[quote=M_Oliver][size=2][FONT=Comic Sans MS][size=2]Why in God our Father’s name did it take the catholic church 2000 years to figure this out??? You are the “authority” on Scripture are you not???
Can anyone honestly explain to me where DEAD INFANTS ARE EXCLUDED FROM THIS?[/size][/size][/FONT]
The Catholic Church has always believed that one needs to be born again-- born of water and the Spirit-- to be saved (Cf. John 3:3, 3:5):
The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude.*
Catholics thus have the certainty of faith that Baptism is necessary for salvation, because God has revealed it. God *could *use other means to give a person the grace of salvation that He gives in Baptism, but since God has not revealed what those means are, the certainty of faith does not extend to those means.
In other words, for Catholics, there is certainty in Baptism, but only speculation – educated guesses – outside of Baptism.
So what happens to infants who die before Baptism? Catholics don’t have the certainty of faith that unbaptized infants are saved simply because God has not revealed it.
We could speculate, however.
One proposal is that unbaptized infants who die enter the perfect state of natural happiness-- Limbo. A more recent proposal is that these infants do indeed experience supernatural happiness-- Heaven.
Either way, we don’t have the certainty of faith here, because God has not revealed it.
The recent theological developments in the Catholic Church are the fruits of an exploration on just how it *may *be possible for deceased infants who are not baptized to enter or see the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Catholic Church affirms that,
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.
So while there is certainty that God desires that all men should be saved, there is also the certainty that Baptism is necessary for salvation.
Based on the former, we could speculate that God would save unbaptized infants, too, but because He hasn’t revealed that, all we can do is entrust them to the mercy of God, and hope.