A person with dementia commits suicide

Hypothetically speaking of course…
I am curious as to how the Church would view a situation where a person with serious dementia (e.g. Alzheimers) commits suicide. I’m not talking about someone in early stages, but rather someone who is farther along and losing grip on reality.
Might there be problems with a “Christian Burial”?


Here’s what the Catechism has to say about the matter -


2280 Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him. It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life. We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of.

2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.

2282 If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.

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.

The emphasis is mine. I do not have anything to back it up, but it is my understanding that the Church will provide Christian Burial for those who commit suicide.

Also, let’s not forget that mortal sin has three requirements. 1). Grave Matter 2) Intent and 3) Full knowledge. Someone in that situation probably doesn’t have full knowledge.

I’m pretty sure the Catholic Church doesn’t hold people who are not in full control of their actions or people who aren’t 100% there in the head accountable for their sins. Sin is consentual, and, you know, when you’re not all there, it’s not really all your choice.

I know of two funeral Masses in the past few years for suicides. Ultimately, there’s no way to judge the state of a person’s mind or heart nor whether the person found repentance even at the last moment of life. The Church acknowledges the mercy of God.

Another noteworthy sentence from those paragraphs:

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

Strange…I copied it straight from the online Catechism. Thanks for posting the additional sentence.

They also may not have full intent. As in voices overwhelming them and they use a gun for escape from the voices. Or they can’t ignore the voices.

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