An unborn baby an angel? a saint?


#1

What does the church teach about an unborn baby say from a miscarriage, yes it goes to heaven but is it considered a saint? I hear everywhere it is your little angel in heaven. But if it was indeed a person with a soul then what is the answer here?


#2

I think people use your “little angel” as an expression. I do not think most people think an unborn child then becomes an angel. I could not find the official teaching of the church. It’s along the lines of we can only trust in God that these poor souls are in heaven. That would make them saints.


#3

People do not become angels just like angels do not become people.

As one who has miscarried several babies, I believe that their sweet souls are in heaven with Jesus. I’ve heard of something called “limbo” but I’m told this is just opinions and not “official” Catholic teaching so I’ve chosen to ignore that.

God Bless you,
CM


#4

I just had to add my personal opinion. God creates all men with a desire to know God. So an unborn child would have a desire to know God. Therefore the child would have a Baptism of desire and be in heaven as a saint, in my opinion.

God Bless,
Maria


#5

[quote=lovethetruth]What does the church teach about an unborn baby say from a miscarriage, yes it goes to heaven but is it considered a saint?
[/quote]

Anyone in heaven is a saint because nothing unclean can enter God’s presence. If a miscarried child is in heaven, and the Church trusts in the mercy of God that she is, then she is a saint.

“Pray for your parents, Matronata Matrona. She lived one year, fifty-two days” (a funerary inscription near St. Sabina’s in Rome [A.D. 300]) (www.catholic.com/library/Intercession_of_the_Saints.asp)


#6

[quote=lovethetruth]What does the church teach about an unborn baby say from a miscarriage, yes it goes to heaven but is it considered a saint? I hear everywhere it is your little angel in heaven. But if it was indeed a person with a soul then what is the answer here?
[/quote]

If they were to go to Heaven then they would be Saints. Humans do not become angels.


#7

[quote=MariaG]I just had to add my personal opinion. God creates all men with a desire to know God. So an unborn child would have a desire to know God. Therefore the child would have a Baptism of desire and be in heaven as a saint, in my opinion.

God Bless,
Maria
[/quote]

A soul at the moment of it’s creation is tainted with Original Sin. Because of this, it is separated from the Grace of God and subject to temptation and the influence of satan. Until the Grace of Baptism is received the soul cannot receive Sanctifying Grace and see God. Baptism of Desire properly understood does not apply to an unborn child.


#8

[quote=lovethetruth]What does the church teach about an unborn baby say from a miscarriage, yes it goes to heaven but is it considered a saint? I hear everywhere it is your little angel in heaven. But if it was indeed a person with a soul then what is the answer here?
[/quote]

The Church does NOT teach that unborn babies who die without baptism go to heaven.


#9

[quote=tuopaolo]The Church does NOT teach that unborn babies who die without baptism go to heaven.
[/quote]

Okay now I’m afraid. I just lost one to a miscarriage, named it and expected it to be in Heaven already. But I have no clear answer so that is why I came to ask what then is the teaching of the church on this? Thank you.


#10

[quote=lovethetruth]Okay now I’m afraid. I just lost one to a miscarriage, named it and expected it to be in Heaven already. But I have no clear answer so that is why I came to ask what then is the teaching of the church on this? Thank you.
[/quote]

We can only trust the infinite mercy of God in this matter.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1261] states the following:

“As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say: ‘Let the little children come to me, do not hinder them,’ allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism.”

Gerry :slight_smile:


#11

[quote=lovethetruth]What does the church teach about an unborn baby say from a miscarriage, yes it goes to heaven but is it considered a saint? I hear everywhere it is your little angel in heaven. But if it was indeed a person with a soul then what is the answer here?
[/quote]

It is not an angel, humans do not becomes angels. Angels are supreme to humans.

It could be a saint though because a saint is anyone who is in Heaven.


#12

[quote=lovethetruth]Okay now I’m afraid. I just lost one to a miscarriage, named it and expected it to be in Heaven already. But I have no clear answer so that is why I came to ask what then is the teaching of the church on this? Thank you.
[/quote]

We put the souls of the unborn babies in Gods hands. We are bound by the sacriments Christ instituted but God is not.


