This Week’s Ask Alice: Newborn Babies and Original Sin



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T.S. writes: Why do some Christians claim that a newborn baby has sinned while other Christians claim that a newborn baby is without sin?

Alice responds: Neither Catholics nor any other Christians claim that a newborn baby has sinned through his own fault. Catholics and many Christians believe that babies are born into the world with the original sin of Adam and Eve, our first parents.

The Old Testament states, “Behold I was shapen in sin,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
(Psalm 51:5)

In the New Testament, St. Paul explains the situation this way: “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world and with sin death, death thus coming to all men, inasmuch as all sinned_before the law there was sin in the world, even though sin is not imputed when there is no law_ I say, from Adam to Moses death reigned, even over those who had not sinned by breaking a precept as did Adam, that type of the man to come.” (Romans 5:12-14)

Scripture and tradition teach us that Baptism is necessary for salvation. Jesus set an example for humanity by asking his cousin, John the Baptist, to baptize him (even though John’s was merely a baptism of repentance … not the actual sacrament of Christian baptism.)

“Later Jesus, coming from Galilee, appeared before John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to refuse him with the protest, ‘I should be baptized by you, yet you come to me!’ Jesus answered, ‘Give in for now. We must do this if we would fulfill all of God’s demands.’ “ (Matthew 3:13-15)

Also, Jesus told Nicodemus, “I solemnly assure you, no one can enter into God’s kingdom without being begotten of water and Spirit. Flesh begets flesh, Spirit begets spirit.” (John 3:5-6)

The Catholic Church considers age 7 to be “the age of reason.”

A 7-year-old child is (generally) considered morally responsible, able to know right from wrong. This is typically the age that children make their first Confessions, since they can understand the 10 commandments and precepts of the Church.

From birth until age 7, a child is considered morally to be an infant, according to most Christians religions, thus incapable of committing a serious sin.

It can be argued some very intelligent children can be morally responsible before age 7. However, all Christians agree that a newborn baby definitely cannot commit a sin.

In Christ’s love,

Alice

Doug Lawrence adds: From the scriptures, we know for certain that death is the universal penalty for sin.

The reverse is also true:
One who has no sin is certainly NOT liable to die.

While the theological implications of this essential concept are truly awesome, one thing can easily be determined, beyond a shadow of a doubt:

The fact that even a newly conceived infant is subject to death provides absolute proof that even innocents such as these are profoundly affected by the Original Sin of Adam and Eve, our first parents.

The scriptures also state clearly that nothing sinful can enter heaven. Hence, the traditional Catholic practice of baptizing newborn infants, with as little delay as possible.

Since the sacrament of baptism, according to the faith of the universal church, washes away all sins (including Original Sin), infuses supernatural grace into the soul, makes the baptized a living temple of the Holy Spirit, an adopted child of God, a member of the church, a citizen of heaven, and co-heir with Jesus Christ, there is absolutely no reason to wait.

Those who believe otherwise have fallen victim to destructive old heresies which may leave their souls, and the souls of all their offspring, in jeopardy.

Better to be safe … than eternally sorry!

St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas on Original Sin


More on Infant Baptism

Q: For Adults only … or for babies too?

A: The simple fact is … the Bible provides only a very sketchy account of things … since it was never intended to be a complete narrative.

You can spend all the time you want trying to prove a point from it, but the fact is, the authentic Church routinely baptized people of all ages, from the very beginning, and it still does, simply because it is the logical thing to do, since God desires all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of his truth.

The sooner … the better … since the time for salvation is … now.

God has never experienced any difficulties communicating with the souls he creates and indwells … no matter what their age.

Jer 1:4 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and made thee a prophet unto the nations.

John’s baptism was merely a symbolic baptism of repentance … a “dress rehearsal” for the real thing … while Christian baptism is authentic and powerful, according to God’s grace, and the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Jews were very familiar and comfortable with ritual washing, since it was routinely required before eating, before entering the temple, etc..

Recent archeological evidence indicates that John would pour water over the heads of the faithful (typically using a sea shell) when the Jordan was running too swiftly, or when the weather was otherwise unsuitable.

Circumcision … not baptism … was the way infants were always inducted into the ranks of the “Chosen People” since it was required under the law.

Baptism was John’s innovation and mission, but it was never required under the law.

St. Paul draws a parallel between circumcision and infant baptism, which is completely logical and perfectly natural for the offspring of Jewish Christian converts.

Infant baptism, as practiced in the Catholic Church, remains the strongest example of salvation with no works at all, courtesy of the grace and power of God, and his faithful and obedient Church.

Even babies are fully capable of receiving gifts. Baptism, and all that goes with it, is the greatest gift of all.

Infant Baptism – Salvation With No Works At All

Infant Baptism – Salvation With No Works At All

Many fail to realize that infant Baptism, as it has always been practiced in the Catholic Church, is the most significant demonstration of salvation without any works at all … since infants can do nothing for themselves.

This makes salvation a truly free gift from God, through his Church, which has always faithfully done God’s will, for the purpose of our salvation.

Let no one doubt that the Holy Spirit … through Baptism … indwelling a human soul of any age … most certainly has the power to remove original sin (and sin of all kinds) … to make one an adopted child of God, a member of the Church, a citizen of Heaven, and co-heir with Jesus Christ. 

The sooner … the better!

Read what the Catholic Catechism has to say about it

Alliance for Life Challenges Muslims to Join the Pro Life Movement

Alliance for Life Challenges Muslims to Join the Pro-Life Movement

May 5, 2008

Alliance for Life, a pro-life organization that was recently founded to help coordinate all of the various pro life “assets” available to the movement, today issued a challenge to faithful Muslims in the United States to join with other like-minded pro life citizens, standing shoulder to shoulder in peaceful solidarity with them, picketing local abortuaries around the country, as equal partners in one of the most important human rights struggles the world has ever known.

Whether one knows God as Father, Yahweh, Jesus, or Allah, makes little difference when the innocent blood of defenseless infants is being routinely shed on a daily basis, across the United States, and around the world.

A series of speaking engagements is currently being scheduled at Churches and Mosques throughout the midwest.

For more information on this new pro life, pro family, interfaith initiative, or to schedule a speaking appearance, please contact Doug Lawrence.

Contact Doug