Children who die without baptism


#1

Hi,

Subject: Children who die without Baptism

I’ve recently been studying this question. I believe my understanding falls completely within
Catholic parameters but I’'ll let you be the judge.

Children who die without being baptized should go to heaven based
upon the God’'s Mercy and Justice.

First. Original Sin is not actual sin. It is the propensity to sin.
Because a soul directly created by God we know that at the time of conception it is perfect, without stain of sin.

382 “Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity” (GS 14 § 1). The
doctrine of the faith affirms that the spiritual and immortal soul is
created immediately by God.

Therefore, a soul which has not sinned has not willfully opposed God and remains in a state of Grace.
himself from God and is still in a state of Grace.

405 Although it is proper to each individual,original sin does not
have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam’'s
descendants…

404 How did the sin of Adam become the sin of all his
descendants?.. And that is why original sin is called “sin” only in
an analogical sense: it is a sin “contracted” and not “committed” - a
state and not an act.

1850 Sin is… a revolt against God through the
will…

In the end there will be only heaven and hell. No other states or
conditions will exist. Unless the conjectured Limbo is a part of
heaven or hell it will cease to exist. That would leave the
unbaptized child outside of heaven and either permanently erased from
existence or stuck in hell.

366 The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created
immediately by God…and also that it is immortal: it does not perish when it separates from the
body at death…

1038 The resurrection of all the dead, "of both the just and the
unjust,"623 will precede the Last Judgment…Then Christ will come “in his glory, and all the angels with him. . . . Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate
them one from another. . . . And they will go away into eternal punishment, but
the righteous into eternal life.”*

It would be wrong for a soul that has not sinned to remain outside of heaven when the only option left is hell.

What do you think?

Sincerely,

De Maria*


#2

Closely related is the following question:

So what is the necessity of Baptism?

The previous message was about children who die without being baptized. The assumption is that they died without committing willful and actual sin against God as well as without baptism.

John 3:3In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can
see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” 4"How can a man be
born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a
second time into his mother’'s womb to be born!” 5Jesus answered, “I
tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is
born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the
Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my
saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it
pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from
or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Let’'s begin again. Original sin is the propensity to sin, but is not yet actual sin. In other words, being born with Original sin
guarantees we will sin. There is no way around it. That is why
Baptism is necessary. Because even the most innocent child who has not yet sinned will eventually sin. At that point he will need the influx of the Holy Spirit to mark him as a child of God.

Say for instance that your child locks himself out of your house
(i.e. sins). How will he get back in? If you have previously given
him a key, he can get back in by himself. In a sense, that is
Baptism. The key to get back to our house, our heavenly abode.

Or say that your child is lost and if found unconscious. How will he be returned to you? If he has an identification card which identifies him as a member of your household he can be returned to you. Baptism provides us with that identifying mark on our soul.

Before your child has left your home he is with you. Before we commit sin, we are with God.

*1272 Incorporated into Christ by Baptism, the person baptized is configured to Christ. Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark (character) of his belonging to Christ. No sin can erase this mark, even if sin prevents Baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation. Given once for all, Baptism cannot be repeated.

1261 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,"64 allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church’'s call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.

It is as though the flesh circumscribes the soul at conception. But the soul is still pristine. It is a babe in an enemy camp. Remember, we have three enemies, the flesh, the world and Satan.

Do we know when the soul makes a willful separation from God preferring the flesh to the Divine? Can a one day old child commit sin? We know that there are individuals who never achieve the age of reason. Are there individuals who acquire the age of reason at remarkably young ages?

If so, then Baptism remains imperative. Baptism, the mark that can’t be erased is like an opening or channel to God’s grace. The soul retains the option to communicate with God. Baptism does not guarantee that the soul will communicate with God, but the lifeline is there if the soul needs it.

What do you think?

Sincerely,

De Maria*


#3

It would be wrong for a soul that has not sinned to remain outside of heaven when the only option left is hell.

