Friday, June 24, 2022
Do The Souls of Unborn Babies Go to Heaven?

BREAKING NEWS TODAY: After nearly 50 years, Roe has been responsible for the deaths of over 60 million preborn American children. Today, the Supreme Court has finally overturned the grievous error of Roe v. Wade that has cost so many precious lives.

The Souls of Baptized Infants Go Directly to Heaven

With the exception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, all human persons are conceived with original on their souls. Such a view is a dogma of the Faith that must be believed: “Original sin is transmitted by natural generation.” The Catechism of St. Pius X therefore counsels, "There should be the greatest anxiety to have infants baptized because, on account of their tender age, they are exposed to many dangers of death, and cannot be saved without Baptism."

In the way in which God has created the world, it is necessary to receive Baptism in order to see God in Heaven. Seeing God and being present with Him in Heaven is the beatific vision. It is the greatest joy of Heaven. 

Of course, not everyone who is baptized will be saved. To be saved requires dying in the state of sanctifying grace. That is why we must work out our salvation our entire life and have frequent recourse to the Sacrament of Confession so that we may be forgiven for our mortal sins and restored to sanctifying grace. Heaven is not possible for those who die without sanctifying grace in their souls.

Because a baby who was born and who was baptized cannot commit any actual sins, we know without any doubt that these children, if they die before they are old enough to know right from wrong, will go straight to Heaven. They are truly saints.

Do the Souls of Unborn & Therefore Unbaptized Babies Go to Heaven?

"Souls who depart this life in the state of original sin are excluded from the Beatific Vision of God" (Council of Florence: 1438 – 1445 AD).

Dr. Ludwig Ott, the famous theologian, in quoting the de fide dogma of the Council of Florence teaches:

The 2nd General Council of Lyons (1274) and the Council of Florence (1438-45) declared:  illorum animas, qui in actuali mortali peccato vel solo irginali decedunt, mox in infernum descendere poenis tamen disparibus puniendas (the souls of those who die in original sin as well as those who die in actual mortal sin go immediately into hell, but their punishment is very different).  D 464, 693.

The dogma is supported by the words of Our Lord: "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God" (John 3, 5).

The spiritual re-birth of young infants can be achieved in an extra-sacramental manner though baptism by blood (cf. the baptism by blood of the children of Bethlehem).  Other emergency means of baptism for children dying without sacramental baptism, such as prayer and desire of the parents or the Church (vicarious baptism of desire -- Cajetan), or the attainment of the use of reason in the moment of death, so that the dying child can decide for or against God (baptism of desire -- H. Klee), or suffering and death of the child as quasi-Sacrament (baptism of suffering -- H. Schell), are indeed, possible, but their actuality cannot be proved from Revelation.  Cf. D 712.

In the punishment of Hell theologians distinguish between the "poena damni," which consists in the exclusion from the Beatific Vision of God, and the "poena sensus" which is caused by external means, and which will be felt by the senses even after the resurrection of the body.  While St. Augustine and many Latin Fathers are of the opinion that children dying in original sin must suffer "poena sensus" also, even if only a very mild one (mitissima omnium poena: Enchir. 93), the Greek Fathers (for example, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Or. 40, 23), and the majority of the Schoolmen and more recent theologians, teach that they suffer "poena damni" only.  The declaration of Pope Innocent III, is in favour of this teaching:  Poena originalis peccati est carentia visionis Dei (= poena damni) actualis vero poena peccati est gehennae perpetuae cruciatus (= poena sensus).  D 410.  A condition of natural bliss is compatible with "poena damni."  Cf. St. Thomas, De malo, 5, 3; Sent. II d. 33 q 2 a. 2.

Theologians usually assume that there is a special place or state for children dying without baptism which they call limbus puerorum (children's Limbo).  Pope Pius VI adopted this view against the Synod of Pistoia.  D 1526.

Consequently, we must conclude that the souls of unbaptized and unborn children who die with original sin on their souls can not enter Heaven. But with St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Pope Pius VI, and others we can hope for an eternity of blessedness for them in the Limbo of the Infants (not to be confused with the Limbo of the Fathers where the Old Testament saints waited until Christ opened Heaven) which is a place of tranquility and peace even though they can never gaze on the face of God.  This is a place of perfect natural happiness - imagine a life of happiness on a place like earth. They will not suffer the flames of hell.

