Do unbaptised infant dead go to heaven?


#1

Here is CCC 1261

**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,” 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.


Basically, the Catholic church doesn’t say for sure either way. So I suppose that means that we are allowed to believe whatever we like for this question, or even just take a guess. What do you think?

I think we’ll only really know for sure if or when we get to heaven and see all those cradles there, or not there as the case may be. But until then, I reckon that they do go to heaven.


#2

I was udner the impression they spent eternity in a state of natural bliss opposed to the supernatural joy of the Light of Gods Glory. I thought this was called limbo. Maybe i am mistaken, anyone kno wbetter than I?


#3

I remeber hearing that thous who were never given a chance to accept or regect Christ could receive salvation (I can’t say for sure, It was something that I HEARD and I am sure that if I am wrong someone will come and scould me for it) so I would assume that unbaptised infants would possobly go to heaven. Of course this is under the assumption that what I have heard is true. A kind of conditional statement, If… Then…


#4

My answer is not listed

Maybe or hopefully


#5

[quote=Flopfoot]Here is CCC 1261

**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,” 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.


Basically, the Catholic church doesn’t say for sure either way. So I suppose that means that we are allowed to believe whatever we like for this question, or even just take a guess. What do you think?

I think we’ll only really know for sure if or when we get to heaven and see all those cradles there, or not there as the case may be. But until then, I reckon that they do go to heaven.
[/quote]

You may believe whatever you like as long as you do not believe that they are in Hell or Heaven for certain, without any doubt.


#6

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]You may believe whatever you like as long as you do not believe that they are in Hell or Heaven for certain, without any doubt.
[/quote]

Well, Thanks for proving me wrong. I am going to go into my room and cry myself to sleep :crying: . Acctually thanks for the readjustment I don’t want to go around with a false ara of confidence to only get slapped down and and embarres the Church. So thanks :thumbsup: .


#7

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]You may believe whatever you like as long as you do not believe that they are in Hell or Heaven for certain, without any doubt.
[/quote]

Agreed. That’s not what I was trying to ask about in this poll. I know that we can’t know for sure where they are. In fact, there would be no point having a poll on it if we knew for sure. But since we don’t know for sure, then if you had to take a guess, where would you suppose that they are?


#8

I guess its simple as this: no one knows for sure. But the traditional Catholic belief is summed up as follows(taken from here)

The New Testament contains no definite statement of a positive kind regarding the lot of those who die in original sin without being burdened with grievous personal guilt. But, by insisting on the absolute necessity of being “born again of water and the Holy Ghost” (John 3:5) for entry into the kingdom of Heaven (see “Baptism,” subtitle Necessity of Baptism), Christ clearly enough implies that men are born into this world in a state of sin, and St. Paul’s teaching to the same effect is quite explicit (Romans 5:12 sqq.). On the other hand, it is clear form Scripture and Catholic tradition that the means of regeneration provided for this life do not remain available after death, so that those dying unregenerate are eternally excluded from the supernatural happiness of the beatific vision (John 9:4, Luke 12:40, 16:19 sqq., 2 Corinthians 5:10; see also “Apocatastasis”). The question therefore arises as to what, in the absence of a clear positive revelation on the subject, we ought in conformity with Catholic principles to believe regarding the eternal lot of such persons. Now it may confidently be said that, as the result of centuries of speculation on the subject, we ought to believe that these souls enjoy and will eternally enjoy a state of perfect natural happiness; and this is what Catholics usually mean when they speak of the limbus infantium, the “children’s limbo.”


#9

It’s my understanding that “salvation” in the Catechism means “salvation from Hell,” but not necessarily heaven. So when someone dies never having been baptised, they may enter a state of eternal bliss but be deprived of the beatific vision, since we cannot enter heaven without some form of baptism, be it desire, blood, or water.

This is what an apologist once told me. Is it true? I imagine if unbaptised infants could go to heaven, then the concept of limbo would never have been developed.


#10

Well in order to experience and rejoice in the Light of Gods Glory, it is necesary that we be in a state of sanctifying grace.

