Does God condemn aborted babies since they are not baptized?

By November 11, 2014 32 Comments

Full Question

A Baptist minister said, “Part of the reason Catholics are so opposed to abortion is because they believe the child is lost, and it breaks my heart because God isn’t a tyrant.” Basically, he was teaching the congregation that Catholics believe that God condemns an aborted baby to hell. Is this true?


The Catholic Church entrusts all children (from the moment of conception) who die without baptism to God’s mercy in hope of their salvation. There is no distinction between children already born and those still in the womb. “Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say: ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,’ allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism” (CCC 1261).


  • I believe each baby aborted or miscarriage goes straight to God, no doubt in my mind!!!!!

    • kevin says:

      And becomes instantly a Saint….and prays for his parents….

    • I believe He sees them as martyrs.

    • John Raymond says:

      I am not a theologian so as a Catholic will defer to official Catholic teaching. I believe it is not clear that they go to Heaven (I think this is right). Having said this, I do believe that they are in Heaven. and they are the greatest of saints, just below ST Joseph and St Michael. No one has imitated Jesus more than a baby going thru an aboriton….the pain, the abadonment of society, and the innocence. One day i believe they will be canonized as a group and great Cathedrals will be built in their honor over the world, including areas that are non-Catholic. All over the world. he Virgin of Guadalupe will be pivotal in this. Just a guess….

  • finishstrongdoc says:

    The unborn who are taken by the abortionist’s knife are in the same situation as the person living in the remote village that hasn’t been evangelized. God won’t sent anyone to hell because they haven’t heard the Gospel, and God will judge us according to our works. The ignorant-of-the-Gospel villager, following the dictates of his conscience to do good as much as he or she knows to do it, will have the same measure of judgment as the unborn innocent, whose good work was to be a silent witness to the goodness of God who is Father of all, and who is willing, in each human person conceived, to give ALL of humanity another chance by caring for or rejecting that innocent unborn person.

  • emily ward says:

    All children belong to God.

    • I totally agree Emily . GOD is merciful and a tiny baby born or unborn cannot willfully sin. Jesus himself loved little children. GOD knows these young souls are not to blame for their parents choices. Even a very young child cannot comprehend receiving Jesus and baptism. You are so right….we are ALL GODS children.

      • David says:

        True that hey! I wholy agree, we are all belonging to Almighty Creater.what matters is the degree to which the gospel was taught to us.judgement will depend on that.Surely little ones unborn can not be judged by choices of their parents

      • I don’t know the answer but what came to my mind is that because God knows us in the womb then maybe he decides what to do. Like if the baby was going to to to heaven anyways then that’s where the fetus would go but if he was going to hell then that is where it would go. That’s only my thought but I pray in wrong.

  • nicc says:

    And the people that have never heard of the word of God? Wouldn’t an unborn child also not be heald accountable???

  • hoffbegone says:

    In other words, the Catholic Church does not know the answer but only allows us to hope they are saved. Since we are all children of God then does that mean all men and women are saved without baptism, even those that never heard of Catholicism, even apostate Protestants? Maybe someone needs to specify the difference between children and non-children.

    • Eric says:

      The ability to rationally, and consciously choose to sin is what distinguishes between a child in the eyes of God, and therefore innocent, and an adult. The section of the catechism used to reinforce the notion that the church believes those that haven’t heard the word, is a bit mis-represented. A villager from a remote part of, let’s say Africa, that never heard the word of God, that murdered fifty people and never confessed his sin, would still die with unrepentant mortal sins on his soul. If however, another villager lived properly, avoided the temptation to sin, and despite intellectual knowledge of the gospel, lived according to God’s law, therefore dying without sin (that being the key), the church has a reasonable hope in the salvation of all that this person would be saved. However, in the case of a protestant, who has clearly heard the word of God, the same rule does not apply. They would be held to the same standard as all others given access to the gospel.

  • The main reason why catholic opposes abortion it is because abortion is a crime in the eyes of God. It is not the issue about where the soul of the child goes, but rather it is the issue about moral teaching of the church and to protect the dignity of its members.

  • Lynn says:

    I too firmly believe all unborn children and those children as a result of miscarriage go to God. Unlike those who live and who have a choice of whether to get baptised or no, these babies didn’t have a choice and God who is all just and all merciful will never condemn them for that. The important issue which needs to be stressed for those people and Mothers who call themselves pro choice is: DON’T MAKE YOUR WOMB YOUR BABY’S TOMB!

