Mary and Limbo changed?


#1

Help!, My boss is on the verge of leaving the Catholic church. He has many issues, but two that he has strong opinions about are his beliefs that:

1.) The church changed it’s teaching on Limbo. At first I though this was an easy one. I explained that Limbo was never an “official” teaching but was speculation among theologians on what happens to unborn babies. He shot back at me: “Tell that to my brother who had children that died shortly after birth. the Church would not bury them in the regular section of the catholic cemetery”. Their family was very emotionally hurt by this. He said that Limbo was taught as fact when he was growing up and looking at the Baltimore Catechism it appears he is right. He says this is a slap in the face.

2.) He says the Church use to teach we were to worship Mary and then changed it. Of course this is nonsense, but I think the only way I can convince him is to show him a pre-Vatican II document that specifically condemns worship of Mary. Does any such document exist?

Thanks!


#2

Reference #1, the priest was wrong, and hurtful. Quoting Baltimore Catechism #3, Copyright 1891:

Q. 632. Where will persons go who – such as infants – have not committed actual sin and who, through no fault of theirs, die without baptism?

A. Persons, such as infants, who have not committed actual sin and who, through no fault of theirs, die without baptism, cannot enter heaven; but it is the common belief they will go to some place similar to Limbo, where they will be free from suffering, though deprived of the happiness of heaven.

Note the “it is the common belief” which I read as “We don’t know”, even then.

John


#3

The Church didn’t change the Limbo. It has always been a point of liberty and it still is: in fact the Vatican’s International Theological Commission recently released a document affirming this fact. The Church has never definitively ruled on it, although it has said that defending Limbo cannot be condemned but also that there is reason to hope for their salvation. The fact is, we can’t say for sure.


#4

Here is an example of Mary worship that the Church fought–it’s the heresy of Collyridism.

ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/COLLYRID.TXT


#5

How could the Church ever have taught that we should worship Mary? That’s just ridiculous. Hasn’t anyone heard of the First Commandment??


#6

Right. Look at, for example, the Baltimore Catechism, the standard of pre-Vatican-II Catholicism in North America. The BC clearly says that we do not worship creatures:

  1. Q. How may the First Commandment be broken?
    A. The First Commandment may be broken by giving to a creature the honor which belongs to God alone…

#7

It does say that they “can not enter heaven”. The new Catechism does not say that or even imply it. How is this reconciled?

“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,” [Mk 10 14; cf. 1 Tim 2:4] 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.”


#8

Thanks for the link!


#9

Guys, great explication of limbo, but we still need to deal with this tidbit:

“Tell that to my brother who had children that died shortly after birth. the Church would not bury them in the regular section of the catholic cemetery”.

I would need more details. Was a reason given for this? Did they actually invoke Limbo for this?


#10

In regards to his brother’s dead children, the issue of limbo is moot. Only baptized Catholics may be buried in a Catholic cemetary, so I am supposing that the children were not baptized.

As for Limbo, that Church’s position is the same as it always was- that Limbo is not an official doctrine, rather it is theological speculation on the question of unbpatized children who die in a state of original sin. There is no evidence in scripture or sacred tradition that supports the idea of limbo. At various times in the history of the Church is has been taught more widely then at other times, and up until the 1950s it was commonly taught in Catholic schools. But even then, just as today, the faithful were free to believe or disbelieve in the concept of limbo.


#11

Sounds like one of those urban myths that crops up whe one is trying to attack your beleifs. I would ask him for deatils. What church, what Pastor, etc. Tell him you need this info becuase you want to write the Bishop of that diecese to tell him what a terrible thing was done these people.

You might also want to visit a catholic Cemetery yourself. you would be supriesed to wee how many graves there are for still born or miscarried children.

2.) He says the Church use to teach we were to worship Mary and then changed it. Of course this is nonsense, but I think the only way I can convince him is to show him a pre-Vatican II document that specifically condemns worship of Mary. Does any such document exist?

Thanks!

