by Steven Ertelt
April 20, 2007
Vatican, City (LifeNews.com) — The Pope has approved a Catholic Church report that would revise the official teaching of the church on whether babies who are not baptized would go to Heaven. The report would theoretically cover babies who are the victims of abortion and have not had a chance to be blessed by the sacrament.
Pope Benedict XVI signed off on the findings of the International Theological Commission, which issued a document on the Catholic concept of "limbo" on Originis, a documentary service that’s part of the Catholic News Service.
The commission said on its web site that there were "serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptized infants who die will be saved and brought into eternal happiness even though there is not an explicit teaching on this question found in revelation."
"There are reasons to hope that God will save these infants precisely because it was not possible (to baptize them)," it said.
Rev. Luis Ladaria, a Jesuit who an officer of the commission, told the Associated Press, "We can say we have many reasons to hope that there is salvation for these babies."
He told AP that no one can be sure what happens to babies who are victims of abortion and don’t get baptized because the Bible is silent on the specific issue.
The Catholic Church does not have a formal teaching on the issue but most Catholics have long believed the church’s position is that babies who die before baptism die with original sin and therefore do not go to Heaven. Some theologians have said that the babies enter an eternal state of happiness called limbo but do not have a formal, eternal relationship with God.
However, the commission almost did away with the notion of limbo, saying it is an "unduly restrictive view of salvation."
Both Benedict and Pope John Paul II authorized more teaching on the issue because of the prevalence of abortion and the increasing number of babies who die without receiving the sacrament of baptism.
The commission encouraged Catholic parents whose babies die to have them baptized anyway so they can receive salvation.
The title of the document is the "The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptised."
Related web sites:
Origins – https://www.originsonline.com