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  #16  
Old Jun 21, '10, 9:07 am
philipmarie philipmarie is offline
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Default Re: My unbaptized baby won't go to heaven!

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Originally Posted by Catholic20064 View Post
A speaker in my wife's Mormon sacrament meeting declared yesterday that her Catholic sister was upset because her baby had died during childbirth and couldn't go to heaven. The Mormon used this as an example of Catholic stupidity declaring that it is terrible that Catholics don't declare that unbaptized babies are saved. I tried to explain to my ex-Catholic wife that the Catholic Church does not teach that unbaptized babies are barred from heaven, but she declared that's what she was taught in her religion classes as a teenager. Is there any evidence that Catholics taught that limbo was simply an opinion rather than a fact prior to the recent catechism? Are there theologians prior to the 20th century who claimed it was possible that unbaptized little children might enter heaven?
Oh, don't worry. Unbaptised babies cannot enter heaven it is true, as it is a common belief held by the CHurch... but, did at atleast one of you have the intention of baptizing your baby? If so, even though he died without being actually baptised, he got baptised by desire. You know what baptism of desire is, don't you? And you know that, since babies can't have faith, their parent's or guardians faith takes it's place. So yes, no matter what happens, be assured that your baby is in heaven, since he was baptised by YOUR desire.
In Mary, the Consoler of the Afflicted,
philipmarie.
  #17  
Old Jun 21, '10, 9:09 am
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KathleenGee KathleenGee is offline
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Default Re: My unbaptized baby won't go to heaven!

I believe I once had an early miscarriage and baptized the baby afterwards. I told my priest that and he smiled....we don't know...nothing defined.
  #18  
Old Jun 21, '10, 9:13 am
CatholicGuyNY CatholicGuyNY is offline
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Default Re: My unbaptized baby won't go to heaven!

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Originally Posted by philipmarie View Post
Oh, don't worry. Unbaptised babies cannot enter heaven it is true, as it is a common belief held by the CHurch... but, did at atleast one of you have the intention of baptizing your baby? If so, even though he died without being actually baptised, he got baptised by desire. You know what baptism of desire is, don't you? And you know that, since babies can't have faith, their parent's or guardians faith takes it's place. So yes, no matter what happens, be assured that your baby is in heaven, since he was baptised by YOUR desire.
In Mary, the Consoler of the Afflicted,
philipmarie.
Can you please cite the Church source that states that our desire can initiate a baptism of desire for our unbaptized infant?

The Church itself teaches that there is no definitive teaching on what happens to unbaptized infants. It teaches that we have grounds for "prayerful hope" that they are saved somehow through God's mercy, but not "sure knowledge".

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/co...nfants_en.html
  #19  
Old Jun 21, '10, 9:16 am
MelanieAnne MelanieAnne is offline
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Default Re: My unbaptized baby won't go to heaven!

The fact is that we don't know what happens to a baby who dies before he or she is baptized.

I share the opinion with several other posters that a merciful God would not deny them entrance to heaven. But the simple fact is, we just don't know.

I would find it cruel of anyone to emphasize to a grieving mother that unbaptized babies do not go to heaven. No one knows for sure and it would be cruel to say that unless it was positively known. And a mother that loses a baby grieves for that baby for the rest of her life.
  #20  
Old Jun 21, '10, 9:19 am
Genesis315 Genesis315 is offline
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Default Re: My unbaptized baby won't go to heaven!

With few exceptions, we really don't declare anyone saved at death--infant or adult. We entrust them to God's mercy and pray for their souls.
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  #21  
Old Jun 21, '10, 9:21 am
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KathleenGee KathleenGee is offline
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Default Re: My unbaptized baby won't go to heaven!

Yes...an entrustment....
  #22  
Old Jun 21, '10, 9:27 am
CatholicGuyNY CatholicGuyNY is offline
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Default Re: My unbaptized baby won't go to heaven!

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Originally Posted by Genesis315 View Post
With few exceptions, we really don't declare anyone saved at death--infant or adult. We entrust them to God's mercy and pray for their souls.
Well, this is true in the personal sense, however the difference here is in the group sense. What I mean by that is that the Church teaches that people that die in mortal sin go to Hell, people that die without mortal sin, venial sin or temporal punishment go to Heaven, and people that die without mortal sin but have some temporal punishment or venial sin go to Purgatory then Heaven. On the other hand, the Church teaches that we don't know definitively what happens to unbaptized infants, though there are grounds to believe that they are saved (while also allowing the belief in Limbo of the Infants).

But you're also right, no matter who it is, we should pray for the souls of the dead.
  #23  
Old Jun 21, '10, 9:27 am
JonathonofOhio JonathonofOhio is offline
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Default Re: My unbaptized baby won't go to heaven!

I know the Church has addressed this question many times, but there seems to be conflicting answers, especially since there is no 'official' Church ruling. The Church seems to conclude that at this time it has not been revealed to us what happens to an unbaptized baby, and that all that can be concluded for certain is that an unbaptized person cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Yet, we can draw some obvious conclusions from scripture....

