How is Limbo not Hell?


The more I think about it, the more Limbo seems just another name for Hell. Eternal separation from God. Hearts forever restless (for our hearts are restless until they rest in God). Everlasting despair of never attaining that for which we were made.

How is this not Hell?


Heaven feels like bliss.

Limbo feels like a trip to the beach. Not exactly bliss, but not too shabby, either.

Hell is getting a sun-burn at the beach.:smiley:


Supposedly souls in limbo experience perpetual and perfect natural happiness. Which type of happiness is possible on earth even. And remain blissfully unaware of the beatific vision (since this is supernatural happiness) that they are missing.

Sounds a bit strange to me too.


Yeah. “Natural happiness” has to do with our nature, and our nature is that we are made in the image and likeness of God, and that we are made to be united with God. So “natural happiness” eternally separated from God seems like an impossible state, like a square circle. It kind of reminds me of putting people in a very nice zoo.


The souls in Limbo aren’t separated from God; they are joined to God in knowledge and love proportionate to nature. Their only privation is of the Beatific Vision, that is, of supernaturally knowing and loving God with the very same divine knowledge and love by which the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity know and love each other. As the very knowledge of the Beatific Vision is, itself, supernatural in origin, and unknowable by natural means, the souls in Limbo are not even aware of their privation of the Beatific Vision.



That sounds like being joined to God through a chain-link fence. Seriously. An eternity of being joined-while-separated. How could a human being regard that as anything other than eternal torture? You say they are unaware of their privation - doesn’t that go against our very nature? In fact, what is all this talk of natural vs. supernatural? How does the concept of “natural” even apply outside of the physical world? What is “natural” for human beings who have died? How can it be only “natural” to be joined in any way with the supernatural God?


The way I understand it is this. They have the pain of being separated from God but not the pain of eternal punishment(extra than that separation).

Remember…the Vatican recently released a document on Limbo and it stated that it presents a limited view of God’s Mercy. Just trust in God, that He’ll lead those astray into His Loving arms.


Limbo was never a doctrine on the church and was “invented” in a sense to explain what they couldn’t. Luckily, thoughts on suicide and limbo change with time…why could any holy man think God would treat a beautiful baby not baptised by his parents (and priests WOULDN"T baptise babies born dead) differently?
That’s a human feeling, not God’s. We are more finite, things have to be logical, he knows everything and we don’t. Jesus seemed to try to keep things simple when he spoke, explaining some things different ways, etc. (and even then his apostles had trouble sometimes) But just meditate on them asking him if their baby died before baptism if he would let it not be with him in heaven? It always sounded like someone over intellectualized it.


Hell has two pains, loss and sense… Limbo has neither…

Incidentally, there is a “point-counterpoint” on Limbo among traditionalists:

Point/Counterpoint: Is Limbo a Catholic Doctrine? John Vennari versus Robert Sungenis


A very nice zoo where you were unaware of any better zoos…


They dont even have the pain of sense… no pain at all


Limbo was suggested as a theological opinion to meet a definite need; it was never necessary to believe it.

Catholics take the sacrament of Baptism very seriously–without baptism, you cannot enter heaven. What then to do with those who had no personal sin (babies), and who through no fault of their own died without Baptism? We can’t just dismiss the difficulty without dismissing the necessity of sacramental Baptism.

With the unpacking of what sacramental Baptism can extend to–literal water baptism; baptism by desire; by blood–then we may make a different suggestion–that there is some mode after death before individual judgment whereby the soul is given the ability and the chance to choose God. If the soul chooses God, that would be baptism by desire.

Basically, the Church tells us that this is veiled to us; it’s a mystery; but we can Just trust in God to take care of the helpless ones who are innocent of all personal sin.

For those who have personal sin and who even commit suicide; this is a unpromising scenario. We understand if there is no final perseverance, if a man dies in mortal sin; that’s pretty final bad news for him. But the Church chooses to emphasize, nowadays, that even in the worst-appearing case, we cannot presume to know the secret state of that soul’s standng with God. What appears may not be *what really *is. So we these days may “err” on the side of not-presuming to judge another man’s soul. We can then pray for the dead; and never loose hope to see him again in God.

In choosing to emphasize trust and hope in re:a suicide, the Church is choosing to risk scandal. The scandal is the hurt to belief that the mortal sin of suicide, e.g., is truly mortal; that to die in unrepented mortal sin means going to Hell.

The Church is trusting us to see all the way around this issue without losing either our fear and hatred of mortal sin, or our insistence on the necessity for salvation of baptism.


We do not experience the beatific vision now, and yet we can be naturally happy. Likewise, it is actual sin that causes us torment decreasing happiness in this life. There’s no more sinning after this life, so if you aren’t clinging to any actual sin, you will experience no torment. Limbo is therefore natural happiness without torment. It is technically still Hell, but not the usually impression we have of Hell and its eternal torments.


Oddly enoguh Mohammed also shared this opinion. The good Muslim is promised exactly Limbo.


There is no limbo of the infants. It is a made up, and seriously flawed view of God. A Loving God would want babies with him completely, not “linked but seperated.” God is Love, therefore, limbo of the infants does not exist.


Aquinas would disagree with you.

He postulated that those of Limbo would understand that they were not experiencing the Beatific Vision, but would have full understanding of the Justice in their not experincing it.

The Beatific Vision is not a Right to which we are entitled to, or have earned in some way.

It is a Gift from God. We have no claim to it.

It is only through jealousy that we resent it when someone recieves a gift that we do not. Those in Limbo would not feel such jealousy, but would rather recognize they they did not recieve the gift of Salvic Grace, and would feel nothing but perfect contenment with their position ( contentment is a Natural Happiness).


Take what you want from these web sites :


I feel like I have finally met my Waterloo.

I based some of my defence of the unborn reaching Heaven on the Baptism of Desire. But I understand that the Baptism of Desire is only available for adults.

I also based some of my defence of the unborn reaching Heaven on the Baptism of the Blood. But not all the unborn who die do so as a result of abortion.

The only remaining thing that comes up for me is “Suffer the little children to come unto me.”

I have a heart for the unborn who die as a result of abortion. I believe they can go to Heaven, perhaps after a period in Purgatory.

I guess it hinges on whether the desire for Salvation is a choice made by the intellect or a choice made by the spirit. Only God can discern the choices made by the spirit.

If the desire for Salvation is a choice made by the intellect then likely unborn babies would not qualify. If it is a choice made by the spirit then unborn babies are still in.


And here is where the example of John the Baptist leaping in the womb at the presence of Mary and Jesus becomes so significant. God tells us things for a reason, and I suggest that he told us this fact to confirm that even infants could (a) recognize, and (b) rejoice in, God. It is from John the Baptist’s example that I believe Baptism of Desire may be an option (to be desired or not desired) for every baby/child under the age of reason.


Still sounds like hell to me. Maybe a stuporous hell, but still hell.

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