I suspect there is not a pre vaticam II document that specifically condmens wowrhiping Baal either. So what? If he can find any instance of the Church teaching worship of Mary he should produce it. he asking you to prove a negative,


#12

Mu Aunt was allowed to bury he 3 stillboen Chidren in a the family plot in a Cathoic Cemetery I know of no rule prohibiting the burying of unbatized infants of catholics in a Catholic Cemetery,

As for Limbo, that Church’s position is the same as it always was- that Limbo is not an official doctrine, rather it is theological speculation on the question of unbpatized children who die in a state of original sin. There is no evidence in scripture or sacred tradition that supports the idea of limbo. At various times in the history of the Church is has been taught more widely then at other times, and up until the 1950s it was commonly taught in Catholic schools. But even then, just as today, the faithful were free to believe or disbelieve in the concept of limbo.


#13

The Baltimore Catechism is actually incorrect in stating that those who die without baptism cannot enter heaven, if they mean only water baptism. For example, the Church definitively teaches that catechumens who die before they are baptized can enter heaven. So the way to reconcile the two statements is to expand the notion of baptism, as the Church as done, to include baptism of desire and baptism of blood. Then the question becomes, can an infant gain such baptism? The answer simply has not been revealed to the Church, but she trusts in the mercy of God who desires that all be saved and none perish (and Limbo is nothing more than hell, no matter how nicely it is described).


#14

Limbo most certainly is not hell, and that would be a terrible thing to tell a family who had lost an unbaptised child! Limbo is a place of perfect natural happiness, lacking only (but of course that’s a BIG only) the Vision of God.

And I don’t understand why the church has changed its practice on when infants are baptised. When I was having my kids back in the '50s, a Catholic baby was normally baptised on the first Sunday after it came home from the hospital. Now my parish only schedules baptisms once a month…


#15

VociMike, good explanation, :thumbsup:
I agree with you that the Baltimore Catechism on this point seems (I hesitate to say incorrect) incomplete and misleading.

We could say that one cannot enter Heaven without sanctifying grace, and the normative way of obtaining this is through water baptism. In addition to your example of catechumens and martyrs who obviously are in heaven without water baptism, we should include Adam and Eve, the patriarchs and prophets, St. Joseph? , St. Simeon, St. Dismas, etc.

All of those above could be included under a theory of Baptism of Desire. I don’t know if there is any tradition that Mary(!?)was baptized. If she wasn’t, I don’t even think we would include her in the category of “baptism by desire” since she obviously had no need to be baptised. Hence the Baltimore Catechism sentence “Persons. . .who have not committed actual sin and who. . .die without baptism, cannot enter heaven” would certainly be problematic given Mary’s Assumption!:cool:

Here, however, I would tend to disagree. Hell includes the Pain of Loss and the Pain of Sense. . . and I don’t think any argument for “Limbo” ever contemplated a pain of sense (in fact, natural beatitude would preclude it.) I can understand the sentiment that not being in Heaven is tantamount to being in Hell (as we normally think of it). . . but I would think that those in Hell would certainly see the natural beatitude of “Limbo” as an improvement over their state.

VC


#16

Limbo is eternity without God. It is not heaven, and it is not earth. It is hell. Perfect natural happiness for a supernatural creature such as man, made in the image and likeness of God, is perfect unhappiness.


#17

vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20070419_un-baptised-infants_en.html

I think this clears up the Church’s current and past state of teaching on the fate of un-baptised-infants.

Chuck


#18

As far as I’m concerned, all Limbo is or ever was is a Caribbean dance under a bamboo stick!

John

PS: We are bound by God’s rules; God is not bound by our rules.


#19

**

Q. 632. Where will persons go who – such as infants – have not committed actual sin and who, through no fault of theirs, die without baptism?

A*. Persons, such as infants, who have not committed actual sin and who, through no fault of theirs, die without baptism, cannot enter heaven;* but it is the common belief they will go to some place similar to Limbo, where they will be free from suffering, though deprived of the happiness of heaven.

Limbo or no limbo from this it seems that regardless, heaven isn’t an option for them … is that the case or am I reading this wrong?

Alex**


#20

The question is, does God offer them the possibility of some form of baptism (it need not be water baptism). And my reply is, how could he not?


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