How is this fair?
Just because my brother is non practicing how does this make my nephews have to pay for his ignorance?
How is this fair?
I dont know. Limbo is not an official teaching of the Church. However I believe it best explains the issue.
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The official answer of the Church is “we don’t know”.
As for “fair”, the official answer is also “we don’t know.” God did not reveal this to us, and Jesus made clear the absolute necessity of baptism. But the Church has also defined as revealed by God that only personal sin makes one deserving of the pains of hell.
Ultimately, there is no answer on this side of eternity. God did not reveal it to us. So the only real answer is “we don’t know.”
Am i allowed to baptize them since my brother won’t get them baptized?
Not without your brother’s permission or knowledge. With one exception: if they are in danger of death.
Outside of that exception, and no matter how strongly you feel about it, don’t even try.
It’s just kind of sad is all.
Yes it is, and quite frankly, your brother (as will all of us) will have to account for his negligence. And God, who knows and sees all things can take all circumstances into account.
But you cannot account for this, because you have no rights or obligations towards these children.
The Church teaches that we entrust all children, baptized or not, to His mercy; the Church does not teach limbo. You would do well to (learn and) trust in the teachings of the Church and God’s Providence.
- Do not assume, based on partial or incomplete information.
- Learn Church doctrine so you will not be troubled.
- How? Get a catechism!
Our God is not a forced choice, a default of either heaven or hell. There is an infinite amount of mercy in between. Babies cannot decide to commit mortal sin, and they have no control over original sin. Would a merciful God create only to destroy? That is what the rather troubled Jean Calvin thought.
No. We rely on God’s love and mercy each nanosecond of our lives. And so do babies.
Yep; this is all we can do, and is what the Catechism tells us: we can only entrust them to the mercy of God, who loved children and asked that they come to him.
No. Baptism isn’t magic; it brings with it a whole set of responsibilities. If your brother isn’t going to raise his children in the faith, then you can’t run around baptizing them.
When they grow up, they’ll have the opportunity to choose for themselves. At that point, presuming that you’ve been living a life that they have seen is not only authentically Catholic but also is really beneficial for you, then you’ll be in a position to demonstrate to them that being a Catholic will have real value in their lives. Right?
As I understand it, baptism creates a capacity for the vision of God in heaven; but the limbus infantum was never taught as a place of eternal suffering or torment, like those who have turned away from God during their lives. The idea is it’s a place of natural happiness, but just without the kind of glorification of souls who have received a sacrament during their lifetime. And as others have said, Limbo is not a dogma, just a theological idea. God must have some plan for these innocents, but perhaps to impress upon us the importance of baptism, we aren’t given an alternative. There is a lot more that we don’t know about existence than we do, and even what is revealed about death is not knowledge per se but accepted on faith.
Edit: My argument would be that infants and the unborn have an objective and innate desire for baptism as creatures of their Creator, intended for eternal communion. If a catechumen, who is not yet baptized but intends to be, can have baptism imputed to them in case they die before receiving the sacrament (baptism of desire), then I think it’s fair to consider infants and the unborn also as possessing another kind of baptism of desire. Others would say this depends on what decisions they would actually have made in life, which cannot be known.
This world is not about what is fair.
It it were, there would be no suffering.
I pray to God that justice is served in all things.
And besides, limbo is not as consoling as it might seem. It is Catholic teaching that there are only two final states: heaven and hell. Limbo means " rim" and is the rim of hell, not heaven. The speculation is that souls here are deprived of the beatific vision but because of innocence from personal sin, they suffer no torments. The net result is a state of perfect natural happiness akin to earthly happiness without any sort of pain or discomfort.
However the flip side is that these souls do not have the virtue of charity and so do not pray or have supernatural love for God. This must still be a source of pain since they are deprived of the Beatific Vision. Knowing the joy I have of being able to commune with God as a baptized in the wayfaring state, limbo must still be a rather dismal place. It is still hell after all.
I do not necessarily subscribe to the notion of unbaptized infants going to the limbo of hell, but I do not necessarily reject it either. I simply adhere to the Catechism that we entrust such souls to the mercy of God, who loves children. “I don’t know” is a perfectly fine answer to this question.
We do not know.
The Church teaches that we trust unbaptized who die below the age of reason to the mercy of God.
CCC  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,"64 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.
The Church does not have an official position on the fate of unbaptized infants. The Catechism advises that we entrust them to God’s mercy.
It was Thomas Aquinas’ position (this isn’t dogma) that those who died as unbaptized infants would have a lot of natural happiness in the next life, but not supernatural happiness, and they wouldn’t experience the pain of loss or other punishment.
But as said, the Church is open to God taking unbaptized infants to heaven.
Divine Comedy strikes again.
This is like the fifth time I’ve said this on this board that a majority of ‘comon’ belief in the after life comes from those books.
Unbaptized good people including babies chill out in limbo. Its not a torture chamber like most of hell in the book but its a far cry from heaven. If anything it invokes the idea of a waiting room or auditorium where you hang out with cool people.
Just not cool enough to go heaven cause not catholic.
You also reinforce this imagery when you say “He descended into Hell, on the third day he rose again.”
The idea that no one was allowed into heaven and had to chill in limbo right up until Christ sacrificed himself. Ergo he had to go get everyone from the old testament who should have gone to heaven and hand out passes.
Limbo isn’t church doctrine, its a… way of explaining some spiritual discrepancies.
I wouldn’t dwell on it.
God has chosen not to reveal how he deals with non-baptized babies. God has also revealed that he desires all to be saved, so add that to the mix. That is all we can say on the matter.
Hey The Divine Comedy is an amazing work!!