Infants Who Die Without Baptism
#51
(11-01-2019, 11:05 PM)Melkite Wrote: Do you even hear what you're saying?  Do you really believe that God can't give someone grace right before death?  The rules are because we're sick with death.  We need them because, given our fallen nature, if we knew God would just forgive us in the end, we would make no effort in growing towards holiness.

So instead He tells us to struggle our whole lives, and then just forgives us in the end anyway?

Of course God can give grace to whomever He wants, even before birth. He did for Mary, and there's a tradition He sanctified John the Baptist before birth. That doesn't mean He does so for the rest of us, or given any indication whatsoever that baptism isn't necessary.

(11-01-2019, 11:05 PM)Melkite Wrote: Sure, if you consider St. Gregory of Nyssa "very recently."

I'm not familiar with his writings, but even if he wrote about unbaptised babies going to heaven, that's one out of how many Church Fathers? The whole tradition of the Western Church is Limbo. That's not to say I like it - I'd much prefer that everyone get to heaven. But to make that fit with the necessity of baptism isn't easy - and we have the Council of Florence telling us that the unbaptised go to hell. God is incapable of lying, or deception, and telling that infant baptism is necessary - otherwise why would the early Christians have done so - when He'll just grant the grace anyway right before death seems deceitful. If children get the grace at death, why not make them wait until they can choose Baptism for themselves? Otherwise, if they're baptised and fall away, their punishment is greater in hell than someone who was unbaptised.
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#52
(11-02-2019, 04:43 PM)Paul Wrote:
(11-02-2019, 07:50 AM)Markie Boy Wrote: If Jesus would make an exception for a thief on a cross who was un-baptized - why would He not make an exception for an infant who is unbaptized?  I'd like a direct answer to this question please.

Because the thief made an explicit act of faith in Jesus, and accepted his death on the cross as deserved for his crimes. That's probably baptism of desire or blood.

But I'm still not convinced baptism was required yet, as the Old Law was still in effect. The Old Law wasn't finished until Jesus said it was: "Consummatum est", as he died on the Cross.

So you believe Christ came and made it harder to get into heaven than before?
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#53
(11-02-2019, 04:55 PM)Paul Wrote:
(11-01-2019, 11:05 PM)Melkite Wrote: Do you even hear what you're saying?  Do you really believe that God can't give someone grace right before death?  The rules are because we're sick with death.  We need them because, given our fallen nature, if we knew God would just forgive us in the end, we would make no effort in growing towards holiness.

So instead He tells us to struggle our whole lives, and then just forgives us in the end anyway?

Of course God can give grace to whomever He wants, even before birth. He did for Mary, and there's a tradition He sanctified John the Baptist before birth. That doesn't mean He does so for the rest of us, or given any indication whatsoever that baptism isn't necessary.

(11-01-2019, 11:05 PM)Melkite Wrote: Sure, if you consider St. Gregory of Nyssa "very recently."

I'm not familiar with his writings, but even if he wrote about unbaptised babies going to heaven, that's one out of how many Church Fathers? The whole tradition of the Western Church is Limbo. That's not to say I like it - I'd much prefer that everyone get to heaven. But to make that fit with the necessity of baptism isn't easy - and we have the Council of Florence telling us that the unbaptised go to hell. God is incapable of lying, or deception, and telling that infant baptism is necessary - otherwise why would the early Christians have done so - when He'll just grant the grace anyway right before death seems deceitful. If children get the grace at death, why not make them wait until they can choose Baptism for themselves? Otherwise, if they're baptised and fall away, their punishment is greater in hell than someone who was unbaptised.

Do you think a person who was baptized as an infant but never held the faith for themselves would be punished more harshly than someone who was never baptized?
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#54
(11-02-2019, 07:50 AM)Markie Boy Wrote: We must remember in the early Church there was debate over baptism of infants into the second century, so it's not totally clear.  Can someone enter Heaven without baptism?

The thief on the cross next to Jesus did.

If Jesus would make an exception for a thief on a cross who was un-baptized - why would He not make an exception for an infant who is unbaptized?  I'd like a direct answer to this question please.

At times people seem to hold the "rules" of the Church in higher esteem than the sovereign power of Jesus, and wish to bind Christ to their rules.  There are some things that are normative in the Christian life that all should do if possible - but Jesus is not bound by those norms.  Scripture tells us clearly He can do as He wills.

Would the rules of today's Church allow for the thief on the cross to go to Heaven - he wasn't baptized?

The requirement for baptism to entire into life did not commence until the promulgation of the Gospels.

The analogy does not fit the example of unbaptized infants.
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#55
(11-02-2019, 11:51 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(11-02-2019, 04:43 PM)Paul Wrote:
(11-02-2019, 07:50 AM)Markie Boy Wrote: If Jesus would make an exception for a thief on a cross who was un-baptized - why would He not make an exception for an infant who is unbaptized?  I'd like a direct answer to this question please.

Because the thief made an explicit act of faith in Jesus, and accepted his death on the cross as deserved for his crimes. That's probably baptism of desire or blood.

But I'm still not convinced baptism was required yet, as the Old Law was still in effect. The Old Law wasn't finished until Jesus said it was: "Consummatum est", as he died on the Cross.

So you believe Christ came and made it harder to get into heaven than before?

I don't know about Paul, but I can say, that Christ's coming made it easier and more certain.

Before Baptism there was never any absolute assurance that one's faith in the Redeeemer to come was sufficient for salvation. Also should one have fallen into grave sin, there was never a simple moral assurance that he was back in the State of Grace.

Thanks to the Sacraments now we can know that Original Sin has been removed and we have a clear means out of sin and back into Grace.

That makes salvation easier, not harder.

