A: And that’s my main problem with the Church of a hundred years ago: it’s irrational and lacks all courage of its convictions.
B: You’re talking about the “entrust them to the mercy of God” clause in the catechism of 1993?
A: Exactly. The Church never has the courage of conviction. As soon as there’s the slightest hint of some scary outcome they flee to irrationalism and hand-wringing.
B: But can’t God save whoever he wants, unbaptized babies included?
A: Sure, but what does that have to do with teaching the faith? The whole point is to lay out the system you need to follow. How strongly does anyone believe in a system that they’re willing to abandon as soon as it threatens the happiness of a baby? (sarcastically) “Oh no, some baby isn’t in heaven! Quick, forget everything I said about needing to be baptized! I didn’t really mean it!”
B: Put yourself in their shoes though, in the the late 20th Century mind. I know you’ll just say this sounds like Menges, but compassion is important.
A: Right. Tell that to the 13 million Poles in radiation fields. How is the Church any different? Have Menges come along and they’ll drop their system as soon as someone convinces them it’s not compassionate. Forget the Sacraments! Theoretical babies are crying!
B: Okay okay! Enough of the reductio ad Mengesem. That always comes up.
A: How can it not? You try to save one theoretical baby and give up 13 million live persons. How does that make sense? You don’t see that anywhere in Dante or Augustine or any of the real theologians.
B: You keep calling them “theoretical babies” but don’t you understand the desire to mute the claim that babies go to Hell?
A: Why, because it’s scary and bad?
A: No, I don’t get it at all. Sure, babies in Hell is a horrible thing. If you think this is a deal-breaker, then give up on your system. If you don’t think it is a deal-breaker then have the courage to accept what you believe. But either have the courage to leave your system or the courage to stand by it.
B: Well, they did live in a very comfortable time. They’d fight in wars and demand to still eat all the same food.
A: No way!
B: Seriously, they would. They wouldn’t even go to war – they just flew a missile with a camera into a guy’s house and killed everyone there rather than fighting.
A: (eyeroll of contempt)