  • Bibi says:

    In no way is an unborn child held as a responsible being with a conscience, but I do feel the “Mother” should be held as the respnsible one in the cases of abortion, miscarriage is a malfunction of nature that doesn’t allow the body to finish its job. So I feel both babies are still in Gods Loving care. Therefore going back to Gods Kingdom. There is a big difference between miscarriage and abortion. Miscarriage not a choice but act of nature. Abortion a horrible choice by its mother/father due to their selfishness of not wanting to take responsiblity for their actions.

    • John Raymond says:

      I believe in many cases hte woman is a victim. How many women are bullied into getting an abortion by step dad or (soon to be) ex boyfriend is a stat I would like to see. No, I blame the press, the abortion industry, investors cynical politicians (like Pilot, who knew Jesus was innocent).The women that have had an abortion – they have a special pain and we need to love them

  • I see many good ideas but if you are Catholic you should know what our Church teaches because we should speak with unity. The article says what our catechism says that we believe we have a just God He would not condemn an innocent child to Hell. We used to talk of Limbo a place where the innocents would stay until the final judgement.

    • hoffbegone says:

      Let’s all speak with unity to give the appearance we speak with authority. Where is Peter when we need him (Matthew 16:19)?

  • Josephine says:

    if so then, why does the church not pray for children unbaptized when they die?

  • David says:

    God is always just and merciful.God knows life of everyone from begining till the end.no need to worry about t.hat, just leave it for HIM the almighty creater

  • “Hope”? I don’t “hope.” I don’t have any doubt in my mind.

  • Derek says:

    This is completely wrong, not to mention Heritical.
    The church has made definitions on the eternal destiny of infants who die without baptism.
    All those who die without baptism will not be saved. The Council of Trent states:
     861 [DS 1618] Can. 5. If anyone shall say that baptism is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation: let him be anathema [cf. n. 796].
    St. Augustine taught at Carthage:
    “It has been decided likewise that if anyone says that for this reason the Lord said: “In my house there are many mansions”: that it might be understood that in the kingdom of heaven there will be some middle place or some place anywhere where happy 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. For when the Lord says: “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he shall not enter into the kingdom of God” [John 3:5], what Catholic will doubt that he will be a partner of the devil who has not deserved to be a coheir of Christ? For he who lacks the right part will without doubt run into the left [cf. Matt. 25:41,46].”
    We must understand that all souls are conceived with original sin, except for Our mother Mary. Baptism cleans us of original sin, and makes us members of the Church.
     The Council of Lyons II (1274) and that of Florence both defined that those who die with original sin only, such as unbaptized infants, are punished in hell for the guilt of original sin. The councils wrote as follows.
    “The souls of those who die in mortal sin or with original sin only, however, immediately descend to hell, to be punished however with disparate punishments.”
    The damned have “disparate punishments” [disparibus, unequal] in that each will receive according to his guilt. As St. Augustine taught, infants who die unbaptized have the pain of sense but to a milder extent than do those other damned who have added further sins to the guilt of original sin.

    • Margarett RBC Zavodny says:

      This does, however, appear to limit God. He can, certainly, decide to save outside the ordinary means,i.e., baptism.

    • John Raymond says:

      Derek, I would like to see this more fully developed and discussed among some top Catholic theologians…you have some strong stuff here, but is in context, is there other things that clarify this? I have seen this before with Protestants- they show me a Bible passage…then a Catholic will show me 4 or 5 thruout the Bible, with much fuller explanations. I jsut cannot believe this stands as you present it in terms of unborn, butchered babies.

  • jeraldine e says:

    Yah it’s true

  • I don’t recall Jesus stopping to baptize the Good Thief on the cross. He simply asked to be remembered when Jesus reached His Kingdom.
    One can hardly hold a child guilty of having parents who killed him/her before birth. The Church has never taught that unbaptized children go to Hell. There was some thought that they were in a state of natural happiness, but it is far more likely that they are received into Heaven.

  • Martha says:

    If Jesus on the cross said to the theif who was not baptized that he would be in Paradise, I also believe our merciful Lord will welcome with open arms the aborted and miscarried infants.

  • DL. says:

    Until a child reaches the age of accountability and fully understands the difference between right and wrong good and evil they are covered by the grace and mercy of God, and they will go to heaven baptized or not.

  • Greg says:

    My brothers and sisters what was the significant of the water and blood that came out from Christ side on the cross? I believe its mercy right, and the bible says it is appointed for man to die once then comes judgement. The catholic church is always deep in her teachings, now read. Whether a baby born then died, or terminated through abortion before birth or when an adult dies, all must face GOD the just judge and if clean , you enter into HIS kingdom, so babies will all go to heaven by GOD’S infinite mercy because they are cleansed by GOD’S mercy , the water and blood from the cross. This actually wipes that original sin inherited from our first parents Adam and Eve. But as for an adult or a child who knows the difference between good and evil your life here on earth will determine that.

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