We are not born with sin, we are born into sin. God makes all things good, and so then a child is born good, not with a sin. Does something pure and good receive punishment? No. Yet, we are born into sin, and so then we are all cursed to die so not even the most innocent (not even our Lord, who gave His life willingly) was kept from death. But we do not die by the hand of God, we die at the hand of a murderer, the devil (Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24), and he was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). And Jesus said, "I have to be baptized with a baptism," when he had been baptized already. For he had come "by means of water and blood" (1 John 5:6); that He might be baptized by the water, glorified by the blood; to make us in like manner.

Therefore, no one should have any doubt when Jesus tells us "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:14). There should be no question among us concerning the fate of an unbaptized child, because it is reasonable to conclude that the child enters the Kingdom of Heaven immediately upon death.
  #24  
Old Jun 21, '10, 9:31 am
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Adeodatus Adeodatus is offline
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Default Re: My unbaptized baby won't go to heaven!

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Originally Posted by Catholic20064 View Post
Some people have tried to tell me a little child cannot reason and is thus unable to have a baptism of desire.
Though it is a hotly disputed topic, I think it is quite clear that St. Thomas Aquinas ascribes a natural desire for beatitude to the human soul. If that is true, then before the commission of deliberate sin I wonder if in some sense the baptism of desire is not common to all of us, inasmuch as there is no impediment to the elemental desire of the creature to be reunited with its Creator.

I want to be clear that I'm not asserting that as a theological conclusion, rather just as an offhand thought I had when reading your statement.
  #25  
Old Jun 21, '10, 9:33 am
Catholic20064 Catholic20064 is offline
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Default Re: My unbaptized baby won't go to heaven!

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Originally Posted by dottyefarrell View Post
Since infants in Catholic and some mainstream Protestant faiths do believe in, and practice, Baptism of infants as a means to Salvation, it seems logical to me that the desire for Baptism on the part of the parents could also constitute the desire for their child on behalf of them.

Does that make sense?

Though the child is too young to fully comprehend the Sacrament, perhaps the parents desire would substitue for that of the pre-term infant. That is my personal hope and prayer for the baby that I lost, though as someone above stated, I trust in the mercy of our Savior to leave no little ones behind.

My understanding of this situation is that since there is no dogmatic belief stated by the CC, people are free to believe as they see fit. Faith and trust in God should be the underlying belief in any unproclaimed areas of church teaching.

BTW, the Mormons believe in Baptism of the dead, (even that of total strangers to the proxy performing the temple rituals), which is totally contrary to the need for willing consent that many non-mainline and Evangelical Protestant churches believe. So theories abound on the subject. The bottom line is that we must trust that God will leave no one behind if he wants to. His desire is that all mankind be saved and reside with him. It is man who separates himself from the will of God.
Actually, the Mormons do require willing consent. Mormons get baptized for the dead just in case the person accepts the gospel after death. The person would still have to choose between accepting their baptism or not. If someone has already heard the gospel of Mormonism before death and rejected it, the person's opportunity to accept the Mormon gospel is restricted. Since a Mormon cannot know the disposition of the dead person to accept the gospel they do the baptism just in case the person can take advantage of it. There is no assurance the dead person will be saved in the Mormon Celestial Kingdom simply because a baptism for the dead is done by someone after death.
  #26  
Old Jun 21, '10, 9:34 am
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Marc Anthony Marc Anthony is offline
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Default Re: My unbaptized baby won't go to heaven!

As long as it doesn't contradict Catholic teaching, I always held the belief that unbaptized infants go the Limbo of the infants, but are then saved at the end of time by Jesus during the second coming.

This, of course, is only a personal belief and not official teaching.
  #27  
Old Jun 21, '10, 9:38 am
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tbcrawford tbcrawford is offline
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Default Re: My unbaptized baby won't go to heaven!

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Originally Posted by CatholicGuyNY View Post
Can you please cite the Church source that states that our desire can initiate a baptism of desire for our unbaptized infant?

The Church itself teaches that there is no definitive teaching on what happens to unbaptized infants. It teaches that we have grounds for "prayerful hope" that they are saved somehow through God's mercy, but not "sure knowledge".

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/co...nfants_en.html
[Baptism of desire is not the sacrament of baptism and yet applying the term “baptism” to the baptism of blood and baptism of desire has been a practice of the Church for centuries. Even if it is not a baptism in the strict sense, it nevertheless is a baptism in the analogical sense. Just as receiving the Eucharist by making a spiritual “Communion” is not a true Communion, but given the name “Spiritual Communion” in the analogical sense. In both cases, no one is denying the primary term. On the same point, St. Albert the Great says that the baptism of blood and the baptism of desire can only be called baptism when water baptism is lacking.[7]

In this sense, "Baptisms of desire" and "Baptism of blood" are not sacraments, but simply fulfill the requirements when the sacrament cannot be received due to extraordinary circumstances. Thus, one speaks metaphorically of "different Baptisms" yet they all obtain the same sanctifying grace. In fact, Our Lord Himself spoke of different Baptisms during His public ministry. There was "the Baptism wherewith I am to be baptized" (Lk. 12:50), referring to a Baptism of blood, which was His crucifixion. Describing the descent of the Holy Ghost on Pentecost, he says "For John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence" (Act. 1:5).

