Limbo - Purgatory


What is Limbo? Are there any similarites between Purgatory and Limbo.

What did our Lord wright in the sand with His finger in John 8:1-11
What He wrote apparently sent the scribes and the Pharisees away.


I’ll leave that to someone more qualified than me! :wink: :stuck_out_tongue:

There are tons of threads on Limbo here though. You might want to try a search or read through this thread!

What did our Lord wright in the sand with His finger in John 8:1-11
What He wrote apparently sent the scribes and the Pharisees away.

I’ve heard a couple of theories. One was that he was so mad he couldn’t make eye contact with the Pharisees and so occupied himself drawing in the dust. The other (which I prefer I think) was that he was writing down the sins that each of the Pharisees had commited, and that’s why, when they saw that, beginning with the eldest, they left one by one. He knew what no one else could know and he could see into their hearts.


Purgatory, a place where those who die in a state of Venial sin, or die with temporal punishment due to sin needing to be fulfilled on their Souls go. This is a place of purification to enter into the Kingdom of God, As our Lord said nothing unclean will enter into his Kingdom. The western tradition is that purgatory is a place of suffering. One can eventually get out of purgatory once one’s debt of temporal punishment has been fulfilled as it were. Therefore all those in Purgatory have been saved, and will eventually enter into Heaven. Our Prayers can also aid the church suffering in Purgatory insofar as they will be let out sooner. This is an extremely pious and fruitful thing to do, if you do not do so already as in apparitions in the past, Our Lord has said no prayer for the souls in Purgatory goes unanswered, and souls released due to your prayers are eternally greatful, and therefore intercede for you until you die.

Limbo however, is a theological opinion which came out of the middle ages, possibly earlier (I’m no expert). This theological opinion does indeed make sense, and was advocated by a number of the Church’s greatest theologians and Saints. It is a place where un-baptised babies and people of innocence etc go instead of heaven or hell, mostly due to Our Lord saying one must be baptised with water and the spirit to enter into the Kingdom of God.

Limbo is therefore a place of Eternal natural happiness, unlike the Beatific vision in Heaven which is Eternal Divine joy of seeing God face to face. The joy in limbo, I’ve heard been compared to that in the Garden of Eden.

Limbo is therefore an act of mercy on behalf of Our Lord, as these un-baptised babies could have been sent to hell (which was the opinion of St.Augustine).

But alas, it is a theological opinion, and one is able, without scruple to hold either one.


There are two instances of Limbo. The first is the so-called “Limbo of the Fathers” where those who merited heaven but died prior to the coming of Christ waited for Jesus to open the gates of heaven. The second instance is the theologumenon (theological speculation) used to address the question of what happened to unbaptized babies who died.

What did our Lord wright in the sand with His finger in John 8:1-11
What He wrote apparently sent the scribes and the Pharisees away.

The correct answer is that nobody knows what Jesus wrote. Speculation is that he was writting the sins of those nearest to him, but this is just a guess.

Deacon Ed


[FONT=Arial]Don’t know what he wrote but I’ve seen a suggestion that this is a reference to Jer 17:13

“those who turn away from you shall be recorded in the earth,
for they have forsaken the fountain of living water, the Lord[/FONT][FONT=Arial]”

So it is an indirect reminder of the guilt of those accusing the woman


Actually, St. Augustine made it clear that what he taught was surely not his opinion.

“St. Augustine (III De Anima) says ‘If you wish to be a Catholic, do not believe, nor say, nor teach, that infants who die before baptism can obtain the remission of original sin.’”

“Whoever says that even infants are vivified in Christ when they depart this life without the participation of His Sacrament (water baptism), both opposes the Apostolic preaching and condemns the whole Church which hastens to baptize infants, because it (the Catholic Church) unhesitatingly believes that otherwise they can not possibly be vivified in Christ”

Augustine made it clear that it was Apostolic doctrine and unhesitatingly believed by the whole church that babies who died without water baptism went to Hell. We cannot make the mistake to say that this was only Augustine’s opinion.

This remained the Church’s teaching for centuries.