Can Unbaptized, Miscarried Babies Go to Heaven Through a “Vicarious Baptism”?

It is held as de fide doctrine that along with water Baptism there is a Baptism of Blood and a Baptism of Desire that are equal in merit to water Baptism. They remove original sin from a soul and save a soul from Hell and also open the possibility of Heaven to them.

Thomas Cardinal Cajetan, a leading figure in the Catholic Church against the Protestant Revolt, held the view that there may be reason to hope for a “vicarious” Baptism of Desire of miscarried babies whose parents had intended to baptize the child at birth. While the child died in the womb before baptism, he held the hope that in God’s mercy, the children would be spared even Limbo and admitted to the beatific vision of God for all eternity. 

The 1980 document by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith stated: “The Church has thus shown by her teaching and practice that she knows no other way apart from Baptism for ensuring children’s entry into eternal happiness.” For the souls of miscarried babies, we can assert that they are not in Hell since they had no actual sins on their souls. But whether or not mortal sin was removed in a manner as proposed by Cardinal Cajetan is a theory that we can certainly hope is the case. But it is not certain. 

Nevertheless, the parent or a priest should baptize the body of the miscarried child as soon as possible with the following formula: "If you are capable of being baptized, I baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." 

Do Aborted Babies Go to Heaven or Hell?

What does it mean for aborted children? We believe that in God's mercy these children will not suffer the pains of Hell, through no fault of their own, but they are nevertheless unable to go to Heaven since they were murdered with original sin still on their souls.

They will not be in pain. But they are not in Heaven. They will never see the face of God. They will never have a chance to enter Heaven. And since they were murdered by their own mother, there is no credible reason to hold that Cardinal Cajetan’s theory applies to them.

This sad reality is one of the many reasons that we must reject abortion completely - it deprives a human soul of Heaven. While the child will not suffer, he will never see God. And the guardian angel that God has appointed to guard that child weeps. Not only does the sin of abortion, which is the willful murder of a human being, cry out to Heaven for vengeance, but it also deprives a soul of seeing God forever. 

8 comment(s):

del_button November 11, 2022 at 9:06 AM
Anonymous said...

Those who die in a state of invincible ignorance and with no mortal sins can by God's mercy enter Heaven, as popes have said. All unborn babies are in a state of invincible ignorance, and none have sinned at all, let alone mortally. Therefore we can hope that aborted babies also can enter Heaven.

The desire to persuade people not to abort their babies should not lead to ignoring long established doctrine on invincible ignorance.

Somehow discussions on the good but invincibly ignorant people of some remote tribe tend to end up with them in Heaven, but discussions on far more invincibly ignorant unbaptized babies usually exclude them from Heaven. This is not logically consistent.

del_button November 11, 2022 at 11:12 AM
Matthew said...

Fr. Peter Scott wrote the following in a recent edition of the Defende Nos which addresses your comment. In short, no that is not true. Infants don't have the use of reason and as a such can't have Baptism of Desire. They are separated from the beatific vision as a result and can not see God for all eternity (i.e., they can not enter Heaven). That is the greatest evil of abortion.

Quoting Father Scott:

The question of the Limbo of the unbaptized children is inseparable from the question of the necessity of baptism. Moreover, it is a defined doctrine of our Faith that since the promulgation of the Gospel, Baptism is necessary for all men without exception for salvation. This was, indeed, defined by the Council of Trent: “If anyone shall say that baptism is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation, let him be anathema” (Db 861) or again “justification...after the promulgation of the Gospel cannot be effected except through the laver of re- generation, or a desire for it” (Db 796). Likewise are condemned with an anathema those who deny that newly born infants need to be baptized, for they affirm that they derive nothing of original sin from Adam (Db 791). This con- stant teaching of the Church is quite simply the obvious meaning of Jn 3:5, “Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven” and Mk 16:16: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned”. This teaching includes the possibility of baptism of desire, whether it be explicit or implicit, and also baptism of blood, in which martyrdom gives the grace of baptism. The problem, however, with infants, is that not having the use of reason they are capable of neither baptism of blood nor baptism of desire. There is consequently no other path for their eternal salvation than the sacrament of baptism itself.

