To baptize or not to baptize?

Which is least likely to end up in Hell…
The person who was baptized as a Catholic but never practiced any religion,
The person who was never baptized and never practiced any religion.

Both people only have non catholic secular society’s knowledge of Catholicism…in other words either an incorrect understanding, or no understanding.

My thoughts: at least with baptism the soul is open to God and washes away original sin. The opening allows the Holy Spirit to work towards conversion in the soul. If the person is baptized, and leads a good life, there is a chance of Heaven eventually.
Without baptism, there is no washing away of original sin, and the door remains closed to the Holy Spirit. Much less chance of conversion. If a good life is lead, the person is still likely to end up, down under.


The Holy Spirit moves on the hearts of all people.


There is Baptism of Desire. I do not presume to know who will be saved, that is for God to judge.


This to me is a strange question. It presumes the person being baptized somehow knows they won’t practice any Faith? In that case the soul I worry about most is that person’s parents, who would have vowed to raise their child in the Faith but evidently did not.

As for the person themself? I’d always say baptize when possible!! Why would there be any disadvantage to the washing away of sin, adoption into God’s family, & the Holy Spirit residing in the heart?!

Baptism: it’s a yes from me!

I think God loves them both the same. I can’t know who is in heaven, but I don’t believe it is based on who was baptised.

I wonder about someone whose parents baptized them with the intent to raise them entirely secular. Whether that spiritual opposition would in such a case make the baptized person more prone to sin and hell because their environment was directly opposed to faith.

God does not leave matters to chance but gives actual graces to all, even those not baptised, yet only through willing cooperation will there be salvation. God desires all to be saved, yet says to enter by the narrow gate (door).

Matthew 7:13-14

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. 14 How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.

Luke 13
23 Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.

I added the brackets below as I understand it, but at the end of the day, we have the “holy way” given to us by the Church, and we are fortunate beyond words that we know of it.

“It is not always required that one be actually incorporated as a member [formal membership] of the Church, but this at least is required: that one adhere to it in wish and desire. [informal membership] It is not always necessary that this be explicit . . . but when a man labors under invincible ignorance, God accepts even an implicit will, called by that name because it is contained in the good disposition of soul in which a man wills to conform his will to the will of God.”

The questions not about intention. Neither the person possibly being baptized nor the parents have any intention of him/her not being Catholic, but with society the way it is…
Non practicing is most likely.

I guess I’m thinking of mostly non practicing or mixed marriages and the infants are baptized or not. Many these days baptism due to custom rather than belief.

That is the reason that parishes have baptismal prep, and the pastor discerns the intent of the parent. The pastor may delay baptism if he does not have a reasonable belief the child will be raised in the Faith. Yes, people have free will and walk away. No one has a crystal ball to see the future. We are obedient to God, we baptize our infants.

For those who die without baptism:

From the Baltimore Catechism;

Q. 510. Is it ever possible for one to be saved who does not know the Catholic Church to be the true Church?

A. It is possible for one to be saved who does not know the Catholic Church to be the true Church, provided that person:

1.(1) Has been validly baptized;

2.(2) Firmly believes the religion he professes and practices to be the true religion, and

3.(3) Dies without the guilt of mortal sin on his soul.

Q. 511. Why do we say it is only possible for a person to be saved who does not know the CatholicChurch to be the true Church?

A. We say it is only possible for a person to be saved who does not know the Catholic Church to be the true Church, because the necessary conditions are not often found, especially that of dying in a state of grace without making use of the Sacrament of Penance.

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Best not to be either of those persons. This may sound slightly Faustian, but setting all of the above aside, the active life of a Christian has rewards that cannot be described. Why miss that? However, the Christian life on this earth is but the frosting. The cake awaits us. - and it is frosted as well!

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The door to the Holy Spirit is not closed to the unbaptized person, otherwise, no one would ever come to be baptized. In fact, the Holy Spirit is sent to each to repent and believe in the Gospel–the one to be baptized, the other to received the sacrament of penance. If neither does, neither will be saved. Whoever does and then perseveres to the end, will be saved.

There are no odds when it comes to salvation.

Thank you, you’ve hit upon one of my questions.

Does being baptized make a conversion easier or more likely?

This was very helpful. Thank you.

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