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2 Bumps

Catholics and suicide

Obviously, this is a sensitive question.

I know a Catholic family. The dad in the family hanged himself. I know that in the Catholic faith, suicides go to hell. But his funeral service was beautiful and talked about him going to Heaven. His daughter said that his soul was saved because her brother did CPR and got a heart beat back, even though he died.

I'm just wondering if that's how it works in the Catholic faith? Is suicide not a hellbound offense if your heart starts beating again, even if your death was still a result of your actions against yourself?

 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 9:31 AM on Jul. 10, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

This question is closed.
Answers (21)
  • Catholics are Christians in response to the 2nd response and the 3rd sentence that says " I know that in the Catholic faith, suicides go to hell" is false.
    vntNyll

    Answer by vntNyll at 11:00 AM on Jul. 10, 2011

  • The catechism is the official 'rulebook' and outlines teachings. Here is what it says (from http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt3sect2chpt2art5.shtml

    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."

    So, short answer, the church doesn't teach that people who commit suicide 'automatically go to hell'. Especially if that person was mentally ill (which is tyically the case?!!?), then the 'sin' of suicide is not really freely chosen, if that makes sense. I have never, including suicides, etc known anyone to be refused a Catholic service, apparently this was an issue 50-60 years ago with burial in a Catholic cemetery but I have never personally heard of this and know of numerous tragic suicides among Catholics.
    tigrefan98

    Answer by tigrefan98 at 10:41 AM on Jul. 10, 2011

  • I find it odd that THAT is what you're thinking about during this families time of grief.
    Syphon

    Answer by Syphon at 9:51 AM on Jul. 10, 2011

  • I think other people covered it, OP. My original response is the teaching of the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, many people who claim the title Catholic don't know their Catechism very well. I strive to not be one of them.
    Dr.Donna

    Answer by Dr.Donna at 12:44 PM on Jul. 10, 2011

  • "Dr.Donna, this isn't a Christian family, this is a CATHOLIC family. Catholics believe that suicides go to hell."

    Ok, first of all, Catholic ARE Christian. Second, there is much more to sin and to suicide that what you've been told as far as the Catholic Church. One thing to keep in mind is the intent when comitting a sin. I think what society has learned to accept is that research shows that most people who commit suicide are not in their right mind when they do so. They are not person they once were, usually due to mental illness. With society's gradual acceptance of mental illness, the Catholic Church has begun to also change it's views on suicide. The Church teachings are only as good as those who read them, and sadly most do not read the Catechism. Old Church views reflected the views society held at one time. We now know more about the mental illness that leads one to suicide and can read the teachings more clearly.
    anime_mom619

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 12:40 AM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • There are no sins that aren't forgivable. No one but God knows the inside of a person's soul, or whether or not the person is saved. Because we don't know, we'll behave as if God is merciful and hope for the best.
    Dr.Donna

    Answer by Dr.Donna at 9:35 AM on Jul. 10, 2011

  • Dr. Dona I agree with you whole heartily, like tigerfan said the Catechism is our rule book. It defines who we are and sadly, so many Catholics have never read more than what little they are taught in school. During homeschool lessons for 7th grade the Catechism was the only religion book and my son studied it thoroughly. During 8th grade confirmation classes he was able to answer many questions.


    One more time I will say suicide is not an automatic sentence to hell. God is the ultimate decider of heaven and hell.
    vntNyll

    Answer by vntNyll at 1:16 PM on Jul. 10, 2011

  • He could have went to heaven who honestly knows but our lord Jesus Christ
    alcia_08

    Answer by alcia_08 at 2:29 PM on Jul. 10, 2011

  • Catholics who commit suicide do not go to hell. A mortal sin, one that condemns you to hell must have these 3 aspects - grave matter, full knowledge of the gravity of the action, and full and free consent to the action A person in pain enough to kill themselves is probably not able to meet those three levels of accountability From the Catechism of the Catholic Church


    "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" (CCC 2283).

    adnilm

    Answer by adnilm at 7:03 PM on Jul. 10, 2011

  • I am Catholic (granted, I am not practicing and disagree with most of the beliefs). I do not believe that people who commit suicide will automatically go to hell. I feel very sad for them. Can you imagine feeling like there is no hope? If people insist that murderers and rapists will go to heaven (if heaven or hell exist) why would someone who committed suicide, someone who didn't feel like there was anything to live for, be kept out?
    TARARENEE

    Answer by TARARENEE at 9:38 AM on Jul. 10, 2011