How to respond?


#1

How does one respond to a Methodist pastor who, in commenting on the suicide of one his parishoners, remarks “well, if he were Catholic, he’d go straight to hell”? I eagerly await the Easter Vigil when I may come into full communion with the Catholic Church, and I await your reply, with a grateful heart.
Renee


#2

Well, you can start by telling that, although the Catholic Church never expicitly taught this, there was a time when many in the Catholic Church, including many clergy, assumed that anyone who committed suicide would go straight to hell. However, today
most of us are more enlightened now and deal with the deceased and their survivors with more charity.


#3

[quote=reneeville]How does one respond to a Methodist pastor who, in commenting on the suicide of one his parishoners, remarks “well, if he were Catholic, he’d go straight to hell”? I eagerly await the Easter Vigil when I may come into full communion with the Catholic Church, and I await your reply, with a grateful heart.
Renee
[/quote]

From the CCC:

Suicide

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.


#4

I’m Lutheran, but I’ll give a response I believe is correct.

A person will go to hell if he or she has a mortal sin that is not forgiven. So in the case of suicide the person could possibly commit a mortal sin by killing themselves. The caveat being the will of the person at the time of the suicide. He or she would need to have a sound mind, will and make a conscience decision. In the case of many suicides the person is not of sound mind and so hell is not a assured place.

Lutherans and most Protestants believe about the same.


#5

This pastor takes the occasion of the suicide of one of his parishioners to take a cheap shot at the Catholic Church? What the heck are his priorities?

You could tell him that suicide is only a mortal sin if there is full knowledge and full consent, which is probably not present in many suicides. Or you could just tell him that we Catholics leave the judging up to God.


#6

“Suicide is is seriously contrary to justice, hope, and charity. It is forbidden by the fifth commandment.” [6th commandment by Protestant numbering](CCC 2325) As the ultimate act of despair, it is, of course, a mortal sin.

Therefore, the Church for Centuries refused to bury suicides in consecrated ground under the presumption that that person had died unrepentant: a person who dies in a state of mortal sin is destined for hell. Suicide is a grave sine, yet we now hope that in the mercy of God, a person might received a moment of grace “between the bridge and the water.” Since the Church officially refuses to pronounce that Judas is in Hell, we may choose not to declare that a suicide is without question condemned – even though the probability is high.

If your Methodist pastor teaches that when a sinner dies impenitent, he will wind up in Hell, then this would be true whether a person is Catholic or not. His comment was both ignorant of Catholic teaching and pointlessly contumelious.


#7

nice occasion to be criticizing someone’s faith… so sad…

as to the truth of his remark, the church doesn’t say
someone who commits suicide is automatically going
to hell… suicide in itself denotes some illness or
psychological disorder… which would make it a
tragic event, but not necessarily a mortal sin…

(CCC 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 man was mistaken in his remarks.

:slight_smile:


#8

[quote=reneeville]How does one respond to a Methodist pastor who, in commenting on the suicide of one his parishoners, remarks “well, if he were Catholic, he’d go straight to hell”? I eagerly await the Easter Vigil when I may come into full communion with the Catholic Church, and I await your reply, with a grateful heart.
Renee
[/quote]

Suicide is a mortal sin. It is very unlikely that anyone who commits suicide will escape the fires of hell. More than likely the person fell into the mortal sin of despair (contrary to the theological virtue of Hope) which resulted in their taking their own life.

We also have to remember that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church. Only Catholics have the chance to attain heaven. It is true that there is a possibility that a person outside of the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church can be united to the Church, but this is certainly not the norm.

And let us say that a person outside of the visible boundaries of the Church was somehow united to the Church, that does not mean they are in the state of grace. If they have committed a mortal sin, even if they are united to the Church by their desire, they are dead to the life of grace, and only an act of perfect contrition (which is also very difficult to attain) will bring them into the state of grace.

The chances that a protestant who committed suicide escaped hell is so rare, that it is virtually certain that they did not.

This would be a good time for the pastor to give a sermon on the dangers of suicide and the few that are saved. Then, maybe he could bring some good out of this evil, and prevent others from following that person into misfortune.