The Church does not teach that the only alternative to Heaven is Hell. For one, there is Purgatory which, while a temporary state, is an alternative state nonetheless. Theologians have previously hypothesized “Limbo”, or a state of natural (as opposed to supernatural) happiness for the good unbaptized souls. What the Church makes perfectly clear however is that, in agreement with your argument, it is personal sin which condemns a soul to Hell. Those who have not committed such sins will not go to Hell, though the Church has not ruled definitively specifically where they will go.


#4

[quote=Dr. Colossus]The Church does not teach that the only alternative to Heaven is Hell. For one, there is Purgatory which, while a temporary state, is an alternative state nonetheless. Theologians have previously hypothesized “Limbo”, or a state of natural (as opposed to supernatural) happiness for the good unbaptized souls. What the Church makes perfectly clear however is that, in agreement with your argument, it is personal sin which condemns a soul to Hell. Those who have not committed such sins will not go to Hell, though the Church has not ruled definitively specifically where they will go.
[/quote]

Correct. My point is that a child who dies without Baptism hypothetically goes to or enters a state of Limbo. If the only two states of being that will remain after the Judgement are Heaven and Hell, then where would these children wind up after the judgement?

Certainly not Hell as they have not committed a willful and actual sin.

Therefore, it is only just that they enter Heaven.

Further, if such a state as Limbo exists, it must be a temporary state of being just like Purgatory. Again, because only God, Heaven and Hell are eternal. So why even invent another temporary state of being since Purgatory could purify these children’s souls of Original Sin and thereby render them capable of entering Heaven.

Thanks for the input.

Sincerely,

De Maria


#5

[quote=De Maria]Children who die without being baptized should go to heaven based upon the God’'s Mercy and Justice.
[/quote]

Yes. We submit to the Mercy of God in this.

First. Original Sin is not actual sin. It is the propensity to sin.

Having Original Sin is the same as lacking Sanctifying Grace.

The absence of sanctifying grace-
is an effect of the first sin, for Adam, having received holiness and justice from God, lost it not only for himself but also for us (loc. cit., can. ii). If he has lost it for us we were to have received it from him at our birth with the other prerogatives of our race.

The absence of sanctifying grace is a real privation (absence or lacking), it is the want of something that should have been according to the Divine plan.

Sanctifying grace therefore enters into the moral order, it is a turning towards God. Consequently the lack of this grace, even without any other act, would be a stain, a moral deformity, a turning away from God, and this is not found in any other effect of the fault of Adam. This lack of Sanctifying Grace, therefore, is the hereditary stain.

But, as a result of the original seperation from God (brought about by Adam and Eve) we also experience things BESIDES Original Sin:

Death and Suffering-These are purely physical evils and cannot be called sin. Moreover St. Paul, and after him the councils, regarded death and original sin as two distinct things transmitted by Adam.

Concupiscence-This rebellion of the lower appetite transmitted to us by Adam is an occasion of sin and in that sense comes nearer to moral evil. However, the occasion of a fault is not necessarily a fault, and whilst original sin is effaced by baptism concupiscence still remains in the person baptized; therefore original sin and concupiscence cannot be one and the same thing, as was held by the early Protestants (see Council of Trent, Sess. V, can. v).

What you are referring to relates to concupiscence.

Because a soul directly created by God we know that at the time of conception it is perfect, without stain of sin.

This is not quite correct. The only souls that we KNOW of that were created, at the time of conception, perfectly is Mary- and Jesus.

382 “Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity” (GS 14 § 1). The doctrine of the faith affirms that the spiritual and immortal soul is created immediately by God.

Therefore, a soul which has not sinned has not willfully opposed God and remains in a state of Grace. himself from God and is still in a state of Grace.

Again, nope, just because that individual was created by God, does not mean they were offered Sanctifying Grace (freed from the stain of Original Sin.) If this were the case, all arguments for free will and the sacrifice of Christ on the cross to make heaven possible for those who choose to follow- fall into decay!

405 Although it is proper to each individual,original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam’'s
descendants…

404 How did the sin of Adam become the sin of all his
descendants?.. And that is why original sin is called “sin” only in an analogical sense: it is a sin “contracted” and not “committed” - a state and not an act.

I can generally follow this.

