Author Topic: Baptism in case of miscarriage  (Read 24555 times)

Offline Non Nobis

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Re: Baptism in case of miscarriage
« Reply #30 on: June 09, 2014, 06:36:53 PM »
I know a good Catholic woman who had a miscarriage, and certainly did not know the correct formulas to use in baptism in this case, and may not have discerned body parts (I don't know).  She baptized the baby (or what was left) "just in case", but without any particular conditional formula.  Couldn't such a baptism possibly be valid?  A priest gives last rites to a person who most judge as dead, but the soul sometimes might not leave the body right away.  Is the same possible for the child whom most would judge is dead after a miscarriage?  I understand that this probably happens very rarely.
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Offline Geremia

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Re: Baptism in case of miscarriage
« Reply #31 on: June 09, 2014, 06:43:01 PM »
I know a good Catholic woman who had a miscarriage, and certainly did not know the correct formulas to use in baptism in this case, and may not have discerned body parts (I don't know).  She baptized the baby (or what was left) "just in case", but without any particular conditional formula.  Couldn't such a baptism possibly be valid?
If it was a human, why not?
A priest gives last rites to a person who most judge as dead, but the soul sometimes might not leave the body right away.  Is the same possible for the child whom most would judge is dead after a miscarriage?  I understand that this probably happens very rarely.
My priest said that they have 3 hours after the body appears to be dead to continue administering the sacrament. I haven't been able to find a canon mentioning 3 hours, but it's probably written down somewhere.

Offline Gardener

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Re: Baptism in case of miscarriage
« Reply #32 on: June 09, 2014, 06:50:13 PM »
I know a good Catholic woman who had a miscarriage, and certainly did not know the correct formulas to use in baptism in this case, and may not have discerned body parts (I don't know).  She baptized the baby (or what was left) "just in case", but without any particular conditional formula.  Couldn't such a baptism possibly be valid?  A priest gives last rites to a person who most judge as dead, but the soul sometimes might not leave the body right away.  Is the same possible for the child whom most would judge is dead after a miscarriage?  I understand that this probably happens very rarely.

God is not bound to the Sacraments, we are, and the intention of the woman was there. It's not as if He would say, "well Susie, you didn't say this one word/you got the phrasing wrong, so your baby is forever in Limbo..." We must remember that God is not a legalist -- Christ made this very much a strong aspect of His earthly teaching ministry. God is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and the woman very well may have acted as a servant of grace in that situation.

The worst thing which could be done is to categorically say she didn't baptize the baby. Instead she should be consoled and assured of the Mercy of God, and instructed by a competent authority on how to better proceed if, God forbid, there would be a next time.

This sort of situation is a theological gray zone in its full implications and has many elements which are out of our sphere of competency.
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Offline verenaerin

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Re: Baptism in case of miscarriage
« Reply #33 on: June 09, 2014, 07:26:36 PM »
I know a good Catholic woman who had a miscarriage, and certainly did not know the correct formulas to use in baptism in this case, and may not have discerned body parts (I don't know).  She baptized the baby (or what was left) "just in case", but without any particular conditional formula.  Couldn't such a baptism possibly be valid?  A priest gives last rites to a person who most judge as dead, but the soul sometimes might not leave the body right away.  Is the same possible for the child whom most would judge is dead after a miscarriage?  I understand that this probably happens very rarely.

God is not bound to the Sacraments, we are, and the intention of the woman was there. It's not as if He would say, "well Susie, you didn't say this one word/you got the phrasing wrong, so your baby is forever in Limbo..." We must remember that God is not a legalist -- Christ made this very much a strong aspect of His earthly teaching ministry. God is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and the woman very well may have acted as a servant of grace in that situation.

The worst thing which could be done is to categorically say she didn't baptize the baby. Instead she should be consoled and assured of the Mercy of God, and instructed by a competent authority on how to better proceed if, God forbid, there would be a next time.

This sort of situation is a theological gray zone in its full implications and has many elements which are out of our sphere of competency.

