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In the September letters sections a reader took exception to John Young's article, ‘The importance of early baptism’. I also found it disconcerting.
Mr Young stresses the view that unbaptised babies and adults don't go heaven. I find him too emphatic and narrow.
Good exegesis in the study of sacred Scripture is accepted by Catholic theology; Church doctrine is no less in need of sound critical analysis in order to avoid the narrowness I find in Mr Young's views. Repeating doctrines and catechism extracts in their barest formulations is not the way to present the truth with due regard for its splendour.
The idea of limbo has always been a problem. I think it's symptomatic of a larger problem: why would God exclude his children from heaven through no fault of their own and so prevent them from achieving the ultimate purpose He Himself bestowed on their existence?
Most people die without being baptised. A divine plan that bars those of them from heaven who are without personal fault is one that strains belief.
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 10 (November 2006), p. 13
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