1850 Sin is… a revolt against God through the will…

In the end there will be only heaven and hell. No other states or
conditions will exist.

Save purgatory.

Unless the conjectured Limbo is a part of heaven or hell it will cease to exist. That would leave the unbaptized child outside of heaven and either permanently erased from existence or stuck in hell.

Why would limbo cease to exist just because heaven and hell do?

366 The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created
immediately by God…it does not perish when it separates from the body at death…

But that in itself was a result of the FALL, and the reason by which Christ came… to ensure our souls could find repose with the Father. The body of Adam and Eve was not born to DIE, that they did die is a result of their choice to seperate their desires from that of God.

1038 The resurrection of all the dead…Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate
them one from another. . . . And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."*

It would be wrong for a soul that has not sinned to remain outside of heaven when the only option left is hell.*

It would seem terrible if your scenerio were feasible. But in my response, I have offered other perspectives which unsettle this claim.

Please do not misunderstand. I believe God is gracious and merciful to those who have not had the benefit of the sacrament of Baptism.


#6

The thought of Limbo is not an option, the Church doesn’t teach this concept.


#7

[quote=De Maria]Closely related is the following question:

So what is the necessity of Baptism?
[/quote]

To assuredly remove that barrier that exists between that soul and God which keeps that soul from receiving God’s Graces.

The previous message was about children who die without being baptized. The assumption is that they died without committing willful and actual sin against God as well as without baptism.

That some children die without a willful act against God, leads us to pray for God’s mercy on them, and leads many to believe that God welcomes them Home.

John 3:3In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” 4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked…8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

[quote]Let’'s begin again. Original sin is the propensity to sin, but is not yet actual sin. In other words, being born with Original sin
guarantees we will sin. There is no way around it.

Nope, that which you are describing is concupiscence. And there is reason to believe that those who have been baptised, and who ask for and accept all of the Graces God bestows upon them CAN remain free from further sin.

That is why Baptism is necessary. Because even the most innocent child who has not yet sinned will eventually sin. At that point he will need the influx of the Holy Spirit to mark him as a child of God.

We need Baptism so we can receive God’s Graces. Period. Regardless of our tendency to sin. For without Baptism there is NO relationship with God. (I’m not just talking about water baptism here either- but Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood).

Say for instance that your child locks himself out of your house (i.e. sins). How will he get back in? If you have previously given him a key, he can get back in by himself. In a sense, that is Baptism. The key to get back to our house, our heavenly abode.

Or say that your child is lost and if found unconscious. How will he be returned to you? If he has an identification card which identifies him as a member of your household he can be returned to you. Baptism provides us with that identifying mark on our soul.

Before your child has left your home he is with you. Before we commit sin, we are with God.

Only assuredly through baptism.

*1272 Incorporated into Christ by Baptism, the person baptized is configured to Christ. Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark (character) of his belonging to Christ. No sin can erase this mark, even if sin prevents Baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation. Given once for all, Baptism cannot be repeated.

1261 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,"64 allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism.*

All the more urgent is the Church’'s call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.

Exactly.

It is as though the flesh circumscribes the soul at conception. But the soul is still pristine. It is a babe in an enemy camp. Remember, we have three enemies, the flesh, the world and Satan.

We are not pristine until we have been baptised. Our ancestral relationship to Adam and Eve had made it so that we are UNABLE to receive God’s Graces until we have some sort of Baptism- or unless God shows his Mercy. He obviously kept Mary completely pristine, why should we not expect God to do the same for those infants who will never live on this Earth?

Do we know when the soul makes a willful separation from God preferring the flesh to the Divine? Can a one day old child commit sin? We know that there are individuals who never achieve the age of reason. Are there individuals who acquire the age of reason at remarkably young ages?

Anything is possible. But regardless of their “age of reason”, those individuals who die before baptism, and before their first culpable sin is in God’s hands.

If so, then Baptism remains imperative. Baptism, the mark that can’t be erased is like an opening or channel to God’s grace. The soul retains the option to communicate with God. Baptism does not guarantee that the soul will communicate with God, but the lifeline is there if the soul needs it.

