Origional Sin and the unborn


This question occurred to me while responding to an abortion thread.

What is the Church teaching on when a person aquires origional sin? Is it at conception?

When is the earliest a child can be baptized?
Can a Child be baptized while still in the womb?



Yes it is at conception.

When it is born.




So then is it still held that a child that dies without baptism goes to Limbo?



Actually it has been said that John the Baptist was baptized in the womb, “he will be filled with the holy spirit even from his mother’s womb”) so it is theoretically possible. But generally impractical.


There has never been a dogmatic statement regarding this. Limbo is still allowed as a belief. But one can believe that God takes care of what the parents would have done, or simply that God allows all such children in to heaven. It is even allowable I think that one think that all babies go to hell or that God illuminates them and gives them a choice of heaven or hell. The scriptures and sacred tradition are not definitive as I understand.


Limbo is not now, nor has it ever been, a doctrine of the Church.

The Church teaches that we do not know what happens to children that die without baptism, and that we trust in God’s mercy. From the Catechism:

1261 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.


The Church does not teach that John was *baptized *in the womb. The Church teaches that he was *sanctified *in the womb-- by an extraordinary intervention of God the Holy Spirit.

The Sacrament of Baptism did not exist when John was in the womb, nor for 30-odd years afterward.

The Sacrament of Baptism which is the way in which Original Sin is removed and through which we enter the Church has particular criteria that must be met.


At Conception. While it is being born, until it is determined to have died.

closed #9

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