Clearer Language From The Catholic Church On Suicide

by Bill Brenner on September 5, 2011

For those, like me, who struggle with suicide, particularly how the Catholic Church feels about it, I have something useful a good friend sent to me this afternoon, presumably after reading this morning’s post.

Mood music:

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

“2282 Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide. 

2283 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.”

Thanks to my friend for sharing.

I think the language shows that the Church doesn’t see this issue in the black and white way we often think it does.

So if you know someone who died by their own hand and it tortures you to think about where in the afterlife they are, take comfort in knowing that they may not be in such a bad place after all.

And do something to honor them, like doing things to raise awareness about mental illness.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

mike kearns September 5, 2011 at 1:45 pm

I’m glad I read this today. I have had a few friends who have taken their own lives. From what I was taught as a child was that this was the only sin that couldn’t be forgiven. I am glad to know the church’s stance isn’t that harsh, and that God makes a case by case decision. Thank you for posting this today Bill, as with most of your posts I have learned something valuable.

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