Yes.
[/quote]


#8

[quote=Fox]The thought of Limbo is not an option, the Church doesn’t teach this concept.
[/quote]

It is my understanding that Catholic view on Limbo is Doctrine- not Dogma.


#9

Children who die without being baptized should go to heaven based upon the God’'s Mercy and Justice.

I don’t agree. This seems to say to God, “you gave me the gift of life, gratuitously, without my deserving it, therefore you OWE TO ME also the additional gift of eternal glory in heaven, gratuitously, without my deserving it.”

On the contrary, the gift of life on earth is gratuitous. No creature can demand it from God based upon their condign merit. Likewise, the gift of eternal life (Beatific Vision) in heaven is gratuitous. No creature can demand such a gift from God based upon condign merit.


#10

I will re-post what you posted with what I would change in red based on my undertanding of Church teaching.

Children who die without being baptized Could go to heaven based
upon the God’'s Mercy and Justice.

First. Original Sin is not personal sin. It’s effect is the propensity to sin.
Because a soul directly created by God we know that at the time of conception it is imperfect, with the stain of Original sin.

382 “Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity” (GS 14 § 1). The
doctrine of the faith affirms that the spiritual and immortal soul is
created immediately by God.

Therefore, a soul which has not sinned personally, has not willfully opposed God and remains in a state of perfect Grace after Baptism.
himself from God and is still in a state of Grace.

405 Although it is proper to each individual,original sin does not
have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam’'s
descendants…

404 How did the sin of Adam become the sin of all his
descendants?.. And that is why original sin is called “sin” only in
an analogical sense: it is a sin “contracted” and not “committed” - a
state and not an act.

1850 Sin is… a revolt against God through the
will…

In the end there will be only heaven and hell. No other states or
conditions will exist. Unless the conjectured Limbo is a part of
heaven or hell it will cease to exist. That would leave the
unbaptized child outside of heaven and either (permanently erased from
existence)( Not possible because the human soul is immortal, see below 366) or stuck in Limbo, at state of perfect natural happiness, outside the Beatific vision, in either Heaven or hell.

366 The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created
immediately by God…and also that it is immortal: it does not perish when it separates from the
body at death…

1038 The resurrection of all the dead, "of both the just and the
unjust,"623 will precede the Last Judgment…Then Christ will come “in his glory, and all the angels with him. . . . Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate
them one from another. . . . And they will go away into eternal punishment, but
the righteous into eternal life.”*

It would be wrong for a soul that has not sinned to remain outside of heaven when the only option left is hell.

We know that no human deserves or has any right to Heaven.
We know that no sin, Original or personal can enter Heaven. We know that the ordinary means of removing Original Sin from the soul is Baptism. We can only hope that God might supply the Grace of Baptism outside of the Sacrament of Baptism.*


#11

[quote=Fox]The thought of Limbo is not an option, the Church doesn’t teach this concept.
[/quote]

Hmmmm… this has become a cliche lately. More accurately, the Church has indeed taught this concept, but not definitively.

The Catholic magisterium has taught that children who die in a state of original sin are punished (poena damni), insofar as they do not enjoy the Beatific Vision. But, they do not suffer the punishment of fire (poena sensus).

“***The punishment of original sin is deprivation of the vison of God, but the punishment of actual sin is the torments of everlasting hell.***” [Innocent III (1198-1216), *Enchiridion Symbolorum, Thirtieth Edition, Henry Denzinger, 410]

“*The doctrine which rejects as a Pelagian fable, that place of the lower regions (which the faithful generally designate by the name of the limbo of children) in which the souls of those departing with the sole guilt of original sin are punished with the punishment of the condemned, exclusive of the punishment of fire, just as if, by this very fact, that these who remove the punishment of fire introduced that middle place and state free of guilt and of punishment between the kingdom of God and eternal damnation, such as that about which the Pelagians idly talk,–false,rash, injurious to Catholic schools.” *[Pius VI (1794), ibid., 1526]

We inherit the guilt of original sin (the lack of sanctification) until we are washed of that guilt either sacramentally or extra-sacramentally. If one is never washed of that guilt, even if they are children, then they will be punished. This punishment will not be the same as the punishment of those who have committed personal wickedness, but the Church clearly teaches that ANYONE who dies without being washed of their guilt will not attain eternal glory.

