Limbo? I don't understand


I had always thought that the Catholic Church did not advocate what is reffered to as “Limbo”. I thought there was either heaven, or hell (with, of course, pergatory as a way to get to heaven).

To me, I don’t understand the concept of limbo. Either you accept God’s forgiveness and go to heaven, or you reject it and go to hell. But recently I discovered that the concept of limbo is within the Catholic tradition. This doesn’t make sense to me.

Please, help me understand the Church’s teaching on limbo.


The question is, what happens to babies who die without baptism (for the Faith teaches that baptism is necessary for salvation)?

The answer is, God has not revealed their fate, so speculation enters in. Limbo is one speculation (IMHO a flawed one).


That is a relief, because it seemed rather inacurrate to me as well. Does this speculation of limbo also extend to others who have not been baptized? Atheists for example?


I think it only applied to those who were not guilty of personal sin.


One could say, limbo is the place to be, in the middle, away from extremes… If the laws of logic and reasoning were taken over by a god, why would he want to create people and damn them to hell or a limbo, and force them to worship him if they want to have physical comfort… Personally, I’m with Beelzebub on this, civil disobedience to a dictator! lol… I mean, if this god is the source of everything, then he also embodies hate, rage, killing, pedophillia, nazism, etc, etc. It’s a creator with constant mood swings, must be so depressed!


That all depends on your concept of hell. I believe that hell is nothing more then a place which God set aside for us, where He will not go. On judgment day we will make a decision, whether or not we wish to be will God. If we do not wish to be with God, He will respect that and send us to a place He has made where we can be away from Him.

However, being away from God, being separated completely is like losing a loved one. When someone you love dies, and you feel the pain of what feels like love lost, that (I think) is similar to the pain of hell. Only we feel that on a much higher level, and the feeling does not go away.

In the end hell is nothing more then a choice, and God respecting that choice.


When someone we love dies, why is that pain? As you say " hell is nothing more than a choice." You choose to be sad, and you choose to be happy. I am so happy to not embrace any idea of god, because I don’t need the concept of god to be happy. I choose to be happy by understanding myself and my actions and perfecting them. The only hell is the one you make in your mind, and your mind projecting it onto your surroundings. “The only reason we suffer, is when we don’t know what our reality is.”


It’s not quite that simple. Even those, yes, those who choose hell freely go there, it is because they will never be able to stand in the presence of God, by the life they lived and the sins they did not seek forgiveness for. Those who die impenitent will go to hell. If the life someone lives is void of God and full of sin, it is unlikely they will be able to suddenly choose heaven at the moment of particular judgment.


HAHAHAH! You’re so serious about it! I can easily say that I’m going to Candyland when I die, and that the tooth fairy if the true God. How is this different from the idea of heaven and god?? You cannot prove any of your ideas, opinions are not fact… I accept that hell is just a suffering perception, deluded and full of selfish tendencies, broken expectations, stress, anger, etc… Happiness is a choice, and if you choose it now, then this earth and its surrounding can be bliss and wonderful. Depends on choice…


The fact that unbaptized infants are conceived in a state of original sin and that they cannot be freed from original sin without baptism, and that infants are excluded from the beatific vision if they die unbaptized, is a solemnly defined dogma just as Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception. This is because no one can see the kingdom of God without the Sacrament of Baptism, and this includes infants, indeed it includes the whole human race. This is because of the original sin inherited from Adam.

The Catholic Church’s teaching is that children and infants who die without baptism descend immediately into Hell, but that they do not suffer the fires of Hell. They go to a place in Hell called the limbo of the children. The most specific definition of the Church that there is no way for an infant to be saved without the Sacrament of Baptism follows from one, Pope Eugene IV.Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Session 11, Feb. 4, 1442: “Regarding children, indeed, because of danger of death, which can often take place, when no help can be brought to them by another remedy than through the sacrament of baptism, through which they are snatched from the domination of the Devil and adopted among the sons of God, it advises that holy baptism ought not be deferred for forty or eighty days, or any time according to the observance of certain people…”And from the Council of Carthage:Pope St. Zosimus, The Council of Carthage, Canon on Sin and Grace, 417 A.D.- "…that it might be understood that in the kingdom of heaven there will be some middle place or some place anywhere where the blessed infants live who departed from this life without baptism, without which they cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, which is life eternal, let him be anathema.”This is defining that anyone who says that infants don’t need the “laver of rebirth” (sacramental baptism) to attain eternal life is a heretic.Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Letentur coeli,” Sess. 6, July 6, 1439: “We define also that… the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in original sin alone, go straightaway to hell, but to undergo punishments of different kinds.”Pope Pius VI, Auctorem fidei, Aug. 28, 1794:
“The doctrine which rejects as a Pelagian fable, that place of the lower regions (which the faithful generally designate by the name of the limbo of the children) in which the souls of those departing with the sole guilt of original sin are punished with the punishment of the condemned, exclusive of the punishment of fire, just as if, by this very fact, that these who remove the punishment of fire introduced that middle place and state free of guilt and of punishment between the kingdom of God and eternal damnation, such as that about which the Pelagians idly talk” – Condemned as false, rash, injurious to Catholic schools.

