I did not want to blog about it because at the time, the document was not yet available online. Many people were jumping to all sorts of conclusions that is, well, unwarranted.
Well, it's online now and you can get it here, from the Catholic Culture site.
Read it. Carefully. Understand it. Then let me know what you think.
The document goes on and gives a very detailed account of the teaching of the Church, historically, on this subject. The important part is given below:
102. Within the hope that the church bears for the whole of humanity and wants to proclaim afresh to the world of today, is there a hope for the salvation of infants who die without baptism? We have carefully reconsidered this complex question with gratitude and respect for the responses that have been given through the history of the church, but also with an awareness that it falls to us to give a coherent response for today. Reflecting within the one tradition of faith that unites the church through the ages and relying utterly on the guidance of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus promised would lead his followers "into all the truth" (Jn 16:13), we have sought to read the signs of the times and to interpret them in the light of the Gospel.
Our conclusion is that the many factors that we have considered above give serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptized infants who die will be saved and enjoy the beatific vision. We emphasize that these are reasons for prayerful hope, rather than grounds for sure knowledge. There is much that simply has not been revealed to us (cf. Jn 16:12). We live by faith and hope in the God of mercy and love who has been revealed to us in Christ, and the Spirit moves us to pray in constant thankfulness and joy (cf. 1 Thes 5:18).
103. What has been revealed to us is that the ordinary way of salvation is by the sacrament of baptism. None of the above considerations should be taken as qualifying the necessity of baptism or justifying delay in administering the sacrament.135 Rather, as we want to reaffirm in conclusion, they provide strong grounds for hope that God will save infants when we have not been able to do for them what we would have wished to do, namely, to baptize them into the faith and life of the church.
But know this. The agnostic but hopeful position that the document proposes is not new. The Catechism itself had already said as much.
Here is the pertinent quote, in para 1261:
1261 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," 64 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 you can see, while the Church hopes that there exists a means of salvation, through Christ, for these children, which is as yet unknown to Her, Mother Church still strongly stresses the need for all to come to salvation through the means that She does know, through Holy Baptism. Keep this in mind as you read the document. This should not dent the missionary mandate of the Church too go out and baptize all nations. This is an irreformable mandate.
Also know this. That although the International Theological Commission sounds impressive and is headed by the Prefect of the CDF, the magisterial authority it carries is similar to that of the Vatican Numismatic and Philatelic Bureau, or in other words, zip. It is a purely advisory body, tasked by the late Pope John Paul II to study this issue in 2004 and which has finally completed its study detailed in the report linked here.
Ok, having said all that, give it a read and let me know what you think.