Batism of Desire of Infants Dying Without Baptism?


#1

Hey, I have a question. For a Baptism of Desire, someone or something has to Desire??? Who or what does the action originate from??? Please keep in mind a few questions when thinking about your answer.

  1. Can an unborn child or infant actively desire on their own part???
  2. Why did Augustine and Church Fathers of his time “damn” the unbaptized as a lot varying only be degree (i.e. didn’t seperate unbaptized infants and adults)???
  3. Why did Aquinas say that the Desire on the Part of the Church worked for the Eucharist but not for Baptism???
  4. What happens in the case where the parents would not have wanted the child baptized and even actively opposed Baptism and the Faith as the child aged (atheist, pagan, etc.)???

#2

Any thoughts on the questions would be helpful;) . The one I need the most help with is the last one of Children who die without Baptism and their parents would not have wanted and actively persecuted the Faith through the child’s formation. Can the Baptism of Desire apply even then???


#3

Baptism of desire would only apply if the child personally desired Baptism, but was unable to receive it prior to dying.


#4
  1. No.

  2. Augustine and the other Fathers correctly pointed out that, since we all are under the necessity of contracting original sin at conception and are thus unworthy to enter the kingdom of Heaven, without the grace of Baptism (received either sacramentally or in desire), no one can be saved:

Following St. Paul, the Church has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam’s sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the “death of the soul”. Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin. (CCC 403)

  1. Because Baptism ordains a person to the Eucharist, but unbaptized children are not ordained to Baptism:

Another difference is because by Baptism a man is ordained to the Eucharist, and therefore from the fact of children being baptized, they are destined by the Church to the Eucharist; and just as they believe through the Church’s faith, so they desire the Eucharist through the Church’s intention, and, as a result, receive its reality. But they are not disposed for Baptism by any previous sacrament, and consequently before receiving Baptism, in no way have they Baptism in desire; (Summa Theologiae, III q. 73 a. 3)

  1. The child goes to the limbo of the children, unless God intervenes in an extraordinary manner to justify him: “The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude … 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.” (CCC 1257, 1261).

As regards baptism of desire and children, there is a minority opinion put forth by Cajetan and some others, which holds that a desire on the part of a parent, expressed by some external sign such as the sign of the cross, suffices when baptism with water is impossible.


#5

[quote=slinky1882]Hey, I have a question. For a Baptism of Desire, someone or something has to Desire??? Who or what does the action originate from??? Please keep in mind a few questions when thinking about your answer.

  1. Can an unborn child or infant actively desire on their own part???

  2. Why did Augustine and Church Fathers of his time “damn” the unbaptized as a lot varying only be degree (i.e. didn’t seperate unbaptized infants and adults)???

  3. Why did Aquinas say that the Desire on the Part of the Church worked for the Eucharist but not for Baptism???

  4. What happens in the case where the parents would not have wanted the child baptized and even actively opposed Baptism and the Faith as the child aged (atheist, pagan, etc.)???
    [/quote]

  5. Maybe, however it’s not possible for us to know this, at least at this time.

  6. They didn’t “damn” unbaptized infants and children. Neither did they “damn” adults truly ignorant of the Gospel. Remember that God owes no one Salvation.

  7. Aquinas should explain in the full text of that part of the Summa.

  8. The parents would receive the greater responsibility if the child is “Lost” or excluded from the Beatific Vision.


#6

Remember that “God wills all men to be saved and to come to knowledge of him.” I think that is important.

While parents do have spiritual authority over their children until they reach age of reason, it is not only children who are baptized. Many adults enter the Church and are baptized for the first time well after the age of reason. Certainly the spiritual authority of the parents does not account for their reception of the sacrament. Something else does. Perhaps it is the a free response to grace, the operation of the Holy Spirit, the influence of others; probably all of these. Important as well is the fact that the child’s soul does not suffer as a result of any actual sin and only suffers the effects of Original Sin.

I think the question is, given these influences, what would have the child chosen? Certainly, I am not equipped to judge this. But God certainly is, and His mercy is inestimable.


#7

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]1. Maybe, however it’s not possible for us to know this, at least at this time.

  1. They didn’t “damn” unbaptized infants and children. Neither did they “damn” adults truly ignorant of the Gospel. Remember that God owes no one Salvation.

  2. Aquinas should explain in the full text of that part of the Summa.

  3. The parents would receive the greater responsibility if the child is “Lost” or excluded from the Beatific Vision.
    [/quote]

Regarding #2. Augustine declared: ‘Let no one promise infants who have not been baptized a sort of middle place of happiness between damnation and Heaven, for this is what the Pelagian heresy promised them’ (The Soul and Its Origin, Patrologiae Latinae, Migne, 44:475). The same can be found in Jurgens “Faith of the Fathers”. And

…The souls of those who die in mortal sin or with original sin only, however, immediately descend to hell, to be punished with different punishments…–Council of Lyons II (1274), Declaration Concerning the Procession of the Holy Spirit, promulgated by Pope Gregory X, with later endorsements by popes Innocent V, Hadrian V, John XX1, Nicholas III, Martin IV, Honorius IV, Nicholas IV and Celestine V. (Denzinger 464) …Moreover, the souls of those who depart in actual mortal sin or in original sin only, descend immediately into hell but to undergo punishments of different kinds.—Council of Florence (1438-1445), Decree for the Greeks (from the Bull Laetentur coeli), promulgated by Pope Eugenius IV on July 6, 1430 (Denzinger 693)

Are both of these true???


