This is in response to the article “Pope: There is no hope for unbaptized babies” that appeared April 21.

Within that article was a quotation from Father Richard McBrien (a theologian from Notre Dame) saying, “We’re only left with one option, namely, that everyone is born in a state of grace.” And also, “Baptism does not exist to wipe away the stain of original sin, but to initiate one into the church.”

For the benefit of Catholic readers, I would like to correct that very misguided statement.

The official teaching of the Catholic church, as found in the catechism, is “…the fact that he (Adam) has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born and afflicted, a sin which is the ‘death of the soul.’ Because of this certainty of faith, the church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin.”

Father McBrien seems to have forgotten one other option, which the church strongly leans toward concerning children who have died without baptism. The church entrusts those children to God, who is the fountain of unfathomable mercy and love, and desires that all men should be saved.

Tony Stearn, Lisbon Falls


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