Babies & Infants II


#1

Forgive me for double threading, but I acted before I thought in the Liturgy forum.

What does our Church teach about babies who are aborted or die in infancy, both less baptism?

What happens to them?

Could a priest, or religious or theologian chime in with authoritative,
documented answers – catechism, dogma, scripture?

Thank you


#2

I have now been informed that the Church teaches that no person, not baptized, can enter the kingdom of heaven.

Surely the Church should look at this and declare that innocents are a part of heaven.

For us to protect babies at virtually all costs, and preach, teach, and demonstrate against abortion, what does this gain us? If we believe that all life is sacred, how could we not have direction on what happens to these innocents?

I suppose “baptism by desire” is not in the question, since innocents have no desires.

Should we not be baptizing in the delivery room under these circumstances?

Help me understand.


#3

[quote=dbradio]I have now been informed that the Church teaches that no person, not baptized, can enter the kingdom of heaven.

Surely the Church should look at this and declare that innocents are a part of heaven.

[/quote]

They can only declare things they posses the authority to declare. That can’t just declare things to make us feel good. Infants who die without baptism are entrusted to the mercy of God.


#4

I know that the church cannot change the bible. However, is it in scripture that an unbaptized person cannot enter heaven?

What about the requirement to be born again?


#5

[quote=dbradio]I know that the church cannot change the bible. However, is it in scripture that an unbaptized person cannot enter heaven?

What about the requirement to be born again?
[/quote]

Check out what the Catechism says. I can’t remember the paragraph numbers but I looked at this recently. The Church honestly states that we don’t know what happens but that we trust them to the mercy of God, which is measureless.

Scott is correct in stating that the Church can’t make a declaration that has no basis to “make us feel good”; however, we should feel pretty good about the mercy of God in this particular situation where innocent souls have not committed actual sin.

Just speculation on my part, but maybe the reason God hasn’t revealed this to us is so we would continue to fight against abortion and infanticide. If the Church taught that these innocents went straight to heaven and we had no doubt about this, then people might become complacent. I’ve actually heard from the mouths of abortion supporters the following rationalization “If the babies go straight to heaven, then aren’t they better off?” If there was not some uncertainty about this, we might all fall for that lie.

Just my personal opinion.


#6

Please forgive my ignorance.

Why can’t the church make a change in this.

Is there scripture specific to this?

Thank you


#7

Please forgive my ignorance.

Why can’t the church make a change in this.

Is there scripture specific to this?

Or is it only in our Catechism?

Thank you


#8

[quote=dbradio]Please forgive my ignorance.

Why can’t the church make a change in this.

Is there scripture specific to this?

Or is it only in our Catechism?

Thank you
[/quote]

The Church cannot change this becuase there is simply not enough in divine revelation in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition to say definitively. In other words, the Church can’t say it knows when it does not, and it can’t just make something up. It is not a human institution but a divine institution populated with humans–this means we have alot of revelation, but not everything. There are passages and Scripture that God knows us when we were formed in the womb, and since we believe God creates each and every soul, it is perfectly reasonable to believe He takes care of His creation. Why is trusting God’s mercy regarding unbaptized infants (or anything for that matter) so difficult?

Scott


#9

Pius IX and XII can proclaim immaculate conception and assumption, respectively, for our Blessed Mother.

Why is it not possible to speak in this way for innocents?


#10

[quote=dbradio]Pius IX and XII can proclaim immaculate conception and assumption, respectively, for our Blessed Mother.
[/quote]

These are things that Catholics have always believed with very little dispute (esp. in the case of the Assumption). The Feast of the Dormition/Assumption is the oldest Marian feast.

[quote=dbradio]Why is it not possible to speak in this way for innocents?
[/quote]

This has not been revealed to the Church. The Church doesn’t make up doctrines to make us feel good. In St. John’s Gospel we read:

Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (Jn 3:5)

The fact is that we really don’t know what happens to unbaptized babies. Some think that they go to hell, but only suffer the pain of loss. Others think they go to heaven. Many think they go to a place of perfect natural happiness–Limbo. In any case, what really happens has not been revealed to us. Don’t blame the Chuch for this. God has simply chosen not to reveal this to us.


#11

[quote=dbradio]Pius IX and XII can proclaim immaculate conception and assumption, respectively, for our Blessed Mother.

