Michael Brown links to a story about a woman who hearing trains going by, was inspired to pray the Divine Mercy chaplet:
only to find that someone was committing suicide at that very moment.
I continue to pray for this young man and all the souls who may be in Purgatory who have committed suicide. These souls could be the most neglected souls in Purgatory because many people think there is no salvation for someone who commits suicide. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, "Suicide is seriously contrary to justice, hope, and charity. It is forbidden by the fifth commandment" (2325).
When my mother-in-law took her own life, my son, who was only in fifth grade at the time, asked, "Did Grandma go to hell?" The Catechism states: "Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide" (2282). It goes on to say, "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 salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives" (2283).Right now in
the Philippines, there is mourning about a former defense chief who killed himself at his mother's grave.
The new administration is trying to clean up corruption that went overboard during the last administration, and right now is digging into Military "slush funds", originally given to the big shots to award to their men or as retirement presents.
But the amounts were much too high even for the Philippines, where small gifts are a normal part of life.
Apparently, he was aware of the corruption, and under a lot of pressure from certain parties
to remain silent...or to become the "fall guy" for those higher up.
In their conversations after the military corruption scandal erupted, Robles recalled hearing this refrain from Reyes: "Wala na ito p’re [This is no more, pal]. There's nothing I can do. They are determined to crush me.''... Robles added: "He was worried about what's happening to the Armed Forces. Because if he admitted wrongdoing, everyone will be implicated, even those who did not take money but never did anything about it...
in another story, the reason for his suicide is twisted into nobility:
MANILA, Philippines – Former Armed Forces chief Angelo Reyes “protected us all” when he died Tuesday, another ex-military chief said in an interview at Reyes’ wake in a funeral home in Quezon City. “He protected all of us, even the institution, for the Filipino people, for us to move on,” General Dionisio Santiago, former Armed Forces chief when Reyes was defense secretary, said in Filipino in an interview with media in Arlington.There are libel laws here in the Philippines, but it is an open secret that the clans and a certain big shot are protecting themselves after plundering the country of millions of dollars for their personal use
Yes, move on. Don't investigate the corruption and put your friends/relatives/compadres into jail.
but there is still resentment about this in the military itself
: about the Trillianes mutiny, which was about corruption. Trillianes is said to have named Reyes as one of those involved in corruption in one of the earlier stories.
So the fingers of blame will probably be spun to point fingers at those who are trying to dig out who got the loot, not at those deeply involved in the culture of corruption. And alas many good people are involved in the spirit of corruption and got hurt.
So how should the churches respond?
The headline quotes a priest saying his suicide was similar to a samurai who was in disgrace, but this is a Catholic country, and the way of Christianity is to confess, repent, and do penance. Suicide, especially to "protect" important people who stole millions of pesos from this impoverished country, is not the answer, even if one does it to protect one's friends.
In the article, the various bishops are quoted with opinions different than that of this priest.
“His death leaves more questions than answers. I hope this does not stop the investigation. I believe everybody should be given the chance to explain their side or to testify freely and truthfully. Unless this is done, it may be impossible to find the truth,” said Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said corruption would only be addressed if people admit their wrongdoing and be mindful of the common good.
“Let us tell what happened and admit our wrongdoing because the country is prepared to forgive those who do so to rectify our system. Despite the problems, there is always the forgiveness and strength that the Lord gives us, so let us not lose faith. Suicide is a sign of loss of faith,” Pabillo said.
Blame our system
Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said: “Let us not forget that sometimes we make it appear that the military officials are guilty and directly accuse them. Maybe they are part of the wrongdoing but the blame is in our system. Maybe we are part of it so we have to change.”
Bishop Felixberto Calang of the Philippine Independent Church said: “Reyes could have redeemed his already damaged reputation by unveiling the truth and pinpointing the chief principal of corruption, but he rather chose to bring with him the dirty secrets during his term.”
So a good man, openly shamed and losing his dignity, chose to end his life.
Yet one senses that his death, which was not immediate, may have given him time to repent.
So we will pray for Divine Mercy, that God will ask him/did ask him to repent of his deed.