Salesian Saint and Founder, Don Bosco
Once again, the vocal mouthpiece for the Salesian Order of priests, Fr. Itzaina - now Pastor at St. Peter and Paul's Cathedral in San Francisco, has managed to degrade and dehumanize victims. This time, he discusses in his Sunday bulletin on 5/20/2012 the subject of " whether those who commit suicide go to heaven".
As a clergy abuse victim myself, who has personally butted heads with this cleric, I can say without reservation that Fr. Itzaina has not displayed a shred of compassion for me, or my family, who were tortured by the Salesian Order for over 5 years, for filing a legal claim against them for clergy sex abuse. (Which I won.) Nor have I met any other Salesian clergy victims who have stated that the Salesians have treated them with remorse; or have displayed accountability.
If one can imagine the pain, depression and desperation that a suicide victim endures, which leads to taking their own life; the question of not "going to heaven" for their suicide is redundant and inconsiderate, to say the least.
Itzaina continues his peculiar essay with this revelation, "There's no doubt that suicide is a grave matter, but having full knowledge and willful consent is another thing. There must be full conscious knowledge to make suicide gravefully sinful".
So let's examine this statement. A person who is so distraught, that they take their own life, has to realize what they are doing in order to be labeled a "graveful sinner." Sympathy, unsurprisingly, is apparently not an issue for Fr. Itzaina. He seems to be more concerned with the suicide victims level of punishment in hell for sinning.
But Itzaina does not stop his discussion on the sinfulness of suicide here. He continues to step on his tongue, and dissolve any shred of compassion with further comment. "Let us mention specific mitigating factors like depression, deep seated anger, or anxiety disorders; or some prescription drugs used for depression, sleeping disorders, or psychiatric treatment".
Is that supposed to be a relief for the families of suicide victims? Apparently you receive some mitigating points to thwart your journey to hell; if you have a sleeping disorder, or an anxiety disorder, etc. But Itzaina fails to say who tallys up the points to weigh out the sentence for the suicide victim; and how many points it takes to rescind the eternal damnation proclamation by Catholic doctrine. Teetering on the edge of hell or heaven is heavily influenced by all the negative factors suffered by the sinful suicide victim - to be sure of the appropriate punishment to be received.
But the coup de grace is delivered in this next Itzaina-Salesian classic quote: " Sheer stupidity and mindless impulsiveness cannot be ruled out either". I don't think it's possible for me to point out the insensitivity and callousness of this statement better than Fr. Itzaina has already done himself. He does more damage to himself by his own statements and quotes than I would ever be capable of doing.
Itzaina then follows up the inane remark with this repetitious deleterious observance: "There we hope to follow, as we wonder about and pray for those who do stupid and mindless things to themselves" . Remarkably Itzaina doesn't have the sense to cease his castigation of the mortally afflicted- capitalizing on their "stupidity" instead.
So to clarify: a suicide victim that is consumed with sheer stupidity and is mindless- may possibly be considered by the Almighty to escape the fires of hell; depending on the measure of sheer stupidity, of course.
It occurs to me that many victims of Salesian priests have contemplated suicide- people that I personally know; as I have been an abuse victims advocate in California for ten years. In addition, there are articles in the San Francisco Examiner on 4-24-1994 that specifically mention suicide victim(s) of Salesian San Francisco cleric Bro. Salvatore Billante - that have committed suicide.
I would like to ask Fr. Itzaina if any of the suicide victims that were raped by Salesian priests are automatically candidates for a trip straight to hell; or if they are analyzed by a committee to calculate their mitigating points for a pardon. This is a complicated issue, I would imagine - and perhaps the Salesian Provincial of San Francisco could field the question more appropriately.
In the meantime, Itzaina does not offer a professional referral if you are contemplating suicide because of depression, anxiety, or sleep disorders, or if you suffer from "sheer stupidity". Perhaps his implication is that you can consult with a Salesian priest before you do yourself in? You don't want to burn for eternity in hell as a consequence after you're dead. And you would probably have to have the Catholic clergy tally the points against you beforehand. This could be complicated, and my bet is that there is a probably a significant financial "donation" charge for the service.
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