Original Sin question.....

This is something that has been troubling me some. Partly it has to do with trying to understand what happens to the aborted unborn or infants who die unbaptized etc…
Partly it has to do with understanding the mission of Christ, and man’s position before God BC - vs - AD…

In a nutshell - the issue is this.
Original sin carried with it two aspects. The guilt of disobedience and the effect of the knowledge imparted. The guilt could be forgiven by God, but the effects (the knowledge of good and evil) remain a part of our make-up.

Jesus came to restore us to God - to be the “new Adam” through His obedience even unto death. Having accomplished this task, man is once again restored…The original guilt lifted.

Of course the effects (knowledge of good and evil) remain…but that goes not become a factor until the age of reason is attained and “personal sin” can enter the picture…

So - it seems to me that infants who die - not guilty of the sin of the fist Adam because Jesus has completed the atonement for that sin - and not having been able to commit any personal sin…must logically be admitted to the presence of God.

I’m sure I have not explained this well…indeed I’m not sure that I have this terribly well thought through…So feel free to query me on this. Also - my ability to read (and absorb) long, linked articles is rather limited so as much as possible let’s try to keep this simple…



This is not correct.


We do not have sanctifying grace in our souls until baptism.

As a little child I learnt from my elder sister (wonder who taught her), that such souls go to a place called Limbo only to enter Heaven after Qayamat (Last Judgment). But now I think that it would be dangerous to speculate on this as it could encourage more abortions on the pretext of sending more souls to heaven.

Dear brother James,

I am 100% positive, after thoroughly studying this issue before I joined the Catholic communion, that there is no such thing as “original guilt” in us that needs forgiveness from God.

The original Latin term that is very wrongly translated into English as “guilt” in the magisterial documents is reatus, not culpa. Culpa is the Latin term normally, popularly, and properly referred to as “guilt” (or BLAME - that’s where the term “culpability” comes from). The Latin term reatus, on the other hand, is actually defined as a state of indebtedness - that is, to recover the Original Justice that was lost due to the sin of Adam.

So the thing we inherit from Original Sin is not the blame for Adam’s sin, but rather the effect of it (i.e., the state of indebtedness to recover the Original Justice that was lost).

I hope that helps.


In the link provided it says:
402 All men are implicated in Adam’s sin, as St. Paul affirms: “By one man’s disobedience many (that is, all men) were made sinners”: “sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned.” The Apostle contrasts the universality of sin and death with the universality of salvation in Christ. “Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men.
This sounds suspiciously like what I said and you quoted, saying it was wrong…Perhaps you need to explain what you mean by it being wrong.


Danger lurks in many misunderstandings…That should not prevent us from seeking Truth and understanding.


I won’t dispute that; but I felt that some Truths remain hidden for valid reasons.

You’re right.

Now how simple was that? :wink:

Here’s what we know for sure: God’s ways are further above us than ours are above an ant. He has His Own purposes for things, those little souls serve His purposes in those brief lives. They must do so perfectly as they have no power at all. So…

You’re right.

Read The Hope of Salvation For Infants Who Die Without Being Baptised published/written by the International Theological Commission.

According to the Catholic Catechism, limbo does not exist and you won’t find any reference of limbo in the Catechism.

In 1992, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, while affirming that “the Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude”, but also stating that “God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments”, stated: “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.”

This is absolutely untrue. The Catechism says nothing about limbo either way. All it says is that we don’t know what happens and we can HOPE they go to Heaven, even if we don’t know.

And I think that is why I posted this thread for as the Evangelist says…we should be able to give reasons for our hope…


On the subject of Original Sin I remember someone saying it depends on how “original” you want to be!:shrug:


Thanks - I’ll try to look it over…but as i said in my OP, I have trouble with long involved articles…I have difficulty concentrating and absorbing these days…


It’s only one page. The rest just goes on to tell you WHERE they came up with the decisions. Good luck and God Bless you.

Here ya go. Two salient paragraphs - still simple:

It is clear that the traditional teaching on this topic has concentrated on the theory of limbo, understood as a state which includes the souls of infants who die subject to original sin and without baptism, and who, therefore, neither merit the beatific vision, nor yet are subjected to any punishment, because they are not guilty of any personal sin. This theory, elaborated by theologians beginning in the Middle Ages, never entered into the dogmatic definitions of the Magisterium, even if that same Magisterium did at times mention the theory in its ordinary teaching up until the Second Vatican Council. It remains therefore a possible theological hypothesis.

However, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992), the theory of limbo is not mentioned. Rather, the Catechism teaches that infants who die without baptism are entrusted by the Church to the mercy of God, as is shown in the specific funeral rite for such children. The principle that God desires the salvation of all people gives rise to the hope that there is a path to salvation for infants who die without baptism (cf. CCC, 1261), and therefore also to the theological desire to find a coherent and logical connection between the diverse affirmations of the Catholic faith: the universal salvific will of God; the unicity of the mediation of Christ; the necessity of baptism for salvation; the universal action of grace in relation to the sacraments; the link between original sin and the deprivation of the beatific vision; the creation of man “in Christ”.

The conclusion of this study is that there are theological and liturgical reasons to hope that infants who die without baptism may be saved and brought into eternal happiness, even if there is not an explicit teaching on this question found in Revelation. However, none of the considerations proposed in this text to motivate a new approach to the question may be used to negate the necessity of baptism, nor to delay the conferral of the sacrament. Rather, there are reasons to hope that God will save these infants precisely because it was not possible to do for them that what would have been most desirable— to baptize them in the faith of the Church and incorporate them visibly into the Body of Christ.

(I added some bolding and made an extra paragraph for easier reading.)

Thanks Julia…:thumbsup:
I hate not being able to read these things in full but I just can’t…Don’t know why…Most likely I’m just too worried about too many things right now…
In fact, I probably should not have even started this thread…:shrug:


But Jesus’ atonement isn’t efficacious for those who don’t repent; adults aren’t cleansed and made new creations just because Jesus atoned for their sins; rather they become new creations as they’ve stepped forward in faith and have been baptized. For infants, the community-generally the family- steps forward in* their* faith-standing in, so to speak, and the child is baptized and washed clean of Adam’s sin. Otherwise the sin, the injustice-lack of sanctifying grace/separation from God-remains.

That is a factually incorrect statement.

There is clear mention of Limbo in the alphabetical index of CCC with a hyperlink reference to CCC 1261.

Limbo is also described and confirmed to be a Christian belief in newadvent.org/cathen/09256a.htm

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