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254 bytes added, 10:06, 10 August 2013
Afterlife for aborted children
:: The fact that God's mercy is infinite does not allow the Church, on that basis alone, to make a declaration of collective salvation in a particular case. "Other emergency forms of baptism for children dying without sacramental baptism, such as prayer and desire of the parents or the Church, or the attainment of the use of reason in the moment of death, so that the dying child can decide for or against God, or suffering and death of the child as a quasi-Sacrament, are indeed, possible, but their actuality cannot be proved from Revelation."24 These infants are truly worthy of prayers and the desire for the mercy of God. However, the lack of Divine Revelation, in union with the traditions of the Church which serve as holy precedent, leave little room for any canonical decree on this difficult issue.
:: "Finally it must be borne in mind that unbaptized infants, if deprived of heaven, would not be deprived unjustly. The vision of God is not something to which human beings have a natural claim. It is a free gift of the Creator who can make what conditions he chooses for imparting it or withholding it."<ref>Catholic Encyclopedia, "Baptism." </ref> As it has always stood, such a condition as afforded to the Church remains the sacrament of Baptism. All that falls outside of this realm is commended entirely to the mercy of God. Given the limitations presented to the aborted infants, such a declaration of categorical salvation would undermine the reality of original sin, the necessity of infant baptism, defy the sacramental means of the Church, and present a universal certainty when indeed one is lacking. Rather, maintaining the traditional stance of the Church, as so beautifully voiced in the Catechism of Pope John Paul II, does much to increase hope in the mercy of God who can indeed admit to the Beatific Vision whomsoever he pleases. This is the very hope echoed by the Angelic Doctor, when, although affirming that the normal means of Baptism are not available to the infant in the womb, they "can nevertheless be subjected to the action of God, in whose presence they are living, in such wise that they achieve sanctification by some privilege of grace, as is evident regarding those who have been sanctified in the womb."<ref>St. Thomas Aquinas, ''Summa Theologiae'', III, q. 68, art. 11, ad. 2. </ref> McCarthy, who maintains that "one can hope that the same grace may also be given to babies, lethally attacked, who have never been enemies of God in mind or in evil works," reechoes this sentiment.<ref>McCarthy, 9.</ref> :: As the question of the status of the aborted infants utterly surpasses the bounds of the sacramental authority of the Church and of divine revelation, our prayer for these souls becomes all the more necessary in this great holocaust of our time.
:; [ CCC #1261]
:: As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,"<ref>Mk 10 14; cf. 1 Tim 2:4.</ref> allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.
== References ==

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