An adult who dies without baptism?


#1

What is the Church's teaching as to what happens to an adult who has attended church - a couple of different churches - and so knows about Jesus but never consented to be baptized?

I don't think my grandmother was baptized. She attended two different churches when family or friends took her (not Catholic) but she would never talk about what she believed and to my knowledge was never baptized.

Thanks,


#2

Some protestant churches teach that baptism is unnecessary or optional. Catholics consider that a grave error but we can hope that God forgives those who might be ignorant through no fault of their own.

The Catechism says:

1260 “Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery.” Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.


#3

If an adult was aware of the necessity of baptism and freely refused to receive it, persisting in this refusal until death, it would not look good for them.

However, I think we are becoming more aware of the fact that a person may receive factual knowledge and reject it through an honest, non-morally culpable mistake. If the person was honestly seeking truth, beauty, and goodness in their personal beliefs and morals and simply made an honest mistake in identifying them, then I think we can remain hopeful about their salvation even if they appear to have deliberately passed up the opportunity enter the Church's sacramental life.


#4

[quote="Aelred_Minor, post:3, topic:322422"]
If an adult was aware of the necessity of baptism and freely refused to receive it, persisting in this refusal until death, it would not look good for them.

However, I think we are becoming more aware of the fact that a person may receive factual knowledge and reject it through an honest, non-morally culpable mistake. If the person was honestly seeking truth, beauty, and goodness in their personal beliefs and morals and simply made an honest mistake in identifying them, then I think we can remain hopeful about their salvation even if they appear to have deliberately passed up the opportunity enter the Church's sacramental life.

[/quote]

This makes sense to me.
I hate to sound naive and simplistic sometimes, but in the proverbial end, doesn't He give us as many opportunities to change our heart, even after our earthly life, as we are to forgive? Just about anyway??


#5

[quote="Rae8, post:1, topic:322422"]
What is the Church's teaching as to what happens to an adult who has attended church - a couple of different churches - and so knows about Jesus but never consented to be baptized?

I don't think my grandmother was baptized. She attended two different churches when family or friends took her (not Catholic) but she would never talk about what she believed and to my knowledge was never baptized.

Thanks,

[/quote]

The Church teaches a few things regarding this, but it really boils down to two things. 1) Baptism is not merely symbolic. But 2) We are to entrust our worries for others into God's hands, knowing that His mercy is bestowed as He sees fit.

The Church isn't going to tell you that someone is or is not in Hell, because it simply is not up to her. It is ultimately for God to decide.

I understand your fears, though. I also have some family members who have passed without ever receiving baptism and all I can do is pray for their souls.


#6

Wouldn't someone in this situation be equivalent to someone in a non-Christian religion, since those of course do not baptize?

Also, if you know someone in this situation, how would you deal with it?

ICXC NIKA


#7

[quote="Rae8, post:1, topic:322422"]
What is the Church's teaching as to what happens to an adult who has attended church - a couple of different churches - and so knows about Jesus but never consented to be baptized?

I don't think my grandmother was baptized. She attended two different churches when family or friends took her (not Catholic) but she would never talk about what she believed and to my knowledge was never baptized.

Thanks,

[/quote]

The Church teaches that Baptism is necessary and that it also brings about the effects of what it says that it does, which is to mark us with an indelible mark of belonging to Him, Christ Jesus.

Since we are all born without God's supernatural life in us, due to origianal sin, Baptism is necessary to open our souls to receive His love into our souls, to wash away original sin so that we can receive this grace.

Obviously, your mother knew Jesus although she didn't talk about her beliefs, she obviously from what you said, she desired to know and love Him and therefore that desire I believe is a form of baptism what the Church calls "Baptism of Desire" and because she was never taught the importance of the Sacraments, she would be protected by what the Church calls, Invincible Ignorance.


#8

[quote="GEddie, post:6, topic:322422"]
Wouldn't someone in this situation be equivalent to someone in a non-Christian religion, since those of course do not baptize?

Also, if you know someone in this situation, how would you deal with it?

ICXC NIKA

[/quote]

I think you raise a very important question:

"...if you know someone in this situation, how would you deal with it?"

I have a friend whose sister-in-law is a JW, never baptized, and the rest of the family is Catholic, (the sister-in-law lead her spouse, my friends brother away from the church), but no one will evangelize her or him because they don't want to cause waves so they just let things be, although she does say that they evangelize them and tell them negative things about their Catholic faith.

I don't think I would be able to keep my mouth shut.

What about you?


#9

That is a very difficult situation. My husband’s sister is in the same situation and was not allowed to attend the Catholic funeral of her own mother. She attends wedding and funeral receptions but cannot attend Mass. Sometimes actions speak louder than words. How you live your lives and treat others is the best example that you can give especially when their minds are closed to any attempt to evangelize them.

We should remember that God is infinitely more loving and merciful that we are. He does not forget us. He gives us every chance until the last moment in life to turn our gaze toward Him.


#10

[quote="zab, post:9, topic:322422"]
That is a very difficult situation. My husband's sister is in the same situation and was not allowed to attend the Catholic funeral of her own mother. She attends wedding and funeral receptions but cannot attend Mass. Sometimes actions speak louder than words. How you live your lives and treat others is the best example that you can give especially when their minds are closed to any attempt to evangelize them.

[/quote]

I never heard that non-Catholics can't attend Mass because they can. They can't receive the Eucharist because we have closed communion and rightfully so.