We can certainly have hope and pray that God will extra-sacramentally sanctify children who die without sacramental baptism. But I think it’s presumptuous to hold as proved by the revelation of God that they are necessarily so sanctified.


#12

Thanks Shiann,

Excellent feedback.

[quote=Shiann]Yes. We submit to the Mercy of God in this.
[/quote]

Amen.

Having Original Sin is the same as lacking Sanctifying Grace.

No argument.

What you are referring to relates to concupiscence.

No, it relates to state of being. The absence of sanctifying grace does not by itself produce the existence of actual sin.

Remember, the soul is the combination of the flesh and the Spirit. The Spirit coming directly from God has no stain of actual sin on it.

This is not quite correct. The only souls that we KNOW of that were created, at the time of conception, perfectly is Mary- and Jesus.

That depends on what you mean by “soul”. If by soul you mean the entire human being whose body and spirit constitute the soul, you are correct.

If however, you mean the Spirit which comes directly from God, then you are wrong. The spirit coming directly from God is always without stain and perfect. God doesn’t make errors and certainly doesn’t make anything imperfect on purpose.

367 Sometimes the soul is distinguished from the spirit:…

Again, nope, just because that individual was created by God, does not mean they were offered Sanctifying Grace (freed from the stain of Original Sin.) If this were the case, all arguments for free will and the sacrifice of Christ on the cross to make heaven possible for those who choose to follow- fall into decay!

I don’t follow. I didn’t say that the soul was not born or conceived in Original Sin. I said that the soul is conceived without actual sin. Original sin is not actual sin as previously noted.

Do you see the difference?

Save purgatory.

No. Purgatory will cease to exist. It is a temporary condition. That is Catholic doctrine.

1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church… Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the “eternal punishment” of sin (or hell). On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory…

Why would limbo cease to exist just because heaven and hell do?

I don’t know. Further on somebody says that a human soul can exist in a condition of heaven without enjoying the beatific vision (Limbo). I had always understood that the beatific vision was heaven and therefore the condition of Limbo must be temporary since only eternal conditions will exist after the Last Judgement. (Although I might be willing to admit such a condition for animals, I would hesitate to admit such for human souls because they are made in the image of God.)

1028 Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man’s immediate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. The Church calls this contemplation of God in his heavenly glory “the beatific vision”:

How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God, . . . to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of heaven with the righteous and God’s friends.

But that in itself was a result of the FALL, and the reason by which Christ came… to ensure our souls could find repose with the Father. The body of Adam and Eve was not born to DIE, that they did die is a result of their choice to seperate their desires from that of God.

Correct. But this doesn’t address my point that a human soul which has not committed sin should not be prevented from entering heaven.

It would seem terrible if your scenerio were feasible.

I agree.

But in my response, I have offered other perspectives which unsettle this claim.

Thank you for the thought provoking comments.

Please do not misunderstand. I believe God is gracious and merciful to those who have not had the benefit of the sacrament of Baptism.

I agree and so does the Church.

1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God,…

Sincerely,

De Maria


#13

[quote=Shiann]To assuredly remove that barrier that exists between that soul and God which keeps that soul from receiving God’s Graces.
[/quote]

Agreed.

That some children die without a willful act against God, leads us to pray for God’s mercy on them, and leads many to believe that God welcomes them Home.

Amen.

Nope, that which you are describing is concupiscence.

You are correct. Concupiscence is the result of Original Sin.

And there is reason to believe that those who have been baptised, and who ask for and accept all of the Graces God bestows upon them CAN remain free from further sin.

You are correct again.

However, is this true of those who have not been baptized? Isn’t it a heresy to believe that without further grace and Divine assistance a soul which has not been baptized will not fall into actual sin?

That’s kind of complicated. I mean that a soul which has not been baptized is doomed to commit sin. Isn’t that true?

We need Baptism so we can receive God’s Graces. Period. Regardless of our tendency to sin. For without Baptism there is NO relationship with God.

