Limbo?

No, it doesn’t. “Paid in full” is one of the meanings that can be applied to that construction, but it’s not the case it must always mean it. That’s like saying that, since “on fire” can mean “burning”, that any time anyone says that something or someone is ‘on fire’ (e.g., “wow – that pitcher’s really on fire tonight! he’s throwing all strikes!”), it means that they’re burning. :wink:

(I’m only taking exception to this notion, because often, Protestants use this translation to ‘prove’ that sins are all forgiven through Jesus’ sacrifice, or ‘once saved, always saved’… :wink: )

I just noticed this assertion. This is not what the Church teaches; rather, it is possible for those who have never heard the Gospel (and therefore, cannot be considered to participate in a ‘baptism of desire’) to be saved. Baptism is the normative way through which salvation is possible, but is not the sole way.

  1. Baptism by desire (as well as baptism of blood, i.e. martydom) is still baptism, it’s just not water baptism. Those cases do not undermine the necessity of baptism. The Church teaches that someone can have an implicit baptism by desire if they would have desired baptism if they would have know about it. Thus, that case is covered under a “baptism by (implicit) desire.” I believe LG speaks about this. Paragraph anyone? Maybe 14 or 16?

  2. You’ll note, I said can be inferred. I didn’t claim it was Church teaching, the Church has no official teaching on whether anyone is saved apart from baptism, it simply encourages us to
    a) get people baptized
    b) have hope for those who are not.

Agreed. That’s why I mentioned that the case you point out is not baptism by desire.

The Church teaches that someone can have an implicit baptism by desire if they would have desired baptism if they would have know about it.

You’re paraphrasing the CCC here: “Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity” (CCC, 1260). This does not mean that there is an ‘implicit baptism of desire’, however. This paragraph stands in contrast to the others in its context: #1258 notes that “those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ” and #1259 asserts that “for catechumens who die before Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it… assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.” However, no notion of salvation through baptism is present in 1260, only an assumption of what may have been desired.

Thus, that case is covered under a “baptism by (implicit) desire.”

Yet, this doesn’t fit with CCC #1257, which asserts that “baptism is necessary for salvation for those… who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.” So, for these who might be considered ‘implicit’ baptisms, there’s not even the necessity of baptism, per se!

I believe LG speaks about this. Paragraph anyone? Maybe 14 or 16?

Actually, I was thinking of LG #16 when I wrote what you cited! It says:

[quote=Lumen Gentium]Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.(19*) Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel.
[/quote]

So, here again, there’s no mention of ‘baptism’, in contrast to #14, which, addressing the “Catholic faithful,” affirms that “the Church… is necessary for salvation” and asserts the “necessity of faith and baptism” for Catholics, as well as #15, which is addressed to those, “who, being baptized, are honored with the name of Christian.” So, in both LG and the CCC, the notion of salvation for those who have not heard the Gospel is separate from the notion of baptism, per se.

You’ll note, I said can be inferred. I didn’t claim it was Church teaching

OK, I understand you now. :thumbsup: It’s not Church teaching, but you’d like to assert that it can be inferred from Church teaching. I disagree. :shrug:

the Church has no official teaching on whether anyone is saved apart from baptism

No… the Church does have official teaching, as I’ve just cited! She doesn’t teach the certainty of salvation of the unbaptized, but certainly she asserts the availability of salvation to the unbaptized!

You make a strong case. Unfortunately, I was solely relying on memory of LG and the CCC and didn’t have them right on hand to look up. I won’t press the issue. I’d only change “availability of salvation of the unbaptized” to “possibility of salvation of the unbaptized as long as baptism was unavailable through not fault of the unbaptized person” but that could be quibbling. Either way, I don’t think it necessarily eliminates limbo, would you go that far? I don’t believe the Church does.

Agreed. I chose not to use the word ‘possibility’ only because I thought it might push the discussion in a direction that wouldn’t be helpful. The distinction is between the possibility and impossibility of salvation for the baptized, not the extent to which that possibility exists.

Either way, I don’t think it necessarily eliminates limbo, would you go that far? I don’t believe the Church does.

I think that it does eliminate limbo, to tell the truth. The notion of limbo asserts a certainty of eternal destination – and the Church cannot make this assertion, since it relies solely on the hope of God’s mercy for the salvation of those unbaptized and without personal sin. I think that theologians who posit the existence of limbo overreach in their conclusions. The assertion that there are only two eternal terminii (heaven and hell) and not three (heaven, hell, and limbo) reduces the notion of limbo to ‘heaven, but without the Beatific Vision’. Once we’ve agreed on this doctrinal stance, it’s difficult to see how we could reason in favor of limbo without making assertions about heaven that are deficient in substantiation. :shrug:

You think it eliminates limbo, but do you think it eliminates the possibility of Catholics from freely coming to other conclusions?

I think good arguments can be (and have been) made against limbo and I’m not arguing for limbo. However, and this is where I think we part ways, I’d argue the Church has deliberately left the possibility of limbo open, in that she hasn’t definitively taught whether unbaptized babies may or may not be saved, preferring instead to couch the conversation in terms of “hope”. Thus, I’d argue limbo is a valid theological opinion, just as it was for St. Thomas & St. Anselm, in that an individual Catholic theologian may or may not hold that opinion freely without contradicting the Magisterium of the Church.

In other words, limbo is still on the table as opposed to say the idea that all non-Catholics are ipso facto damned, which is not a valid interpretation of extra ecclesiam nulla salus, or the idea that a sinful priest cannot consecrate the Host (i.e. Donatism) which have been defined as errors by the Magisterium.

There’s really two issues at hand here, and they often get conflated. I think it’s best to separate them to really understand this topic.

First off, however, no one can deny that all, including infants, who die in original sin are deprived of the beatific vision–they are damned. That’s dogma.

