chapter  4
73 Pages

Catholicism and the Morality of Suicide

ByRobert L. Barry

This chapter reviews contemporary arguments concerning the morality of suicide. It briefly summarizes the classical Catholic approach to death and shows that the Bible is quite intolerant of suicide and that contrary views result from an inadequate understanding of its teachings. The chapter claims that the mainstream Catholic arguments against suicide do not succeed will be dealt with, and finally, the arguments against the Catholic moral arguments opposing suicide will be considered. It reviews the Roman Catholic view of the biblical teachings on suicide. Classical Catholic objections to suicide are cogent and solidly grounded on both Scriptural teachings and the orthodox Christian heritage. The Catholic critique of suicide is rooted in teachings of the Scriptures, even though these teachings are not always immediately evident to the casual reader. Catholic teachings on the morality of suicide have been criticized for being archaic and outdated, but these criticisms have been deeply flawed and have not fully understood the teaching of the Church.