What the Church Teaches About the Souls of Miscarried Children

Question: Do miscarried children have souls, and what does the Church teach about their eternal destiny?


Every living being possesses a soul, and in the case of human beings, this soul is spiritual and rational, made in the image and likeness of God. The moment of conception marks the beginning of a person’s existence, and with it comes the formation of their spiritual and rational soul. Therefore, it is true that even miscarried children have human souls.

What then of their eternal destiny? According to the teachings of the Church, unbaptized children share in the same hope for heaven as all innocent souls.

As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. 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. All the more urgent is the Church’s call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.

CCC 1261

This means that we can trust in the mercy and love of God to provide for them in the afterlife, just as we do for all those who pass from this world too soon. As we mourn their loss, we can take comfort in the knowledge that they are held in the arms of a loving God, who has prepared a place for them in His kingdom.

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