Recently I attended a funeral for an individual who died from suicide (it's no longer "committed" suicide). Our parish, St James in Arlington Heights, is very accepting of everyone. Apparently the person's home parish refused to do a liturgy because it was a suicide! Worse yet, another parish in the same suburb also refused to do a liturgy. At St. James the importance is on tending to the needs of others, welcoming them into the community, helping them to heal...not telling them they aren't good enough or perfect enough to deserve a mass or that their "sin" isn't forgivable !
And yet, two parishes judged and, more or less, punished the family and showed deep disrespect for the deceased.
I want to say to them "WHO are YOU to judge? Have you walked in their shoes? Did you know the despair the individual was dealing with, and the distorted belief that everyone would be better without them? WHERE is your mercy?" It saddens me deeply that this pre Vatican II way of thinking still exists. It saddens me even more that the churches who refused the burial must NEVER have asked themselves "What would Jesus do?" It doesn't take a genius to realize that this individual was welcomed into the loving arms of Jesus immediately…..that Jesus would NEVER refuse this wounded person, that Jesus understands our humanness and the depth of despair.
I am so grateful that I am not part of that distorted, archaic, un-Christian, merciless, holier than thou way of thinking. Is it any wonder that people leave the Catholic Church in droves????
Holy Spirit, open the hearts and minds of these individuals. They don't represent the church or God that I know.