Neil asked:

Do unborn or dead children who are unbaptized go to heaven? What does the Church say?

Fr. Fessio replied:

"The Catholic position is often a balance between two possible positions but it integrates them in a way that is Catholic ... so on the one hand whereas baptism is the ordinary means of salvation ... salvation is open to every human being. No one is excluded by the fact that you could not get baptized. Those who came before Christ, those who are in situations where they are not even near a place where they can be baptized ... Salvation is open to all including the unborn infant, including the child who is miscarried, but we can’t be certain of the salvation of any particular person. We have to pray. What do we have? We have hope. Hope does not mean wishful thinking. Hope means a firm conviction based upon the fact that God loves each of us and Jesus died for every single human person. That invitation to eternal life which was offered by God through Christ will be accepted ... I don’t think you can wake up and find yourself in heaven ... In order to participate in this great marriage feast which we are called to you gotta say yes to the call ... No one can get to heaven, in my view, against his will."


Catholic Answers, "Open Forum" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2013)

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of the answer provided. For the complete response download the podcast.

Click icon for archived podcast answering this question in its entirety.

Show air date: September 5, 2013

Name of show: Open Forum

Guest comments by: Fr. Joseph Fessio

Question appeared in show: 29:11

Social: Share:

This site is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.

"...and upon this rock I will build My Church..." Matthew 16:18