Made in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:27), we are stewards, not owners of our life. Life is God’s gift to us and we have no right to deliberately take our life or that of another person.

Suicide is the direct, deliberate, and intentional taking of one’s life. The Church’s tradition has consistently rejected suicide as a gravely evil choice. Pope John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae (EN) says, “Even though a certain psychological, cultural and social conditioning may induce a person to carry out an action which so radically contradicts the innate inclination to life, thus lessening or removing subjective responsibility, suicide, when viewed objectively, is a gravely immoral act…. (It) rejects “God's absolute sovereignty over life and death.” (EV, # 66)

Serious psychological stress, acute suffering, grave fear, or torture may impede a person’s free will and diminish one’s ability to make a free, balanced judgment. This may lessen the moral culpability of a person who commits suicide. Thus, even though suicide is objectively a mortal sin, it may not be subjectively a mortal sin.

Relying on God’s love and mercy and seriously questioning the free, balanced judgment  and mental state of the one who committed suicide, Catholics trust that this individual can be saved and go to heaven. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known only to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.” (# 2283) The Church permits a funeral Mass to be celebrated to ask for God’s blessing on the deceased and to comfort the mourners.