In our day of darkness, error, and confusion, many believe, contrary to explicit the words of our Lord, that heaven is attained easily, and that few are damned. Let us read a sermon on the subject by a truly “enlightened” saint.

olrl.org/snt_docs/fewness.shtml


#9

[quote=VociMike]This pastor takes the occasion of the suicide of one of his parishioners to take a cheap shot at the Catholic Church? What the heck are his priorities?

You could tell him that suicide is only a mortal sin if there is full knowledge and full consent, which is probably not present in many suicides. Or you could just tell him that we Catholics leave the judging up to God.
[/quote]

:thumbsup: Also, one wonders why the pastor is so assured (ahem!) that someone who does commit suicide can’t possibly be in hell.


#10

[quote=USMC]Suicide is a mortal sin. It is very unlikely that anyone who commits suicide will escape the fires of hell. More than likely the person fell into the mortal sin of despair (contrary to the theological virtue of Hope) which resulted in their taking their own life.

The chances that a protestant who committed suicide escaped hell is so rare, that it is virtually certain that they did not.

url]
[/quote]

Oh great, another Feeneyite who’s more Catholic than the pope. And you don’t know much about depression, which is often present to a great degree in those who commit suicide (affecting their judgement and thus affecting their culpability).

I follow the Church, not those who think they’re above the Magisterium.


#11

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

That is all that needs to be said.

As for a methodist minister who uses the funeral of a suicide to offer this Catholic bashing piece of trash…that is pretty lame.
Pax tecum,


#12

[quote=reneeville]How does one respond to a Methodist pastor who, in commenting on the suicide of one his parishoners, remarks “well, if he were Catholic, he’d go straight to hell”? I eagerly await the Easter Vigil when I may come into full communion with the Catholic Church, and I await your reply, with a grateful heart.
Renee
[/quote]

I think that Mickey, a VERY wise man, gave you the best presentation of the Catholic view, straight from the Cathecism of the Catholic Church:

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.


#13

[quote=jim1130]I think that Mickey, a VERY wise man, gave you the best presentation of the Catholic view, straight from the Cathecism of the Catholic Church:

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.
[/quote]

Absolutely!


#14

[quote=USMC]Suicide is a mortal sin. It is very unlikely that anyone who commits suicide will escape the fires of hell. More than likely the person fell into the mortal sin of despair (contrary to the theological virtue of Hope) which resulted in their taking their own life.

We also have to remember that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church. Only Catholics have the chance to attain heaven. It is true that there is a possibility that a person outside of the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church can be united to the Church, but this is certainly not the norm.

And let us say that a person outside of the visible boundaries of the Church was somehow united to the Church, that does not mean they are in the state of grace. If they have committed a mortal sin, even if they are united to the Church by their desire, they are dead to the life of grace, and only an act of perfect contrition (which is also very difficult to attain) will bring them into the state of grace.

The chances that a protestant who committed suicide escaped hell is so rare, that it is virtually certain that they did not.

This would be a good time for the pastor to give a sermon on the dangers of suicide and the few that are saved. Then, maybe he could bring some good out of this evil, and prevent others from following that person into misfortune.

In our day of darkness, error, and confusion, many believe, contrary to explicit the words of our Lord, that heaven is attained easily, and that few are damned. Let us read a sermon on the subject by a truly “enlightened” saint.

olrl.org/snt_docs/fewness.shtml
[/quote]

Peace be with you!

This is not what the Catholic Church teaches. Who are you to place your own beliefs above the teachings of the pope? And you claim to be Catholic. The “no salvation outside the Church” is addressed in the updated Catechism…I suggest you read it.

In Christ,
Rand


#15

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]Peace be with you!

This is not what the Catholic Church teaches. Who are you to place your own beliefs above the teachings of the pope? And you claim to be Catholic. The “no salvation outside the Church” is addressed in the updated Catechism…I suggest you read it.

