Infant Baptism

Much discussion has gone one over the past few days about Limbo and infant Baptism. I personally hope and believe that infants who die before Baptism are with God. Others disagree.
Today I had a “lightbulb” moment. Can someone help please?
If both parents of an infant are baptised Catholics/Christians and therefore free from original sin, how can the newly conceived child inherit from them origial sin? They through their baptism have been freed and if both parents are freed then they cannot transmit O/S to the child.
This then leaves Baptism as an initiating sacrament, and necessary to enter into the household of God, but not necessarily having original sin. From where does the child get O/S if parents have been freed from it?
Thanks for answers.
Grace Angel.

Interesting line of reasoning:hmmm:

Thank you I have been struggling with O/S and Limbo and in utero deaths (abortion/miscarriage) and all forms of neonatal death, this past week, and I had this “lightbulb” moment today and I havent been able to stop thinking about it.
God Bless
Grace Angel.
I hope some board theologian can help.

Just being a devil’s advocate here.

It doesn’t sound like original sin is something a child inherits from its parents and them alone, like the family house. Rather it’s inherent in being human - if a person is descended from Adam and Eve then he or she will be born with it.

Otherwise arguably, Christ never would have said that salvation is impossible for anyone not ‘reborn of water and the Spirit’ (baptised, though possibly under some broad application of ‘baptism of desire’ or some other means unknown to us). He probably would have revealed that the unbaptised children of baptised parents are exempt, which He hasn’t.

Still doesn’t mean we can’t hope for heaven for them, as we hope for heaven for all people, and trust them to God’s mercy.

Lily I hear what you are saying, but if everything that it human is inherited from parents and the spirit is breathed by God, and if the parents have had original sin washed way, how can they pass on something that they no longer have. Is not all of sin washed away? Or is original sin left in the parents so that they can pass it on to their child. It doesnt make sense.
Grace angel.

The effect of baptism on our own original sin is obviously not such that we can pass that effect on to our children.

It’s more like a spiritual version of the weakness in our immune system that permits us to catch diseases such as polio. Every human, by the mere fact of being human, is born with this imperfect immune system, and hence with the ability to catch polio.

Each individual thus needs to be immunised against polio, and that immunisation guarantees only that they personally will never catch the disease. Parents don’t pass that immunity on to their children, and thus need to ensure that their kids are immunised too.


I am going to refer you to the CCC #404

404 How did the sin of Adam become the sin of all his descendants? The whole human race is in Adam “as one body of one man”.By this “unity of the human race” all men are implicated in Adam’s sin, as all are implicated in Christ’s justice. Still, the transmission of original sin is a mystery that we cannot fully understand. But we do know by Revelation that Adam had received original holiness and justice not for himself alone, but for all human nature. By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state. It is a sin which will be transmitted by propagation to all mankind, that is, by the transmission of a human nature deprived of original holiness and justice. 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.

Also remember that infant baptism is not only a washing away of sin, but a commitment of the parents, god parents, and church to raise and guide the child to God. In the case of miscarriages, the "Baptism of Desire"would kick in. This is the desire of the parents to baptize and raise the child. As for abortions, the “Baptism of Blood” would be involved. Remember all the children that were slain by Herod at the birth of Jesus. We celebrate the feast of the Holy Innocents, which means these children are in Heaven. We hope that these poor souls that have past are received into heaven by God’s infinite mercy.

I may be a little off from your original concern.

But Lili if parents are immunised they cannot pass a disease. with rubella if a mother is immunised then the child is safe from G measles. if the mother is not immunised then heaven forbid.
Lily If O/s is washed away by waters of baptism. then all the inclination should be washed away (parents) not just what we want to think is washed away. further it is like immusing someone against any of the diseases when they dont need to be immunised.
Sorry I am getting more and more thingy (oz word) about this.

It’s OK. I think CCC 404, as the previous poster said, is correct - exactly how OS is transmitted is a mystery really.

