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“Ask a Priest: What Happened to My Mom Who Aborted My Sibling?”
Q: Eight years after I was born my mother aborted my little brother or sister. I know the hospital where this was done back in 1976. I have read some horrible stories about aborted babies being born alive. Both my parents are dead. This woman who was my mother is a baby killer and not a woman I’d consider my mother in any real sense of the word, nor was she Catholic so she never would have confessed her horrible crime. Is my mother in hell where she belongs? Is my brother or sister in heaven? Thank God Roe vs. Wade was overturned. Everybody acts like I’m a sick person caring for the unborn children. Thank you. – W.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: I am very sorry to hear about the death of your sibling.
The Church teaches that we can have hope that unbaptized children are with Our Lord.
The Catechism in No. 1261 says:
“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,’ 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.”
As for your mom: It’s better not to be so harsh on her. God alone knew the state of her soul when she died. God alone knew the interior struggles she faced.
Since your mom wasn’t Catholic, she didn’t have the same access to the sacraments that you and I enjoy. She might have had fewer graces along her path through life.
Imagine if she, by chance, had read St. John Paul II’s encyclical Evangelium Vitae and came across these lines in section No. 99:
“I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed.
“Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
“To the same Father and his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.”
In any case, Jesus loved your mom and died for her redemption, too.
And whatever else she might have done, she was still your mom. So it would be good to pray for her soul. Basic Christian charity demands that we all hope for the best for everyone.
Perhaps she repented before her death and is in purgatory and needs prayers to be released into heaven.
With God’s grace you could have a happy reunion with her someday.
I hope that some of this helps. Count on my prayers.
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