I agree, God's not going to damn a baby over a technicality. I have hope that all my babies in limbo will eventually be granted Heaven when this whole Earth thing is over and done with.
 

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Re: Baptism in case of miscarriage
« Reply #34 on: June 09, 2014, 07:31:46 PM »
I know a good Catholic woman who had a miscarriage, and certainly did not know the correct formulas to use in baptism in this case, and may not have discerned body parts (I don't know).  She baptized the baby (or what was left) "just in case", but without any particular conditional formula.  Couldn't such a baptism possibly be valid?  A priest gives last rites to a person who most judge as dead, but the soul sometimes might not leave the body right away.  Is the same possible for the child whom most would judge is dead after a miscarriage?  I understand that this probably happens very rarely.

God is not bound to the Sacraments, we are, and the intention of the woman was there. It's not as if He would say, "well Susie, you didn't say this one word/you got the phrasing wrong, so your baby is forever in Limbo..." We must remember that God is not a legalist -- Christ made this very much a strong aspect of His earthly teaching ministry. God is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and the woman very well may have acted as a servant of grace in that situation.

The worst thing which could be done is to categorically say she didn't baptize the baby. Instead she should be consoled and assured of the Mercy of God, and instructed by a competent authority on how to better proceed if, God forbid, there would be a next time.

This sort of situation is a theological gray zone in its full implications and has many elements which are out of our sphere of competency.

I agree, God's not going to damn a baby over a technicality. I have hope that all my babies in limbo will eventually be granted Heaven when this whole Earth thing is over and done with.
same here
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Offline Kaesekopf

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Re: Baptism in case of miscarriage
« Reply #35 on: June 12, 2014, 10:11:33 AM »
What point is there in baptizing children before the age of reason then? 

Original sin still exists on those childrens' souls.  No, they did not themselves merit damnation, yet they are not entitled to Heaven.
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Offline Chestertonian

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Re: Baptism in case of miscarriage
« Reply #36 on: June 12, 2014, 10:23:20 AM »
What point is there in baptizing children before the age of reason then? 

Original sin still exists on those childrens' souls.  No, they did not themselves merit damnation, yet they are not entitled to Heaven.
because we don't want to presume the fate of anyone's soul and baptism is the ordinary means of attaining sanctifying grace
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Offline verenaerin

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Re: Baptism in case of miscarriage
« Reply #37 on: June 12, 2014, 10:26:41 AM »
What point is there in baptizing children before the age of reason then? 

Original sin still exists on those childrens' souls.  No, they did not themselves merit damnation, yet they are not entitled to Heaven.

I am very aware of this. But these are our laws. As someone mentioned, we are supposed to follow them, but God is outside of these laws. When all is said a done, if He chooses to allow babies from limbo to come to Heaven- He can di it because He is God. He loves them more then I, He misses them more then I. So I hope that at some point He gathers these baby lambs and leads them to the same pasture that we are at.

I am not denying dogma. I maintain hope for the children I have lost. I am their mother, it is my job.
 

Offline Gardener

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Re: Baptism in case of miscarriage
« Reply #38 on: June 12, 2014, 12:33:42 PM »
What point is there in baptizing children before the age of reason then? 

Original sin still exists on those childrens' souls.  No, they did not themselves merit damnation, yet they are not entitled to Heaven.

Very correct, and in the case of those who are not competent to declare intention of receiving the Sacrament of Baptism, the intention of another is the proxy.

However, in situations such as a miscarriage, there is potentially no opportunity to confer the Sacrament though fully intended. This leaves us with a conundrum, as the Sacrament's conferring is impossible. As the one who is Justified, the parent, intends to confer the Sacrament, it is potentially true that their intention, though the ability is lacking, suffices in sort of a Baptism of Desire by proxy, just as actual Baptism is done by intentional proxy.

While this is not defined by the Church, it is a possibility.

To take your argument to its extreme, we end up with the Protestant conclusion of excluding infant Baptism. To take the other argument to the extreme we have Universal Salvation. The key is a middle ground and gray area wherein we act in Faith and hope to obtain the Mercy of God for another.

