Infant Baptism of Desire on behalf of the Parent(s) as an exception?


#1

Hi,

I have heard of baptism, baptism of desire, and baptism of blood. It seems infant baptism is based on the parents choice. If that is the case, an unbaptized infant on their way to be baptized who died in a car accident with their parents would not reach heaven.

In light of baptism of desire and of blood, why couldn't it be taught that there the desire of the parents to baptize their infant would suffice for the infants entry into heaven? After all, the parents are proclaiming faith and baptism (or is it the Godparents?) for the infant. This could apply to miscarried babies too.

Part of the answer seems to be that it doesn't appear in Tradition or Scripture, right?

Why would God put an infants salvation on the decisions of adults who may be ignorant or unwilling to baptize their child?

What happens if an infant is baptized in Jesus' Name only? Not sure if the oneness Pentecostals do infant baptism or not, but regardless, what if the formula was wrong, does the child not reach heaven?

Thanks and God Bless You,
Brian


#2

[quote="GodHeals, post:1, topic:321293"]
Hi,

I have heard of baptism, baptism of desire, and baptism of blood. It seems infant baptism is based on the parents choice. If that is the case, an unbaptized infant on their way to be baptized who died in a car accident with their parents would not reach heaven.

In light of baptism of desire and of blood, why couldn't it be taught that there the desire of the parents to baptize their infant would suffice for the infants entry into heaven? After all, the parents are proclaiming faith and baptism (or is it the Godparents?) for the infant. This could apply to miscarried babies too.

Part of the answer seems to be that it doesn't appear in Tradition or Scripture, right?

Why would God put an infants salvation on the decisions of adults who may be ignorant or unwilling to baptize their child?

What happens if an infant is baptized in Jesus' Name only? Not sure if the oneness Pentecostals do infant baptism or not, but regardless, what if the formula was wrong, does the child not reach heaven?

Thanks and God Bless You,
Brian

[/quote]

Why would God put an infants salvation on the decisions of adults who may be ignorant or unwilling to baptize their child?

This is an interesting question. I happen to love infant baptism and actually witnessed my first adult baptism at the Easter Vigil on Saturday. I loved how this person was clothed with a white garment.

What I do think about infant baptism is that is shows how wide God's love is and how it fits the very nature of who God is and how God loves us. God loves us before we do. God knows us before we know Him.

God does not withhold His love from anyone. It does not matter to God how old you are or how smart you are or how well you understand Him when you are baptized, just openness to Him and trust in Him.

Who is more open than an infant? Who is more trusting that an infant? An infant is dependent on his needs being met by a loving caretaker. How beautiful that a parent takes their child in such love and trust to present to God - in a way its like returning to God the gift He has given us. The gift of life. Its like saying thank you God for this perfect unconditional love that you wished to bestow on me, I offer it back to You to bless and protect this life that You God have given so freely.

We cannot limit God's love because we just cannot completely understand how God's grace works and He does say...

in Matthew 19:14, "...Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."


#3

The question of children who die before Baptism is one that we have not been able to answer definitively. This is what the Church has to say on the subject, quoting from the Catechism (paragraph 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.

In other words, we don't/can't know for certain that these children go to heaven, but we have good reason -- knowing of God's great mercy -- to hope that they do.

God bless!


#4

Thank you all for the postings. I guess there is not definitive answers to my questions?

I just wonder why limbo was removed if it still seems it is an option. I think limbo might be a place in hell where infants don't suffer for their sins because they haven't committed personal sin, but also don't reach beatitude / the beatific vision, that is, go to heaven. I heard this is much like being in the Garden of Gethsemane for all eternity. Not sure that is a bad deal, but since i don't what heaven is like, I would like to be in heaven given it is said by Jesus to be what no eye has seen nor ear has heard.... not sure if this means we would be in a closer relationship with God or not, since in the Garden, Adam and Eve were in direct relationship with God.


#5

[quote="GodHeals, post:4, topic:321293"]
Thank you all for the postings. I guess there is not definitive answers to my questions?

I just wonder why limbo was removed if it still seems it is an option. I think limbo might be a place in hell where infants don't suffer for their sins because they haven't committed personal sin, but also don't reach beatitude / the beatific vision, that is, go to heaven. I heard this is much like being in the Garden of Gethsemane for all eternity. Not sure that is a bad deal, but since i don't what heaven is like, I would like to be in heaven given it is said by Jesus to be what no eye has seen nor ear has heard.... not sure if this means we would be in a closer relationship with God or not, since in the Garden, Adam and Eve were in direct relationship with God.

[/quote]

Limbo was not removed. It never was an official teaching. It became a popular idea though.

But the Church, contrary to its critics, does not just make things up just because they would be nice, make sense or seem like a logical or compassionate thing God would do.


#6

[quote="GodHeals, post:4, topic:321293"]
Thank you all for the postings. I guess there is not definitive answers to my questions?

I just wonder why limbo was removed if it still seems it is an option. I think limbo might be a place in hell where infants don't suffer for their sins because they haven't committed personal sin, but also don't reach beatitude / the beatific vision, that is, go to heaven. I heard this is much like being in the Garden of Gethsemane for all eternity. Not sure that is a bad deal, but since i don't what heaven is like, I would like to be in heaven given it is said by Jesus to be what no eye has seen nor ear has heard.... not sure if this means we would be in a closer relationship with God or not, since in the Garden, Adam and Eve were in direct relationship with God.

[/quote]

As MariaG said, limbo was never an official doctrine of the Church. It became pretty broadly accepted, but the Church has more recently started to reiterate that it's not an official teaching, but just speculation. Saint Augustine endorsed the idea as a way of reconciling the fact that Baptism is necessary for salvation with the fact that a merciful God likely wouldn't condemn innocent children to hell.

We have come to understand, however, that a Sacramental Baptism with water isn't always necessary -- the Baptisms of Blood and Baptisms of Desire that you mentioned, for example, being recognized 'exceptions' (for lack of a better word). We know that God works through the Sacraments of the Church, but we also know that he is not limited by them! He can choose to work outside of that context if he wishes. We have no definitive way of knowing that he does in the case of infants, but we have good reason to think he might and hope he does.

My own personal speculation is that the Baptism of Desire applies, at least for many infants who die before Baptism. The Church teaches that people who are ignorant of the faith can be saved because they would have desired Baptism if they had known of its necessity. Well, children are ignorant of the faith! God knows if they would have accepted him by choice in adulthood, and, I suspect, chooses saves them on that basis. Again, this is my own speculation, not Church teaching!

In the Catechism (paragraph 1260) it says, "Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity."

God bless!


#7

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