Is there a Limbo?


#1

It seems that Limbo has disapeared. It was a Midieval doctrine that had its roots from St. Augustine of Hippo’s writtings. St. Augustine was a great Bishop and a great influential theologian. What do you think about Limbo? Is there a Limbo?


#2

Limbo is a theory held by some theologians. It hasn’t entirely disappeared, and one can find some modern writers who explore the topic. But it isn’t doctrine…


#3

Cardinal Ratzinger (before he was pope) thought the doctrine of limbo to be not necessary because the idea was simply devised by theologians to explain certain things.


#4

[quote=Fidei Defensor]Cardinal Ratzinger (before he was pope) thought the doctrine of limbo to be not necessary because the idea was simply devised by theologians to explain certain things.
[/quote]

I’m with B16 and the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say: “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,” allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church’s call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.


#5

Limbo was NEVER a doctrine of the Catholic Church. It was a bad theological theory that got FAR TOO much exposure. Many Catholics believe (or once believed) that this was an ‘official’ doctrine of the Church. The Church has NEVER taught such an idea. I hope this whole idea goes into limbo (or, better yet, straight to hell, where it belongs).


#6

[quote=Roman_Army]It seems that Limbo has disapeared. It was a Midieval doctrine that had its roots from St. Augustine of Hippo’s writtings. St. Augustine was a great Bishop and a great influential theologian. What do you think about Limbo? Is there a Limbo?
[/quote]

It depends what you mean. There may be a limbo of the fathers, but I would not say a limbo that unbaptized babies go to.


#7

I just love Chubby Checker’s version of the “Limbo Rock”.

I could never get much below waist high… it’s amazing to see someone get below knee high.

wc


#8

isn’t there a theological commission that has been set up to study limbo, or rather, where unbaptized children go when they die?


#9

[quote=frdave20]isn’t there a theological commission that has been set up to study limbo, or rather, where unbaptized children go when they die?
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Yes, but I don’t think they’re taking it that seriously. Also, as former Cardinal Ratzinger put it, it’s probably not needed. The Church only proclaims a dogma when it’s needed, has a benefit, and of course when there is further revelation.


#10

The choices you give in your survey are very cute.

Yes, there is a Limbo. There must be, due to Original Sin theology. The only reason why there is debate about Limbo is that few comprehend Original Sin theology with clarity.

The “bottom line” of Original Sin theology is that before the action of the grace won by Christ on the cross, we are each of us inherently alienated from God, and “untouchable” to Him. We are “dirty,” so to speak. Free will Man, uninspired by grace, is a sensuous, self-seeking pig. This is what babies are. Babies are inherently ineligible for Heaven.

When Christ died on the cross, He purchased the grace we need to get to Heaven. Baptism is a “grace conduit.” For babies, with an inactive free will, so that Actual Grace can not be accepted by the free will, Baptism is the only grace conduit.

If they die unbaptized, babies simply lack “touchability” in God’s eyes.

Since God is not unjust, He’s not going to send unbaptized babies to that Bedlam of crazed selfish grace rejecters we call “Hell.”

There has to be a better place for morally-innocent-but-“untouchable”-pre-baptized babies.

So, yes, there is a Limbo.


#11

[quote=Cardinal Ratzinger, “The Ratzinger Report” (1987)]Limbo was never a defined truth of faith. Personally - and here I am speaking more as a theologian and not as Prefect of the Congregation - I would abandon it since it was only a theological hypothesis. It formed part of a secondary thesis in support of a truth which is absolutely of first significance for faith, namely, the importance of baptism. To put it in the words of Jesus to Nicodemus: ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God’ (John 3:5). One should not hesitate to give up the idea of limbo, if need be (and it is worth noting that the very theologians who proposed ‘limbo’ also said that parents could spare the child limbo by desiring its baptism and through prayer); but the concern behind it must not be surrendered. Baptism has never been a side issue for faith; it is not now, nor will it ever be.
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Bible Reader is victim of a logicall fallacy. Limbo is one explanation, but not the only explanation. As you have said, “God is not unjust”. So why would he send babies to limbo because they acuired sin through no fault of their own? In the Catholic Church, sin requires FULL KNOWLEDGE.