Does that include the grace of heaven?

(I’m not just talking about water baptism here either- but Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood).

Which category does an unbaptized infant fit into?

Only assuredly through baptism.

That is correct and that is my point.

We are not pristine until we have been baptised.

You are correct. Nor have I made that claim. I meant that our soul is pristine (unblemished by actual sin) until we do commit an actual sin.

Our ancestral relationship to Adam and Eve had made it so that we are UNABLE to receive God’s Graces until we have some sort of Baptism- or unless God shows his Mercy. He obviously kept Mary completely pristine, why should we not expect God to do the same for those infants who will never live on this Earth?

Those infants who died have been removed from the world and therefore are no longer subject to temptation. There is no need for a miraculous cleansing of the soul as in the Immaculate conception of Our Lady. However, what is stopping the ordinary means of cleansing from kicking in (i.e. Purgatory)?

Anything is possible. But regardless of their “age of reason”, those individuals who die before baptism, and before their first culpable sin is in God’s hands.

Amen.

Thanks again for your input Shiann.

Sincerely,

De Maria


#14

[quote=itsjustdave1988]I don’t agree. This seems to say to God, “you gave me the gift of life, gratuitously, without my deserving it, therefore you OWE TO ME also the additional gift of eternal glory in heaven, gratuitously, without my deserving it.”

On the contrary, the gift of life on earth is gratuitous. No creature can demand it from God based upon their condign merit. Likewise, the gift of eternal life (Beatific Vision) in heaven is gratuitous. No creature can demand such a gift from God based upon condign merit.
[/quote]

  1. What is condign merit?

  2. I agree that the gift of life is gratuitous.

  3. I agree that the gift of heaven is gratuitous.

  4. However, isn’t it doctrinal that only mortal sin will keep a soul from enjoying the beatific vison? I am equating the beatific vision with heaven.

Sincerely,

De Maria


#15

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]I will re-post what you posted with what I would change in red based on my undertanding of Church teaching.

Children who die without being baptized Could go to heaven based
upon the God’'s Mercy and Justice.
[/quote]

Agreed.

First. Original Sin is not personal sin. It’s effect is the propensity to sin.
Because a soul directly created by God we know that at the time of conception it is imperfect, with the stain of Original sin.

Correct.

Let me clarify. I was speaking of the soul and meant the spirit which comes directly from God. Not the soul as combination of spirit and flesh. At the time of conception, the spirit has not been stained by any actual (personal) sin. It is perfect. The imperfection is a contamination (Original Sin) by the flesh which is inherited from our ancestors, Adam and Eve.

382 “Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity” (GS 14 § 1). The
doctrine of the faith affirms that the spiritual and immortal soul is
created immediately by God.

Therefore, a soul which has not sinned personally, has not willfully opposed God and remains in a state of perfect Grace after Baptism.

What is the condition of the soul which has not sinned personally and has not willfully opposed God before Baptism?

405 Although it is proper to each individual,original sin does not
have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam’'s
descendants…

404 How did the sin of Adam become the sin of all his
descendants?.. And that is why original sin is called “sin” only in
an analogical sense: it is a sin “contracted” and not “committed” - a
state and not an act.

1850 Sin is… a revolt against God through the
will…

In the end there will be only heaven and hell. No other states or
conditions will exist. Unless the conjectured Limbo is a part of
heaven or hell it will cease to exist. That would leave the
unbaptized child outside of heaven and either (permanently erased from
existence)( Not possible because the human soul is immortal, see below 366) or stuck in Limbo, at state of perfect natural happiness, outside the Beatific vision, in either Heaven or hell

  1. Permanently erased, not possible, agreed.

  2. A state of perfect of perfect natural happiness, outside the Beatific vision, in either heaven or hell?

Please provide a doctrinal reference for #2.

We know that no human deserves or has any right to Heaven.

Correct.

We know that no sin, Original or personal can enter Heaven.

Agreed.

We know that the ordinary means of removing Original Sin from the soul is Baptism.

In this life, correct.

