Do people who commit suicide go to hell?


  • Lisett LeranaMay 21, 2015

    I am a catholic and have believed the teaching that suicide is a mortal sin and mortal sin is unforgivable. My cousin who is close to me has just committed suicide last Tuesday. I feel so bad for him because I know that he's a very sensitive person that he always wallows in self-pity. Deep in my heart I know that God is a merciful God. These people who committed suicide are emotionally and spiritually low. Because I believe that if you have a personal relationship with God, you will always turn to Him even when the world turns from them. I don't judge them, in fact, I feel bad for them because no one would ever know what are they feeling or experiencing that drove them to take their lives. But I still want to believe that when Jesus died for our sins, it includes "all sins venial or mortal". And the ten commandments from the old testament has been fulfilled in the new testament under Jesus' new testament -- love. But I think, the reason these people took their lives is because they felt unloved even by themselves. They may have thought there's nowhere else in this world that they can find love. One thing I can say, I HOPE OUR PRAYERS can still help them. I believe in God's mercy and love.

  • Chris DunnApril 24, 2015

    Anyone who commits suicide is as guilty as anyone who performed the most minor sin before death who hasn't repented. Having one unconfessed sin on your slate at the moment of death will not throw you out of favor with Jesus and deny you heaven.. Catholicisms own catechisms debunk the suicide sends you to hell myth.

  • Lisa HarrisApril 23, 2015

    I actually understand the prepared reading of the topic and grasp a bit portion of it.

  • Janessa77 jamesApril 9, 2015

    I think those people do suicide which don't believe God and yourself as well. Suicide is not a good work, we must love our life and also try to live for others as well.

  • Aad April 8, 2015

    Do people who commit suicide go to hell? No. No ....

  • Richard ScarrMarch 26, 2015

    BY ONE'S OWN HAND It is a tragedy at anytime when a life comes to an end. And yet the sense of loss we feel depends, on whether family or friend. But friend or Kin. Can it be a sin, when a lost and troubled soul? Driven by torment too much to bear, is no longer in control? Yet there are those who would condemn. And cry: "They broke God's Law!" And claim that Heaven will be denied, to those not deserving anymore. But do they who set themselves to judge? And preach: "For them Damnation waits!" Know so little of their God? They see him guarding Heaven's Gates? Filled with Wrath and venting Spleen. On such poor souls whose only sin. A tormented mind that lost it's way. And could not face another day! Or those whose every painful hour. A living Hell beyond belief. And returning home once more to God. Their only way to find relief. 'Tis enough these souls will judge themselves. They will not be judged or held to blame. But welcomed into Heavens Realm's. And with love, nursed back to health again. So if you have lost someone you love, who went by their own hand. Be assured they live with peace of mind. In God's Loving and Forgiving Land (c) Richard John Scarr

  • Richard ScarrMarch 26, 2015

    My own son took his own life. He was obviously disturbed, bless his his heart. And yet we had no inkling. I am a life long Spiritualist, and run a Spiritualist Church. And so some of those we hear from have taken their own lives for various reasons. If someone has taken their own life. It is usually because of depression etc and they simply cannot face another day. Or out of grief, unable to live without the one they have lost. Or because they are suffering some painful or debilitating illness, for which they can get no relief, other than to return to God.. Do these people go to Hell? NO! NO! NO! Do those people who preach Hell and Damnation really know so little of their loving and forgiving God, they see him standing guard on Heavens Gates and sending these poor souls to another place? They are not held to blame, but are welcomed into Heaven's Realm's and are heaped with love. More so than those of us who make our transition through natural causes. Because they feel guilty at having taken their own lives. And those who take care of them do their utmost to take away this feeling of guilt. As do those loved ones who were there to meet them. So if you have lost someone who went by their own hand because of illness etc. They did not go to Hell! And don't let anyone tell you different! And those who believe otherwise are the children of a different God to yours and mine! Ours is an all forgiving loving Father!

  • Simon MwisaMarch 5, 2015

    My attitude and response to suicide problem has been to keep off and stay aloof. Fr, you have transformed me in your answer for i am now challenged to see and understand why i should not judge others. Am now focused on God"s mercy rather than the victim's action.

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  • mandy dayDecember 18, 2014

    my ex.husband father to my three children just commited sucide. we have been divorced six years a few years ago he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. I worry so much he didnt go to heaven it makes me so sad because he was a great guy. i wish so bad i could of helped him.

  • b solisDecember 9, 2014

    The Lord is a merciful Lord. No one takes their life for fun. Humans commit sucide because they are in the throws of depression, illness, pain, despair, grief, insanitiy, broken hearted, self-medicating. If you believe that sucide sends you to hell, then you may be the one who is empty hearted and sinful. God Blesses all those who has passed away, it does not matter how you passed away.

