Church teaching

Church teaching

Mark Moriarty

I have considered carefully how to respond charitably to Don Ford (November AD2000) who has basically stated that I do not know much about Catholic Church teaching. So in the nicest way I wish to inform him that I probably know a lot more than the average Catholic.

I have read and studied all of the Vatican II documents, read and been to a course on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I keep up to date with pretty much every Church document.

I was also a member of the committee that wrote the We Belong to the Lord RE syllabus for the Diocese of Wagga Wagga. In fact I typed, designed and edited every word in this syllabus. I subsequently wrote hundreds of lessons for catechists and teachers based on this syllabus, including Penance, Eucharist and Confirmation programs.

In the preparation of the RE syllabus my faith and belief in the teachings of the Catholic Church was deeply strengthened. I still maintain, as the Church teaches, that children who die unbaptised will be cared for by the great mercy of God. It is interesting that Don Ford quotes paragraph 1257 but only the first part.

The last sentence is very telling and worth quoting in full: 'God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.'

Please read n. 1260 which also gives hope to those who have not received actual baptism: 'It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.' Why could this not be the case for unbaptised infants?

The fact is the Catholic Church in the Catechism pretty much states it does not know what happens to unbaptised infants except to rely on the mercy of God that they will be saved. Limbo is not and will never be Church teaching.

One has to be careful quoting 'infallible' statements. There have in fact been very few and the ones quoted by John Young are not infallible, being Church teaching, not all of which is infallible, though it may in fact be the truth.

Lavington, NSW

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