In Christ,
Rand
[/quote]

What exactly are you disagreeing with? Is it that I said there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church, or the link I gave, or something else? I will respond to you after I know exactly what you disagree with.

Thanks


#16

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]Peace be with you!

This is not what the Catholic Church teaches. Who are you to place your own beliefs above the teachings of the pope? And you claim to be Catholic. The “no salvation outside the Church” is addressed in the updated Catechism…I suggest you read it.

In Christ,
Rand
[/quote]

In re-reading your post, I am certain that your disagreement is with my saying that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. Believe it or not, that is actually what the Church teaches and has always taught. In fact, it is a dogma of the faith, which means Catholics MUST believe it to remain faithful Catholics. There are certainly various ways to interpret the statement, but you cannot deny it.

To help us to know the best way to interpret the infallibly defined dogma that outside the Church there is not salvation, let’s read a few quotes from the Popes and saints.

Come to think about it, since this dogma is so politically incorrect, we better read more than just a few. If you would like additional quotes, just let me know. We’ll begin in the early years of the Church - with the Church fathers - and end with infallible declarations of several Popes.

Saint Ambrose (died A.D. 397): “Where Peter is therefore, there is the Church. Where the Church is there is not death but life eternal. …Although many call themselves Christians, they usurp the name and do not have the reward.” (The Fathers of the Church)

Saint Jerome (died A.D. 420): “As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is, with the Chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the Church is built. …This is the ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails. …And as for heretics, I have never spared them; on the contrary, I have seen to it in every possible way that the Church’s enemies are also my enemies.” (Manual of Patrology and History of Theology)

Saint Augustine (died A.D. 430): “No man can find salvation except in the Catholic Church. Outside the Catholic Church one can have everything except salvation. One can have honor, one can have the sacraments, one can sing alleluia, one can answer amen, one can have faith in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and preach it too, but never can one find salvation except in the Catholic Church.” (Sermo ad Caesariensis Ecclesia plebem)

Saint Fulgentius (died A.D. 533): “Most firmly hold and never doubt that not only pagans, but also all Jews, all heretics, and all schismatics who finish this life outside of the Catholic Church, will go into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Enchiridion Patristicum)

St. Bede the Venerable (died A.D. 735): “Just as all within the ark were saved and all outside of it were carried away when the flood came, so when all who are pre-ordained to eternal life have entered the Church, the end of the world will come and all will perish who are found outside.” (Hexaemeron)

Saint Thomas Aquinas (died A.D. 1274): “There is no entering into salvation outside the Church, just as in the time of the deluge there was none outside the ark, which denotes the Church.” (Summa Theologiae)

Saint Peter Canisius (died A.D. 1597): “Outside of this communion - as outside of the ark of Noah - there is absolutely no salvation for mortals: not for Jews or pagans who never received the faith of the Church, nor for heretics who, having received it, corrupted it; neither for the excommunicated or those who for any other serious cause deserve to be put away and separated from the body of the Church like pernicious members…for the rule of Cyprian and Augustine is certain: he will not have God for his Father who would not have the Church for his mother.” (Catechismi Latini et Germanici)

Saint Robert Bellarmine (died A.D. 1621): “Outside the Church there is no salvation…therefore in the symbol [Apostles Creed] we join together the Church with the remission of sins: `I believe in the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins’…For this reason the Church is compared with the ark of Noah, because just as during the deluge, everyone perished who was not in the ark, so now those perish who are not in the Church.” (De Sacramento Baptismi)

Pope Saint Gregory the Great (A.D. 590 - 604): “Now the holy Church universal proclaims that God cannot be truly worshipped saving within herself, asserting that all they that are without her shall never be saved.” (Moralia)

continue…


#17

continuation

Pope Innocent III (A.D. 1198 - 1216): “With our hearts we believe and with our lips we confess but one Church, not that of the heretics, but the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside which we believe that no one is saved.

