EWTN Catholic Q&A
children from unlawful unions
Question from linda on 11-23-2012:

In Wisdom 3:16-18 says: "But the children of adulterers will remain without issue and the progeny of an unlawful bed will disappear. For should they attain long life, they will be held in no esteem, and dishonored will their old age be at last. While should they die abruptly, they have no hope nor comfort int the day of scrutiny."

Does this mean that children of such unions have no chance of Heaven? What about free will? Are we doomed?

Answer by Fr. John Echert on 11-27-2012:

The ways of the Old Testament are not always the ways of the New Testament. In the Old period, sin was often punished physically, since humanity was in its infancy and had little capacity to learn and grow without severe lessons. WIth the fullness of revelation and greater grace of the New Covenant, we are not so often punished in physical ways, though we suffer spiritually. So while there may be natural or occasional spiritual consequences from one generation to the next--e.g., children of alcoholics or abusers often suffer negative consequences--it is typically not so directly applied by God. No, we are not doomed. We all have free will and Gods providence extends to each of us, protecting those in grace.

Thanks, Linda

Father Echert