#13

[quote=lovethetruth]Okay now I’m afraid. I just lost one to a miscarriage, named it and expected it to be in Heaven already. But I have no clear answer so that is why I came to ask what then is the teaching of the church on this? Thank you.
[/quote]

Pray for your child’s soul. They are entrusted to the mercy of God and we hope that God has provided a way for them to obtain salvation.


#14

[quote=lovethetruth]Okay now I’m afraid. I just lost one to a miscarriage, named it and expected it to be in Heaven already. But I have no clear answer so that is why I came to ask what then is the teaching of the church on this? Thank you.
[/quote]

I am very very sorry for your loss. Your sweet baby is in heaven with Jesus. There are only two places that our soul can end up - heaven and hell. God is merciful and just and there’s no way that he’d send an innocent child to hell. No way. That’s not the loving God I know… so that leaves heaven. Your baby is in heaven.
God Bless you,
CM


#15

[quote=carol marie]I am very very sorry for your loss. Your sweet baby is in heaven with Jesus. There are only two places that our soul can end up - heaven and hell. God is merciful and just and there’s no way that he’d send an innocent child to hell. No way. That’s not the loving God I know… so that leaves heaven. Your baby is in heaven.
God Bless you,
CM
[/quote]

I join Carol Marie in my sorrow for your loss.

Carol Marie is absolutely correct.

The definition of a “saint” is “someone who is in Heaven with God.” We know for sure which people who have died are now in Heaven (i.e., are “saints”) because those people have been cannonized (officially declared by the Church) to be in Heaven as best as we can tell because conditions to indicate this have been proven.

However, just because someone has not been cannonized does NOT mean that she is NOT in Heaven. It only means that there’s no proof “down here on Earth” (yet).

In other words, there’s TONS more people in Heaven (i.e., are “saints”) than yet have been cannonized. Being cannonized is not necessary to be in Heaven.

Even though there’s not been a cannonization of your daughter (yet), I’d say that your daughter is a saint.

So… you and the rest of us as well can pray to your baby to ask her to pray for you and the rest of us as well.


#16

[quote=carol marie]I am very very sorry for your loss. Your sweet baby is in heaven with Jesus. There are only two places that our soul can end up - heaven and hell. God is merciful and just and there’s no way that he’d send an innocent child to hell. No way. That’s not the loving God I know… so that leaves heaven. Your baby is in heaven.
God Bless you,
CM
[/quote]

How do you support your idea which is different than what the Church says in the Catechism? The Church teaches that we don’t know their fate. How is it that you know for certain the fate of children who die without Baptism? The Church teaches in DS# 1526 and 410 that they are not condemned to the punishments of Hell because they died with only Original sin, no personal sin. The Scriptures state that “No unbaptized person can enter the Kingdom”. John 3:5 Hence the teaching of the Church in the catechism known as the “necessity of Baptism.”


#17

[quote=carol marie]I am very very sorry for your loss. Your sweet baby is in heaven with Jesus. There are only two places that our soul can end up - heaven and hell. God is merciful and just and there’s no way that he’d send an innocent child to hell. No way. That’s not the loving God I know… so that leaves heaven. Your baby is in heaven.
God Bless you,
CM
[/quote]

The church is divided into 2 schools of thought on this.

  1. Limbo…A place of perfect natural happiness where unbaptized infants exist. Since they never made a choice for good, they do not receive SUPERnatural happiness of the beatific vision, nor the eternal punishments of the lower regions of hell.

  2. Choice…Like the angles, when they die they are given a choice, serve God or serve themselves. If the latter…to hell, if the former…to heaven.

In any case, the location of the unbaptized has never been revealed by the Spirit to the church. It’s nice to think of them in heaven, but Jesus chose not to reveal this to His church.

A note on option 1). The reason people object to the idea of limbo is because only Heaven and Hell will exist for all time. So where they are in this option depends on your definition of these. We know Jesus decended into hell to preach the good news to those who had died before the passion. But they were not in a place of punishment. So by this definition: Hell is anyplace separated from the beatific vision. So Limbo is the ‘first circle’ of hell (using Dante’s Inferno).

