Can a person who commits suicide go to heaven? Or are they already condemned?
The Church has always taught that suicide is a mortal sin which is gravely offensive to God because only He has the right to take life.
The Church also said that those suffering from mental illness or emotional problems who have committed suicide can have the guilt of their sin lessen.
So yes we can hope that they could reach heaven because Christ is merciful and desires the salvation of all.
One can also be saved if he repents while in the act of suicide. If you jump of a cliff and repent while on the way down, you could be saved.
It is temporary insanity for many. When we stop and think about it, who in their right mind would do such a thing?
But like everything else, it is possible for someone to be sane and do it anyway for whatever reason. Maybe the person was really bored one day and didn’t believe in an afterlife.
There are a lot of “depends” in a judgment of this kind. So it is just kinder and probably truer to say they didn’t know what they were doing, and let it go at that.
The ONLY way a person can go to hell because of suicide is if it kills innocents as well (murder-suicide, suicide-bombers, etc).
Anyone who can look at a depression driven suicide, an act of desperation by someone who feels so hopeless and alone that even being alive is too much to bare; anyone who can look at that and say “That person’s going to suffer for all eternity” is too callous to be called a good Christian.
I am sorry if I come off as bitter, but that’s because I am: it bothers me when I see other Christians interpret God as the type to kick someone who’s down.
Hey CRATUS. I think a person who commits suicide has gone ahead and lived with enough pain up to that point that God must just welcome and console that confused soul. God probably prepares a special soft place for that one. A really relaxed way.
I mean I’ve got to believe that. Because I’d never be able to handle the pain if I had to think she was in hell. Even if I made it to heaven. If. I’d give it up for her if she was in hell. I’d trade places. And that’s a fact.
So obviously I’ve got to believe God would take care of someone like that. Because I can’t be thinking straighter than God right? And I mean that’s what I’d do. That’s really what I’d do. Truly.
Peace CRATUS. Missed crossing paths with you lately.
Its possible IF there are reduced culpability circumstances and IF they are baptised and within the Catholic Church and IF they were not already in a state of mortal sin.
It seems to me that when anyone asks this question they seem to assume that such a person is in a state of grace at the time they commit suicide!
That is an important point.
Not to make light of the subject area;-
But that sounds like the way to do it!
Hey man thanks for the effort here. I mean I know what you’re trying to softly say. But I’m the cause of this. So this is just a straight up blame for me. I’d take that road instead. I’d trade that place if it was a fact. Or I’d hope that God would allow a higher place for her instead. I can’t think about it any other way. I’d lose my wheels if I had to think she was in hell for that. It’s not a fair move. Not when I’m the one to blame. God’s gonna deal fairly with this. He’ll raise her up. He’ll put her high up and safe. I’ll be the one paying the tab. That’ll be all me. And I’m square with that. That’s a justice call. No other way makes sense.
Ive always been shocked at the number of people who think about and commit suicide, usually they lean towards this when life becomes unbearable for them, some do it due to debt, income, some do it to get back at others.
How is it that they never stop to think that they may end up in a situation/ place that is MUCH worse than what they are currently going thru? At least on earth, there are always options, even if you have lost everything and have nowhere to live…once you commit suicide and you go where your going, thats it, your options are gone.
I presume many who have done this wake up in a place and say to themselves, “what have I done”.
This also kind of conflicts with the bible, where it says God will never give a person more than they can bear…if they have killed themselves, its pretty clear they had a whole lot more than what they could deal with, so…??
Several of my loved ones have attempted suicide at some point in their lives, but thankfully did not succeed. Their emotional pain was just overwhelming to them, that life seemed so full of pain, and death seemed like a way out to their troubled minds. I do not know what our Lord Jesus does about people who commit suicide, but I trust in His tender mercy more than I would ever trust in my own sense of justice or fairness. So whatever happens, I just trust God about it. And I am glad that I will never know the ultimate fate of any soul until it becomes my turn with The Four Last Things (Death, Judgement, Heaven or Hell).
Suicide does not necessarily condemn one to Hell
That isn’t how it works.
This also isn’t how it works.
Traditionally the Church used to refuse to bury those who committed suicide as it is the material for a mortal sin, over time the Church has come to a greater understanding about what makes people commit suicide and now She no longer does it (as a matter of policy). Indeed these days the Catechism speaks about how there can be factors that diminish the culpability for it potentially to the point that it is not a mortal sin.
You have not commented on any of the replies, are you having these thoughts yourself?
When the will to live has been taken away from us, and we have been deeply hurt, there is the need to know that God loves us.
Sometimes it seems difficult to forgive ourselves, or to forgive someone else.
