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Author Topic: Is there a laxity for those who are mentally ill and can't confess/repent?  (Read 2862 times) Average Rating: 0
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J. Maria
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« on: February 25, 2011, 05:23:03 PM »

I have wondered about this over the years of working with people who have various mental health disorders. We as Orthodox Christians know the stance regarding individuals who sin and don't confess and/or repent of their sins, however, with many people having mental health problems that lends them to possibly commit various sins and yet be unable to take responsibility or repent - does God in His Eternal Goodness "cut them some slack" , for their inability?   An additional thought, if you say yes - God does indeed makes an exception in these cases - what about the person who commits suicide being emotionally or mentally unstable?
What are your thoughts?
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LizaSymonenko
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2011, 05:26:52 PM »


There are always exceptions....even where suicide is concerned.

Most definitely, if evidence is provided to the bishop that the person who committed suicide was "unstable", than he has the right to make a judgement call and allow a proper funeral, etc.

God know the hearts of man.  No worries.
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2011, 05:44:08 PM »

I think, rather than generalizing, this issue is best dealt with pastorally between the person and the spiritual father.
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2011, 05:17:31 PM »

God's mercy is without limit.
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2011, 10:57:00 PM »

Mental illness is as if a shroud that covers seeing the real nature of a person. But God is able to see through this shroud, and is thus able to judge the person for who they really are in a way that we cannot imagine.
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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2011, 03:40:29 PM »

Dear J. maria,
God bless you as you ponder this question.

I was always taught by the many priests I have known (they all seemed to be in agreement) that of course, the mentally ill and disadvantaged are very close to God's heart and they carry a special cross that the rest of us cannot understand in this life.  I was always taught that these people are very precious to our Lord and they sort of fall into that category of "little ones" that Jesus talked about.  They are defenseless and therefore our Lord cares for them in a special way. 

RE: those who commit suicide or are in danger of this:  I have always been taught, and I firmly believe, that there is no darkness our Lord cannot breach, no place in the Universe He cannot go, no illness he cannot cure, no death He cannot overcome.  Our Lord overcame death --- those who have fallen prey to the evil one through suicide, now and in the past or in the future, will be touched and met by our Lord in some way, some how, and in whatever way is possible. Those who have committed suicide, are those who have indeed been harmed/hurt/afflicted by the evil one, whom our Lord said, "is a murderer from the beginning."  I believe our Lord has a special plan for these unfortunate souls and He will right all wrongs, He will heal all wounds, He will bring them to a spiritually healthy place where they can communicate their troubles to Him directly. We must pray and hope for the salvation of ALL people.

 
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