What of purgatory? Isn’t it an ordinary means of removing actual, venial sin? Isn’t venial sin more grave than Original Sin which is not an actual willful offense against God but only a condition of being born in the fallen nature of the flesh inherited from Adam and Eve?

We can only hope that God might supply the Grace of Baptism outside of the Sacrament of Baptism.

Amen.

Thanks for the thoughtful input.

Sincerely,

De Maria


#16

I am not a theologan…I can only tell you what my heart tells me…Jesus told his disciples not to hinder the little children from coming to him…I believe that an infant or child who dies without having been baptized goes to God…How could it be otherwise? Children are quiet innocent, and Jesus has called them to himself.

Besides…There is there is the baptism of desire, and I know that there are parents who desire their children to be baptize, but for some reason known only to them and God, do not.

I will never believe that God would allow an unbaptized baby or child to spend eternity outside heaven.


#17

[quote=itsjustdave1988]Hmmmm… this has become a cliche lately. More accurately, the Church has indeed taught this concept, but not definitively.

The Catholic magisterium has taught that children who die in a state of original sin are punished (poena damni), insofar as they do not enjoy the Beatific Vision. But, they do not suffer the punishment of fire (poena sensus).

“***The punishment of original sin is deprivation of the vison of God, but the punishment of actual sin is the torments of everlasting hell.***” [Innocent III (1198-1216), *Enchiridion Symbolorum,
[/quote]

Thirtieth Edition, Henry Denzinger, 410]

“*The doctrine which rejects as a Pelagian fable, that place of the lower regions (which the faithful generally designate by the name of the limbo of children) in which the souls of those departing with the sole guilt of original sin are punished with the punishment of the condemned, exclusive of the punishment of fire, just as if, by this very fact, that these who remove the punishment of fire introduced that middle place and state free of guilt and of punishment between the kingdom of God and eternal damnation, such as that about which the Pelagians idly talk,–false,rash, injurious to Catholic schools.” *[Pius VI (1794), ibid., 1526]

We inherit the guilt of original sin (the lack of sanctification) until we are washed of that guilt either sacramentally or extra-sacramentally. If one is never washed of that guilt, even if they are children, then they will be punished. This punishment will not be the same as the punishment of those who have committed personal wickedness, but the Church clearly teaches that ANYONE who dies without being washed of their guilt will not attain eternal glory.

We can certainly have hope and pray that God will extra-sacramentally sanctify children who die without sacramental baptism.

Agreed.

But I think it’s presumptuous to hold as proved by the revelation of God that they are necessarily so sanctified.

The Pope recently asked that this inquiry be re opened.

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? …

Apparently the Pope believes it is possible that the matter may still be proved by the Revelation of God.

So, to continue:
Isn’t it doctrinal that only heaven and hell are eternal? If so, then what of those who do not attain eternal glory (i.e. heaven) and yet have committed no actual sin?

Sincerely,

De Maria


#18

First of all, I believe our misunderstanding generates from the definition of soul.

Catholic Encyclopedia definition of soul:

The soul may be defined as the ultimate internal principle by which we think, feel, and will, and by which our bodies are animated. The term “mind” usually denotes this principle as the subject of our conscious states, while “soul” denotes the source of our vegetative activities as well.

God brought us into being through Adam and Eve. Perfect in every way. It is through the decision of A&E to make their desires more important than that of their Creator and God. This separation of wills caused a profound rift in the relationship between mankind and God which shook throughout all of mankind forever.

Since Adam and Eve, we ARE seperated from God from the moment of our conception. WE must choose to reach across the rift and accept Him again. Though His arms are forever open to everyone- only some will make that decision.

When you speak of a pristine soul, I am not sure what you are referencing. I realize that we have no personal culpability to the decision made by Adam and Eve to become seperated by God. If this is what you mean by pristine, I guess I could go along with that. But I duly note that even without culpability I am still not welcome into Heaven until the effects of Original Sin are washed away.

So before I can comment further, I believe we should develop a common definition for soul.