But correspondingly it also make more clear who is likely not saved, and so it might seem like the requirements which were vaguely defined are not more stringent. That's not the case, though.
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#56
(11-02-2019, 04:43 PM)Paul Wrote:
(11-02-2019, 07:50 AM)Markie Boy Wrote: If Jesus would make an exception for a thief on a cross who was un-baptized - why would He not make an exception for an infant who is unbaptized?  I'd like a direct answer to this question please.

Because the thief made an explicit act of faith in Jesus, and accepted his death on the cross as deserved for his crimes. That's probably baptism of desire or blood.

But I'm still not convinced baptism was required yet, as the Old Law was still in effect. The Old Law wasn't finished until Jesus said it was: "Consummatum est", as he died on the Cross.

I'm not even sure one could say with certainty that on the first Easter that Baptism was required, seeing as one of the things which makes a law obligatory is sufficient promulgation.

Certainly by AD 71, it was sufficient promulgated because of the destruction of the Temple. Before then, not so sure.
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#57
(11-02-2019, 11:53 PM)Melkite Wrote: Do you think a person who was baptized as an infant but never held the faith for themselves would be punished more harshly than someone who was never baptized?

The Church asserts this, and that is why a priest is never permitted to Baptize an infant if there is not a reasonably founded hope that it will be raised as a Catholic.

Baptism is a gift which creates obligations in the recipient. If the recipient fails to perform these duties, he will be responsible for this, and so in Hell would suffer more for his failure.

It might be objected that such a one later along would not be responsible, because not raised in the Faith, and that seems a fair point, but he certainly could know of his Baptism (if it were done, it would never be left unmentioned entirely throughout his upbringing, and there would be certificates and family, etc), and have the opportunity to learn the Faith through exposure to other Catholics and knowledge of Christianity. During his life it would be unlikely than never a curiosity to learn more or question his state would enter his head, and at the moment when he chooses to reject that grace to explore this, he would become responsible for his rejection of God.

"But he never could know" is not an objection, because God will give to everyone who has reached the age of reason sufficient opportunity to learn what is necessary and do what is necessary to save his soul. While on a natural level the lack of exposure to the Faith would seem excusable, God will not allow there to be zero exposure and zero questions in the persons mind, and so there cannot be zero responsibility.

So, yes, a soul which receives the grace of Baptism would be punished more severely if it did not save its soul than the corresponding soul which had not received Baptism, all things otherwise being equal. However, this scenario of things being equal never happens in reality, since no two souls are equal.
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#58
Guess I am late to this party, but I didn't see any discussion about the folks born before Christ (i.e. Moses, Elijah, etc). Where did those folks end up? They weren't baptized in the sense that we think to my knowledge. Yet, we do know that Moses appeared to Jesus when He went to pray before His death.

I think perhaps there are just some things God wants to keep a mystery from us and there is probably a good reason for that.
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#59
(11-03-2019, 06:05 PM)divinesilence80 Wrote: Guess I am late to this party, but I didn't see any discussion about the folks born before Christ (i.e. Moses, Elijah, etc). Where did those folks end up? They weren't baptized in the sense that we think to my knowledge. Yet, we do know that Moses appeared to Jesus when He went to pray before His death.

I think perhaps there are just some things God wants to keep a mystery from us and there is probably a good reason for that.

Before Christ there was no obligation to Baptism, and the remission of Original Sin and personal sins was due to faith in the Redeemer to come.

The problem is was this was not expressed through any act which could give 100% assurance that one was forgiven. Even Circumcision, since it was not a Sacrament in the New Testament sense, could not give 100% assurance of the State of Grace and remission of sins.

Gentiles and Jews, though, like Moses, Job, and many others that are considered Saints, had sufficient faith in Christ to come, even if beforehand that they saved their soul.
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#60
(11-03-2019, 06:05 PM)divinesilence80 Wrote: Guess I am late to this party, but I didn't see any discussion about the folks born before Christ (i.e. Moses, Elijah, etc). Where did those folks end up? They weren't baptized in the sense that we think to my knowledge. Yet, we do know that Moses appeared to Jesus when He went to pray before His death.

I think perhaps there are just some things God wants to keep a mystery from us and there is probably a good reason for that.

They were in the Limbo of the Just awaiting Christ to free them when 'He descended into Hell'. Many of them, Moses,
Elias, David, the Machabees, etc. have Feast Days in the Martyrology.


Limbo

The ancient greyness shifted
Suddenly and thinned
Like mist upon the moors
Before a wind.
An old, old prophet lifted
A shining face and said:
“He will be coming soon.
The Son of God is dead;
He died this afternoon.”


A murmurous excitement stirred all souls.
they wondered if they dreamed-
Save one old man who seemed
Not even to have heard.


And Moses standing,
Hushed them all to ask
If any had a welcome song prepared.
If not, would David take the task?
And if they cared
Could not the three young children sing
The Benedicite, the canticle of praise
They made when God kept them from perishing
In the fiery blaze?


A breath of spring surprised them,
Stilling Moses’ words.
No one could speak, remembering
The first fresh flowers,
The little singing birds.
Still others thought of fields new ploughed


Or apple trees
All blossom-boughed.
Or some, the way a dried bed fills
With water
Laughing down green hills.
The fisherfolk dreamed of the foam
On bright blue seas.
The one old man who had not stirred
Remembered home.


And there He was
Splendid as the morning sun and fair
As only God is fair.
And they, confused with joy,
Knelt to adore
Seeing that He wore
Five crimson stars
He never had before.


No canticle at all was sung.
None toned a psalm, or raised a greeting song,
A silent man alone
Of all that throng
Found tongue-
Not any other.
Close to His heart
When embrace was done,
Old Joseph said,
“How is your Mother,
How is your Mother, Son?”


-Sister Mary Ada
The Reign Of Mary -Vol. XXV, No 76
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
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