The first issue is the historical debate concerning Limbo, which was whether infants who die in original sin suffer the torments of Hell, or just the loss of the beatific vision, and experience a state of natural happiness (a state of damnation called “Limbo,” ie the outskirts of Hell). If we assume God does not extraordinarily cleanse them of original sin, those are the only two options–salvation is not a possibility. That is the historical debate about “limbo.” The latter option became pretty much the settled, unanimous doctrine.

The second issue is the debate as to whether God would extraordinarily cleanse such an infant of original sin and therefore save the child. This is a completely different debate and one we cannot know the answer to, ultimately. This is what the ITC study was looking at. All unanimously acknowledge He could, but no one can say for sure if He does–it has not been revealed. St. Thomas argued that God might for children dying in the womb, since baptism cannot reach there and, if He did not, Adam’s sin would have a farther reach than Christ’s salvation. I don’t see why this argument could not be extended to those for whom baptism cannot reach for other reasons:

[quote=St. Thomas] Children while in the mother’s womb have not yet come forth into the world to live among other men. Consequently they cannot be subject to the action of man, so as to receive the sacrament, at the hands of man, unto salvation. They can, however, be subject to the action of God, in Whose sight they live, so as, by a kind of privilege, to receive the grace of sanctification; as was the case with those who were sanctified in the womb.
[/quote]

newadvent.org/summa/4068.htm#article11

Likewise, some, like St. Bernard (De Baptismo I, 4; II, 1), have argued that the faith of the parents could suffice (since faith suffices when baptism is lacking without fault in other cases).

The CCC does not make a judgment one way or the other on this question.

**To sum up, there are two questions. **

(1) Could God, in an extraordinary way, cleanse unbaptized infants of orignal sin? Yes, He could, and there are reasons to hope He might (as well as reasons He might not), but we can’t know if He does.

and

(2) What would happen to those infants who are NOT cleansed of original sin? The two answers historically supported were either that were damned with a lack of beatific vision and pain of sense or a lack of beatific vision and natural happiness. The latter became pretty unanimously held.

I think you mean this in the sense that, without the intervention of the mercy and grace of God, original sin is sufficient to deny salvation. That, of course, goes without saying.

If we assume God does not extraordinarily cleanse them of original sin

The question, then, is whether that is a reasonable assumption. :wink:

The latter option became pretty much the settled, unanimous doctrine.

Settled ‘opinion’, you mean. :wink:

The second issue is the debate as to whether God would extraordinarily cleanse such an infant of original sin and therefore save the child. This is a completely different debate and one we cannot know the answer to, ultimately. This is what the ITC study was looking at.

I think that you’re unreasonably setting limits on the scope of the study; in fact, you’re doing so in a way that the study itself does not! “This Document, from the point of view of speculative theology as well as from the practical and pastoral perspective, constitutes for a useful and timely mean for deepening our understanding this problem, which is not only a matter of doctrine, but also of pastoral priority in the modern era.”

I am saying that Jesus took everyone’s sins upon Himself on the cross and as Jesus said, “It is finished”, not, it is somewhat done, not, someone else will do the rest but “IT IS FINISHED”.

Seems that sometimes, quite often, the more clearer that God speaks, the less we understand, as my namesake said, “These are hard-headed and stiff-necked people”, our toys change but we don’t.

I am also saying that God became One of us to do just that, taking all of humanity’s sins upon Himself, because no one else, human or supernatural, could do it.

  1. Yes, Jesus said IT IS FINISHED, but what exactly is IT? You are assuming He meant “everyone is now saved”, but that is in no way clear from the text (read Jn 19).

  2. Nothing you are saying is at all addressing the idea of FREE WILL. God has done everything necessary for all to be saved, no one is denying that. The question is whether or not everyone is freely willing to accept that salvation. How do we accept it? According to the Bible, we must “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins." (see Acts 2:38).

You say God speaks clearly, but people won’t listen. Here are some things God said that refute your idea that all are saved: (just from the Book of Matthew)

For many are called, but few are chosen. 22:14

‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 25:31
*
Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ * 7:3
*
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.* 7:13

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter 23:13
*
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God *19:24

Examples can be multiplied from the other Gospels and the Letters of St. Paul.

John 19: 21-22 "So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews.’ Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”, notice who God spoke thru here?

John 19: 26-27 “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”, John stood in for the entire human race and Jesus was giving Mary to the entire human race as their spiritual mom, do you have any thoughts on this and is so, what are they?

John 19: 28-30 “After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.” Jesus “thirsted” for us ALL, that is why God became One of us and also why God came up with God’s Plan even before creation.

You wrote, “Nothing you are saying is at all addressing the idea of FREE WILL.”, I have written many times that we have free will and that God knew that not all would repent, take responsibility for their use of their free will, before they die and that is why God came up with a Plan, even before creation, and that God becoming One of us is part of that unfolding Plan.

You then wrote, “According to the Bible, we must “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”"

Jesus also said that one must be born again, didn’t He? You seem to put a “limit” on when one can be “born again”, did God?

You put up some verses from the bible but just because you think they mean what you think they mean doesn’t necessarily mean you know what they mean.

What about: "Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” and “This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth. For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself as ransom for all.”

Ever given any thought that since it says that God “wills everyone to be saved” and that God-Incarnate taught us to pray “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”, maybe we should, at the least, pray for God’s Will?

By the way, as far as “For many are called, but few are chosen. 22:14”, are you saying that you think/believe that this is about those “going to the good place”, could very well be speaking of those “few” who are “chosen” for a very specific “job” and as far as “many”, this could and does at times in the bible mean all, just as a “thousand” in the bible doesn’t necessarily mean what a “thousand” does to us.

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