"For God does not command impossibilities, but by commanding admonishes thee to do what thou canst and to pray for what thou canst not, and aids thee that thou mayest be able.[58]" - Trent, Session 6, Chapter XI
http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/trent6.htm

The safest thing we can do is pray and hope, holding to the doctrine on Original Sin, not declaring for certain all the little babies are in Heaven, and neither can we say for sure they are all lost in light of the Mercy of God and the reality of a valid intention minus the Form and Matter.

It's admittedly not an opinion which is rigorous in its application, but it is a pastorally sound method which does not do injury to doctrine as it leaves it up to God.
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Providence is a present mystery by which our hope is confirmed and our faith solidified, if we give not into despair or disbelief.
 

Offline Daniel

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Re: Baptism in case of miscarriage
« Reply #39 on: June 12, 2014, 01:17:10 PM »
from the Roman Ritual:
Quote
A monster or abnormal fetus should in every case be baptized at least with the following expressed condition: If you are a human being, I baptize you, etc. When in doubt as to whether there is one or several persons in the deformed mass, one part is to be baptized absolutely, and the others each with the condition: If you are not baptized, I baptize you, etc.
What's the purpose of the conditional formula?  Is it so that we don't commit sacrilege by inadvertently attempting to baptize something that isn't capable of being baptized?

What point is there in baptizing children before the age of reason then? 

Original sin still exists on those childrens' souls.  No, they did not themselves merit damnation, yet they are not entitled to Heaven.

I am very aware of this. But these are our laws. As someone mentioned, we are supposed to follow them, but God is outside of these laws. When all is said a done, if He chooses to allow babies from limbo to come to Heaven- He can di it because He is God. He loves them more then I, He misses them more then I. So I hope that at some point He gathers these baby lambs and leads them to the same pasture that we are at.

I am not denying dogma. I maintain hope for the children I have lost. I am their mother, it is my job.
But if He was going to grant them heaven, what would be the purpose of limbo?  The souls in limbo, if it exists, have already been judged.
 

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Re: Baptism in case of miscarriage
« Reply #40 on: June 12, 2014, 01:33:03 PM »
from the Roman Ritual:
Quote
A monster or abnormal fetus should in every case be baptized at least with the following expressed condition: If you are a human being, I baptize you, etc. When in doubt as to whether there is one or several persons in the deformed mass, one part is to be baptized absolutely, and the others each with the condition: If you are not baptized, I baptize you, etc.
What's the purpose of the conditional formula?  Is it so that we don't commit sacrilege by inadvertently attempting to baptize something that isn't capable of being baptized?

What point is there in baptizing children before the age of reason then? 

Original sin still exists on those childrens' souls.  No, they did not themselves merit damnation, yet they are not entitled to Heaven.

I am very aware of this. But these are our laws. As someone mentioned, we are supposed to follow them, but God is outside of these laws. When all is said a done, if He chooses to allow babies from limbo to come to Heaven- He can di it because He is God. He loves them more then I, He misses them more then I. So I hope that at some point He gathers these baby lambs and leads them to the same pasture that we are at.

I am not denying dogma. I maintain hope for the children I have lost. I am their mother, it is my job.
But if He was going to grant them heaven, what would be the purpose of limbo?  The souls in limbo, if it exists, have already been judged.

I'm not aware of any of the Fathers addressing the issue of Limbo post-Final Judgement. If I recall correctly, Aquinas doesn't address it either.

Technically, Limbo is hell, but not Hell proper.

The Final Judgement only involves those going to Hell and those going to Heaven. No mention is made in Scripture about limbo post-Final Judgement, but very specifically Our Lord says there will be those on the Left (Goats - Hell) and those on the Right (Sheep - Heaven).

As they have no actual sin, they can't properly go to Hell as this would be unjust. But nor can they go to Heaven as it would also be unjust. Therefore something must occur which delineates the souls in Limbo.

Otherwise, we must assume a continuance of Limbo as part and parcel to Hell.

