[quote="StrawberryJam, post:8, topic:201837"]
This could be taken to mean that the church is constantly in need of updating their understanding of all sorts of distress, and not just this particular kind.?
We are constantly learning new things, yes - and reacting in an appropriately pastoral manner, when we do. :)
Keep in mind, nobody else realized there was something psychologically wrong with people who were committing suicide back then, either - and it would have been considered "pandering" to give them a Christian burial.
Indeed, in support of the idea of not "rewarding" a suicide with positive attention after death, the story is told of some girls in ancient Rome who, one after the other, were committing suicide. At the beginning, the girls were being given lavish funerals with fine music, being buried in beautiful graveyards, with much weeping and wailing - and more and more girls were committing suicide, to the point where the prefect of that region realized that there were going to be no more marriageable girls in that age group (thus spelling death for the whole community), if something was not done. He realized that at least part of the problem was attention-seeking behaviour, so the next girl who committed suicide, he hung her body out in the desert for the buzzards to eat, and forbade her friends and family from mourning her death.
No more girls in that community committed suicide, after that.
i don't know if that's a true story or not, but the point of the story is that, if you want to prevent people from committing suicide, don't reward them for it - which is part of what was behind the Church's negative attitude towards giving Christian burial to suicides.
Today, we realize that things are more complicated than that. I suppose if there were some risk of copy-cat suicides in a particular situation, the Church would keep the funeral very low-key and quiet.