WHEN should CHILDREN be baptized?

Children should be baptized as soon as possible after birth.

1. If possible, this should be done within a week.

Except when in danger of death, an infant should not be baptized without the permission of a parent or guardian. Children who have come to the age of reason cannot be baptized without their own consent.

2. Infants may receive the baptism of blood, but not the baptism of desire, since they have not as yet the use of reason.

Theologians have suggested various ways in which, they believe, babies who die without Baptism might be saved. But since this is only pious belief, parents sin mortally if they neglect the Baptism of their children.

3. Since infants who die unbaptized have committed no sins, they live in a place of natural happiness called “limbo.”

Catholic parents who put off for a long time, or entirely neglect, the Baptism of their children put them in danger of losing heaven and the vision of God eternally. Although in limbo infants enjoy complete natural happiness surpassing any on earth, such happiness cannot compare with the bliss of heaven, where souls see God face to face. One is natural, the other supernatural joy. 

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