Please correct me if I’m wrong, it’s been awhile since I learned this, but this is my understanding of original sin and baptism:
The moment an egg is fertilized, it is given a soul.
We baptize children when they are infants because, even though they don’t understand right and wrong yet, they are born with the stain of original sin. Therefore if they pass away before baptism, they can’t go to heaven. They go to a special place in hell that is like heaven, but God is not present. They aren’t pure enough to enter heaven but not sinful enough to deserve suffering. The punishment is not eternal suffering as in torture and burning but rather they can never know God.
This is one of many reasons Catholics view abortion as especially sad, because aside from viewing it as taking an innocent life, it also condemns an innocent life to never being able to know God or reunite with family in heaven. I just want to note my question doesn’t really have anything to do with abortion, and I’m not trying to be controversial.
Miscarriages are out of a woman’s hands. Why they occur isn’t really known, but I think I read they’re usually the result of some genetic anomaly that causes the body to terminate the pregnancy for some reason. Often women do everything they’re supposed to for a healthy pregnancy and yet still may experience one. So when a miscarriage occurs, obviously the child never had a chance to be baptized.
But God is all knowing, and therefore would have to know if a woman was going to have a miscarriage or not. Miscarriage isn’t a choice, so it’s not a free will issue (as abortion would be). Rather, if God knew a miscarriage would occur, would he send a soul into the fertilized egg knowing it wouldn’t have a chance to be baptized? I know we can’t know what God thinks, but maybe there’s a teaching on this?
I just can’t imagine God letting the souls of miscarried children go to “limbo” or whatever the term might be. I don’t know if “limbo” is the official Catholic term.
Please correct me if I have my info wrong, I’m pulling this from Catholic school memories. We’d write down questions and put them in a box, and once in a while our parish priest would drop into the classrooms and answer our questions. I think he answered something about baptism and why it’s so important to baptize kids early. I was probably between 9-12 years old, so I may have got some things wrong.
Thank you in advance for input, this is really bothering me. It hits kind of close to home because I know a couple of women who have had more than one miscarriage.