Can prenatals who die in the womb be saved by a baptism of blood?
First Proof, from the universal salvific will of God
1. God wills all human persons to be saved.
[1 Tim 2:4-6; Dominus Jesus, n. 13]
2. Baptism is required for salvation.
[Trent, 5th session, 3-5]
3. Prenatals cannot receive a baptism with water.
[Can. 853-854; pouring of water or immersion in water is required]
4. Therefore, prenatals who die in the womb must receive another form of baptism. Otherwise, the universal salvific will of God would be in vain.
5. An explicit baptism of desire requires the person to understand with reason and to choose with free will. One cannot desire what one does not know. Prenatals cannot explicitly desire baptism.
6. An implicit baptism of desire requires the person to understand with reason and to choose with free will. What is known and desired in implicit baptism is not baptism per se, but the love of God or the love of neighbor. Even so, something is known and desired, requiring the use of reason and free will. Prenatals cannot exercise reason and free will to such an extent, especially in the earliest stages of development after conception [cf. Pope Benedict XII, On the Beatific Vision of God].
7. The only other type of baptism available is a baptism of blood.
[Catechism of the Catholic Church 1258]
8. Therefore, prenatals who die in the womb must receive a baptism of blood. Otherwise, the universal salvific will of God would be in vain.
Second Proof, from the Immaculate Conception
9. The Blessed Virgin Mary was saved by Christ by being preserved from inheriting original sin in the first moment of her conception. She needed to be saved, and she was saved by Christ [Ineffabilis Deus, the definition]. Salvation requires the state of grace, and so she received the state of grace in her Immaculate Conception. Human persons who need to be saved by Christ and who are saved by Christ receive some form of baptism in order to enter the state of grace. Therefore, Mary received some form of baptism.
10. She could not receive a baptism of water at conception.
11. She could not desire anything prior to that first moment of her existence, so that she would subsequently receive a baptism of desire.
12. The only other type of baptism is a baptism of blood.
13. Her Immaculate Conception occurred “in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race,” and He merited grace and salvation for us by His blood.
[Ineffabilis Deus, the definition; Romans 3:24-25]
14. Therefore, the Immaculate Conception includes, as part of all its many graces and blessings, a baptism of blood.
15. If Mary can receive a baptism of blood in the first instant of her existence at conception, then prenatals can receive a baptism of blood any time after conception, but prior to death.
In this way, the universal salvific will of God is fulfilled for all human persons who die in the womb, or at a young age after birth.
See my book: Forgiveness and Salvation for Everyone
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