They go to a place in Hell where there is no fire. This perfectly conforms to all of the other solemn definitions of the Church, which teach that infants who die without water baptism descend into Hell, but suffer punishments different from those who die in mortal sin, they experience eternal separation from God.Pope Pius XI, Mit brennender Sorge (# 25), March 14, 1937: “‘Original sin’ is the hereditary but impersonal fault of Adam’s descendants, who have sinned in him. It is the loss of grace, and therefore eternal life, together with a propensity to evil, which everybody must, with the assistance of grace, penance, resistance and moral effort, repress and conquer.”

Pope Paul III, The Council of Trent, On Original Sin, Session V: “If anyone says that recently born babies should not be baptized even if they have been born to baptized parents; or says that they are indeed baptized for the remission of sins, but incur no trace of the original sin of Adam needing to be cleansed by the laver of rebirth for them to obtain eternal life, with the necessary consequence that in their case there is being understood a form of baptism for the remission of sins which is not true, but false: let him be anathema.”Here’s how the early Church father Pope St. Innocent expressed the teaching of tradition on this matter, against the Pelagian heretics:Pope St. Innocent, 414 A.D.: “…that even without the grace of Baptism infants are able to be endowed with the rewards of eternal life, is quite idiotic… But those who defend this for them without rebirth seem to me to want to quash Baptism itself, when they preach that infants already have what is believed to be conferred on them only through Baptism.”It must be remembered that it was Jesus Christ who laid down the requirement that all men, including infants, must be baptized for salvation: “Unless a man is born again of water and the Holy Ghost he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God”.


It’s like a silly fairy tale! Original sin eh?? So this was the Adam 10,000 years ago? I didn’t inherit any sin, and have no sin on me today… Many people judge me, and I still work to help them find happiness. Sorry to be a heartless realist, but the idea of heaven was invented to aid the lonely mind. All of this is like people talking about pokemon being alive. If you’re going to have any debate on here, use logic and evidence.


You clearly want to have a discussion with Christians, but you keep inappropriately injecting off-topic comments into other threads. What exactly is it that you would like to talk about? Start a thread of your own.


Basically, what evidence do you have of limbo? If it’s a place, then where? How are you in or out of limbo right now? Can limbo be a useful tool towards perfecting oneself? All that people do on here is put their opinions or quote the bible. Why must one be baptised, and where’s the physical evidence that they go to heaven, limbo, or hell? I want people on here to question their beliefs, question the existence of god, question the self, etc…


There is no evidence of limbo. It is a theological speculation.

As to your other questions, start a new (and focused) thread. Just be aware that many of us were once atheists like you.


There is a recent document on this subject on the vatican web site.



I’m no atheist, I’m a buddhist, but I accept that God is a concept that represents a humans morals. I don’t believe in a physical limbo, but a mental one.


Fine, that’s your problem as I am under no obligation to force you to comply with my beliefs.

“For those who believe, no explanation is necessary, but for those who do not believe, no explanation will suffice.”

All matters of faith follow this standard, if you will not believe it, then that’s your problem, because no matter how much proof the unbeliever is shown, if they will not believe if they reject it whole-heartedly.


Do you believe as well that Man made religions in order to control Man?


It’s very vague to live by this standard. It’s kind of like, “I could explain it, but I won’t, so if you don’t like it, go away.” I believe that an explanation is relevent, eastern thought is that you should never follow a belief or idea unless it’s logical, reasonable, moral, etc… You need evidence to back up your ideas.


I like your quote on Gandhi… here’s another one you’ll like: “Nonviolence is the first article of my faith, it is also the last article of my creed.”

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