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Midori wrote:

Hi, guys —

Good day, and I hope you're well!

I have struggled with this question for a while, and I was hoping for an answer from any of you!

  • When little children die, including stillborn babies and sick babies, do they go to Heaven or Hell?
  • They haven't done anything wrong or right, so where would they go?
  • I don't understand. It seems to me as if they would go to Heaven, but do they?

Midori

  { When little children die, including stillborn babies and sick babies, do they go to Heaven or Hell? }

Mary Ann replied:

Dear Midori,

Such children go into the hands of God, who cares for them in ways beyond our imagining.

We know that the God who created them loves them, and we trust Him. John Paul II said that such children are living with the Lord. If one is looking for an explanation of how God's salvation can reach those who have not been baptized, we know that God honors the faith of others for salvation. He wishes all to be saved. He cured the crippled because of the faith of his friends.

He gives His grace in the Baptism of infants because of the faith of the parents. For this reason, we should have faith that God cares for them.

Mary Ann

Midori replied:

Hi, Mary Ann —

I thought all people were born into this world as sinners?

Midori

Mary Ann replied:

Dear Midori,

We are all born in a state of estrangement from God, the result of the original sin of Adam and Eve, which is not our personal sin but a state. However, Christ has reconciled mankind to God in principle. 

Anyone who sincerely seeks the good can be saved, and anyone who dies in innocence, before the age of reason, but without Baptism, has no sin that cannot be overcome by this reconciling act of Christ, so the person does not go to Hell: the punishment of the those who refuse reconciliation.

They are with God. They did not have the indwelling of the divine life, the eternal life given by Baptism, but that, can be imparted by God as He wishes. Some say that such innocent souls are in a state of natural happiness without the Beatific Vision, but that complicates things unnecessarily and restricts God's salvific will and His mercy, so I prefer to:

  • speak as the Church does in the funeral Masses for such children, and
  • speak of our confident hope in God's love for His children.

Mary Ann

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