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Worrying Wendy wrote:

Dear AskACatholic,

I wish to remain anonymous.

I am a 13-year-old Catholic girl and I was on a website today and I saw some postings where people were planning to harm themselves. I asked them to stop and get mental help. I told as many people as I could to stop and get help.

  • Am I responsible for everyone I can help in my power?

I'm now worried that if they went through with their actions and harmed themselves it would be my fault for not stopping them and I would be in mortal sin.

  • Is this true?
  • Do you think that I'm in mortal sin over this?


  { Am I responsible for helping everyone on a website who is thinking of harming themselves? }

Bob replied:

Dear friend,

You are not responsible for the choices others make. You did the right thing, by encouraging them to get help and reaching out. You can pray for them, but you can't control the outcome, that is not in your power, so you did not sin in any way.

God loves you very much and you have a big heart. Keep telling people that God loves them too and maybe they will reach out to Him for help. People who suffer depression can't heal themselves; it is a great struggle and they really do need God's help to manage the illness.

If there were some medical miracle that could turn things around for these folks then doctors would have already used it. Until then, just pray, love, and keep the faith.


Bob Kirby

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