Fate of non-Baptized infants


#1

What do you believe to be the fate of non–Baptized infants?

The Catholic Church does not teach that there is a Limbo of the Infants. It also does not teach that they are condemned to the Hell of the damned. It also does not teach that they without a doubt are in Heaven.

Do you believe along with the Protestants that children are born innocent and therefore do not require Baptism for Salvation?


#2

All babies go to heaven. It’s obvious that they are not full of evil. What more evidence is needed. God is just and merciful. Original sin is there but oportunity to choose is not. I believe freewill needs to be present for salvation or non salvation. If there is a default judgement for children, why would God who is victorious over evil send a baby to hell?

-D


#3

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]What do you believe to be the fate of non–Baptized infants?

The Catholic Church does not teach that there is a Limbo of the Infants. It also does not teach that they are condemned to the Hell of the damned. It also does not teach that they without a doubt are in Heaven.

Do you believe along with the Protestants that children are born innocent and therefore do not require Baptism for Salvation?
[/quote]

I was unaware that Protestants taught that infants were born innocent. I always heard (from Protestant pastors) that children were born with the sin nature. While it is true that they have not acted on that nature, nevertheless they are born with the stain of Adam.

Peace


#4

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]What do you believe to be the fate of non–Baptized infants?

Do you believe along with the Protestants that children are born innocent and therefore do not require Baptism for Salvation?
[/quote]

Bro. Rich,

Since you ask what I believe, I will tell you what I believe. I believe that there are no limits on God’s mercy and that He will do whatever He will do. Beyond that I haven’t a clue.

  • Liberian

who wishes there were a “dodging the question” smilie
:whistle:


#5

[quote=Liberian]Bro. Rich,

Since you ask what I believe, I will tell you what I believe. I believe that there are no limits on God’s mercy and that He will do whatever He will do. Beyond that I haven’t a clue.

  • Liberian

who wishes there were a “dodging the question” smilie
:whistle:
[/quote]

Good answer! Pope John Paul, shortly before he died, set up a commission (is this the proper term?) to study what happens to the souls of the aborted


#6

As to the teaching on Limbo in the 1950’s,

Please see #86, Baltimore Catechism online:

cin.org/users/james/ebooks/master/baltimore/bcreed05.htm

and the second paragraph, in the Catholic Encyclopedia,
published in the early part of the last century:

newadvent.org/cathen/09256a.htm

Are we saying that the Church:

-didn’t really teach it then

-that it did teach it then, but doesn’t teach it now

Hmmmmm.

I can’t believe it needs a Papal commission to decide
what is the probable fate of aborted babies, in the
hereafter.
.
Absolutely incredible, to me. Are they serious?
Have they not looked into an infant’s face?

But, then, that’s what happens when “grace” is
seen as a “commodity.” It loses it’s connection with
love.

reen12
Reared with the Baltimore Cathechism 1952-1958


#7

Although there was no formal Baptism of my daughter Meghan Catherine who died 6 1/2 months in my womb (in 1984). I wish for one day to see her, if at all possible. Also that her twin Joe can meet up with her in Heaven some day, after he leads a long and happpy life. I was taught as a child all un-Baptized babies go to Limbo, so I realy do not know truly what will happen to all the babies. But I hold on to that hope that maybe some day…


#8

I voted ‘perfect natural happiness’ as this is just what I’ve read in the past and seemed to make sense.


#9

I agree. “Grace” isn’t something that’s turned on and off like a light switch. That kind of love is, at best, human love. This is GOD we’re talking about. We have such an imperfect view of love and compassion that we can’t even begin to understand the love of God.

How can they say with a straight face, “God is Love”, but then attribute to Him qualities we don’t even give Satan? They should be ashamed of themselves.


#10

[quote=kaymart]Although there was no formal Baptism of my daughter Meghan Catherine who died 6 1/2 months in my womb (in 1984). I wish for one day to see her, if at all possible. Also that her twin Joe can meet up with her in Heaven some day, after he leads a long and happpy life. I was taught as a child all un-Baptized babies go to Limbo, so I realy do not know truly what will happen to all the babies. But I hold on to that hope that maybe some day…
[/quote]

Don’t worry, my friend. If you would put her in Heaven were it your choice, and I would, and everyone else here would, how much more so would God, whose love and mercy is infinite? Please do not look at it from the human perspective of “earning” our way to Heaven, as we make our “friends” and “loved ones” earn our respect, love, and admiration. The price has been paid. Your daughter earned her place through the Blood of Christ and the simple fact that God loved her enough to create her. God is not malicious. He IS Love.

