Is the Eastern Orthodox Church correct

I have already, multiple times, adressed this. I thought it was pretty clear. I really don’t know how much more clear I can make it:
Yes, it is an official teaching that those with original sin or actual mortal sin on their souls would go to Hell. However, this doesn’t mean there isn’t hope for the souls that have not been sacramentally baptized, as God can work outside of the Sacraments so as to clean the soul of an unbaptized infant of original sin prior to or at the moment of death.
In this manner, the “unbaptized” infant would not have original sin on his or her soul, and therefore would not be kept from the Beatific Vision.

Perhaps, but I am defending Catholicism here, not just my “version” of it. Also, a very important word is “naturally”. But we believe in a Supernatural God!

I am not quite sure what you mean by this, but if it is that original sin is not sin/spiritual death but a physical death only, then that seems to be a huge problem in terms of the Bible and Church teachings.

“Sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so [death] spread to all as all men sinned in him”

But a lot of the disagreement, to me, seems like semantics between East and West, but that’s a different topic.

And with you.

Thank you for the thoughtful question. Though, I would say that it is less the teaching on purgatory changed (as we are still very much allowed to hold it) but rather the attitude changed in that we can hope for unbaptized children since God can work outside the Sacraments.
Here is what the Baltimore Catechism says:
“Persons, such as infants, who have not committed actual sin and who, through no fault of theirs, die without baptism, cannot enter heaven; but it is the common belief they will go to some place similar to Limbo, where they will be free from suffering, though deprived of the happiness of heaven.”
Note that the idea that they will go to some place similar to limbo is called a “common idea”. I suppose, then, that the concern here would be that it says they cannot enter Heaven. This is because it affirms that baptism is necessary for salvation. However, the questions continue and it affirms that there are three types of baptism: of blood, of water, and of desire.
It is not so much that this is in question, but rather the hope we can have in the fact that God is not bound by the Sacraments. This is the simple way of facts that we have; yet we cannot discount the supernatural actions and desire of God for all men to be saved.

I do not think it is being claimed that babies would normally go to Heaven regardless of their baptism, but rather the hope we have that God is not bound by the Sacraments leads us to have hope of unbaptized infants attaining the Beatific Vision.

But, as far as I know, a catechism isn’t official Church teaching but is supposed to teach Church teaching. Hence, a Catechism may not be as specific and detail-oriented as the things it seeks to summarize.
Hence, a Catechism could be changed or may even be in error (though if it were, one would hope it would be corrected as soon as this is noticed).

Present teaching can be changed depending upon what is meant by “present teaching”. That which is infallibly defined and believed cannot be changed (outside of the natural development like a calf growing to an adult cow, but (as I already said) not like a cow becoming a fish). However, that which is merely common theological opinion can be changed over time. This gets into the level of submission due to various teachings. You can read more on that here (note it is from 2013):

Since I was tagged in this thread, and the entirety of two of my posts were quoted here, I suppose I ought to say something. I in no way endorse any speculation that the Eastern Orthodox Churches could constitute the true religion, but since I have neither the expertise nor much interest in the theological considerations of schismatics, I will not comment much on that issue.

The “refusal of submission,” according to canonical tradition, refers to a denial of the authority of the Roman Pontiff in principle, and not simply disobedience in practice. A person who disobeys the command of a superior in practice does not necessarily deny, in principle, that said superior has authority. As Fr. Thomas C. Glover, JCD, writes in his book Is Tradition Excommunicated?:

A mere act of disobedience to a superior does not imply denial that the superior holds office or has authority. The child who says, “I won’t!” to his mother does not deny that she is his mother; the soldier ordered to polish his buttons by his officer, who instead smokes a cigarette, is not denying the validity of the Queen’s commission.

The Orthodox are in schism because they deny Roman primacy in principle, and have established their own hierarchy, claiming their own jurisdiction apart from the Roman Pontiff. The SSPX, however, are not in schism, precisely because they do not do this: while many have criticized Abp. Lefebvre for being “disobedient” in 1988 by consecrating bishops without pontifical mandate, he did not pretend to confer jurisdiction without the approval of the Holy See, following the teaching of Pius XII that “jurisdiction passes to bishops only through the Roman Pontiff” (Ad Apostolorum Principis 39).

