What do Catholics believe about suicide?

We pray that in their last moments, individuals who committed suicide knew they were loved, turned to God to seek forgiveness, and received his mercy.

The death of a loved one through suicide is unimaginably tragic. Some people believe that the souls of individuals who commit suicide are automatically in hell, but this is not necessarily true. For a sin to be mortal, three elements are necessary: grave matter, full understanding, and free consent.

“Frequently in the case of suicide, there is not full understanding or free consent.”

Every mortal sin is an exercise of our ability to reject God completely. However, most people who commit suicide do not possess full understanding or operate with free consent. They’re often overwhelmed by psychological illness, confusion, or some other struggle.

As difficult as these situations are, there is always hope. We must pray for every person who felt this choice was the only way out of the darkness they experienced. This is the only way to move forward with confidence, hope, and trust in God’s mercy.