Can a person with Down Syndrome commit a mortal sin and go to hell? Or does their condition mean that they never have full knowledge or consent? I’m not sure if this has a definite answer, but I’d like to hear some opinions. Thank you!
Judgement is totally in God’s hands, we cannot say with any certainty that one is bound for heaven or hell.
Their condition might mitigate their culpability, but ultimately we cannot know until we get there.
CCC 1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent."131
I believe you’re also asking if a person with Down Syndrome has “full knowledge.” That, we do not know.
I have catholic friends with down syndrome who attend church regularly and do love God. God is merciful , but we can not say for sure where anyone is going to go
Their culpability is incredibly reduced relative to you and me. I Highly doubt that there is a down syndrome person in hell. There are certain people in the world that in my opinion are guaranteed heaven because some kind of illness or disability prevents them from participating in moral decisions. At the very least their consequences is not the same as ours…
This is my opinion.
Folk with Down’s are individuals with a huge range of capabilities. Including the capability for good and evil. Just like folk without Down’s.
Mental impairments boil down to atoms and energy: they are a condition that can be described, diagnosed, and theoretically treated through a materialist/scientific approach. The soul is supernatural and - by definition - can’t be described or understood through materialistic methods since a soul is immaterial.
So yes, a person with down syndrome - which is simply a physical condition that affects the body/brain - can go to hell. If a person is capable of going to heaven - which necessities the consent of the creature - then they are always capable of going to hell. There is no such thing as being capable of going to heaven but not being capable of going to hell. If somebody claims that a person with down syndrome can’t go to hell , then they are claiming that they aren’t made in the image of God and therefore dehumanizing them and putting them on level with an animal.
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