As a side note, this conversation is very much like one I had with another individual whose question centered on why they needed to feel gratefull that Jesus died on the Cross for mankind, when it was not their sin in the first place… I find myself referencing that conversation as we move through this one.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=21473

Note also, that purgatory scours our souls clean from the temporal effects of ANY sin, mortal or venial. It will not take away actual sins.

You asked also, for a source for the comment regarding Limbo. There are a number of references in this source describing Limbo the same way Br. Rich did. I’m sure he has more specific sources, but I felt the need to work through some of these irregularities and misconceptions of what each of us were communicating- before we could get to the heart of the discussion.

Limbo- Catholic Encyclopedia

And maybe in the definition, you can find clarity.


#19

What is the condition of the soul which has not sinned personally and has not willfully opposed God before Baptism?

It is separated from God’s Sanctifying Grace because of Original Sin.

What of purgatory? Isn’t it an ordinary means of removing actual, venial sin? Isn’t venial sin more grave than Original Sin which is not an actual willful offense against God but only a condition of being born in the fallen nature of the flesh inherited from Adam and Eve?

Original Sin separates the soul from God’s sanctifying grace. Venial Sin does not sever the soul from God’s grace. Purgatory perfects the soul that has remaining temporal punishment due to forgiven mortal sins and unforgiven venial sin. Purgatory has no effect on Original Sin.

It is thought that God may supply the Grace of Baptism for those who may never have had the chance to receive Baptism. However it is thought that God does not supply the “Mark of Sacramental Baptism” on the soul. Thus allowing the soul to enter Heaven but not share in the beatific vision.

The Church holds two positions (I will find the references for you).

That no sin Original or Actual can enter Heaven.
That the soul that dies with only Original Sin is not punished with punishments of the condemned in Hell.


#20

[quote=De Maria] No, it relates to state of being. The absence of sanctifying grace does not by itself produce the existence of actual sin.
[/quote]

No but by it’s very nature, ORIGINAL SIN does keep our souls from being accepted into heaven. We have not removed by desire by washing, or by our blood, the spiritual rift that has existed in every human being since Adam and Eve (save the two mentioned above :wink: )

Remember, the soul is the combination of the flesh and the Spirit. The Spirit coming directly from God has no stain of actual sin on it.

No stain of culpable sin- but it DOES have the stain of Original Sin.

That depends on what you mean by “soul”. If by soul you mean the entire human being whose body and spirit constitute the soul, you are correct.

If however, you mean the Spirit which comes directly from God, then you are wrong. The spirit coming directly from God is always without stain and perfect. God doesn’t make errors and certainly doesn’t make anything imperfect on purpose.

Just because humanity carries the stain of Original Sin, does not mean that God isn’t perfect. It means that by free will, Adam and Eve choose to take the path that lead only to their Desires- not to God. This choice made it so that every human being after them would HAVE to choose to reunite themselves BACK to God before being allowed into heaven.

I don’t follow. I didn’t say that the soul was not born or conceived in Original Sin. I said that the soul is conceived without actual sin. Original sin is not actual sin as previously noted.
Do you see the difference?

Absolutely, and I reiterrated that distinction several times in my post.

I don’t know. Further on somebody says that a human soul can exist in a condition of heaven without enjoying the beatific vision (Limbo). I had always understood that the beatific vision was heaven and therefore the condition of Limbo must be temporary since only eternal conditions will exist after the Last Judgement. (Although I might be willing to admit such a condition for animals, I would hesitate to admit such for human souls because they are made in the image of God.)

But you can see the sticky part of this, and why we leave this up to GOD’s Mercy. The human souls which have never been baptised by water, blood or desire have never willingly choosen to accept God. Because of this- by the very nature of Original Sin they cannot achieve the beatific vision. It is my hope though, that God offers his Mercy in these cases- and provides those souls an opportunity to accept His Graces.

1028 Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man’s immediate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. The Church calls this contemplation of God in his heavenly glory “the beatific vision”:

How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God, . . . to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of heaven with the righteous and God’s friends.

well said.

But this doesn’t address my point that a human soul which has not committed sin should not be prevented from entering heaven.

I addressed this a bit just previous to this, in that unless that soul rids itself of Original Sin- it cannot share in the beatific vision.


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