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What the EO teach according to OCA:
“Concerning the original—or “first”—sin, that is commited by Adam and Eve, Orthodoxy believes that, while everyone bears the consequences of the first sin, the foremost of which is death, only Adam and Eve are guilty of that sin. Roman Catholicism teaches that everyone bears not only the consequence, but also the guilt, of that sin.”

Or put another way, man is born personally sinless, yet inherits the consequence of original sin, chiefly death and an inclination towards sin.

Yes, and this confuses me as it seems very much what we teach…from what I grasp, we teach that original sin is different from actual sin, and through it we are born dead spiritually and will die physically. I guess it is the use of the term “guilt”? Yet when we say one is guilty of original sin, we mean it in a much different way than one guilty of actual sin. Ah well. I will pray for you. Please pray for me.

Hello rose0325 and welcome, I appreciate your input here.

As for the question of is the EOC correct or not, I suppose I’m working through my own spiritual journey and in that sense I guess that’s up for me to decide, but this thread does seem to be helping and it has been insightful.


Yes the sticking point is guilt, if we inherit the guilt of the sin and then a unborn or unbaptized baby or person with no personal sin dies, they are subject to that guilt ( deprived of the beatific vision), whereas in EO no guilt is inherited, thus if a unborn or unbaptized baby or person with no personal sin dies, they would not be subject to any guilt (not deprived or the beatific vision).

I absolutely will, and please do, peace brother :v:

Augustine rather clearly didn’t see the door as closed on that, or that his work was complete, on that issue.

He left a note in the margin (“limbus”) to the effect of, “but what about infants?”

This note in the limbus is the source of the notion of “Limbo” (which itself is not Catholic doctrine, in spite have been being taught . . . [I think it even worked its way into the Catechism ]).

If you do the research on this, from western sources, you find the popes spending a century or so fighting this addition prior to adopting it. (No, I don’t have sources at hand, but I think even wikipedia will have this much, and I would expect attribution on something this basic).

The initial contest (like so many things) was fighting Arianism.

I don’t have citations at hand, but there are papal writings about the three Petrine sees actually being one.

It is Rome being Peter’s final see that leads to its preeminence (well, at least in western thinking; the Orthodox generally assert that it comes from the dual martyrdoms of SS Peter & Paul)

I’ve never seen an actual claim that the Church wasn’t already in Rome by the time of Peter’s arrival. But, being Peter, he would be the natural leader . . .

This just doesn’t follow–aside from his not having brought the church to Rome in the first place, it’s fairly certain that he did establish churches before and between themes he settled down. (and for that matter, clear and undisputed leader, whether or not founding the Church in Rome, neither implies "supreme jurisdiction [Paul’s correction of Peter would seem to contradict “supreme” in the twenty-first century meaning of the word, for example], nor does anything in it imply that his full authority passed to his successors. You really have to go much farther to reach these conclusions; the basis is not that simplistic)


No, de fide teachings have been settled and cannot be changed. The conclusion drawn by members of the International Theological Commission in 2007 is a mere opinion, and in no way derogates from the Second Council of Lyons or the Council of Florence. The current Catechism of the Catholic Church, as another poster quoted above, does claim that there is hope of salvation for unbaptized infants, but this is also a mere opinion; aside from a dubiously relevant Scriptural passage, that paragraph from the Catechism cites no previous magisterial documents in its footnotes, because there is nothing in Tradition to support that opinion.

Perhaps the simpler way to explain this concept would be that development of doctrine is nothing other than the process by which things which were previously implicit become explicit.

Ott’s Fundamentals, which I cited on the thread referenced by the OP with regard to the theological grades of certainty, concurs with my conclusion. I would, however, like to clarify that the de fide teaching here is that those who die in mortal sin or original sin are excluded from heaven, and not limbo itself, which is not a dogma. Limbo cannot be dismissed out of hand, of course, but it is not a dogma.

