Life During Religious Struggle’. Journal of Religion and Health, 58(4), pp.1072-1086. 2019.10.1007/s10943-018-0598-yCrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed