The teaching of the Catholic Church already cited shows that no one can be saved without the Sacrament of Baptism. Obviously, therefore, this means that children and infants also cannot get to Heaven without Baptism because they are conceived in a state of original sin, which cannot be removed without the Sacrament of Baptism. But this truth of the Catholic Church is denied by many people today. They look at the horrible tragedy of abortion – the millions of slaughtered children – and they conclude that these children must be headed to Heaven. But such a conclusion is heretical. The worst part of abortion is the fact that these children are barred from entrance into Heaven, not that they don’t get to live in this pagan world. Satan delights in abortion because he knows that these souls can never get to Heaven without the Sacrament of Baptism. If aborted children went straight to Heaven without the Sacrament of Baptism, as many today believe, then Satan wouldn’t be behind abortion.
The Church teaches that aborted children and infants who die without baptism descend immediately into Hell, but that they do not suffer the fires of Hell. They go to a place in Hell called the limbo of the children. The most specific definition of the Church proving that there is no possible way for an infant to be saved without the Sacrament of Baptism is the following one from Pope Eugene IV.
Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Session 11, Feb. 4, 1442, ex cathedra: “Regarding children, indeed, because of danger of death, which can often take place, when no help can be brought to them by another remedy than through the sacrament of baptism, through which they are snatched from the domination of the Devil [original sin] and adopted among the sons of God, it advises that holy baptism ought not be deferred for forty or eighty days, or any time according to the observance of certain people…”
Pope Eugene IV here defined from the Chair of Peter that there is no other remedy for infants to be snatched away from the dominion of the devil (i.e., original sin) other than the Sacrament of Baptism. This means that anyone who obstinately teaches that infants can be saved without receiving the Sacrament of Baptism is a heretic, for he is teaching that there is another remedy for original sin in children other than the Sacrament of Baptism.
Pope Martin V, Council of Constance, Session 15, July 6, 1415 - Condemning the articles of John Wyclif - Proposition 6: “Those who claim that the children of the faithful dying without sacramental baptism will not be saved, are stupid and presumptuous in saying this.” - Condemned
This is a fascinating proposition from The Council of Constance. Unfortunately, this proposition is not found in Denzinger, which only contains some of the Council’s decrees, but it is found in a full collection of the Council of Constance. The arch-heretic John Wyclif was proposing that those (such as ourselves) are stupid for teaching that infants who die without water (i.e., sacramental) baptism cannot possibly be saved. He was anathematized for this assertion, among many others. And here is what the Council of Constance had to say about John Wyclif’s anathematized propositions, such as #6 above.
Pope Martin V, Council of Constance, Session 15, July 6, 1415: “The books and pamphlets of John Wyclif, of cursed memory, were carefully examined by the doctors and masters of Oxford University… This holy synod, therefore, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, repudiates and condemns, by this perpetual decree, the aforesaid articles and each of them in particular; and it forbids each and every Catholic henceforth, under pain of anathema, to preach, teach, or hold the said articles or any one of them.”
So those who criticize Catholics for affirming the dogma that no infant can be saved without the Sacrament of Baptism are actually proposing the anathematized heresy of John Wyclif. Here are some other dogmatic definitions on the topic.
Pope St. Zosimus, The Council of Carthage, Canon on Sin and Grace, 417 A.D.- “It has been decided likewise that if anyone says that for this reason the Lord said: ‘In my Father’s house there are many mansions’ [John 14:2]: that it might be understood that in the kingdom of heaven there will be some middle place or some place anywhere where the blessed infants live who departed from this life without baptism, without which they cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, which is life eternal, let him be anathema.”
Pope Paul III, The Council of Trent, On Original Sin, Session V, ex cathedra: “If anyone says that recently born babies should not be baptized even if they have been born to baptized parents; or says that they are indeed baptized for the remission of sins, but incur no trace of the original sin of Adam needing to be cleansed by the laver of rebirth for them to obtain eternal life, with the necessary consequence that in their case there is being understood a form of baptism for the remission of sins which is not true, but false: let him be anathema.”
This means that anyone who asserts that infants don’t need the “laver of rebirth” (water baptism) to attain eternal life is teaching heresy.
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