I'm interested in any resources on post-Final Judgement thoughts as relates to those with no actual sin but only Original, if anyone has any.

The only one I've found is:


 'The other parts of hell have also the more particular names of purgatory and limbo. After the final judgment heaven and hell only are to be inhabited, since purgatory shall become unnecessary and since even the infants shall be transported to another dwelling place.'

Ven. Mary of Agreda


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Providence is a present mystery by which our hope is confirmed and our faith solidified, if we give not into despair or disbelief.
 

Offline verenaerin

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Re: Baptism in case of miscarriage
« Reply #41 on: June 12, 2014, 01:46:33 PM »
What point is there in baptizing children before the age of reason then? 

Original sin still exists on those childrens' souls.  No, they did not themselves merit damnation, yet they are not entitled to Heaven.

Very correct, and in the case of those who are not competent to declare intention of receiving the Sacrament of Baptism, the intention of another is the proxy.

However, in situations such as a miscarriage, there is potentially no opportunity to confer the Sacrament though fully intended. This leaves us with a conundrum, as the Sacrament's conferring is impossible. As the one who is Justified, the parent, intends to confer the Sacrament, it is potentially true that their intention, though the ability is lacking, suffices in sort of a Baptism of Desire by proxy, just as actual Baptism is done by intentional proxy.

While this is not defined by the Church, it is a possibility.

To take your argument to its extreme, we end up with the Protestant conclusion of excluding infant Baptism. To take the other argument to the extreme we have Universal Salvation. The key is a middle ground and gray area wherein we act in Faith and hope to obtain the Mercy of God for another.

"For God does not command impossibilities, but by commanding admonishes thee to do what thou canst and to pray for what thou canst not, and aids thee that thou mayest be able.[58]" - Trent, Session 6, Chapter XI
http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/trent6.htm

The safest thing we can do is pray and hope, holding to the doctrine on Original Sin, not declaring for certain all the little babies are in Heaven, and neither can we say for sure they are all lost in light of the Mercy of God and the reality of a valid intention minus the Form and Matter.

It's admittedly not an opinion which is rigorous in its application, but it is a pastorally sound method which does not do injury to doctrine as it leaves it up to God.

This exactly.
 

Offline verenaerin

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Re: Baptism in case of miscarriage
« Reply #42 on: June 12, 2014, 01:50:00 PM »


But if He was going to grant them heaven, what would be the purpose of limbo? The souls in limbo, if it exists, have already been judged.

How do you know? Maybe God will change His mind- it's not as definitive as Heaven or Hell. We don't know what God has planned after final judgment. We just know (more or less) the order of things up to that point.
 

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Re: Baptism in case of miscarriage
« Reply #43 on: June 12, 2014, 01:58:12 PM »


But if He was going to grant them heaven, what would be the purpose of limbo? The souls in limbo, if it exists, have already been judged.

How do you know? Maybe God will change His mind- it's not as definitive as Heaven or Hell. We don't know what God has planned after final judgment. We just know (more or less) the order of things up to that point.

Whatever God may have planned after the final Judgement is already determined in the Eternal will of God. It is absolutely impossible for God to "change His mind" as this would indicate a defect in His previous decision or His having come to a deeper realization of a situation which He have previously misjudged.
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Offline verenaerin

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Re: Baptism in case of miscarriage
« Reply #44 on: June 12, 2014, 02:18:44 PM »


But if He was going to grant them heaven, what would be the purpose of limbo? The souls in limbo, if it exists, have already been judged.

How do you know? Maybe God will change His mind- it's not as definitive as Heaven or Hell. We don't know what God has planned after final judgment. We just know (more or less) the order of things up to that point.

Whatever God may have planned after the final Judgement is already determined in the Eternal will of God. It is absolutely impossible for God to "change His mind" as this would indicate a defect in His previous decision or His having come to a deeper realization of a situation which He have previously misjudged.

OK, I will reword it. Perhaps God has plans for some/ all in Limbo that we don't know about.