Question from mh on 2/2/2008:
Dear Father Trigilio, I am so grateful that your forum is open. You must be a very busy man. I hope you can answer my question. I have asked this question previously in another forum, and was told to direct it to the spirituality forum. Quite some time ago, someone asked the question about salvation for those who had committed suicide. In the answer they were told that, it is possible that God may be open to contrition after death (I am paraphrasing) and they were directed to a paragraph in the Catechism of the Catholic church. I looked it up and it seems that that is what the catechism says.(I no longer know where it is in the catechism) My question then was "Is this also true of other mortal sins, and if so why then are we taught that if we die in mortal sin, we are damned forever." God Bless you.
Answer by Fr. Jay Toborowsky on 4/5/2008:
No, once we have experienced earthly death, the state of our soul is "fixed", and there's nothing WE can do to change it (such as going to confession or asking for forgiveness). Suicide is usually brought upon by some sort of mental illness or lapse in judgment, and as such, the possibility is there that the sufficient knowledge that their act is sinful may not be present.
The question is NOT whether God can fogive any sins after death (obviously God can do anything), but, given the fact that He has given the Church the means for absolve sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, will He forgive any sins after death if we chose not to use the Sacrament?