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You mentioned the “hierarchy of truths” further up this thread, so allow me to draw attention back to the levels of theological certainty. As quoted by the OP in one of his opening posts, I had written on the other thread:

The error many are making in this thread is assuming that only dogma is binding, and that anything that is not dogma is up for speculation. This is not the case, as many non-dogmatic teachings are indeed binding, because they belong to other levels of theological certainty. While limbo is not a dogma, as many here have correctly pointed out, it cannot be wholly disregarded as a mere “speculation,” because it is a theological conclusion that has been proposed by countless saints, doctors, and fathers, and thus is sententia ad fidem pertinens (i.e., theologice certa).

This is why under the heading “The Punishment of Those Who Die with Original Sin Only," Pius VI’s Auctorem fidei reads: “The doctrine which rejects as a Pelagian fable, that place of hell—usually called by the faithful ‘Children’s Limbo’—in which the soul of those dying with only original sin are punished by the pain of loss without any pain of fire; and this taken to mean that by denying the pain of fire one can thereby necessarily postulate a middle state or place involving neither guilt nor penalty between the Kingdom of God and eternal damnation, such as Pelagians have invented— false, rash, slanderous to Catholic schools.”

Pius VI condemned the proposition that limbo is merely a “fable,” which means that limbo ought to be held as theologically certain. And as I will demonstrate below, there cannot be good hope entertained for the salvation of unbaptized infants, and given the teachings of the Council of Florence and the Second Council of Lyons that those who die in original sin alone and those who die in mortal sin suffer different punishments, we cannot argue that unbaptized infants suffer the same way as those who have damned themselves through actual mortal sin.

Consequently, limbo, while not a defined dogma, is the most theologically certain conclusion; if limbo is not correct, however, then our only acceptable alternative would be that unbaptized infants suffer a mild form of hell.

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In addition to baptism of water, there is also baptism of blood and baptism of desire, which are sufficient for salvation in a situation where it is not possible for a person to be baptized with water, which is the ordinary means. God is not bound by His sacraments, as you correctly point out, which is why baptism of blood and baptism of desire are possible, as they produce the same ultimate effect as baptism of water (i.e. the conferral of sanctifying grace, which is necessary for salvation).

But can baptism of blood or desire apply to infants? They cannot, since they both require a positive act of the will, something an infant who has not attained the use of reason cannot supply. This is why St. Thomas Aquinas concludes that for infants there is “no other remedy” than baptism of water (Summa Theologiae III, q. 66, art. 11).

“Regarding children, indeed, because of danger of death, which can often take place, since no help can be brought to them by another remedy than through the sacrament of baptism, through which they are snatched from the domination of the devil and adopted among the sons of God, [the sacrosanct Roman Church] advises that holy baptism ought not to be deferred for forty or eighty days, … but it should be conferred as soon as it can be done conveniently…” —Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Cantate Domino, 4 February 1442

Given the above facts, we ought to logically conclude that unbaptized infants cannot enjoy the Beatific Vision. Yet one may wonder, is there anything other than baptism of blood or desire that may supply the effects of water baptism in its absence? There is nothing within the entirety of Catholic Tradition, which has always taught the doctrine of the three baptisms (water, blood, and desire) to support such a speculation.

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Thanks for the correction, yes I agree that Peter did not establish the church in Rome, just that he was the leader of the church in Rome (this is what I meant, but I admit I have a hard time articulating what I mean to say a lot of times)

To be clear I wasn’t arguing, for the supremacy of Peters Roman successors, I personally don’t see how, seeing that Peter died as the Bishop of Rome that supremacy should be passed on down to every succeeding Bishop of Rome, i’m not even convinced that Peter had total supremacy over the entire church, as you rightly point out Paul’s correction of Peter.

As an aside I appreciate your input on this thread, I have read and enjoyed a lot of your input on other threads in the Eastern Catholic section of CAF, thanks brother.

thank you.