#8

[quote=slinky1882]Are both of these true???
[/quote]

Yes. See St. Thomas’ articles on those who die with original sin only:

Although unbaptized children are separated from God as regards the union of glory, they are not utterly separated from Him: in fact they are united to Him by their share of natural goods, and so will also be able to rejoice in Him by their natural knowledge and love.


#9

[quote=slinky1882]Hey, I have a question. For a Baptism of Desire, someone or something has to Desire??? Who or what does the action originate from??? Please keep in mind a few questions when thinking about your answer.

  1. Can an unborn child or infant actively desire on their own part???
  2. Why did Augustine and Church Fathers of his time “damn” the unbaptized as a lot varying only be degree (i.e. didn’t seperate unbaptized infants and adults)???
  3. Why did Aquinas say that the Desire on the Part of the Church worked for the Eucharist but not for Baptism???
  4. What happens in the case where the parents would not have wanted the child baptized and even actively opposed Baptism and the Faith as the child aged (atheist, pagan, etc.)???
    [/quote]

I answered other, since I do not know whether a child would fall under baptism of desire. On the one hand you can say that the baby can’t understand it, so you could say he can’t desire it.

But on the other hand we could say that all souls desire to know and love God when created. This is supported by the fact that there is no such thing as evil. Evil is just a lack of good. So the baby can not be evil in any way.

It is possible that a baby could be saved since God is not bound by the sacriments, but we can not be sure. We have no idea of whether they are.


#10

[quote=slinky1882]Any thoughts on the questions would be helpful;) . The one I need the most help with is the last one of Children who die without Baptism and their parents would not have wanted and actively persecuted the Faith through the child’s formation. Can the Baptism of Desire apply even then???
[/quote]

The desire of the parents does not matter. One soul can not hinder another from knowing God in this way.

If anything, it would be the desire of the child and that of God.


#11

[quote=slinky1882]Regarding #2. Augustine declared: ‘Let no one promise infants who have not been baptized a sort of middle place of happiness between damnation and Heaven, for this is what the Pelagian heresy promised them’ (The Soul and Its Origin, Patrologiae Latinae, Migne, 44:475). The same can be found in Jurgens “Faith of the Fathers”. And

…The souls of those who die in mortal sin or with original sin only, however, immediately descend to hell, to be punished with different punishments…–Council of Lyons II (1274), Declaration Concerning the Procession of the Holy Spirit, promulgated by Pope Gregory X, with later endorsements by popes Innocent V, Hadrian V, John XX1, Nicholas III, Martin IV, Honorius IV, Nicholas IV and Celestine V. (Denzinger 464) …Moreover, the souls of those who depart in actual mortal sin or in original sin only, descend immediately into hell but to undergo punishments of different kinds.—Council of Florence (1438-1445), Decree for the Greeks (from the Bull Laetentur coeli), promulgated by Pope Eugenius IV on July 6, 1430 (Denzinger 693)

Are both of these true???

[/quote]

There is no third place. At the end of time there will only be Heaven and Hell, there will be no in-between.

Those who die in a state of Mortal sin descend to the Hell of the damned. Those who die with only Original sin still on their soul would descend to Hell but not the Hell of the damned. They may be in the same place, Hell, but in different states with different punishments. Unless God in some way removed the stain of Original Sin, allowing them into Heaven. But maybe not into the Beatific Vision. Both of the statements from Lyons II and Florence assume that the stain of Original Sin remains.


#12

I don’t get this question. It is confusing.


#13

Victor, my question was this related to the Baptism of Desire. In order for desire to exist, something or someone must will the desiring. Desire cannot occur on its own without an agent. The qeustion then asks that given a child who dies without Baptism, who is or would be the agent(s) desiring the Baptism for the child. Hope this helps. Thanks and God Bless.


#14

John the Baptist lept in his mother’s womb when Mary approached. What was that about? Life desiring the fullness of Life? Some things are simple.

Jesus said suffering the children to come unto me. What was that about? Do you think he was talking about only a very temporary closeness? Or Limbo? Or Heaven?

What did he say about being like children in order to gain the Kingdom of Heaven?

We are made to desire God. It is fundamental to our natures to desire God. We are, after all, made in His image. As we mature, however, we are tempted to desire God on our own terms instead of on terms which will lead us safely home to God. An unborn baby does not have these kinds of terms.


#15

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