Monday, September 7, 2015

Very good article on suicide and forgiveness

Here is an article taken from our Diocesan Publication on Suicide. I hope it brings peace whose loved ones have gone down that path.



Father Kenneth






Q. I need an answer. Our son

had been suffering from clinical

depression since he was 4 years

old. All of the doctors and all of

the medications we tried over the

years seemed to do little to help.

One year ago, his own son died in

an auto accident at the age of 24,

and that seemed to be more than

our son could handle. Last week

~ve received a phone call that our

;on. aged 50, had taken his own


The priest from our church

spent that evening with us. He

:old us that our son was forgiven

because it was mental illness

:hat caused him to take his life.

- :e my sister found out about

~y son's self-inflicted death,

has refused to speak with

us. I am wondering whether

she believes that someone who

_ jmmits suicide, no matter what

:he reason, is condemned forever.

I am writing to you because I

would like to have someone who

emoved from the scene tell

~e what the Catholic Church's

:hinking is on this subject. (City

::" origin withheld)

A. Suicide, objectively, is a

grave sin. God has gifted us with

•-. We are only its stewards, not

.nasters. But in reminding

:: that, the Catechism of the

.-.:>lic Church in No. 2282

'-: to note that the moral

responsibility for a suicide may

be diminished because the inner

turmoil a person was going through

precluded sound reasoning.

The catechism goes on to say

in No. 2283 that "we should not

despair of the eternal salvation of

persons who have taken their own

lives. By ways known to him alone,

God can provide the opportunity for

salutary repentance. The church

prays for persons who have taken

their own lives."

In contrast to older versions of

the Code of Canon Law, Canon No.

1184 no longer lists a person who

died by suicide as someone who

should not be given a Christian


Moral judgment in such cases

is best left to God. The church's

approach to the tragedy is pity,

not condemnation, and your parish

priest had a sound basis for the

comfort he offered you.

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