I am confident you will see your daughter in Heaven, and I will be pleased to meet her there, too.


#11

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]What do you believe to be the fate of non–Baptized infants?

The Catholic Church does not teach that there is a Limbo of the Infants. It also does not teach that they are condemned to the Hell of the damned. It also does not teach that they without a doubt are in Heaven.

Do you believe along with the Protestants that children are born innocent and therefore do not require Baptism for Salvation?
[/quote]

There is a Councilior Canon using the word “Hell” instead of “Limbo.” However, either the same Canon, or another Canon from the same Council, assures that the experience of unbaptized infants in Hell is “different.”

Whether one uses the word “Limbo” or not, the underlying concept, that baptism is necessary, may not be denied.

Otherwise, baptism is just a charming custom which may be dispensed with, and the Original Sin doctrine is nonsense.


#12

[quote=reen12]As to the teaching on Limbo in the 1950’s,

Please see #86, Baltimore Catechism online:

cin.org/users/james/ebooks/master/baltimore/bcreed05.htm

and the second paragraph, in the Catholic Encyclopedia,
published in the early part of the last century:

newadvent.org/cathen/09256a.htm

Are we saying that the Church:

-didn’t really teach it then

-that it did teach it then, but doesn’t teach it now

Hmmmmm.
[/quote]

The State to which Christ’s Soul descended after His death has been called Limbo, or sometimes more specifically the Limbo of the Fathers. It was a temporary state in which waited the souls of all the dead who could not enter Heaven before Christ died on the Cross. The Church certainly teaches that this state did exist.

This is not the same as the state of Limbo suggested as a philosophical compromise for those who cannot reconcile the necessity of baptism with the Love and Mercy of God regarding unbaptized children and other persons who may have died not in a state of mortal sin.

One such group of people who had this difficulty were the Jansenists, who taught that unbaptized infants who died were condemned to the fires of Hell. Pope Pius VI condemned this teaching in 1794 by saying that one may believe in a limbo, a “middle state” of happiness that is not in heaven with God, and still be a Catholic (Errors of the Synod of Pistoia, No. 26, emphasis mine). This is the closest thing to an official Catholic Church teaching about unbaptized infants that mentions the possibility of Limbo. There is no official Church teaching that says that there definitely is a Limbo for unbaptized infants.


#13

[quote=Joseph Bilodeau]There is no official Church teaching that says that there definitely is a Limbo for unbaptized infants.
[/quote]

This is essentially wrong. The word “Limbo” is not used. Instead, the word “Hell” is used. The Canon, which I will try to find later, says that unbaptized infants go to “Hell,” but that the “punishment” is “different.”


#14

Here’s to faith in God’s mercy.

God bless,
Aaron


#15

It was a common belief in the 1940’s and 1950’s that the fate of unbaptized babies who die is that they go to a place called Limbo; a place of natural happiness, but yet excluded from the beatific vision of God for all eternity because they still bear the stain of original sin not washed away through baptism.

Proponents of the belief in Limbo cite the 2nd ecumenical council of Lyons in 1274 as the infallible teaching of the Church.

There are 2 seemingly contradictory ideas that cause consternation in many people regarding the salvation of unbaptized infants:

  1. God desires all to be saved.
  2. No one has a natural right to the beatific vision without being born again (Jn 3:5)

I think that Limbo was a theological attempt to harmonize these ideas.

Denzinger’s The Sources of Catholic Dogma *(Enchiridion Symbolorum) and *Dr. Ludwig Ott: Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Tan Books, both mention Limbo.

Under Denzinger, there are 2 passages that form the basis of the theological opinion of Limbo.

The first one is D 464, from the 2nd Council of Lyons in 1274 in which it says that "souls who die in the state of mortal sin or with original sin only immediately descend into hell, yet to be punished with different punishments.”