  • Lisa HarrisOctober 31, 2014

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  • Kelly MorrisonSeptember 16, 2014

    I want to thank you for this article. My twin brother committed suicide when we were 25. No one has explained the church's view of suicide better than you just did.

  • Kyle LarsonAugust 31, 2014

    Who would god have to punish on earth if people kill themselves? He destroyed whole cities because of the behaviors that were going on, not because they went on, right? My point was, you can't change the word to benefit one person or one situation. Who is there to punish or condemn after someone commits suicide? Only that person. Of the 7 suicides, how many did this as a selfish act? How many did this to benefit others? People want to get technical when they're trying to justify themselves. People call suicide bombers cowards but they honestly believe they're doing it for god, their people and their religion...suicide. technically, jesus knew he would be killed right? Children have been known to kill themselves, younger than what our laws say is old enough to know better. Do you consider them to have "morbid depression"? Schizophrenia? No, its because they don't know any better. I believe if you are following a religion that teaches you that God is above all and that you shouldn't question that then why would it be ok for you to decide? Hell on earth? Now there's more than one place called hell? To take your own life would show no faith in God. I redact the comment about the BIBLE as it's read today saying plainly that suicide is murder but please don't call me a liar when you don't know everything, neither do I.

  • Rik C.August 28, 2014

    @Kyle Larson: nowhere in the bible does it say suicide is murder, stop lying already. If someone is stretching the meaning of the bible it's you. Besides if the bible isn't to be interpreted according to the needs of the time homosexuals should still be killed along with unbelievers, adulterers etcetera: surely no-one in his right mind would want this?

  • Rik C.August 28, 2014

    This question is rather simple isn't it? If we assume the bible is indeed God's word we need but to look in its pages for a clear prohibition: there is none. 7 suicides are mentioned but none in even the slightest disapproving manner: surely if the Almighty had frowned upon their actions it would have been made clear well enough seeing he razed whole cities to the ground if they displeased him. The early church didn't view suicide as a sin untill too many christians killed themselves to become martyrs and go to heaven faster, after that Augustine made up the sophism that the 5th commandment also applied to suicides (if it is wrong to kill in general killing in war, self-defense etcetera must also be wrong) and from then on the church declared it sin. This spurious reasoning has been thoroughly refuted by David Hume in his essay 'on suicide', a most enlightening piece of reading for anyone with the least bit of interest in the subject. It seems to me those who are desperate enough to commit suicide are in hell already (here on this earth) and why would a truly loving God continue to punish them after death? One could very well wonder, if it is true most suicides occur due to mental illness, why God would punish people with morbid depression, schizophrenia etcetera in the first place since these things clearly aren't the result of free will and are more aking to natural disasters than anything else.

  • Dean HargreavesAugust 27, 2014

    You have to ask yourself, why would God bring you to a point in your life where you would need to kill yourself? Answer the question on your own and then you'll know what to do.

  • Kyle LarsonAugust 27, 2014

    People have twisted and stretched the bible to fit the times and circumstances and the Bible that is read today is not the intended meaning, I believe. The concept is still there. Does God mind if we pick and chose how we want to interpret it? Only God knows the answer, NOBODY ELSE. Free will was given to us all and if you can debate the subject to yourself and can still kill yourself knowing you might or will go to hell, chances are you'll get what you asked for.

  • Kyle LarsonAugust 27, 2014

    I can understand telling a grieving person this story but at the end of the day the Catholic Church or anyone alive can not change the wording of the bible. According to the Bible, suicide is murder; it is always wrong. I would have serious doubts about the genuineness of faith of anyone who claimed to be a Christian yet committed suicide. There is no circumstance that can justify someone, especially a Christian, taking his or her own life. Christians are called to live their lives for God – the decision on when to die is God’s and God’s alone.

  • Carlos VigilJuly 29, 2014

    What if God know s certain people r making ur life miserable I would like to think God woulduunderstand my coming home early

  • Carlos VigilJuly 29, 2014

    WI that if knos certain people r making ur life miserable I would think he would understand

  • Avid ChristianMarch 19, 2014

    Acts 24:15: “I have hope toward God . . . that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Both those who lived in harmony with God’s righteous ways and people who, out of ignorance, did unrighteous things will be resurrected. The Bible does not answer all our questions as to whether certain specific individuals who have died will be resurrected. But we can be confident that God, who knows all the facts, will act impartially, with justice tempered by mercy that does not ignore his righteous standards. Compare Genesis 18:25.)

  • JERRY DUNNFebruary 5, 2014


  • Oliver McmanusJanuary 26, 2014

    Been searching the web all day in hospital atm on a informal section gona hang myself off my door tonight I'm not scared to die god will forgive

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  • Tania U.October 17, 2013

    Thank you Father Byron, I lost my brother to suicide and reading your article has brought me some needed peace.