Leaving aside the modern claims of the extent of Papal authority, it is clear, however, that
a) the other Apostles themselves did indeed defer to Peter and his leadership, and
b) the early church did indeed accept Roman primacy, although at times struggling it.

This sticking point, particularly in terms of relation between RC and EO, is what primacy means, and the extent of the jurisdiction or authority of the Bishop of Rome outside his own archdiocese.

There was a general acceptance that disputes between bishops and sometimes lower clergy could be submitted to Rome.

Council results were sent to Rome for approval.

I believe there were cases of Rome ejecting corrupt/impious bishops from their sees–but then again, so did St. John Chrysotum (he actually went on an extend tour doing this again and again. My memory is fuzzy, though, as to whether this was before or after he became the Patriarch of Constantinople)

And in theological matters, Rome was, at some level, the last word. As I understand the discussions I’ve read, it was more in saying “no” (and thus closing matters), than in determining course. (and some Orthodox will assert that it was Roe’s conservatism, rather than Petrine ministry, that was the reason for this)


The filioque doesn’t contradict the creed it explains further what the creed means. Ecumenical councils can do that.

I really don’t disagree much with what you’ve said here.

I am interested in your opinion on how Rome came to the conclusion that, since Peter died as the bishop of Rome, we are to hand every succeeding Roman bishop the authority and supremacy of the entire church?

But as I’ve stated elsewhere on this thread, the filioque was (originally) introduced in Spain (not a ecumenical council) and spread throughout the church from there, and at that time the church’s official stance (Canon VII of the Council of Ephesus) was anyone who introduced anything to the creed let him be anathema, and only later did a council convey and “officially” insert the filioque, when truth be told they only should’ve convened to affirm the earlier council teaching, not to reward those dissenting from it.

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I agree to a degree.
What I refer to by “hope” is an extraordinary act of God, beyond what we are normally expecting, on account of His Mercy and Desire for the salvation of all people. Isaiah/Isaias, for instance, was cleansed of his sins in a rather spectacular way, as was St John the Baptist (presumedly, in the Visitation).
We should by no means expect such, but (it would seem to me) can hope for it.

I am pretty sure there has been some theological speculation since before the 1800s, and since you seem to agree with using Ott as an authority, I will quote him:

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 of desire—Cajetan), or the attainment of the use of reason in the moment of death, so that the dying child can decide for or against God (baptism of desire—H. Klee), or suffering and death of the child as quasi-Sacrament (baptism of suffering—H. Schell), are indeed possible, but their actuality cannot be proved from Revelation. Cf. [Denzinger] 712. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Book 2, Section 2, § 25

:love_you_gesture: :sunglasses:

In addition

Just a few thoughts

For non Catholics reading this, Jesus was circumcised on the 8th day. In the Rosary, we pray in the Joyful mysteries, we have the following 5 Joyful mysteries
1, annunciation, Angel Gabriel announces to Mary she will be the mother of God, and she accepts
2. While pregnant Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth, who is also pregnant, with John who will be the baptizer
3. The birth of Our lord
4. Presentation of Jesus in the temple. Jesus is circumcised on the 40th day
5. Jesus @ 12 yrs old is found preaching and teaching in the temple. The age of bar mitzvah & in extension, 12 yrs old is when the sacrament of confirmation in the Latin rite, is administered.

Bottom line then, for those who aren’t Catholic, and reading this thread, This ultimately represents 2 sacraments.

Infants, ASAP, Baptisn which replaces circumcision AND

AND at 12 yrs old

Jews go through Bar Mitzvah, Catholics in the Latin rite, receive the sacrament of confirmation

In confirmation, One makes a personal confirmation of their faith.

:love_you_gesture: :sunglasses:

As we know, It’s the parents that need to take this seriously. After all, the babies can’t make any decision for themselves. A baby can be baptized as soon as they are delivered. I personally was baptized as soon as my parents could get me to a priest after I was born.

:love_you_gesture: :sunglasses: totally agree

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I don’t think I follow the logic chain there…regardless of whether you call it guilt or not, if someone is supernaturally dead, how can they have supernatural life?

I just PMed you.

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