It is commonly believed the Catholic Church
maintains that unbaptized children
and virtuous non-Christians go to limbo
, and are deprived of the glory of heaven
. Although some Catholic theologians
have voiced this view (and it is found in Dante
), this is not the official view of the Church.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal Mystery." Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such pesons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.
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. All the more urgent is the Church's call not the prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.
The Catechism makes no mention of limbo (to my knowledge).