We shouldn’t judge whether a person who commits suicide goes to heaven or is condemned to hell. According to the Catechism, “[w]e 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.” (2282)
We must remember that God’s mercy is unfathomable! As Jesus said to St. Faustina in her Diary, “[p]roclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God.” (301) St. Faustina also gives us insight as to one way God’s mercy works in souls: “God’s mercy sometimes touches the sinner at the last moment in a wondrous and mysterious way. Outwardly, it seems as if everything were lost, but it is not so. The soul, illumined by a ray of God’s powerful final grace, turns to God in the last moment with such a power of love that, in an instant, it receives from God forgiveness of sin and punishment, while outwardly it shows no sign either of repentance or of contrition, because souls [at that stage] no longer react to external things. Oh, how beyond comprehension is God’s mercy! But - horror - there are also souls who voluntarily and consciously reject and scorn this grace! Although a soul is at the point of death, the merciful God gives the soul that interior vivid moment, so that if the soul is willing, it has the possibility of returning to God. But sometimes, the obduracy in souls is so great that consciously they choose hell; they make useless all the prayers that other souls offer to God for them and even the efforts of God Himself…” (1698)
Also, here’s an account of St. John Vianney which reflects the depths of God’s mercy, it involves an atheist who committed suicide. I’ve posted this before, but I’ll repost here: There was a French woman, a faithful Catholic whose husband was an atheist. He spoke openly against the Church. At one point he became depressed and committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. His wife was beyond consolation and considered her husband lost. She traveled to the parish where St. John Vianney resided and was dismayed when she found a line for days to approach him in the confessional. She resorted to kneeling in the church to pray. Suddenly, St. John Vianney came out of the confessional and approached her. He exclaimed, “He’s saved!” She wondered how could that be, St. John Vianney explained, “I tell you he is saved. But he is in purgatory and you must pray for him. Between the parapet of the bridge and the water he had the time to make an act of contrition.” St. John Vianney further explained that God will use any act of faith towards one’s salvation – the fact that her husband didn’t object to a shrine she had in their bedroom and sometimes joined her in prayer, merited him final repentance and pardon in his final moments, a grace that Our Lady had obtained for him. (The story can be found in the book entitled, Cur d Ars, Saint John Marie Baptiste Vianney by Abbe Francis Trouchu and starts on p. 539).
So although he was suffering in purgatory - **through God’s mercy **- he is saved. And concerning souls in purgatory who committed suicide, here is a testimony by a woman named Gloria Polo. I’ve referred to her in other posts for various reasons and of course, you are not bound to believe, but she had a near death experience, was judged, and thereafter allowed to come back to this life to tell others about her judgment. Here is a portion of what she had to say about the souls she saw in purgatory who had committed suicide:
“I began to hear crying thousands and thousands of persons, youth… Yes, above all youth, with so much suffering! …] I understood that in that place there were those persons who, in one moment of desperation, they committed suicide… Now they are in those torments, with those horrible beings near them, surrounded by demons that torment them. But the cruelest of these torments was the absence of God, because there one does not feel God.** I understood that, those who in one moment of desperation took their lives, had to remain there, within those torments, until all the time that they might have spent on the earth had passed: because all those who kill themselves, go out of the Divine Order**. …]”
She also speaks of how these souls suffer. She saw demons repeatedly showing scenes to these souls of their loved ones on earth suffering with tremendous guilt, regrets of "what if " and even rebelling against God as a result of their death. This is how I understand that suicide “offends love of neighbor” – in that it “unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations.” (Catechism, 2281)
Please remember that “[e]veryone is responsible for his or her life before God who had given it to him. …] We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are the stewards, not the owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of.” (Catechism, 2280)
For all those suffering from suicidal temptations, “[m]ay the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13)
I hope this helps. God Bless,
After years and years of being in the black whole of depression, and battling the feelings daily, your story is just a story and does not help.
I’m sorry to hear that you are battling depression, I can’t imagine what you are going through. Please find consolation in my prayers which I will offer up for you and your well-being.
My apologies, but my post was in response to the question posed which was whether a person who commits suicide can go to heaven or is already condemned. I am not certified nor knowledgeable about depression to offer words of advice, but I simply wanted to respond to the question and offer up a word of hope.
Also, if you are comfortable sharing I would love to hear your thoughts on what does help.
Jesus loves you.
Objectively speaking, suicide is a grave a sin. It doesn’t require an additional grave sin to be mortal. Some cultures promote suicide if they lose a battle or the like.
As one who has made a few attempts in the past (my depression is much better now than it was eight years ago) I can say that you can be either out of your mind (less culpable) or fully aware of the sinfulness of your action when attempting suicide. I believe what the Church teaches, that one is not automatically condemned for the act of suicide. The Church has never proclaimed anyone condemned to Hell.
If the OP knows of someone who has committed suicide please remember that we are called to pray for the souls of the dead. Do not abandon your prayers because of a lack of hope in the salvation of the deceased, no matter what the cause of their death.
If the OP or any other poster to this thread is having suicidal thoughts I urge them to seek counseling and the help of a psychiatrist. There are talk therapies, medications, and procedures that can help. Try to be patient, though, with the process. Sometimes the first medication you try doesn’t work well or the beginning of talk therapy doesn’t go very smoothly. Seek also, in addition to the help of psychiatirc services, the advice and councel of a competent spiritual advisor - a priest or deacon in your parish perhaps. For me, the mix of secular and spiritual assistance is the key to my recovery.
Be at peace.