But if you define hell as the place of eternal punishment, then Limbo is not in hell because there is no punishment there, so it is in the lowest level of heaven.

Neither 1) nor 2) has been revealed, but one of these must be correct to satisfy God’s Justice and Mercy. The unbaptized young must either by left in an intermediate state or make a choice from which they can be judged


#18

The Catholic Church hasn’t define explicitly this doctrine. I believe this issue can be resolved dogmatically by the authority of the Church. However, here’s some lates tnews on this issue:
**

Code: ZE04100703

**Date: 2004-10-07

**

**Children Who Die Without Baptism: A Nagging Question

**

**Pope Asks Theological Commission to Look Into the Matter

**

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 7, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II asked some well-known Catholic theologians to study further a question that has stood for centuries: What is the fate of children who die without baptism?

The Pope entrusted this task today to members of the International Theological Commission, an institution of the Holy See headed the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Although it was never defined as a dogma, the existence of limbo was posed as a possibility by some theologians wrestling with the question. Limbo was suggested as an intermediary place between heaven and hell, which spared the innocent who died without baptism from the punishments of hell.

After the Second Vatican Council, Catholic theology has sought answers that are in accord with the mercy of God the Father.

When John Paul II received the participants in the plenary assembly of the International Theological Commission, he said: “It is not simply an isolated theological problem.”

“Many other fundamental topics are closely related to it: the universal salvific will of God; the unique and universal mediation of Jesus Christ; the role of the Church, universal sacrament of salvation; the theology of the sacraments; the meaning of the doctrine on original sin,” the Holy Father said.

“It corresponds to you to scrutinize the nexus among all these mysteries to offer a theological synthesis that might serve as an aid for a more consistent and enlightened pastoral practice,” he said.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church does not speak of children’s limbo. No. 1261 explains that “as regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them.”

“Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children, which caused him to say: ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,’ allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism,” it adds.

“All the more urgent is the Church’s call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism,” the Catechism concludes.

The purpose of the International Theological Commission, established 35 years ago by Paul VI, is to examine the most important doctrinal questions. In general, the commission’s reflections take the form of study documents.

**

Pio


#19

[quote=lovethetruth]Okay now I’m afraid. I just lost one to a miscarriage, named it and expected it to be in Heaven already. But I have no clear answer so that is why I came to ask what then is the teaching of the church on this? Thank you.
[/quote]

God did not give you a spirit of fear. Trust in the infinate mercy of God, and the boundless compassion of Jesus.


#20

this explanation, which I will recap as well as I can, was given during a parish mission by a Father Hughes, whose presentations were in the main proper and orthodox. He said this idea came from Thomas Acquinas. I recap it because it helped me immensely, and because I would like the commentary of knowledgeable people on these forums.

At the moment of death, we are no longer imprisoned in time, we are in eternity with God. In that moment we come face to faith with God, and have all knowledge of him that we were denied when bound to earthly senses and intellectual capacities. In that moment we make the irrevocable choice to love Him forever or to hate Him forever.

All the knowledge of our past life, including knowledge of our sins, perfect knowledge not clouded by concupiscence is also with us at that moment, so we suffer the purifying torment of realizing what that sin meant and how it contributed to Christ’s suffering, and we have the opportunity for perfect contrition at last. That is our purgatory, if we choose God, but if we choose to cling to the sin we choose hell.

Also the grace of all the sacramental encounters we have ever had with Christ are with us at that moment, along with the grace from all the celebration of the sacraments throughout the history of the Church on earth, before and after our death. Also the grace of all those praying for us before and after death (remember, we are in eternity here, so before and after have no meaning).

The unborn child, or unbaptized infant who dies, although it has original sin, is granted this same blinding full knowledge of God in that moment, and having no actual sin to cloud its choice or to cling to, almost inevitably would choose to love God forever.

This makes perfect sense to me, and I await comments. By the fact that the pope has appointed a commission to do further theological study on this question, I assume that no one here can make a definitive pronouncement one way or the other about the soul of an unborn child or infant who dies without baptism.


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