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Friday, April 20, 2007

Catholic Church Ends Limbo

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Roman Catholic Church has effectively buried the concept of limbo, the place where centuries of tradition and teaching held that babies who die without baptism went. ( more)

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6 Comments:

Blogger david santos said...

Thanks for you work and have a good weekend

2:05 PM  
Blogger Hannibal said...

Thank you for your visit and wish you a wonderful weekend too:)

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Samer said...

Limbo or in this case Limbo of the Infants? Well, what to say? It isn't a doctrine but was a theological concept taught, expounded, and developed for a good deal of time in the West (the East never brought up the notion of this). Its nature and that of the fates of unbaptised infants were debated, with speculation as to whether these souls deprived of the vision of God would actually experience physical pain (St. Augustine took the more tragic view, not out of vindictiveness or with any joy in this conclusion of course), or perhaps the pain of the soul's sorrow over having lost God; it was also postulated that children experienced full natural bliss and did not suffer (but would be denied supernatural joy in the presence of God).

At any rate, the important point to make is that the article is misleading. Reading it, one would get the impression that Limbo was put forward as an idea in order to deny these infants Heaven because they were not baptised. The opposite is exactly the case. In earlier times, there was not so much speculation over the idea of whether the unbaptised innocent or just man had a greater chance at Heaven than he had at not obtaining salvation. The default presumption was that the unbaptised lost salvation* (I don't believe Heaven was really considered much at all--the weight of the commandment to baptise is very heavy), and Limbo was proposed as an escape for the unbaptised soul innocent of actual sin and guilt from the eternal tragedy of Hell with the intention of presenting the possibility of a better fate, not of pulling him down from the celestial heights in order to uphold the necessity of baptism.

*Though none may declare absolutely the damnation of anybody as we cannot and are forbidden to judge the fate of any soul--God may work beyond the sacramental boundaries laid down in his visible design--but (1) we may presume the tragic end in such cases as traditional theology is inclined to do, but hold out hope, confident in the mercy of God who takes into account all circumstances, and (2) though we may hope that an unbaptised soul is saved, and though the Church does not tell us with authority what is the ultimate fate of such souls we are nonetheless, not permitted to act on the presumption that God will save the soul through extraordinary means, and hence must behave precisely as if there is no hope outside of the sacramental system of the Church. This is why, as a Christian parent, delaying a child's baptism unnecessarily is deemed sinful, why the Church finds evangelisation its primary mission and purpose on this earth, and why missionaries in new countries would cross treacherous wilderness and risk lives if just for the sake of baptising infants as well as pagan adults, especially in times when infant mortality was higher than we take for granted today.

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Samer said...

Just came across this one via the latest entry on Dappled Things. Further illustrates that the media don't get religion:

http://zadokromanus.blogspot.com/2007/04/and-you-think-english-language-religion.html

11:29 AM  
Blogger Hannibal said...

@Samer: thank so very much for this enriching explanation. I read the article mentioned by Dappled Things:)

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Samer said...

You're welcome

المهم انو ما نكون خلّيناك تمل من كثر الشرح. lol

دخلك، ممكن بس تْطَمِّّنني انو وصلتْلك رسالتي؟

اذا بتحب انّي ابعتلك اي من الشغلتين اللي انا ذكرتن بآخر الرسالة، بس اكتبلي ايمتى ما بناسبك وانا تحت امرك

8:28 PM  

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