Pope Leo XII (A.D. 1823 - 1829): “We profess that there is no salvation outside the Church. …For the Church is the pillar and ground of the truth. With reference to those words Augustine says: `If any man be outside the Church he will be excluded from the number of sons, and will not have God for Father since he has not the Church for mother.’” (Encyclical, Ubi Primum)

Pope Gregory XVI (AD 1831 – 1846): “Now We consider another abundant source of the evils with which the Church is afflicted at present: indifferentism. This perverse opinion is spread on all sides by the fraud of the wicked who claim that it is possible to obtain the eternal salvation of the soul by the profession of any kind of religion, as long as morality is maintained. Surely, in so clear a matter, you will drive this deadly error far from the people committed to your care”. (Mirari Vos).

Pope Gregory XVI (A.D. 1831 - 1846): “It is not possible to worship God truly except in Her; all who are outside Her will not be saved.” (Encyclical, Summo Jugiter)

Pope Pius IX (A.D. 1846 - 1878): “It must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood.” (Denzinger 1647)

Pope Leo XIII (A.D. 1878 - 1903): “This is our last lesson to you; receive it, engrave it in your minds, all of you: by God’s commandment salvation is to be found nowhere but in the Church.” (Encyclical, Annum Ingressi Sumus)

Pope Benedict XV (A.D. 1914 - 1922): “Such is the nature of the Catholic faith that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole, or as a whole rejected: This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.” (Encyclical, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum)

Pope Pius XI (A.D. 1922 - 1939): “The Catholic Church alone is keeping the true worship. This is the font of truth, this is the house of faith, this is the temple of God; if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation. …Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ, no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors.” (Encyclical, Mortalium Animos)

Pope Pius XII (Humani Generis: “Some say they are not bound by the doctrine, explained in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago, and based on the Sources of Revelation, which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing. Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation.”

The follow words are infallible declaration by the extra ordinary magesterium of the Church, and as such must be firmly believed by Catholics, for they are dogmas of our faith.

Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, A.D. 1215::
There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no onat all is saved.

Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, A.D. 1441: “The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church”.

Don’t be fooled by those who teach otherwise. The quotes I provided represent what the Church has always taught… If you hear the contrary today it is due to the face that we are living in a day of confusion, which is a result of ambiguous documents, which are a tool of liberalism, which has invaded the Church.


#18

USMC,

Why don’t you create a new thread (or, better yet, just read the many threads that discuss this topic). This has nothing to do with the OP’s question.


#19

USMC wrote:

It is very unlikely that anyone who commits suicide will escape the fires of hell. More than likely the person fell into the mortal sin of despair (contrary to the theological virtue of Hope) which resulted in their taking their own life.

and
Sherlock rightly replied:

Oh great, another Feeneyite who’s more Catholic than the pope. And you don’t know much about depression, which is often present to a great degree in those who commit suicide (affecting their judgement and thus affecting their culpability).

I follow the Church, not those who think they’re above the Magisterium.

Very often, there is (as Fr. Joe Horn, O. Praem mentions in the thread below) a failure “to make an important distinction…: the difference between the evil of the act itself, and the culpability of the person. The person’s culpability… can be reduced or even eliminated by such factors as mental instability, nervous breakdown, coercion, and so forth. On the other hand, the act of suicide itself is ALWAYS gravely evil, since it is the taking of a human life by a person who has no authority to do so.”
Cf. holyjoe.net/phpBB2_new/viewtopic.php?t=454

see also saint-mike.org/apologetics/qa/Answers/Faith_Spirituality/f0305180235.html re: the suicide of Judas

also interesting is the discussion of “form vs substance” issue in
saint-mike.org/apologetics/qa/Answers/Defending_Faith/p0310280095.html

and Fr. William P. Saunders
catholicherald.com/saunders/03ws/ws030605.htm


#20

[quote=Sherlock]Oh great, another Feeneyite who’s more Catholic than the pope…

I follow the Church, not those who think they’re above the Magisterium.
[/quote]

Sherlock,

Just curious; since I quoted magisterial documents from Pope after Pope after Pope to support exactly what I said, do you still disagree with me? Or do you admit that what I wrote is EXACTLY what those Popes taught?

I am also curious as to why you do not believe what the Popes I quoted taught?


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