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Bishops’ depression

One of the top officials of the Diocese of Koszalin-Kołobrzeg, Edward Dajczak, has resigned from his office. The reason for the official’s decision appeared to be his mental problems. He made an official announcement of stepping down and aroused a lot of media interest. Public admission of one’s own weakness is a relatively new phenomenon within the Catholic community.

And yet it might seem that Bishop Dajczak’s case is nothing unusual. After all, the Catholic Church is a place for people overwhelmed by the burdens of life. Sins are not always the only source of a person’s distress. Illnesses are also quite natural. And this is also the case when they suffer from depression.

Naturally, the news of Bishop Dajczak’s problems sparked discussions on social media about the relationship between religion and psychotherapy. The former Ordinary of the Koszalin-Kołobrzeg diocese made no secret of the fact that he is undergoing psychological treatment. If this is the case, then the faithful of the Church in Poland has received an important signal: when one’s mental health is failing, one should go to a specialist in the field of psychology or perhaps even psychiatry, and not rely solely on religion.

I do not intend to question the choices made by Bishop Dajczak. He deserves sympathy. And his seeking the help of a psychologist and his resignation from a responsible position in the Church should simply be understood and respected. The point, however, is that what happened has a context that is worth paying attention to.

Today, depression is not only – as it is professionally termed – a syndrome of affective disorders, but also a cultural phenomenon. Suffering from a mental “low” is something ennobling in the eyes of many people, although no one will say it out loud. Simply put, Western civilisation is permeated with humanitarianism and “victim centrism” (which is paradoxical, since it also encourages the “rat race” we all live in). Someone who – through no fault of their own – is going through a hard time, and is able to win the sympathy of millions with his or her plight… is considered a hero.

You can read the entire article by following this link.

– Filip Memches
– Translated by Roberto Galea

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