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Roman Catholic

By Rev. Charles T. Rubey Director, LOSS Program, Administration/Program Development

The most recent publication of the new catechism of the Roman Catholic Church states that “it is wrong for a person to take their life." The catechism does go on to clarify that in many instances there are extenuating circumstances that will mitigate the responsibility of the person’s actions. It is unfortunate that the catechism states this in such a way. It is open to misunderstanding on the part of many of the members of the Church. Such a statement continues the misconception of the whole area of suicide and the ultimate destiny of people who complete suicide. Without going down the slippery slope of the issue, it should be treated with a little more sensitivity and understanding of the issues that plague survivors of a completed suicide. Survivors have enough struggles in surviving the death of a loved one from suicide. They should not have to worry about the final destiny of a loved one. If someone were to ask me if it is permissible to take their life, I would not hesitate to say that it is not right to do so. After the fact, I would have a completely different response.

My belief is that God judges us negatively when we act out of malice. A person who completes suicide is not acting out of malice but is acting out of desperation. Their death is a clear statement that they can no longer tolerate the pain that has engulfed them. The pain has become more than they can handle and they are looking for a way out of their pain. They are not malicious but desperate. They do not want to “hurt God." They want peace from their internal torture that has become unbearable. I would find it hard to believe in a God who would deny peace and tranquility to a person whose life was devoid of such peace and tranquility. The reason that a person engages in such an act is to find peace and to escape from the torture that has made their life so unbearable.

Comments

01/06/2015 at 10:42 AM
Theresa Lee
I am Catholic and do not believe suicide is a sin. I am a 40 year sufferer of Lyme Disease. I am bedridden and in constant mental and physical anguish and pain. Most people have no concept of Lyme disease and how it destroys your life, hope, family and finances. Cancer patients are supported and revered for their strength and perseverance. Lyme patients are told to go see a shrink because it's not a disease. As such, I get no respect like cancer patients do. I get blown off by doctors. I get no insurance coverage for any treatments. I no longer have any friends because they don't want to understand this disease. Suicide is very much a part of my plan. This disease has entered my brain much as Alzheimer's enters the brain and destroys all rational thought. When my rationality goes, so will my life. I refuse to believe in a god that would punish me in the afterlife because of a disease that took away my rational thought. I will commit suicide when the time is right.
12/09/2014 at 8:02 PM
Louise Koenig
John, may I pray for you?
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