  • Chris RobertsSeptember 2, 2013

    As humans, we can only guess as to what God may do when suicide is brought before him. As previousely stated, and correctly so- only God knows what is in the heart of the individual that stands before Him. I believe each person is treated individually. God alone, knows the life that was lived, and whether the heart was pure or not. I believe God forgives, has compassion, and is aware of the pain suffered by many, while alive. Father Byron seems to be a warm, affectionate man, understanding of God's nature, and is it refreshing to hear that the Catholic church recognizes the suffering of the individual.

  • Monica (momof2) August 26, 2013

    There is a glaring omission in this article. Almost everyone who commits suicide is suffering from clinical depression or another mental illness. To go to hell you have to have committed a mortal sin. Suicide is not a mortal sin if it is not decided freely. If you are mentalyl ill you are not making free decisions. So while Fr. Byron dismisses medication, it is medication that saves the lives of many mentally ill people and prevents suicides. For some, psychologically counseling is all that is needed. Others will benefit from both medication and counseling. The average person, including the average priest, while well-intentioned, is not trained to treat mental illness and cannot prevent suicide. Professional help is needed. The best thing the average person can do for someone who is depressed is get them professional help. So while I agree that suicide does not automatically warrant hell, the way to prevent it and help people who are in pain, is to get them the help they need.

  • Chris O'DellAugust 22, 2013

    Thank you Father Byron, for simply putting what my heart has always felt about our compassionate God who will judge us based on our life placed before Him...I think no one knows what lies within our hearts except for HIm! Peace to you!

  • E LawrenceFebruary 20, 2013

    Wonderful, helpful response, Father. Thank you so much for reaching out to those suffering or watching their loved ones suffer with mental illness and pain.

  • Manuel P.February 14, 2013

    Beautifully written Father. Thank you.

  • Mark Joseph February 3, 2013

    Scripturally sound, spiritually comforting, reasonable, logical, respectful and profoundly connected to Author of life. Bravo!

  • Emmanuel TioDecember 12, 2012

    I have a number of people of have committed suicide in our place. One of them is a member of my family, sometimes friends and sometimes, just strangers. I want to share that sometimes the living also feel what the dead feels in the other life, the life after death. Sometimes, in the Philippines, whenever there are burials, there will always be rains - sometimes very much with lightnings and thunder, sometimes just raindrops, mild and heavy, sometimes, it was almost a typhoon or a hurricane and what envelops in my mind sometimes is the fires of hell in analogy to the strong winds after the burial in the cemetery. It was as if the strong winds up in the air and hitting the solid particles in our place be the giant fires of hell. This idea had been bothering me sometimes. I knew a burial before and I felt sulfuric punishments all around my mind. I know what the dead felt and I am not sure if I am correct about it. Another one, there was a suicide victim announced to us before and guess, I felt what the dead felt. It was not so excruciating but God seemed to end up the strife of hell. It seemed to be that the gigantic fires of hell may depend on the sinfulness of the dead, not what we believe to be eternal damnation and I believe that there's no such thing as eternal punishment save St. John's belief of eternal flames. Only God is eternal and hell may not be eternal since hell is not God that goes with the souls of the dead. St. John may be right, defending his life from the Roman soldiers and other Old Testament fraternities and societies but it would be an irony to say that there's an eternal existence other that God for Only God is eternal. I thank God for His parable of the prodigal son. Since I know that when the dead wakes up, they may still feel the presence of God if God wills. And of course, God is a Good God, therefore, no one is allowed to suffer eternally for God is not bad. He will forgive, of course and happiness will be here again. The thing is, if souls feel pain or scared, for sure, God will be available again for us to be happy again. It's automatic! Son of God showed Himself to everybody before and He hasn't punished anybody. And I believe that He will not punish His creatures. He will just 'clean' His creatures, not punish. Only a few says that God punishes sinners but for me, God doesn't punish. God only loves. St. John was not killed for I know people of his time felt scared after his 'doomsday' book that bad ones will be receiving eternal damnation. But in fact, He just want us to go back to Him that's why people think that He punishes sinners. He just want us to go back to Him simply by doing what we don't want in our lives. He has the power to do us harm and later on, He has the power to 'heal our wounds.' I thank you for your article. It helps so much!

  • Danielle M.November 27, 2012

    Thank you Father Byron, for a thoughtful, compassionate treatment of this very difficult subject. I am happy to have found your article here. Danielle M. (CUA class of '90)

  • Kimberly ConnallyNovember 19, 2012

    won't be scared with the possibility of going to Hell now.*

  • Kimberly ConnallyNovember 19, 2012

    thank God, I won't be scared to go to Hell now.

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