This is from a post I made at a bulletin board www.christianbbs.com when someone asked about whether or not babies went to hell if they weren't baptized.
Okay, here's the history of why people once thought that babies went to hell. Ready? It's not what you think at all, but research will do you wonders!
First, I am convinced, because of what God told me at my niece's graveside when we buried her, that she is in heaven. But that's another post, or you can read about it on my website at www.achievebalance.com/spirit/gospel/graveside.htm
People once thought that babies would go to hell, because that's what the Catholic Church taught in the Dark Ages of Europe.
Hold on! Before you condemn those priests and bishops, hold your breath! Let me tell you why they did it. In the Dark Ages, there was no abortion, and the people was just as awful then as they are now about personal responsibility for the baby.
Since there was no abortion, they would just throw the baby away. They were convinced that the baby went to heaven anyway, so what was so bad about this? The kid got to miss an awful life. Well, this rationale and behavior helped the plague and other diseases to spread, and was also an awful way for a society to behave.
So, the church came up with a plan that in my opinion was brilliant. It used the compassion of the new parents to save the child's life! Read on!
They told people that the babies would be condemned to hell, unless the priest baptized it. Once people believed the story, the priests made sure that they would be ... a little slow at getting to the baby. Sometimes, the baby would be 3 to 4 months old. The plan worked beautifully. People felt guilty at condemning the child to hell, after all it was innocent. So they held on until the priest came. Since the priest came only after they had time to bond with the child, they decided to keep the baby in most cases!
The only problem now is that we still believe the 'myth' long after it served its purpose well. Oh, the Catholic church denies that this is the origin, because they don't want to admit that they once taught a doctrine purely for the sake of the results they achieved, instead of teaching it because it was the truth.
Hope this helps!
And yes, my niece is in heaven, even though she was stillborn 3 days before he mother's due date.