Catholic Dictionary




The direct killing of oneself on one's own authority. It is a grave sin against the natural and revealed law. The suicide offends against the divine precept "You shall not kill." One causes grave injury to the welfare of society and violates the virtue of charity to oneself. God is the supreme and exclusive owner of all things, so that exercising ownership over life is lawful only to God. He alone can take human life when he wills. The one who directly takes his or her own life violates the rights of God. (Etym. Latin sui, self + cidium, a killing.)