I only wish this book had been more helpful than it is, but that is not the fault of the author. Religious addiction is a stubborn malady, and one that can best be confronted by the addict him/herself. As one who has lost at least one sibling to this painful affliction, I wish it could have given me an easy answer. There are no easy answers to this dilemma.
One of the brightest conclusions Father Leo makes is that one need not give up religion, or God, to develop a healthy spirituality. It would be an incredible challenge indeed, but he assures those who are seeking that giving up God is not the solution to confronting religious addiction. He is very clear about the difference between "religion" and "spirituality," something that is crucial in the healing process.
Father Leo also states that one can be addicted to atheism, and that atheism can be a religion in and of itself. Not necessarily that it is, but that it can become one.
The saddest and most frightening thing he points to is the inevitable outcome of mental breakdown if religious addiction is not treated. He outlines very carefully the possiblity of a loving intervention by those who are concerned for the addict, but when the addiction is religion (translated as "God" by the addict) denial comes way too easy and finding others willing to confront this denial is a very difficult challenge.
I was heartened to find that there is treatment for this addiction, there are places to turn. It is a relatively new field, but it gives me hope. I, too, wish there was acknowledgement of the harm this addiction does to the children of the addict -- but I don't know that I would put any state agency in charge of dealing with it.
One other concern that I have as I continue to study this subject is the subtlety of its intrusion into politics. When it comes to addiction, there IS no separation of church and state. In fact, this separation, if it exists at all, *only* exists for the state -- not for any church, unless it benefits *them*. They don't pay taxes, but they still find it perfectly acceptable to advocate for legislation from the pulpit and to lobby our representatives and to pass out post cards for the congregation to fill out in the middle of a service. It's a despicable practice, and one that becomes even more troublesome within the context of spiritual addiction.
Treatment for this malady has never been more important than it is today.