In order to understand the state of children who die without baptism before the use of reason, we must understand that there are two punishments of the damned in hell. There is the punishment of original sin, which consists in the privation of the vision of God, which is called the pain of loss. Secondly there is the punishment for actual sin which is mortal. It consists of the pain of the senses, a positive infliction by the justice of God, in addition to the pain of loss. Now unbaptized children do not have any actual sin on their souls, and consequently God’s justice does not require the punishment of the senses. However, they do have original sin, and cannot have any supernatural union with God. Their status is, therefore, quite different from that of the damned who committed their own sins. It is for this reason that the Second Council of Lyons in 1274 and the Council of Florence in 1439 both declared that “the souls of those who depart in actual mortal sin or in orig- inal sin only, descend im- mediately into hell but to undergo punishments of different kinds” (Db 464 & 693). It is in this difference of punishment that lies the distinction between the Limbo of unbaptized children and the hell of the damned.

Continued -->

del_button November 11, 2022 at 11:12 AM
Matthew said...

If the existence of the Limbo of the unbaptized children is not formally defined as a doctrine, it is nevertheless theologically certain and an immediate consequence of the Church’s teaching. Consequently, its denial is a sin of temerity against the Faith and clearly erroneous. It is for this reason that Pope Pius VI, proscribing in 1794 the very many errors of the Synod of Pistoia, condemned the following proposition as false, rash and injurious to Catholic schools: “The doctrine that rejects as a Pelagian fable that place of the lower regions (which the faithful generally designate by the name of the limbo of the children) in which the souls of those departing with the sole guilt of original sin, are punished with the punishment of the condemned, exclusive of fire...”. The same text goes on to assert that this Limbo is an intermediary place between the kingdom of God and eternal damnation, free of personal guilt and of punishment.

It is consequently of Faith that unbaptized children who die before the age of reason are deprived of the beatific vision of God, which is man’s true and supernatural end. This is the immediate consequence of the reality and universality of original sin, which deprives the soul of sanctifying grace, and the consequent necessity of baptism for salvation. However, it is also certain that they do not hate nor blaspheme God nor rebel against His law nor suffer from the fire of hell nor any other positive punishment, and that they have a natural happiness and peace that nothing can disturb, for they are unaware of the supernatural vision of God and happiness which was not to be theirs.

This being said, “it must be clearly understood that the child dying without baptism is definitely lost. He is not in some midway state between salvation and damnation. He was made for one end only, a supernatural end; and failure to reach complete failure, is eternal loss” (Teaching of the Catholic Church I, Canon Smith, 1947, p.358). Hence the grave culpability of parents who delay their children’s baptism, placing them in danger of eternal loss. The Church, therefore, commands parents to have their children baptized as soon as possible (Canon 770 of the 1917 Code), and the interpretation of the theologians is that this means within two weeks of their birth, or immediately if they are in danger of death.

Continued -->

del_button November 11, 2022 at 11:14 AM
Matthew said...

The 1983 Code no longer insists on baptism as soon as possible, but simply states that it is to be administered within the first few weeks after birth (Canon 867,1). There is a reason for no longer insisting on the urgency of infant baptism. The abolition of Limbo was, in fact, declared in April 2007 by decree of the International Theological Commission, entitled “The Hope of Salvation for infants who die without being baptized”. This document is the conclusion of a 13 year study by the Commission, chaired by Cardinal Ratzinger until he be- came Pope, and afterwards by Cardinal Levada, who succeeded him as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It was praised and approved by Benedict XVI on October 5, 2007. The principle upon which the possibility of non-baptized infants being saved is based, is that of the universal Redemption of all mankind. This theory is a consequence of the most grievous error of Vatican II that by His Incarnation, Christ united himself in some way to all mankind (G&S, §22). This is pure naturalism denying the necessity for salvation of supernatural grace and Faith and of the sacraments and even of the visible Catholic Church to unite our souls with Christ. Hence the explanation given by the ITC: “In the context of the discussion on the destiny of those infants who die without baptism, the mystery of the universal salvific will of God is a fundamental and central principle (§43)...The universal salvific will of God through Jesus Christ, in a mysterious relationship with the church, is directed to all hu- mans, who according to the faith of the church are sinners in need of salvation”. (§53). This is, of course, nonsense, since God only efficaciously wills the salvation of those souls who receive sanctifying grace, which means for infants the sacrament of baptism.

