Pope Francis by virtue of God's anointing and office as Vicar of Christ cannot err in matters of faith & morals with regards to salvation of mankind.
The strong promised of Jesus is in Luke22:32
"But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
The Pope enjoy abundant graces from God in order for Him to strengthen the Clergy and lead the flock of Christ entrusted to His care.
With regards to the duty of parents. Pope Francis words as you stated;
"A young boy asks if his recently departed Unbelieving Father is in heaven. The pope does a line of reasoning that even though he was unbeliever, he had his children baptised which pleased God, and he asks the children if God would abandon such a man. the Children shout "No!" and the pope confirms their answer"
Resembles what I heard from a pious priest who celebrates the Traditional Latin Mass only, his name his Fr.Odon (caryana.org is the site)
Fr.Odon said the first and foremost duty of the parents are to lead their child in the "Fear of God" and make sure the child that God gave to them reach the Kingdom of God, all the rest like comfort and education are secondary.
The important thing is the salvation of souls.
As scriptures said;
Mark 8:36 King James Version (KJV)
"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
Baptism is the very first and important step in our Christian journey as it cleanses as of original sin and restores back our participation to Divine Life.
Without the Sacraments of Baptism the Catholic Church in old years are known to have said "there's is no salvation outside the Catholic Church". Part of the reasons is in the administration of the Seven Sacraments that is very important Church Teaching in the salvation of man.
In closing, the good act of the Father in ensuring his child receive the Sacramens of Baptism is a direct recognition that there is a God and a Church.
The child in return, enjoys the sanctifying grace and has a good chance to grow in the True Faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ.Plus there's a possibility that the child will pray to God for the good of his earthly Father.
Baptism is God's most beautiful and magnificent gift. . . .We call it gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift. It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; Baptism because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; clothing since it veils our shame; bath because it washes; and seal as it is our guard and the sign of God's Lordship.10
for more info on the graces derives from the Sacrament of Baptism.
For more info on Baptism below is the link;
Catechism of the Catholic Church - The sacrament of Baptism
In closing, for your other question is Universalism accepted by Catholics?
The Vatican II is born precisely on that Pastoral Mission as they called it the New Evangelization in the Third Millenium heeding the call or the desire of God the Father to Jesus in John17:22. A call for unity of all faithful believer of God.
John 17:22 New International Version (NIV)
I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—