#12

[quote=Fidelis]I’m with B16 and the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
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There are times I read these passages and am filled with tears…The love and hope that is expressed by this part of the Catechism is amazing…


#13

[quote=BibleReader]The choices you give in your survey are very cute.

Yes, there is a Limbo. There must be, due to Original Sin theology. The only reason why there is debate about Limbo is that few comprehend Original Sin theology with clarity.

The “bottom line” of Original Sin theology is that before the action of the grace won by Christ on the cross, we are each of us inherently alienated from God, and “untouchable” to Him. We are “dirty,” so to speak. Free will Man, uninspired by grace, is a sensuous, self-seeking pig. This is what babies are. Babies are inherently ineligible for Heaven.

When Christ died on the cross, He purchased the grace we need to get to Heaven. Baptism is a “grace conduit.” For babies, with an inactive free will, so that Actual Grace can not be accepted by the free will, Baptism is the only grace conduit.

If they die unbaptized, babies simply lack “touchability” in God’s eyes.

Since God is not unjust, He’s not going to send unbaptized babies to that Bedlam of crazed selfish grace rejecters we call “Hell.”

There has to be a better place for morally-innocent-but-“untouchable”-pre-baptized babies.

So, yes, there is a Limbo.
[/quote]

So your telling me that God can’t sanctify a baby without baptism? Are you telling me that all unbaptized people go to hell or limbo? Fenyism(sp??) has been rejected by the Church.


#14

[quote=jimmy]So your telling me that God can’t sanctify a baby without baptism? Are you telling me that all unbaptized people go to hell or limbo? Fenyism(sp??) has been rejected by the Church.
[/quote]

**It could also be a posibility that they could be cleansed of original sin through purgatory with prayer. It’s a big mystery and can not be solved by human reason alone, it needs more revelation. As former Cardinal Ratzinger said “**One should not hesitate to give up the idea of limbo, if need be (…); but the concern behind it must not be surrendered. Baptism has never been a side issue for faith; it is not now, nor will it ever be.”

If the very concept of an uncertain fate for the miscaried child is painful enough for the mother, for the sake of peace, love, and care, we should not teach her the concept of Limbo nor say that her dead baby will go there, since it is not a dogma. Even if there is a Limbo, what if someone can escape it through prayer and divine action? What if the dead unbaptised babies can be cleansed in Purgatory? We can continue to hope for the salvation of all, but we must also continue to emphasize the importance of baptism.

My answer to the above poll is “Maybe, I don’t know.” It is currently a theory not yet completely proven and not yet completely debunked. We are to be open on this issue and accept the fact that someday it would either be true or false, and openly accept that answer.


#15

[quote=Fidei Defensor]Bible Reader is victim of a logicall fallacy. Limbo is one explanation, but not the only explanation. As you have said, “God is not unjust”. So why would he send babies to limbo because they acuired sin through no fault of their own? In the Catholic Church, sin requires FULL KNOWLEDGE.
[/quote]

Hi, Defensor.

Babies did not “acquire” sin. It is in our “stuff.” We are made of sin-seeking garbage, and not more. When God merely created us, before Christ’s sacrifice our creation was not completed.

That is why, in the Bible, after Eve, who stands for us, was taken out of the side of the Old Testament Adam, Genesis 2:21, something else followed Eve – and, in principle, us – out of the side of the New Testament Adam – the waters of salvation activated by the saving blood of Christ, John 19:34.

That is why the blood and water comes out of Jesus’ side…It is part of the ingredients of our creation.

Our creation wasn’t completed until Christ died.