Why is it not possible to speak in this way for innocents?
[/quote]

Pagans believed that God (or the Gods) were somehow subject to human laws. Laws could be passed to make a person (say, an Emperor) a god. Contracts could be drawn up with the gods.

That’s not what Christians believe, however. SAYING something doesn’t make it so, if it isn’t true – even if the Church were to say it.

The Church’s Magesterium is limited to revelation – we can’t make up new rules as we go along. The Immaculate Conception and the Assumption were not “made up.” They were traditional beliefs dating back to the first generation of Christians, and all Popes Pius IX and XII did was declare those ancient beliefs to be correct.

There is no ancient belief that persons who are not baptized can enter heaven.


#12

[quote=dbradio]Pius IX and XII can proclaim immaculate conception and assumption, respectively, for our Blessed Mother.

Why is it not possible to speak in this way for innocents?
[/quote]

We are not pagans who believed they could make laws and rules the gods have to follow. Simply pronouncing that something is true doesn’t MAKE it true. The Church must exercise its Magesterium in accordance with revelation.

The Assumption and the Immaculate Conception can be traced back to the first generation of Christians, which makes these beliefs a valid part of Tradition. The Popes simply declared these ancient beliefs to be of a nature that all Catholics must accept them.


#13

The hardest thing to say is “I don’t know.”

The church only speaks as God reveals. There are many possibilities and any speculation that does not contradict dogma is allowed, including the idea of Limbo.


#14

I’ve lost two babies, one thru miscarriage and one was stillborn. I used to be very anxious about the thought that my babies wouldn’t be in heaven until I read that we on earth are subject to God’s sacraments as revealed to us but that God is not subject to them. He is beyond them. So we do trust in God’s mercy since the answer to this question isn’t found within the Church. This has greatly comforted me and I just wanted to pass it on.


#15

The Holy Father says this in Evangelium vitae.

I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.

Bolded by me.

An aborted child is like a miscarried child not baptised. The Holy Father say here that “they are living in the Lord.” This is not an infallible statement though.

I have had two miscarriages myself many years ago and my hope is that they are Saints in Heaven.


#16

The Church’s Magesterium is limited to revelation – we can’t make up new rules as we go along. The Immaculate Conception and the Assumption were not “made up.” They were traditional beliefs dating back to the first generation of Christians, and all Popes Pius IX and XII did was declare those ancient beliefs to be correct.

So, ancient beliefs carry the same weight as scripture revelation?
Is that the message?

If the aboves aren’t scriptural, somebody made them up aeons ago, didn’t they?


#17

Hmmm.

In your first post, you ask about “our church”, (implying that you are Catholic) yet in this

So, ancient beliefs carry the same weight as scripture revelation?
Is that the message?

If the aboves aren’t scriptural, somebody made them up aeons ago, didn’t they?

from your last post, I sense a distinct aura of “sola scriptura”.

It’s also a fallacy.

Just because something isn’t from “scripture” doesn’t mean it was made up. Oral tradition is just as authentic as written. Paul says so, to Timothy.


#18

I truly think, as said before, that we have to believe in God’s mercy. Without that none of us have any hope anyways. Now, I learned in Catechism growing up that those souls who longed to be baptized, but couldn’t, or those souls who never received a chance to receive baptism are baptized " in the blood". I may be wrong on the name, but the point stands. God does allow those who can’t be baptized in enough time, to go to Heaven. If we truly believe that God doesn’t look upon an innocent child, who never had a chance to sin, and not beckon them through the gates of Heaven, the rest of us don’t have a snowball’s chance of getting there.


#19

Just speculating here… two points.

Is it possible that our western, individualistic culture, is misleading us on this point? In the Bible, the “household” is always a unit, where everyone is included. This is indeed one of our best arguments for infant baptism from the Bible.

Is it possible that, as far as baptism is concerned, there is an element of “desire” on the part of the parents and family, that includes the child in a “baptism of desire” until a baptism of water can take place?

And more physically, is it possible that as long as the child in the womb is joined to its mother by the umbilical cord, that it somehow shares in the mother’s baptism until it is born?

Like I said, pure speculatio.


#20

OK, then. What was the ancients’ belief on what happened to babies? Pre-limbo?

If there is a tradition or oral history on babies and heaven, would this make it possible?

Or is our legalism getting in the way of the Lord’s grace?

If it is heresy to believe that innocents go to heaven, I’m your person.


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