Stella Marie Galang asks "Can the soul of a person who committed suicide will have a RIP?.. where can HE be now?. Can God forgive him?"
Admin Arlene followed up another question: :"I am asking the same questions myself. Can someone obtain Church blessings during his funeral if he committed suicide, like in Gen. Angelo Reyes' case?"
Dear Stella and Arlene,
Thank you for your questions. Let us now take a glance on the provisions on Suicide in our Catechism:
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.
Committing suicide is a grave sin. Judas Iscariot was not included in the roster of saints even if he was remorseful of his betrayal in the end. Furthermore, one can never be a priest if he attempted to commit suicide.That is how grave suicide is. Hiram sa Diyos ang ating buhay..."We are stewards and not the owner" (CCC 2280)
In earlier times a person who committed suicide would often be denied funeral rites and even burial in a Church cemetery. However, some consideration has always been taken into account of the person's mental state at the time.(CCC 2282)
In one famous case, when Rudolph, the heir to the throne of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, committed suicide in 1889, the medical bulletin declared evidence of "mental aberrations" so that Pope Leo XIII would grant a religious funeral and burial in the imperial crypt. Other similar concessions were probably quietly made in less sonorous cases.
Canon 1184 mentions only three cases:
1. a notorious apostate, heretic or schismatic;
2. those who requested cremation for motives contrary to the Christian faith; and
3. manifest sinners to whom a Church funeral cannot be granted without causing public scandal to the faithful.
These restrictions apply only if there has been no sign of repentance before death.
The local bishop weighs any doubtful cases and in practice a prudent priest should always consult with the bishop before denying a funeral Mass.
A particular case of suicide might enter into the third case — that of a manifest and unrepentant sinner — especially if the suicide follows another grave crime such as murder.
In most cases, however, the progress made in the study of the underlying causes of self-destruction shows that the vast majority are consequences of an accumulation of psychological factors that impede making a free and deliberative act of the will.
Thus, the general tendency is to see this extreme gesture as almost always resulting from the effects of an imbalanced mental state and, as a consequence, it is no longer forbidden to hold a funeral rite for a person who has committed this gesture although each case must still be studied on its merits.
Finally, we cannot outrightly say that all those who committed suicide are suffering in hell. We cannot say that. We do not know if God has forgiven them or if they had ask for it at the very last ounce of their breath. What we know is that our God is almighty and merciful.
If we outrightly know that they are in hell, there will be no point of praying for them and offering mass intentions. But we pray for them because we can never be sure where they are. CCC 2283 says that "By ways known to [God] alone, he can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives."
Hope that this explanation suffices.
Q: Can the soul of a person who committed suicide will have a RIP?
A: We don't know.
Q: Where can HE be now?
A: We don't know
Q: Can God forgive him?"
A: It is not impossible. God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance
Q: Can someone obtain Church blessings during his funeral if he committed suicide, like in Gen. Angelo Reyes' case?
A. Exercising the virtue of prudence, a priest may deny or administer funeral blessing. However, suicide is not anymore an impediment for funeral blessing.