There is nothing “unjust” about sending babies to Limbo. Limbo is not a place of punishment. But it is not the Beatific Vision. It’s probably just about the exact equivalent of here, where we are. Query: Was creating us and putting us here on Earth “unjust”? I don’t think so. Do you? If not, then Limbo isn’t “unjust.”

Notice what Ratzinger does – he says that the Limbo theory is secondary to Baptism theology.

Before Baptism or Baptism by Desire or Baptism by Blood, we are still just sin-seeking garbage. Outside of grace, presence before God – the Beatific Vision – kills us. It annihilates us. See Exodus 33:20.

That is why Mary had to be immaculately conceived. When the almightiness of God touched her person at the time of the Annunciation, and joined to her flesh in her womb, Mary would have been destroyed, had she not been immaculately conceived.

Limbo exists, therefore, for the samne reason that Mary was immaculately conceived.


#16

[quote=jimmy]So your telling me that God can’t sanctify a baby without baptism? Are you telling me that all unbaptized people go to hell or limbo? Fenyism(sp??) has been rejected by the Church.
[/quote]

Who said, “ALL” unbaptized people? Not me.

Just babies (and profound psychotics?), and just to Limbo.

Scads of unbaptized people go to Heaven, when I may not even make it!

That is what the Parable of the Good Samaritan is about, in part.

Once babies reach the Age of Reason, they are damnable or saveable. There are no non babies (and non-psychotics?) in Limbo.


#17

Whether you call it “limbo” or not, these statements of Catholic doctrine are true…

According to the Council of Lyons II (1274):

those who die in mortal sin or with original sin only, however, immediately descend to hell, yet to be punished with different punishments [Denzinger 464]

According to the Council of Florence (1493):

the souls of those who depart in actual mortal sin or in original sin only, descend immediately into hell but to undergo punishments of different kinds [Denzinger 693]

If it is supposed that Pope Benedict XVI is refuting these councilar decisions, than I believe such suppositions to be in error.

The salient question that is of free opinion within speculative theology is whether or not infants enjoy an extra-sacramental means of sanctification. I believe they do. Nevertheless, God is not obliged to employ such a means for anyone on earth, not even infants. But, we are right to pray to Jesus that he “lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of thy mercy” and have hope in the mercy of God.


#18

If limbo is understood to be the differing punishment of those who die in merely original sin as compared to those who die in mortal sin, then I believe in this understanding of limbo. As a Catholic, I am obliged to believe it, as this is Catholic doctrine. Yet, I’m not obliged to call it limbo. Catholic doctrine calls it hell. Yet, it is explained in theology as the the pain of loss (poena damni) as distinct from the pain of torment (poena sensus).


#19

[quote=itsjustdave1988]Whether you call it “limbo” or not, these statements of Catholic doctrine are true…

According to the Council of Lyons II (1274):

According to the Council of Florence (1493):

If it is supposed that Pope Benedict XVI is refuting these councilar decisions, than I believe such suppositions to be in error.

The salient question that is of free opinion within speculative theology is whether or not infants enjoy an extra-sacramental means of sanctification. I believe they do. Nevertheless, God is not obliged to employ such a means for anyone on earth, not even infants. But, we are right to pray to Jesus that he “lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of thy mercy” and have hope in the mercy of God.
[/quote]

The Councils used the word “Hell,” but that was just their shorthand for a permnanent place “not Heaven.”

In Hell, God subjects the damned to His *wrath. *(I always compared it to the anger of a Father Who has seen the neighbors whip his son’s back, raw and blood, pound thorns onto his son’s head and nail his son to a board, for the pleasure of doing so. I.e., in my opinion God’s wrath will be that of a wild man in Hell.)

Obviously, a baby which God knows to have been born alienated from Him, but which God knows has not exercised its will in a way that is contrary to God’s law, will not be subjected to the Divine Wild Man’s wrath.


#20

Of course! I used to dance the limbo with my grandparents when I was younger. We would go under a broomstick. I of course always won. :slight_smile:


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