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Early baptism

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 Contents - Oct 2006AD2000 October 2006 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: The way ahead for the education of Catholics - Michael Gilchrist
Generation Y: New survey confirms low belief and practice levels of young Catholics - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around The World
Spanish bishops attack false theologies - AD2000 Report
Benedict XVI interviewed by German journalists
Educating young Catholics: a bold initiative in Wagga Wagga - Michael Gilchrist
University: Campion College: a pioneer in Australian higher education - Stephen McInerny
Modernism's 'second wave' continues to impact on the Church - Fr Martin Durham
Letters: Missal translation - Philip Holberton
Letters: Counter Reformation - Alan Barron
Letters: Early baptism - Frances McEniery
Letters: Pessimistic view - Francis Vrijmoed
Letters: Church teaching on baptism - C.V. Phillips
Letters: Accuracy needed - Tony Sheehan
Letters: Intelligent Design - Michael Griffiths
Letters: Evolution hoax - Fr G.H. Duggan SM
Letters: Abortion and health insurance discounts - Robert Bom
Letters: Homosexuality - Daphne Preston
Books: ARMS OF LOVE by Carmen Marcoux - Jacinta Cummins (reviewer)
Books: Towards A People's Liturgy: The Importance of Language, by Mark Twinham Elvins - Michael E. Daniel (reviewer)
Book Launch: Lost! Australian Catholics Today, by Michael Gilchrist
Books: Order AD2000 books from
Reflection: Philosophy and theology: avoiding the pitfall of human pride - Fr John O'Neill

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".

Wagga Wagga, NSW

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 9 (October 2006), p. 15

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