Concerning the necessity of the sacraments for salvation Peter Lombard (1160 AD) points out that, “God did not bind his power by the Sacraments.”[8] In other words, God is not bound by the sacraments to draw men to heaven (Cf. Job 33:15-18). St. Thomas Aquinas affirms the same as he points out “It belongs to the excellence of Christ power, that He (Christ) could bestow the sacramental effect without conferring the exterior sacrament.”[9] ]

Exerpt from http://www.catholicapologetics.info/.../bapdesire.htm



and this one from right here at CAF....http://www.catholic.com/library/Nece...of_Baptism.asp -

Thus the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, are saved even if they have not been baptized" (CCC 1281; the salvation of unbaptized infants is also possible under this system; cf. CCC 1260–1, 1283).
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  #28  
Old Jun 21, '10, 9:42 am
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KathleenGee KathleenGee is offline
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Default Re: My unbaptized baby won't go to heaven!

TBCrawford...


Your post speaks to alot of hearts here...St. Thomas has his place, but so do other theologians...St. Thomas worked from the erudite tradition...most people reflect more from heart and spirit.
  #29  
Old Jun 21, '10, 9:44 am
CatholicGuyNY CatholicGuyNY is offline
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Default Re: My unbaptized baby won't go to heaven!

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Originally Posted by tbcrawford View Post
[Baptism of desire is not the sacrament of baptism and yet applying the term “baptism” to the baptism of blood and baptism of desire has been a practice of the Church for centuries. Even if it is not a baptism in the strict sense, it nevertheless is a baptism in the analogical sense. Just as receiving the Eucharist by making a spiritual “Communion” is not a true Communion, but given the name “Spiritual Communion” in the analogical sense. In both cases, no one is denying the primary term. On the same point, St. Albert the Great says that the baptism of blood and the baptism of desire can only be called baptism when water baptism is lacking.[7]

In this sense, "Baptisms of desire" and "Baptism of blood" are not sacraments, but simply fulfill the requirements when the sacrament cannot be received due to extraordinary circumstances. Thus, one speaks metaphorically of "different Baptisms" yet they all obtain the same sanctifying grace. In fact, Our Lord Himself spoke of different Baptisms during His public ministry. There was "the Baptism wherewith I am to be baptized" (Lk. 12:50), referring to a Baptism of blood, which was His crucifixion. Describing the descent of the Holy Ghost on Pentecost, he says "For John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence" (Act. 1:5).

Concerning the necessity of the sacraments for salvation Peter Lombard (1160 AD) points out that, “God did not bind his power by the Sacraments.”[8] In other words, God is not bound by the sacraments to draw men to heaven (Cf. Job 33:15-18). St. Thomas Aquinas affirms the same as he points out “It belongs to the excellence of Christ power, that He (Christ) could bestow the sacramental effect without conferring the exterior sacrament.”[9] ]

Exerpt from

http://www.catholicapologetics.info/.../bapdesire.htm -

and this one from right here at CAF....http://www.catholic.com/library/Nece...of_Baptism.asp -

Thus the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, are saved even if they have not been baptized" (CCC 1281; the salvation of unbaptized infants is also possible under this system; cf. CCC 1260–1, 1283).
Thank you, yes I'm aware of the teaching of baptism of desire. What I was wondering was if a Church source could be cited that states that the desire of the parents could initiate a baptism of desire for the infant. Your sources are talking about desiring baptism for oneself, not desiring baptism for another (i.e. parents for their unbaptized infant).
  #30  
Old Jun 21, '10, 9:49 am
Tantum ergo Tantum ergo is offline
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Default Re: My unbaptized baby won't go to heaven!

I am not saying that anyone here is personally advocating the following, but can you see that it might be perceived by some --and to be dangerous?

IF we had an authoritative belief that unborn infants who died automatically went to heaven. .

Can you see the people who would then argue that abortion wasn't so bad? I mean, sure the babies die but if they go to heaven, then the 'end result' winds up being all happy.

Can you see then the people arguing for euthanasia of born children who were born severely ill, if 'they'll wind up in heaven anyway?"

Or even for the euthanasia of the elderly (after a good confession of course) because, "now that they've had the sacraments, they'll go to heaven anyway. We're doing them a favor because they'll be sure of heaven.'

In fact, one of the major tragedies of abortion is that the child is deprived of life AND is perhaps deprived of eternal happiness in heaven.

Of course we'd all like to think that the unborn wind up in heaven but again, it would not be through 'personal merit'. While they are not guilty of personal sin they DO have original sin and that is enough to deprive them of heaven though not merit them for hell. God is just. His mercy cannot 'contradict' His justice. Therefore if there is a way for the children to enter heaven it will not be because they were not baptized and freed from original sin that way. God will not say that baptism is necessary for one group (the born) but not for another (the unborn). Rather, if the unborn are saved it will be through some other means that we do not yet know. and again, it is "if."

Though it sticks in the human craw, the unborn do not 'merit' heaven on their own. Neither do we born. We aren't entitled to heaven, ever.
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