True, immunisation of the mother protects a child against German measles, it’s unique in that way. Children surely do need their shots against whooping cough, diptheria and a whole bunch of other diseases regardles of whether the parents were immunised against them or not.

And I’m saying OS is like the human being born WITHOUT immunity to a lot of diseases - it’s just part of being human that you have the ability to catch 'em, and normally what your parents do by way of immunising themselves against 'em won’t prevent YOU from catching 'em - you need to personally be immunised.

So Lili if both mothr and father are immunised against a lot of diseased and O/S should the child be immunised against same?
I feel like I am being a bit like an australian terrier over this.
Grace Angel,
Goodnight off to zzzzzzzzzz

Let’s try a different analogical track here. Without being a good enough scholastic to know what theological flaws might lie in my image, think of Original Sin more as a physical condition like poor eyesight. This condition can be remedied by grace without totally effacing it in human nature - baptism gives us glasses/contacts, but doesn’t change our DNA to prevent the same condition from being passed on.

Hello Andreas,
OK we will go with poor eyesight which can be remedied with glasses. So how did we get that poor eyesight? Is it genetic or did you (or me) get punched in the eye. Remember a new infant wouldnt be punched in the ye so it has to be genetic. If the parents, grandparents, greatgrandparents dont have the gnetic problem where did this come from?

No - such things don’t have to be the result of trauma either. I have a condition called ‘lazy eye’. I was simply born with it, never got it remedied (I used to throw away the letters from the school nurse) and it stayed.

Not genetic, neither of my parents have the condition. Not the result of any sort of trauma or injury either. My eyes simply weren’t formed in the womb with perfect function. It happens!

If you are in doubt about what the Church teaches about Original Sin, may I recommend beginning with the Catholic Encyclopedia entry on Original Sin? Here is the link:

Keep in mind that Baptism doesn’t erase all of the punishments awarded to Adam and Eve (and us by extension) as a result of the Original Sin. After baptism we still have a darkened intellect, concupiscence, can suffer from disease and death, and we pass this defect of nature on to our children as well.

Read what the Church has taught on the subject. I cite the Catholic Encyclopedia because it’s online (if there was an online reference to Denzinger’s Sources of Catholic Dogma I would cite that).

OK, Lily accidents of nature happen. we can go with that. O/S occurs with every human being except of course the two known ones.
I can accpt O/S as an accident of nature here and there randomly, but this is EVERYONE .

I think that we need to start with that we know the Church teachs on this. That all are concieved with original sin. It can lead one into heretical thinking if one assumes from the outset that what is know to be true, isn’t.
Holy Mother Church teaches original sin. Let us start with that truth and work out from that…

rciadan, I am not suggesting heresy or heretical thinking, I am asking a simple question which I had hoped someone with loads of theological training could answer with some thoughtfulness.
Grace Angel.

The parents and all other ancestors do have the genetic problem, though. Adam and Eve’s sin damaged their nature so that the “genes” they passed on carried a condition that can be remedied but never eliminated to the point that they will not pass it to their children. That’s why baptism was the eyeglasses, everyone’s eyesight in this analogy can be fixed, but all children still inherit the condition.

:hmmm: I’m thinking the answer may lie in the location of Original Sin. Is it bodily or imprinted on every human soul? Our souls are not made up of DNA, so nothing would be passed from parent’s souls to child’s soul.

Besides, if OS was wiped out by the Baptism of both parents, then infant Baptism would not be required at all unless the parents were to convert after giving birth.

BTW…when is this moving to the Apologetics Forum? :smiley:

Hello Andreas,

I can go with everything you said, even the analogy, but how do children in herit this flaw in their nature?
Remember the parents who have been baptised had that flaw corrected, so if there is no flaw in the parents where does it come from? the air. “ex nihilo” from God? (God creates with a flaw?)
from where does this flaw come from assuming that parents are baptised? that is my question.
Dont worry I am a Catholic will remain a Catholic, will always be a ctholic, love being a catholic will not ever become a non catholic. I had a “light bulb” moment about this question and hoped someone could answer this for me.
have a good day,
Grace Angel.

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