Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Celebration of the Christian Mystery 321 1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood , like the desire for Baptism , brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament. 1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament. 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.” 63 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. Itmay be supposed that suchpersonswouldhave 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,” 64 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 to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism. VII. T he G race of B aptism 1262 The different effects of Baptism are signified by the percep- tible elements of the sacramental rite. Immersion in water symbol- izes not only death and purification, but also regeneration and renewal. Thus the two principal effects are purification from sins and new birth in the Holy Spirit. 65 For the forgiveness of sins . . . 1263 By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all per- sonal sins, as well as all punishment for sin. 66 In those who have 63 GS 22 § 5. cf. LG 16; AG 7. 64 Mk 10:14; cf. 1 Tim 2:4. 65 Cf. Acts 2:38; Jn 3:5. 66 Cf. Council of Florence (1439): DS 1316. 2473 1249 848 1257 1250 1234 977 1425