When the question of infants who die without baptism was first taken up in the history of Christian thought, it is possible that the doctrinal nature of the question or its implications were not fully understood. Only when seen in light of the historical development of theology over the course of time until Vatican II does this specific question find its proper context within Catholic doctrine. Only in this way - and observing the principle of the hierarchy of truths mentioned in the Decree of the Second Vatican Council Unitatis redintegratio (#11) – the topic can be reconsidered explicitly under the global horizon of the faith of the Church.
- From The Hope of Salvation For Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized, a Vatican document
Dear everyone who had a miscarriage before 1962:
Sorry we didn't get around to you. We hope that dying in infancy wasn't a common thing in the Middle Ages. We hope that literally and completely believing in our convoluted nonsense about the eternal fate of your departed child didn't cause anyone any anxiety during what must be the most awful crisis any adult human can experience. Of course, for obvious reasons, it's not part of our experience. So... you can see why it would slip our minds.
We'll do better next time. That's why pencils have erasers, right?
Yours in Christ,
The Big V.