A Catch-22 is often a very hard and most of a time an impossible situation that is encountered by someone. The word originated by the New Yorker Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22, so the word itself comes from the title of the much renowned novel. The word entered the english lexicon thanks to this novel, in which the main character was in the war but wanted to survive, so he never flew in dangerous missions. The problem was that the regulation specified that if you were a sane man like the protagonist you had to fly. So it was a no win situation and an impossible one, no matter what the main character did to avoid the situation it ended happening.
Since then the word has become a way to mock no win bureaucratic situations. Or any other situation that is absurd as the protagonist of Catch-22’s.