When we were born our soul was, spiritually speaking dark and empty-spiritually dead. There was no bond of union between our soul and God. If, without baptism, we had reached the use of reason and had died without commiting a single personal sin(a purely imaginary hypothesiis, actually impossible), we still wouldn’t have gone to heaven. We would have entered into a state of natural happiness which, for want of a better name, we call limbo. But we never would have seen God, face to face, and as He really is.
…by our nature as human beings we have no right to that direct vision of God which constitutes the essential happiness of heaven. Not even Adam and Eve, before their ffll, had any right to heaven. In fact, the human soul, in what we might call its purley natural state, simply has not got the power to see God; it has not got the capacity for intimate, personal union with God.

Heaven is a gift of God and it is only possible by His Divine grace(namley what we call Sanctifying grace). If I understand correctly Heaven will only be possible for us as God loves Himself through us. However when we sin gravley, we cut ourselves off from His love and are thus incapable of experiencing and rejoicing in the Beauty and Unspeakable Magnificence in the Light of God’s glory.

I took this stuff rfom a book called “The Faith Explained” by Leo Trese. I highly recomend it!


#11

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]You may believe whatever you like as long as you do not believe that they are in Hell or Heaven for certain, without any doubt.
[/quote]

I prayed the chaplet of divine mercy earlier tonight. It seems pretty clear that the Lord wishes us to understand the vast mercy that he has to offer. An infant cant even plot or premeditate a single sin against God. I am positive they are in heaven. I know this is a touchy subject with original sin. The thing is if they cant premeditate a sin then they cant premeditate a decision to follow Christ. As far as I’m concerned it’s common sense. They are exclusionary in this battle.

-D


#12

[Flopfoot]Here is CCC 1261

**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,” 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.

Basically, the Catholic church doesn’t say for sure either way. So I suppose that means that we are allowed to believe whatever we like for this question, or even just take a guess. What do you think?

Well, the idea that unbaptized infants hung out in “limbo” was thrown around in the 1940’s and 50’s and is still a theological possiblity, but not a very popular one. The idea was that since they can’t be condemned to hell without having actual sin, and since they can’t enter heaven, since they still have original sin they would be in a place perfect happiness. The Church does as you’ve quoted from the Catechism say that we leave them to the mercy of God and the bottom line is that’s what we have to do with them and in reality with others whom we don’t know if they died with sanctifying grace. We can pray and hope and leave the rest up to a Holy and gracious God. In reality we all deserve hell, yet Gods mercy is so rich and abundant, if we only follow Him in as St. Paul calls, in sort of book end statements in Rom 1 and 16
"the obedience of faith."

Now my “opinion” which is strictly my own opinion, and well within Catholic speculative theology is that the sacraments were placed on Earth by God for us. We need the sacraments in order to receive grace to acheive eternal salvation. However, God being omniscient isn’t limited to anything nor the sacraments, He’s beyond them and can save whom He wishes to save.

Jesus said in Mark 10:13-14:
"And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, "Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."
So Jesus has a special place in His heart for the children and He is there for them too.

I think we’ll only really know for sure if or when we get to heaven and see all those cradles there, or not there as the case may be. But until then, I reckon that they do go to heaven.

I personally believe that too since David also said that he would see his baby in paradise (heaven) the same baby born of Bathsheba in an adulterous affair and died; Gods way of giving David a temporal punishment for the sins he had already been eternally forgiven for.
Although this is what I personally believe I can only say for sure in a theological sense what the Church teaches, yet I still have the hope that all of those precious babies will be there in perfect peace with our Lord because He is a God of mercy and justice :slight_smile:


#13

I thought that was the case – I wasn’t aware that was speculative theology. How were the old testament saints saved?


#14

[quote=Anonymous_1] Now it may confidently be said that, as the result of centuries of speculation on the subject, we ought to believe that these souls enjoy and will eternally enjoy a state of perfect natural happiness; and this is what Catholics usually mean when they speak of the limbus infantium, the “children’s limbo.”
[/quote]

This may be confidently said as the result of centuries of speculation? That seems to be a stretching of the meaning of “confidently”


My personal speculation is that the speculation on limbo is the expression of our western desire to explain everything and leave nothing unanswered or in the realm of mystery. Thus we are uncomfortable simply saying, “I entrust them to the justice and mercy of God. God will do as he sees fit.”


#15

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]You may believe whatever you like as long as you do not believe that they are in Hell or Heaven for certain, without any doubt.
[/quote]

It’s certain that there is no guarantee from God that they will be in heaven.

