Whether people know it or not, they seek a mystery—the Mystery. True mystery is the reality of the authentic Presence of the Lord.
Mystery is not a puzzle to be solved nor an evasion of a question. Mystery is the poetry of reality that exceeds our comprehension at any given time yet relentlessly nags at our imagination. Mystery recedes away from us as the horizon so does, enticing us toward the light of dawn or into the "cloud of unknowing". Mystery is the horizon upon which rests our attention that, if we imagine mystery to be a wall, we tumble off when the winds of frustrated rationalism blow against us.
For the modern ism-matic, there is no "absolute" in which man can be immersed and purified of the obstacles which prevent him from finding true and lasting peace.
Many people these days fear the absolute, or absolutes because they fear what others tell them to fear. People with unresolved adolescent experiences which are often childish grudges, tend to project their anger on to the Church. Sure, there are folk with legitimate grievances: survivors of sexual abuse, for example. Others, however, suffer from hurt feelings because a priest or catechist or another churchy person spoke harsh words to them. Get over it.
Too often we hear of lapsed Catholics condemning Church teaching on sexuality. These same folk, having subjected their lives to their personal sexual truth, are often living broken lives. Lives, one might add, broken by their very own personal ideological authoritarianism.
Authoritarianism is what most people assume they have met when they encounter the authoritative. To borrow an insight from educational psychology, the authoritarian teacher or parent has high demands or expectations but provides little or no support to a student or child. The authoritative teacher or parent, by contrast, has high expectations but also provides support and encouragement to his or her student or child to achieve what is best for the child.
The Church is viewed as authoritarian by individuals who have tossed their moral compass into the me-first river and who have little or no appreciation for authority other than their own. Said folk hold themselves up as the measure of authority which, ironically, looks like the authoritarianism they claim to loathe.
Holy Mother Church is our authentic mother, the authoritative voice of Jesus Christ in this world. She can hold herself up as such because she has been given authority by Christ so to do. Jesus Christ in and through Holy Mother Church provides the support and encouragement to souls to attain holiness. That support is most beautifully found in the Sacraments. Jesus gives grace in and through the Sacraments to enable us to enter through the narrow gate.