"How much wrong we do to God and his grace when we speak of sins being punished by his judgement before we speak of them being forgiven by his mercy". This statement of our Holy Father Pope Francis, with which I have no disagreement whatsoever, is followed by a suggestion that we should go and look at S Augustine's De Praedestinatione Sanctorum XII 24.
Obedient to our beloved Holy Father's lightest suggestion, I duly turned up that locus in S Augustine of Hippo. And I am left a trifle bewildered. It is a discussion of the views of people who, in S Augustine's time, debated the very different destiny of those babies who died without Baptism, and those who died baptised. There were, apparently, those who argued that babies who died baptised went to heaven because God knew that, if they had lived, they would have lived well; the unbaptised went to a different fate because God knew that if they had lived they would have deserved condemnation. I've never met anybody who discussed that ... might it be a common discussion point amongst those subtle chaps the Argentinian Jesuits? ... and I can't see its relevance to the Jubilee Year of Mercy. And does the Holy Father really believe that unbaptised babies go to Hell? Even during a Year of Mercy? An unusual idea to grandstand.
I did notice a nearby passage (VI 11) in which S Augustine brings up and juxtaposes both Mercy and Judgement as he discusses the different fates of those Jews who refused the Gospel and those Jews, rather fewer, who accepted it. His discussion is based upon a careful exegesis of Romans 11:5-10. S Augustine concludes: "Here is Mercy and Judgement ... Mercy towards the Election [= those Jews who, chosen by God, accepted the Gospel] which has obtained the Righteousness of God; but Judgement to the rest [unbelieving Jews] who have been blinded". "Blinded" is a theme S Paul had deployed earlier in his life when he discussed Jewish unbelief in II Corinthians 2: 7-18; and the idea that those who rejected the Gospel have been deliberately blinded by God so that "seeing they might not see ... lest they turn and receive forgiveness", on the biblical evidence, arguably goes back to the teaching of the Lord himself as reported at Mark 4: 11-12.
Could this be the teaching of S Augustine which the Sovereign Pontiff had in mind?
What a bold Pope. Not many modern Pontiffs choose to address the philosophical and theological problems of Predestination. Nor do I often preach about it. Perhaps another Holy Year after the present one? A Jubilee Year of Predestination? With special indulgences for Calvinists? It could be celebrated with a double Holy Door; one entry for those predestined to Heaven, the other for those predestined to Hell. Confessarii specially commissioned by the Roman Pontiff could be there to tell everybody which category they were in. I bet that would get the crowds flocking along!! Wow!