#11

It is not the Catholic Church that is forbidding her to attend.


#12

Then you don’t go by your user name do you if you wouldn’t be able to keep your mouth shut but the name you given here as peace2you needs thinking about.

Words are not the only way to share the Gospel. Our actions match our words and together people who haven’t been baptised will see the reason why to be baptised not just to gain entry to Heaven but because they want to be a member of the Lord’s family and worship God in community of other Christians and of course seeing you guys are Catholic, other Catholics. Baptism isn’t only about gaining entry to heaven or possible entry to Heaven. It about becoming apart of the Christian Family on Earth too.

As otherwise been said, no one can state who is in heaven or hell because only God holds that knowledge. Just as He is the one who holds the ‘key to Heaven’ when we die, whether we been baptised and 100% committed or baptised and 1% committed or not baptised etc. Baptism doesn’t make our entry to Heaven any more likely. Baptism isn’t just about entry to Heaven but on Earth it is about Entry to the Lord’s Family and get to join in fully with the church and all its sacraments and worship God together with other. That is what you convince a non baptised adult. You convince them not by hard sell either, but by gentle love of the Love that God Loves us with. They see what they are missing out on and ‘wanna join’ want to be baptised. Our actions tell on us our priest likes to keep telling us. Hopefully our actions tell the non baptised why it is good for them to be baptised. :thumbsup:


#13

You misunderstood me:

I meant that I wouldn’t be able to keep my mouth shut if I were my friend when her JW sister-in-law and brother say things that are negative about the Catholic Church and are not showing love by saying hateful things. So do you say nothing or open your mouth and share the truth? I would open my mouth and share the truth that they are distorting. I never implied or meant to imply that I would be hateful or non-peaceful in my exchange in defending and sharing my Catholic faith. Keeping our mouths shut for the sake of peace…not even Jesus did this.

Jesus doesn’t mince words when He says to pick up your cross and follow Him - you can show people peace but it doesn’t mean they are always going to show it back.


#14

[quote="zab, post:11, topic:322422"]
It is not the Catholic Church that is forbidding her to attend.

[/quote]

Oh, I didn't know that the church she belongs to forbid her to go - even to her own mother's funeral. That is sad. She is in my prayers.


#15

[quote="peace2u2, post:13, topic:322422"]
You misunderstood me:

I meant that I wouldn’t be able to keep my mouth shut if I were my friend when her JW sister-in-law and brother say things that are negative about the Catholic Church and are not showing love by saying hateful things. So do you say nothing or open your mouth and share the truth? I would open my mouth and share the truth that they are distorting. I never implied or meant to imply that I would be hateful or non-peaceful in my exchange in defending and sharing my Catholic faith. Keeping our mouths shut for the sake of peace...not even Jesus did this.

Jesus doesn't mince words when He says to pick up your cross and follow Him - you can show people peace but it doesn't mean they are always going to show it back.

[/quote]

and you misunderstand me too because I said nothing about hating...

I hope my actions and my words share the Gospel although I know they don't but that is what I hope and that is our best selling tool. Not our words alone because that don't show how good it is to be.... Dependeing on the nature of the argument I would probably just let them have their say because it sounds like they are just stirring the old wooden spoon and the easiest way is to just let them. The easiest way isn't necessarily right but far simpler when they are probably just wanting to pick holes type of argument knowing you are going to 'rise'. They wouldn't know how to handle it if you turn around and just simply agree to disagree. Defend ones faith yes but know the value of 'walking away' too

Sorry but I think we have both misunderstood each other a little :blush:


#16

reported


#17

[quote="zab, post:9, topic:322422"]
That is a very difficult situation. My husband's sister is in the same situation and was not allowed to attend the Catholic funeral of her own mother. She attends wedding and funeral receptions but cannot attend Mass. Sometimes actions speak louder than words. How you live your lives and treat others is the best example that you can give especially when their minds are closed to any attempt to evangelize them.

We should remember that God is infinitely more loving and merciful that we are. He does not forget us. He gives us every chance until the last moment in life to turn our gaze toward Him.

[/quote]

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:


#18

My grandmother gave to anyone who asked (- much to the chagrin of her family as they worried there would be nothing left for them to inherit). Anyone who asked to borrow money, were given whatever they asked on their word they would repay the loans. Needless to say many didn't.

If anyone was working at her house or property, at meal times she always invited them to sit down to her dinner table. I even protested about this once I'm now ashamed to say. I said, "Grandmomma! They are being paid to work! It isn't proper to invite them to sit at the table to eat with us!" She would just look at me with a somewhat surprised look and say "really? Why not?" One day a telephone repairman was there to fix the phone lines which were messed up. (Back in the day before cell phones). It was supper time so I held my breath, hoping she wouldn't do it but sure enough, she got an extra plate in hand and asked if he would care to join us for supper. And he accepted!:eek: I couldn't believe it. And he really seemed to enjoy the very simple meal. He ate like it was the best meal he'd ever had. LOL

It seems funny now that I was so irritated by that. But she walked the walk; she didn't just talk the talk. Some of the so called Christians who were always trying to get her to church would not have given you a dollar if you needed bus fare. Her own daughter who thought herself much the Christian gave a eulogy with the presumption laced throughout that she would never make it to Heaven and was doomed. I guess to Hell - she was Baptist and I'm not too sure what they believe. But I think she must be in a good part of purgatory if not in Heaven. I offer masses for her. I'm sure she must have pleased Jesus often with her actions and charity.


#19

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