Back in the Middle Ages


Eugen Drewermann mentions the Vatikan´s “crazy fanaticism” which commands us to believe that sexuality is allowed solely for the purpose of procreation (i. e. three to five times in a lifetime) and during only one marriage. Otherwise in case of death it is punishment in hell, says Drewermann with an exclamation mark. Today, in 2010 (!), representatives of the Catholic Church are seriously discussing whether to abolish the doctrine excluding a divorcee who has remarried from Holy Communion - which is considered the only way to have her sins forgiven and to be delivered from eternal hell. Should they actually dare this significant step away from the Middle Ages?


As around 1900, the Church representatives were proclaiming with much greater force that masturbation would lead directly into hell, the children suffering from this fear appeared to the psychiatrists to be severely ill: “Greyish-pale, earth-coloured complexion, pale lips, bluish eyelids, tired-looking skin, perspiration, shaking, weakness of the back, dull pain in thighs and calves, stuttering, weakness of the voice, irksomeness, listlessness as regards play and work, hysteria, later also male inability” etc. (Die Welt, November 6, 2010). Even S. Freud had his doubts regarding health issues: Diverse disorders could occur if childish auto-eroticism was not completely overcome.


Since sex reformer Nina Hagen’s masturbation performance on TV, however, we know better. It is actually a healthy business. Maybe, however, the diagnosing psychiatrists were ill. Claire Goll, Rilke’s girlfriend, wrote: “Carl Gustav Jung… was however, just like all psychiatrists I have ever known, insane and megalomaniac in his own way”. She mentions the “metaphysical mire” in which psychiatrists “so often lose their footing. This occupational disease holds great dangers for the equilibrium of those who are on to the mental derailments of others”. If Ms. Goll were to be internist today, she would also be declared paranoid-psychotic by psychiatrists, who would try to kill her faculty to criticize with psychiatric drugs. However, Claire was just as far away from being paranoid as I am. She was a keen observer and recognized a mania with psychiatrists who considered themselves specialists for the treatment of manias. Of course, the delusions of grandeur she diagnosed only served to cover up a feeling of inferiority which again represents a denial of reality (ref. W Schmidbauer, “Hilflose Helfer”, rororo).


Fear of God instead of fear of parents >