Hello everyone! I hope you’re having a lovely day!
I am researching for a character for a short story I’m writing, and I must say I need others’ perspectives. In this story, one of the more dramatic scenes involves a very humane Catholic doctor being ordered by a powerful political figure (who is sort of on par with a king in authority – almost infinite power within a given territory) to assist in a person’s suicide. The man who wishes to die is a Catholic priest who has suffered severe burns and has lost one of his arms in an explosion.
The doctor of course makes his objections clear – but is overruled with force. He ultimately complies, but accidentally. He was, in fact, only trying to give the priest a non-lethal dose of morphine – one that would be high enough to make the priest appear dead, but not actually enough to prevent the priest being revived later.
Of course, the doctor fails in this, and the priest dies. And of course, even accidental murder is, unless I’m mistaken, still considered murder, a mortal sin.
I’m just curious – in confessing this to a priest (and extremely contrite about it – this act has spiritually devastated the character), what sort of penance might one expect?