Ott states that this teaching is de fide, meaning that it is an infallible and irrevocable dogma of the Catholic Church. (Ott page 113-114, 4th edition, 1960)

The different punishments are for those who die in objective mortal sin who have freely rejected God’s grace and offer of salvation of their own free will, and those who have committed no personal sin, but are tainted by the sin of Adam, thus losing their original inheritance. Those in original sin only have no natural right to heaven. Only through the merits of Christ applied to them in Baptism is their soul regenerated.

The other Denzinger citation is D 1526 in which Pius VI (1775-1799) condemns the errors of the Synod of Pistoia. In it, Pius holds to the opinion of the existence of Limbo in condemning those who reject that original sin deprives us of the beatific vision.

Here Pius VI is not making an infallible declaration (not everything the pope says is infallible).

Ott, states that this dogma from the council of II Lyons finds its foundations in the words of Christ in Jn 3:5, “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.”

He (Ott) then goes on to explain various theological opinions.

  1. In it he says that the spiritual re-birth of young infants can be achieved in an extra-sacramental manner through baptism of blood.
  2. Other emergency means of baptism for children dying without sacramental baptism such as prayer and the desire of the parents or the Church (vicarious baptism as described by Cajetan), or the attainment of the use of reason in the moment of death so that the dying child can make a decision for or against God (baptism of desire, H. Klee) or the suffering and death of the child as a quasi-sacrament (baptism of suffering, H Schell).

In these, Ott says that these are indeed possible, but cannot be proved from Revelation.


#16

Hi, mhansen,

quote: mhansen

How can they say with a straight face, “God is Love”, but then attribute to Him qualities we don’t even give Satan? They should be ashamed of themselves.

Amen.

As you said

The price has been paid. Your daughter earned her place through the Blood of Christ and the simple fact that God loved her enough to create her

.

We will all rejoice together, one day, in the love and
mercy of God, through Christ.

Maureen


#17

Dear Joseph Bilodeau,

quote:Joseph Bilodeau

There is no official Church teaching that says that there definitely is a Limbo for unbaptized infants.

We were taught that there was a Limbo…huh?
I can’t imagine the suffering that that "teaching"
has created.

Please see my reference links, above, that cite
the actual teachings of same, in the 1950’s.
[post #6]

Best regards,

reen12


#18

Why wasn’t there the option to vote that they are in Hell but not punished like those who have Actual Sin?

It is a dogma of faith (you must believe it or cease to be in full communion with the Catholic Church) that since Christ instituted Baptism and His Church, EVERYONE who dies with the stain of Original Sin goes to Hell.
The Church Fathers have offered that those who die without Actual Sin (infants and retarded) go to Hell- but are not tormented and although they are happy- they miss the Beatific Vision. For this reason- among other, more humanistic ones- it is horrible to abort an infant.
All infants who die before Baptism cannot have a Mass said for it; and, it cannot be burried on “holy ground” - surely this says alot.
Truthfully, this topic cannot be “discussed among Catholics” since the Church has already given the word, in Dogmatic form. You must agree with Her.


#19

Dear waxednwaned,

I read your post.

quote: waxednwanded

It is a dogma of faith (you must believe it or cease to be in full communion with the Catholic Church)…

Is it?

If it is, then I wouldn’t* want* to be “…in full communion
with the Catholic Church…” [it’s a moot point, since
I rest in Christ, and sing the hymn Blessed Assurance,
no longer a member of a Church that cannot say
with certainty that the souls of unbaptized infants
go straight to God.]

You might check the catechism, #1261

catholicdoors.com/catechis/cat1200.htm#1257

Even that is insufficient, IMHO, but that’s what it says.

Best,

reen12


#20

[quote=reen12]…We were taught that there was a Limbo…huh?
I can’t imagine the suffering that that "teaching"
has created.

Please see my reference links, above, that cite
the actual teachings of same, in the 1950’s.
[post #6]…
[/quote]

I’m sure this is what your schoolteachers did teach you, but that is not what I mean when I say the definite existence (or the definite non-existence) of this Limbo (as opposed to the Limbo of the Fathers), is not official Church teaching. Sometimes complex concepts are oversimplified when taught to children, and the idea of this being a philosophical compromise may not have been sufficiently stressed, or possibly your teachers were themselves not adequately informed in this regard.

As to the suffering this hypothesis may have caused, its intentions were just the opposite! It was meant as a reassurance for bereaved parents to believe that their children were enjoying eternal happiness rather than suffering eternal damnation.


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