Milltown Cemetery is found in predominantly Roman Catholic west Belfast, Northern Ireland. A fence separates the cemetery from the Bog Meadows nature reserve. And according to the cemetery register, an anonymous spot of marshy land in that nature reserve, abutting the cemetery, is a mass grave.i
The Roman Catholic “Church” owned this land for decades. Then, under the terms of a 999-year lease drawn up in 2000, the “Church” sold off 37 hectares to the Ulster Wildlife Trust, the owners of the Bog Meadows reserve. And this means, according to people familiar with the history of Milltown, that the nature reserve could now contain several thousand graves!ii
The trustees of the Milltown Cemetery stated that an “administrative error” caused the boundary to be drawn incorrectly, and that the land containing the graves should never have been leased. But almost nine years later, relatives of those buried there were still waiting for this “administrative error” to be corrected. Who was buried there? The babies of Roman Catholics who died in infancy before they could receive the Roman Catholic rite of “baptism” (the word “baptism” is put in inverted commas because Romish “baptism” is not true, biblical baptism), between the 1940s and 1970s. And why were they buried there, in this unmarked and uncared-for site? They were buried there because Rome’s teaching forbade “unbaptized” infants from being buried in the supposedly “consecrated” or “holy” ground of the cemetery (Rome “consecrates” the ground in a cemetery which is used for the burial of Roman Catholics).
The “Church” of Rome claims, contrary to God’s Word, that baptism is essential for salvation, and for this reason parents bring their children to a priest to be “baptized” as soon after birth as possible, fearing that if they don’t do this and their child dies, it will not be able to enter heaven. According to what was unofficial Roman Catholic teaching for centuries, the souls of babies who died without receiving the Papist sacrament of baptism went to a place called limbo. Limbo was said to be a place on the border or fringe of heaven and hell, a place that was neither heaven nor hell for those who did not deserve either. Although this teaching was never officially defined by Rome, being a mere “theological hypothesis” according to the present pope of Rome, Benedict XVI,iii it was nevertheless encouraged by the hierarchy as a very useful tool for spurring parents to have their newborns “baptized” as Papists, as soon as possible. This was admitted by Benedict XVI himself. Then in 2006, after centuries in which it was taught to, and believed by, Roman Catholics the world over, a Vatican commission appointed by the pope of Rome concluded that the souls of “unbaptized” babies were entrusted to a “merciful God” whose ways of ensuring salvation could not be known, and that all children who die do so in the expectation of “the universal salvation of God”, whether “baptized” or not.iv Thus, although Rome still insists on “baptism” for infants, saying it is essential to salvation, it now adds that infants dying in infancy just may be saved without it.v
It’s all very confusing and muddled to the average Roman Catholic, not given to the theological ducking and diving, the twisting and turning, at which the hierarchy of Rome is so adept. But when all is said and done, the cold fact remains that for centuries, the bodies of “unbaptized” infants were considered unfit to be buried in “holy” ground – and were dumped in graves like the unmarked mass grave at Milltown.