… and I believe it is still the Church’s teaching today, Atemi.The Catholic Church teaches that infants are born with the original sin, and that baptism **only **can remove this sinful nature in order for a new life to be received. Therefore, anyone dying without baptism, including the Isrealites who lived before the birth of Christ, went into hell ( not eternal hell called gehenna), which was called Hadies. However, within Hadies existed a refuge for the just, called Abraham’s bosom. Now, babies who die without having received baptism will go into this hell (hadies); however, where exactly is known only to God, but theologians agree that it could be the place once called Abraham’s bosom. I don’t personally find any problems with this theological hypothesis.



Hello Andre,

St. Augustine was not talking about “Hades.”

He taught about eternal damnation for babies who died without water baptism as the Apostolic doctrine taught by the Church.

“Hades” was not what he was talking about, which is plain from his teachings.


Well…Augustine also made it very plain as to who was the authority.
"I would not believe in the Gospel myself if the authority of the Catholic Church did not influence me to do so."
Against the letter of Mani, 5,6, 397 A.D.


Please understand that the Protestant apologist wishes to “divide and conquer” by pitting one ECF against another or against the Church as a whole. Augustine is one of their favorite “spokesmen” - the “Proto-Protestant”, if you will.

Of course, they fail to recognize that Augustine would willingly submit to the Church’s declarations on any given subject because his spirit and theirs are vastly different. The Church has rejected Augustine’s harsher view.

From :

(The very last sentence is the most important of all)

2. Teaching of St. Augustine

In his earlier writings St. Augustine himself agrees with the common tradition. Thus in De libero arbitrio III, written several years before the Pelagian controversy, discussing the fate of unbaptized infants after death, he writes: “It is superfluous to inquire about the merits of one who has not any merits. For one need not hesitate to hold that life may be neutral as between good conduct and sin, and that as between reward and punishment there may be a neutral sentence of the judge.” But even before the outbreak of the Pelagian controversy St. Augustine had already abandoned the lenient traditional view, and in the course of the controversy he himself condemned, and persuaded the Council of Carthage (418) to condemn, the substantially identical Pelagian teaching affirming the existence of “an intermediate place, or of any place anywhere at all (ullus alicubi locus), in which children who pass out of this life unbaptized live in happiness” (Denzinger 102). This means that St. Augustine and the African Fathers believed that unbaptized infants share in the common positive misery of the damned, and the very most that St. Augustine concedes is that their punishment is the mildest of all, so mild indeed that one may not say that for them non-existence would be preferable to existence in such a state (De peccat. meritis I, xxi; Contra Jul. V, 44; etc.). But this Augustinian teaching was an innovation in its day, and the history of subsequent Catholic speculation on this subject is taken up chiefly with the reaction which has ended in a return to the pre-Augustinian tradition.



And St. Augustine was also clear that that very same authority taught the Apostolic doctrine that all unbaptized babies that die go to Hell for eternity.

This is very significant.


From the post immediately preceeding yours:

But this Augustinian teaching was an innovation in its day, and the history of subsequent Catholic speculation on this subject is taken up chiefly with the reaction which has ended in a return to the pre-Augustinian tradition.

Hope this helps. :tiphat:


But then the article goes on that after Augustine, there was a resurgence of Augustine’s position.

What all this goes to show is that:

  1. It was not Augustine’s opinion that he stated. He clearly said it was the Apostolic teaching of the entire Church. He said that if you want to be a Catholic, you cannot deny it (de fide)

  2. As the popularity of this de fide teaching of the Church faded, some others tried to think of ways to explain the penalty of Original Sin which was much clearer during Augustine’s time.

  3. The teaching bounced back and forth depending on whose doctrines were the most popular.

The infallible teaching of the Ecumenical Council of Florence really sets the scene:

“But the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in original sin alone, go down straightaway to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains”

This is 1000 years after Augustine, yet there it is in an infallible Council. The RCC still teaches that all people are conceived guilty of Original Sin.

Of course, there are those who will say that Florence does not say what it plainly does, as another poster said Augustine did not mean what he said…but it is plain.

It was defined there.


Limbo is a Caribbean dance under a bamboo pole, and THAT’S ALL IT IS!

Search the Catechism of the Catholic Church for the word Limbo. Good luck on finding it.

[quote=CCC]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.

C’mon, let’s take a look at thought from a century which begins with a 2.



Yeah, because so much good fruit has come out of a century which begins with a 2 :rolleyes: :hmmm:

Limbo is a theological opinion, which anyone can hold without scruple… Nobody has ever said its a Dogma.


With all the previous threads that have answered this issue.
This thread is now closed.

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