Baby died in womb
Question from SEE on 5/5/2008:
I had a child die while I was 5 months pregnant. I found out the baby had died when I went for an ultra-sound. I had a c-section to deliver the baby, and we had him cremated. The ashes are still with us and we plan on burying him with whomever dies first (me or my husband). However, it has deeply pained me to hear that my baby is not in heaven because he was never baptized. He died before he was ever born, and our priest knew that I was in the hospital to deliver him, but no one suggested that I should have him baptized. What should I do? Why would God deny heaven to my little baby? Did God create him just send him to hell? God can not be an unjust God, and yet condemning a baby to hell when there was no possible way to baptize him before he died seems unjust.
Answer by David Gregson on 5/16/2008:
Since your baby was already dead when he was delivered, he couldn't be baptized. But you can be confident of this, your baby isn't in hell. The question is whether he's in heaven. You've probably heard of limbo, a sort of Garden of Eden, without the supreme happiness of seeing God. Although the Church never defined it as dogma, limbo was the common answer, until a few years ago, to the question of where unbaptized babies go.
But since the Church never formally taught limbo as a truth of the Faith, many theologians in recent years have put forward the hope that unbaptized babies go to heaven. Although every baby is conceived in original sin, and God established Baptism as the remedy, He can go beyond what He has established. He may consider that babies who have died in the womb, or have died before they reached the age of reason, have committed no sins of their own. So there is hope for unbaptized babies. This hope is reflected in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1261.
"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."
You may consider asking your priest to do a funeral service for the child, or at least have a Mass said for him. You may also pray for the soul of your child, that he may be admitted into God's kingdom.