Infants Who Die Without Baptism
#21
(11-01-2019, 07:55 AM)Lonion Wrote: Honestly, I don't see how the idea that God would even possibly send an infant to hell, to suffer for eternity, who did not even have a chance to make a choice for or against him, wouldn't render the phrase "God is merciful" as utterly meaningless. Maybe even "God is just," too.

Nobody deserves heaven. There is no right to the Beatific Vision, so denying someone something he has no right to receive is not unjust.

The idea that God would allow suffering for someone who committed no actual sin is why the idea of Limbo developed. The person is perfectly naturally happy, but, since he did not die in a state of grace, he can't enter heaven.
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#22
(11-01-2019, 09:13 AM)Melkite Wrote: I simply reject that unbaptized infants got to hell if they die, with or without Limbo.  No God, who would allow a child to suffer for eternity for something he never did, can be called either merciful or just.  Full. Freaking. Stop.

I'll leave it to the theologians to determine how God might make it possible for those souls to enter heaven.  But as far as I'm concerned, a God who is that strict on the letter of the law, and doesn't make exceptions for INNOCENT souls is a God who is not worthy of our worship.

None of us are innocent. We all inherit the lack of grace that results from Adam's rejection of God. And just because you aren't guilty of personal sin doesn't mean you deserve heaven.
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#23
We are a religion of hope, and that's why we have masses said for people who didn't follow the faith.
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#24
(11-01-2019, 01:17 PM)Eric F Wrote: We are a religion of hope, and that's why we have masses said for people who didn't follow the faith.

But never publicly. The priest doesn't announce the intention for such a Mass.

And what message does it send to women contemplating abortion to say 'your baby's going to heaven'? Obviously a good Catholic wouldn't be considering abortion at all, but we don't live in Perfect World. Maybe if she knew her babies will never see God, she'd choose life, but if she thinks they're going to go straight to heaven, why not abort? It's easier, and they'll be with God.

I'm not aware of the Church Fathers ever writing about the possibility of unbaptised babies going to Heaven. The discussion was always between Hell proper, with at least some degree of suffering, and Limbo. The idea of Heaven being a possibility didn't come about until the past few decades, and that alone is enough to be suspicious of it. It treats Heaven as the default, and that same attitude is why nobody goes to Confession yet everyone receives Communion, and why worshipping demons is just as good as worshipping God, at least if that's your culture, and "missionaries" bragging about not baptising anyone in 50 years.
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#25
(11-01-2019, 08:52 AM)Some Guy Wrote: If we as Christians seriously believe that children can go to heaven without Baptism, then...2. I guess we might as well become a death cult and join in on the abortion industry. The more babies we kill the more souls we add to heaven!

When people let their emotions take over, logic flies out the window. This is a point I've repeatedly made to the 'aborted babies go to heaven' argument. If they do, let's people heaven by killing as many as possible!
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#26
This doctrine is exactly why I made sure to baptize both of my kids. So even if I am prevented from raising them in the Church (doubtful), they won't have original sin on their souls.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

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#27
(11-01-2019, 07:55 AM)Lonion Wrote: Honestly, I don't see how the idea that God would even possibly send an infant to hell, to suffer for eternity, who did not even have a chance to make a choice for or against him, wouldn't render the phrase "God is merciful" as utterly meaningless. Maybe even "God is just," too.

In other words, you don't understand Limbo. There is no suffering. It is a place of perfect natural happiness. There is no pain and no suffering.

Since it is dogma that baptism is required to enter heaven, I would argue that God's justice and mercy demand the existence of Limbo, because the only other choice is the eternal torment and suffering of hell, and a just and merciful God would obviously not send an unbaptised infant's soul there.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
Kansan by birth! Albertan by choice! Jayhawk by the Grace of God!
“Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog.)” 
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#28
(11-01-2019, 05:39 PM)jovan66102 Wrote:
(11-01-2019, 07:55 AM)Lonion Wrote: Honestly, I don't see how the idea that God would even possibly send an infant to hell, to suffer for eternity, who did not even have a chance to make a choice for or against him, wouldn't render the phrase "God is merciful" as utterly meaningless. Maybe even "God is just," too.

In other words, you don't understand Limbo. There is no suffering. It is a place of perfect natural happiness. There is no pain and no suffering.

Since it is dogma that baptism is required to enter heaven, I would argue that God's justice and mercy demand the existence of Limbo, because the only other choice is the eternal torment and suffering of hell, and a just and merciful God would obviously not send and unbaptised infant's soul there.

I don't see any contention here. I said the the idea of eternal suffering for the infants would render those phrases meaningless.

If limbo has no suffering, then yes, that would be an acceptable explanation that would not effect that result.  I never condemned limbo. But not everyone agrees with the theory; some would argue infants deserve to suffer, and it was to those folks that my point was made.
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#29
(11-01-2019, 11:04 AM)SeekerofChrist Wrote:
Quote:This means that St. Augustine and the African Fathers believed that unbaptized infants share in the common positive misery of the damned, and the very most that St. Augustine concedes is that their punishment is the mildest of all, so mild indeed that one may not say that for them non-existence would be preferable to existence in such a state (Of Sin and Merit I.21; Contra Jul. V, 44; etc.). But this Augustinian teaching was an innovation in its day, and the history of subsequent Catholic speculation on this subject is taken up chiefly with the reaction which has ended in a return to the pre-Augustinian tradition.
Oh, that's interesting, I didn't know it was the African fathers as well.  Perhaps it was providential that the African church was wiped clean from the face of the earth.
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#30
(11-01-2019, 12:50 PM)Paul Wrote: None of us are innocent. We all inherit the lack of grace that results from Adam's rejection of God. And just because you aren't guilty of personal sin doesn't mean you deserve heaven.

I understand that.  I'm not saying anyone deserves heaven.  But you can't be guilty of a crime you didn't commit. We are all born innocent.  Original sin is an illness, not a debt.

What I'm saying is, God is merciful.  I believe it was St. Isaac the Syrian who said that God is not just.  If he were just, he could not be merciful.  Mercy is the abrogation of justice.  None of us deserve heaven, but I don't believe for a second that God is not merciful enough to make a way possible for those innocent of personal sin to enter heaven.  It would be unlike him to not show that level of mercy.

To put this another way, you believe that God cannot be outdone in mercy, right?  If you were the judge, would you not show the soul of an infant who died without baptism the mercy to enter heaven?  Of course you would!  If you've ever lost a child to miscarriage, you know that the yearning of your heart is for that soul to be with God forever in heaven.  How then could you possibly have more mercy in your heart than God himself?  Yes, we cannot presume that God does it, as if to take away his right to say no, but we can be faith-certain that he does.
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