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I commend John Young for his article endorsing early baptism, however I do not believe a loving God would ever condemn a perfectly innocent baby to the "pain of loss", limbo or any other denial of Heaven. Such children would surely fall into the category of those who would have explicitly desired Baptism had they been capable of knowing its necessity.
Once the age of reason is attained, however, children are responsible and accountable for their actions. The fact that many Saints have testified to visions of very young children detained in Purgatory and even Hell supports the need for early baptism, and the strengthening and transforming effects of Grace and the gifts of the Holy Spirit thus conferred on a child's soul.
In reference to aborted babies, why would a just and merciful God send these innocent little ones to a "state of great natural happiness" only, while their murderers have the chance to repent and so attain eternal beatitude? The Divine Innocence Movement has for many years been petitioning Rome to have the aborted children claimed as the Second Holy Innocents, i.e., saints and martyrs to the truths of the faith which are being disregarded today, especially the Commandment not to kill.
To these would certainly apply the words of the Catechism (1258): "Those who suffer death for the sake of the faith, without having received Baptism are baptised by their death ... This Baptism of Blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a Sacrament".
I also assure John that when John Paul II spoke of these babies as "living in the Lord", he was referring to the beatific vision and not to "limbo".
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 9 (October 2006), p. 15
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