The only possible way to reconcile this error with the Catholic Faith is by pre- tending that these infants without the use of reason could in some way have baptism of desire. In order to justify this position, modernist theologians have attempted to devise ways for children without the use of reason to have baptism of desire, although it is an obvious impossibility, since it is impossible to have desire and intention without the use of reason. The ITC document says this in a footnote (#127), emanating from the fertile imagination of the authors of the document: “With regard to the possibility of a votum (i.e. desire) on the part of the infant, growth towards free will might perhaps be imagined as a continuum which unfolds towards maturity from the first moment of existence... Consequently, infants may actually be capable of exercising some kind of rudimentary votum by analogy with that of unbaptized adults.. Some theologians (sic!) have understood the mother’s smile to mediate the love of God to the infant and have therefore seen the infant’s response to that smile as a response to God himself”. A more fictitious invention and denial of original sin and super- natural grace could hardly be imagined. This fabrication is not a pious hope. It is an impious error, that denies the supernatural reality of eternal salvation, and the interior transformation worked by the sacrament of baptism in the souls of infants. Truly we are dealing with a major crisis of Faith.

Continued -->

del_button November 11, 2022 at 11:14 AM
Matthew said...

The consequence is that nothing can be done for the salvation of infants who die without baptism, including those who are aborted. No prayer can help them, and no sprinkling of water for the dead babies can baptize them. They are lost forever. Sometimes this is without any human fault, as in the case of a still birth. For an infant to be validly baptized, he must be alive, or at least possibly alive. However, not infrequently this comes about through the sins of men. Here lies the great evil of abortion. It is not just the murder of children who can in no way protect themselves, but it is also the privation of everlasting life, accomplished by a perverse and willful act for a selfish end. It is for this reason that the Catholic Church punishes with excommunication all those who cooper- ate in procuring an abortion. It is also on account of the very perversity of the action that it harms the psychology of a mother so greatly, who will weep with sorrow and regret for her child whom she killed for the rest of her life. This is all summarized by the very clear text of Pope Sixtus V in his 1588 Constitution Effroenatum against abortion. For the Pope condemns those who commit the crime of abortion not just because it is murder of the innocent, but precisely because it certainly excludes the possibility of the unbaptized infant going to heaven: “Who, therefore, would not condemn and punish with the utmost se- verity the desecration committed by one who has excluded such a soul from the blessed vision of God”

[End of Quotation]

del_button November 11, 2022 at 2:28 PM
Anonymous said...

The Sacraments are necessary for salvation, however, Christ is not bound by His Sacraments; He certainly can save outside of them. Why then does the Church celebrate a Feast Day for the Holy Innocents? They are considered the first martyrs and pro-life patron saints.

del_button November 12, 2022 at 9:32 AM
Anonymous said...

The idea of the Limbo of Children being a place of tranquility and peace is self-contradictory nonsense. It is universally agreed that the pain of loss--the eternally unsatisfied need for God--is the single greatest torment of the damned in hell, greater than any pain of the senses.

There are no grounds for claiming that unbaptized children who die are "unaware of the supernatural vision of God and happiness which was not to be theirs." They were not created any differently than us. We have no knowledge or revelation of any special mechanic that would alter their nature.

They, like us, were made for God. The idea that they would somehow suffer a spiritual lobotomy to remove that capacity is just as much unjustified speculation as any scheme to find for them some substitute for the baptism they never had a chance to receive.

del_button February 14, 2023 at 1:49 PM
Anonymous said...

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