BASIC R.C. BELIEF
A place or state where souls of O.T. saints were detained until the
Resurrection of Christ, and a place or state of natural happiness for
unbaptized babies (CATHOLIC WORD BOOK, Knights of Columbus, p. 27).
Although never formally defined, it has been the universal Roman Catholic
belief for centuries.
POST VATICAN II
There has never been an official statement doing away with this doctrine,
but it has been disregarded by most Roman Catholics today, the majority of
whom nevertheless, insist on immediate baptism for any infant in danger of
One suggested theological solution to the plight of unbaptized babies is
to apply to them the baptism of desire since, it is argued, they would have
desired baptism had they lived to maturity.
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