“Ryan, natural causes, well done my son, see what the lord had prepared for you.” St. Peter waved the man in front of me forward.
“Andrew, suicide.” St. Peter starts to say to me, but I cut him off.
“That’s a mistake.” I blurt out without even thinking.
“I assure you there is no mistake my son. We have made our list and checked it twice. You are a suicide for sure.” St. Peter starts to say something more, and I cut him off again. I fear as soon as he opens his mouth I’ll be condemned and it will be over, but if I can just keep talking and bring him around to my side of thinking, or maybe just stall until Jesus comes out, maybe I’ve got a shot.
“Come on, you had to see everything. I was a hostage. He said you have two choices. It’s your daughter or you, no choose. I chose, and I did the right thing man. That’s not suicide. The guy who was holding a gun to my head clearly forced my hand. That makes it murder. That means I get in. It’s not suicide.”
“You could have refused to kill anyone. Are you sure that gunmen was going to take a life? I have consulted with the angels and I can tell you that man was not going to pull the trigger. We’re sure of it. You are a suicide, now if you.” I cut him off a third time.
“No, that’s not right. It’s suicide by cop, or by robber. I don’t know, but it’s still suicide. I’m not going down there. I did the right thing. Can’t you” St. Peter cuts me off this time.
“You’re going up my son.” He says. I stop my rapid fire defense.
“What?” I say. “But you said I was a suicide.” St. Peter shakes his head.
“Nobody ever reads their catechism anymore. First off, in order for it be a mortal sin, which is the only thing that can cut you off from god, there has to be full consent. In other words, you cannot be coerced into doing it. Somebody holding a gun to your head counts as coercion and basically eliminates your moral culpability. You’re fine on that count, secondly, to clear up the general suicide confusion, the catechism as it was written when you died clearly states that it is very likely that suicides are mentally ill and therefore also have their moral culpability reduced or even eliminated entirely. You’re going to heaven my son. It’s a conversation starter for the other side, that’s all. Everybody wants to know ‘hey friend, how’d you die’. That’s all, don’t take it so seriously.” St. Peter gestures behind him. “See what the lord has prepared for you.”