Question about limbo


#1

I realize that limbo was never “officially” a doctrine of the Catholic church. Nevertheless, it was taught for years as TRUTH. Now, it seems, it is no longer a valid teaching. Since it was at one point taught as truth and now no longer is, where did the idea come from in the first place?

One thing seems apparent. Since God never changes and He can NOT lie, the idea of limbo obviously wasn’t from Him.


#2

[quote=squeekster]Now, it seems, it is no longer a valid teaching. Since it was at one point taught as truth and now no longer is,
[/quote]

Is that true? I know they were discussing it, but did they come out and say it’s no longer valid?

I’ve always heard that it was a “theological opinion”, whatever that means.


#3

[quote=squeekster]I realize that limbo was never “officially” a doctrine of the Catholic church. Nevertheless, it was taught for years as TRUTH. Now, it seems, it is no longer a valid teaching. Since it was at one point taught as truth and now no longer is, where did the idea come from in the first place?

One thing seems apparent. Since God never changes and He can NOT lie, the idea of limbo obviously wasn’t from Him.
[/quote]

If someone taught you that the theological speculation of limbo (regarding the souls of the unborn who die) was an official teaching of the church, I can understand why you might have uncharitable feelings toward that person. But try to forgive them, as they probably didn’t intend to confuse you or do harm.

Theological speculations are just that: speculations. They are attempts to answer questions, but they are not proposed as items required for belief by the teaching authority of the Church. It’s still being discussed by theologians and is an attempt to reconcile the necessity of Baptism in some form with the perfect justice of God. There are other possible solutions that are being discussed, and if you want, we could get into them.

God protects his Church from officially teaching error in areas of faith and morals, but He doesn’t guarantee that any theologian is going to immediately come up with answers to all possible questions.

I’d recommend this article:
catholic.com/library/Papal_Infallibility.asp


#4

Limbo was a philosophical speculation during the middle ages that sort of “caught on” and persisted to the present day. It is not an official church teaching but its existence is not denied either.

There is also the possibility that it may have existed once, but not anymore. Father’s Limbo more likely than infants Limbo. I don’t know where everybody gets the mistaken impression that God never changes. The scriptures deny this outright. God regretted ( changed his mind ) about creating humanity before he detroyed the world in the flood. Then God changed his mind about that and said he would never flood the earth again, hence the rainbow. God used to insist on a blood sacrifce and the death of some poor animal. Nowadays, the single sacrifice of Jesus that is perpetuated for all time in Holy Communion is more than sufficient.

I understand that on some metaphysical level, you can coherently assert that God never changes. This is particularly true if you believe in predestination. The motion of every molucle was decided at creation. Cool. But in common, earthly experience God, from our vantage point, changes all the time. We didn’t even have a Trinity until Jesus told us about it. It may have had true spiritual existence, but since nobody knew about it, it had no meaning to us. Its existence sure was a real shock to Caiaphas. If that wasn’t change, I don’t know what is!


#5

You may want to do a search on Limbo on this forum.

We’ve had about a dozen threads on this that hash this out in detail.


#6

Limbo was never official teaching. However, certain aspects of Limbo do have Magisterial support (not explicitly, but implicitly). It will be interesting to see what happens here.


#7

[quote=richbansha]… I don’t know where everybody gets the mistaken impression that God never changes. The scriptures deny this outright. God regretted ( changed his mind ) about creating humanity before he detroyed the world in the flood. Then God changed his mind about that and said he would never flood the earth again, hence the rainbow. God used to insist on a blood sacrifce and the death of some poor animal. Nowadays, the single sacrifice of Jesus that is perpetuated for all time in Holy Communion is more than sufficient.

I understand that on some metaphysical level, you can coherently assert that God never changes. !
[/quote]

God doesn’t change. I think you may know what I’m about to say, though. Since God is perfect he cannot change since if he changed from perfection or to perfection, then he wouldn’t be God either before or after.

As analogy, imagine an unchanging, infinite, beautiful landscape. As we travel over it, we may say that the scenery changes as a matter of speaking, but in reality it is only our position that has changed.


#8

[quote=DeFide]God doesn’t change. I think you may know what I’m about to say, though. Since God is perfect he cannot change since if he changed from perfection or to perfection, then he wouldn’t be God either before or after.

As analogy, imagine an unchanging, infinite, beautiful landscape. As we travel over it, we may say that the scenery changes as a matter of speaking, but in reality it is only our position that has changed.
[/quote]

You are correct and I agree. As I said earlier, this is perfectly logical in the abstract. As you too note, the landscape changes from our perspective. That is my only real assertion. As the landscape changes as we move through it, so may the theological and philosophical landscape change as we move though it. It may “change” next year or in a thousand years, as we understand it. But the changes that we see will have been God’s truth all along.

I think we agree on these points but choose a different focus.


#9

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