A reader writes:Please help me understand more about suicide.  I do understand that those who don’t know any better will be judged differently, but what about Catholics?  If committed with clear mind, would it be one sin for which there’s no forgiveness? Hope that makes sense. Thank you.Mortal sin requires three things: grave matter (like killing somebody); sufficient understanding of the sin, and sufficient freedom.  So a 2 year old may fire a gun he finds and kill his sister, but he is not guilty of mortal sin.  Likewise, a man might be tortured into shooting a fellow prisoner, but his freedom might be so compromised by the torture that his culpability for the act is virtually non-extent.With suicide, the matter is obviously grave: self-murder.  But the issue of the knowledge and freedom of the one committing the deed is ultimately beyond human knowledge and so best left to God, not us to judge.The Catechism sums it up this way: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

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