It’s also as certain that they will not be in heaven as it is that the sun will not stand still.

But God sometimes makes the sun stand still, so he could conceivably save an unbaptized person. But even if he does in one case, that does not mean he would do it in all cases.


#16

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]My answer is not listed

Maybe or hopefully
[/quote]

Ditto, the correct answer is “we hope so, but we don’t know”


#17

[quote=Prometheum_x]I thought that was the case – I wasn’t aware that was speculative theology. How were the old testament saints saved?
[/quote]

**I’m NOT saying that sacraments are speculative theology, not at all! **I didn’t mean that and I reread what I wrote which sounds that way. The seven sacraments of the Catholic Church are dei fide dogma’s and aren’t part of speculative theology. I was just making the point that the OT saints didn’t have them but had those things that prefigured sacraments, i.e., circumcision became baptism.

The Old Testament saints were saved like we are, by faith and obedience. Hebrews 11 is a chapter of what’s called hagiography which is the study of the saints and tells us about saints i.e. Abraham, Joseph, Rahab, Noah et al., who had faith and obedience to God even in trials and suffering. Those who were under the Levitical law had to obey Gods commands of the Law through circumcision, animal sacrifice, food obligations etc. but they were also bound by the moral laws of God too. They had to obey what God had revealed or commanded them to do. Obviously God hadn’t revealed that there was three persons within the Godhead (Trinity) yet ONE God. They could only follow in faith and obedience what had been revealed to them.

I sometimes write in my mind without explaining with my fingers what I’m thinking, although I’d be the first to admit that I don’t know as much as some but more than most Catholics. What I meant was, “limbo” was/is speculative theology in that what happens to unbaptized babies hasn’t been defined for us specifically by the magisterium. What has been defined is that the Church leaves the children up to the mercy of God. If one wants to believe in “limbo” as a Catholic then that’s fine, provided one stays within Church teaching that baptism is necessary for salvation and is the ordinary way to infuse sanctifying grace into the soul.

If, for example someone holds to the idea that unbaptized babies can’t or will not beyond a shadow of doubt go to heaven or that they go to hell, then they are outside of what the Church has proclaimed, since the Catholic Church doesn’t say one way or another.

Protestants often wrongly assert that Catholics can’t think on our own, but they don’t really understand speculative theology, which stimulates debate in Catholic theologians and if the matter needs to be settled, the pope takes hold and proclaims what God has revealed, or at least gives guidelines as to what we can believe.

The problem with speculative theology is that the liberals/decenters (especially theologians/priests) take it and abuse its intent, because is gives them a platform to spew their outrageous and rebellious words against the papacy and traditional/historical Christian orthodoxy.

christi simus non nostri


#18

In theologians’ parlance the word “speculative” need not mean uncertain. Many things fall into the realm of what is technically called “speculative theology” but which are actually certain truths.

For instance, that the Holy Spirit proceeds not by generation but through spiration is a dogma, even though it is within the realm of “speculative theology” or “speculative doctrine.”

Much of sacramentology is also under the realm of “speculative theology.”

So it’s important to not when reading theology books to import an improper, incorrect colloquial, secular-dictionary inspired understanding of words into the reading of them :slight_smile:


#19

[quote=tuopaolo]In theologians’ parlance the word “speculative” need not mean uncertain. Many things fall into the realm of what is technically called “speculative theology” but which are actually certain truths.

For instance, that the Holy Spirit proceeds not by generation but through spiration is a dogma, even though it is within the realm of “speculative theology” or “speculative doctrine.”

Much of sacramentology is also under the realm of “speculative theology.”

So it’s important to not when reading theology books to import an improper, incorrect colloquial, secular-dictionary inspired understanding of words into the reading of them :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Yes, I see your point and assertion about sacramentology and thanks for the advice. Truly the Catholic Church hasn’t explicitly nor fully explained what happens in transubstantiation, and perhaps never will in its totality, yet we still know it be true. I see your point that there is still the unexplained mystery in speculative in that sense which explains why the Church uses the word sacrament which comes from the Latin word sacramentum meaning “mystery.”

I was trying to correct myself so as to not mislead anyone to thinking that we had the option, as Catholics, to believe one way or another about the sacraments (that they are optional).


#20

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