Relieving the requirement for Baptism - Can the Church do this?


Our good August, who claims to be Roman Catholic, posted this in the study of John. It doesn’t belong there, so we agreed to post this in the Apologetics Section.

My response was:

to which August replied Yes.

So, I ask you August, where does your Church (you do claim its a Roman Catholic Church, right?) claim the authority to change 2000 years of Tradition?


Or dismiss the obvious teaching of the bible?


I thought every one knew about it, I read it in the Los Angeles Times many months ago about the new Roman Catholic teaching that little babies who don’t get baptised and die, do not go to limbo. Jesus died for all the whole world, even the unbaptised. No more limbo!
Check with your bishop and he will clear it up for you

What you are saying is that Jesus died only for baptised people in the whole world about 20% of the worlds population now possible at its maximun that it every has been. Thats tuff for the Hindi, Buddist, Moslums and those who have never heard of the name of Jesus, I think its sad, I was glad when I heard that limbo was eliminated by the Roman Catholic Church, I guess I am wtong and I aplogize, I’m sorry


The problem here is that the LA Times is not a magisterial teaching arm of the Catholic Church, and as is very often the case, either doesn’t know what they are talking about, or you completely misunderstood what you read.

Check with your bishop and he will clear it up for you.

Indeed he should be able to, but then why bother when there is a better source for information on this issue. THE HOPE OF SALVATION FOR INFANTS WHO DIE WITHOUT BEING BAPTISED

What you are saying is that Jesus died only for baptised people in the whole world about 20% of the worlds population now possible at its maximun that it every has been. Thats tuff for the Hindi, Buddist, Moslums and those who have never heard of the name of Jesus, I think its sad, I was glad when I heard that limbo was eliminated by the Roman Catholic Church, I guess I am wtong and I aplogize, I’m sorry

You could do with some study of what the Church actually teaches.From the Catechism.


**The Church and non-Christians **
839 "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways."325
The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People,326 "the first to hear the Word of God."327 The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God’s revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews “belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ”,328 "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."329
840 And when one considers the future, God’s People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.

841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day."330
842 The Church’s bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:

All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .331
843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."332
844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them:

Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator. Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate despair.333



845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.334
"Outside the Church there is no salvation"
846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336
847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.337
848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."3

That should help you better understand what you are thinking of.


Only if one gets their theology from the “Los Angeles Times”.


Actually what the article said, and again this is the article I did not hear one way or the other from the Pope, was that the Holy Father removed the teaching of Limbo as a doctrine which must be believed in order to be Catholic not that he denounced the doctrine of Limbo altogether.


And just for the record, I heard Father John Corapi ( I think I spelled that right) say that baptism is the normal means of salvation and the only one known to the Church.

I took this to mean that human doctrine does not nor cannot limit the mercy of God to seek and save whomsoever He chooses. However, this also means that those who are trying to concoct a salvation plan of their own are doing so against the teaching of the Bible as well as the teaching of Church Tradition which dates back all the way to the very first century. So, I guess I’m saying that maybe someone can be saved without being baptized ( the thief on the cross) but I wouldn’t bet my eternal soul on my happening to stumble on it, especially if I do so in knowing rejection of firmly established doctrine.


Then all of the people who die without being baptised are not to enjoy eternal life.



Get A Heart, And Stop Saying
’ And All Of The World’


Sorry, the Church never taught that. Try reading ChurchMilitant’s post and the references again.

Also, limbo was never a teaching of the Catholic Church, much less a doctrine. The only thing it ever was idle speculation on the part of some theologians. Theologians don’t determine doctrines, only opinions.


Abraham wasn’t baptised


That’s right, Abraham wasn’t baptized in water. Of course, since he lived before (many centuries before) the coming of Christ and the institution of Baptism, and also was a Jew, and subject to the old covenant (for which circumcision is the requirement, not baptism), the whole statement is moot.


But Jesus was, and we’re Christians (followers of Jesus), not Jews. Abraham was circumcized, and so are all Jewish boys. Total apples and oranges.

In Christ,



The theological speculation of the existence of limbo is irrelevant to baptism. What does one have to do wtih the other?

Of course Jesus died for all. But not all choose to avail themselves of the benefits of His sacrifice. It is as though we are all paid for on the conveyor belt at the grocery by Jesus’ debit card. But not all the groceries for which he paid choose to jump in the bag and go with him. It does not make the price he paid any less, but those who choose not to reap the benefits are permited to refuse.

Baptism is the means by which we apply His saving work to ourselves.

That would be a good trick, since it was never part of de Fide doctrine in the first place!


So, its settled then that unbaptised human beings may go to heaven, if they chose to lead a good life


No. It is not settled. Did you read any of the information provided in post 4 and 5?


NO!!! You are preaching Salvation of Works, which the Church never taught (no matter what other Christians may tell you).

We can never boast of our salvation, brother!


Better read that again more carefully.

The fact is that the Church teaches that we leave that to God alone and that we cannot know.

Notice that the Church uses the word “may”, which doesn’t even imply “can” or “will”.

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