"Baptism..... many teach it as a requirement for salvation. Is it?
Many scriptures seem to imply this (Ro 6:3-4, Col 2:11-13 and, especially: John 3:3-5, for three quick examples). But are there exceptions where official water Baptism might not be necessary for Salvation??
Some raise the question of babies who die before they can be baptized; in earlier years many lay Catholics have consigned such children to a state of "limbo" while others have maintained that God in his mercy must have made provision for them even if we don't know what that provision is. The Catholic Church refuses to take a stand on this, but inclines toward the second thought (See Catechism #1261
. Others raise the question of those who were martyred before they could be baptized; but the Church holds that they received the Baptism of Blood, having laid down their lives for Christ and the Gospel (See Catechism #1258
. And people being instructed for Baptism, but who die before Baptism, receive the Baptism of Desire (See Catechism #1259
I don't know that there are specific scriptural references for any of those three, but we do know that "God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the WHOLE WORLD might be saved through him" (slight alteration in literal text :^>, John 3:17). And we know that God will show mercy and pity on whomever he chooses (Romans 9:15). And we know from numerous scriptures that we are freed from the requirements of a strict Law. So we believe that God, who died on the Cross for all of us, has made provision for those who are helpless.
In faith, Dave
Do the best best you can, and leave the rest to God. That's what He's there for.