Red Flag Not to Convert: Recent Limbo Thing


The church in the news about limbo.

Any comments? How can the church have change?


From what I’ve read, it’s never been official theology.


I’m sure others will answer your question directly, but I have a question in return:

Why would anyone base any part of their decision on whether to join or not join a Church based on an article from a secular news source which relies on biased sources and selective quotes? Do you think maybe that is not the most reliable source when it comes to religion?


Limbo isn’t dogma, so yes it can change. Dogma is set and cannot be changed; doctrine can. So, the dogma on the Immaculate Concepcion is inviolate, but this one on Limbo can. Hhmm…I hope I got that right…


Limbo was never even doctrine. It was only a theological theory - an attempt to explain what might happen to innocents who die without baptism. It grew out of the biblical idea of the “bosom of Abraham”, where Jesus said the blameless went before the gates of heaven were opened by Jesus’ infinite atoning sacrifice on the cross. If Jesus taught of another place (not heaven but not hell) where the righteous went, then theologians could rightly speculate that there could be a post-atonement paradise where the innocent unbaptised could spend eternity.

This theory was never official Catholic doctrine.


  1. Limbo has never been official church dogma. At most it has been posited as a good explanation and from what I’ve read on the VATICAN site, it is not going to be ‘removed’ ; in fact, it is going to be, according to the head of the commission who has been working on this since 2004 and projects it to finish around 2009 at earliest, made ‘clearer’.

  2. Since limbo has never been official dogma, it could indeed be changed (though it doesn’t appear it is going to be ‘changed’ so much as explained and made clearer, see above.)

  3. If one is deciding to convert to a faith and one hesitates because of speculation and ‘information’ that isn’t even from an official site of that faith, then maybe one should learn what the ‘official’ teaching from the faith IS before jumping to conclusions about whether the faith is ‘really true because it is ‘changing’ something.’

  4. Pray. . .and then listen to what God is saying. God bless.


Hi, :wave:

This is what the Baltimore Catechism , 1891 version, says.

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.

Notice it says it is the COMMON BELIEF? That of course would imply that not everyone believed it. It would also imply that people had a choice on whether or not they wanted to believe it. If it was an official doctrine than how could it be something that was only commonly believed? Official doctrines are not something that we have a choice on whether or not to believe. They are set in stone, like the 10 commandments.


It seems the OP put as much effort into researching the topic as they did into creating the title.


If one wants to see where limbo is, I suspect all that we have to do is take a look around us.

In other words, the place in-between the abyss/hell and heaven/pergatory is the Lord’s creation itself.

So, to the extent that creation itself weaves between with heaven and hell, I suppose limbo is likewise literally akin to a “hem” or “border” weaved between heaven and hell too.

Consequently, at Christ’s resurrection, the veil within the holy or holies was torn in two. Likewise, at the Lord’s Second Coming, I supsect that the fabric of limbo will likewise be torn in two just as the veil was torn within the holy of holies.


Your quote from the Baltimore Catechism makes it look as if these babies would go to hell if they don’t go to Limbo since it specifically states they can’t enter heaven. So is the doctrine that unbaptized babies can’t go to heaven, but if they are lucky they might make it into Limbo?


There is no definitive teaching on where unbaptized babies goes. And no one really knows much about Limbo, if such a place actually exists.

To base one’s choice of faith on such vague concepts is foolish. There are many more substantial and more controversial issues than these. IF one is looking for some excuse not to join the Church, you can certainly find them.

Disagreeing with Limbo is much more of a red herring than a red flag. On the grand scheme of thing, rejecting the Catholic faith because of Limbo is akin to rejecting Chinese food because you don’t like bitter melon, there are millions of chinese who don’t like those things either.


:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:


Everyone always says that, but the Catholic encyclopedia says:

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

“Moreover, that those who die in original sin, without ever having contracted any actual sin, are deprived of the happiness of heaven is stated explicitly in the Confession of Faith of the Eastern Emperor Michael Palæologus, which had been proposed to him by Pope Clement IV in 1267, and which he accepted in the presence of Gregory X at the Second Council of Lyons in 1274. The same doctrine is found also in the Decree of Union of the Greeks, in the Bull “Lætentur Caeli” of Pope Eugene IV, in the Profession of Faith prescribed for the Greeks by Pope Gregory XIII, and in that authorized for the Orientals by Urban VIII and Benedict XIV.”

I mean we have limbo being the predominant doctrine for 1,000 years, taught by Popes, put forth as teaching in multiple councils, Papal Bulls regarding the teaching of limbo, put in the Catechism until about 15 years ago. How do Catholics justify saying that it was never doctrine? What is a doctrine then? Was the Immaculate Conception not a doctrine until the 1800’s?

The only fall back is saying “limbo was never a doctrine”, but based on the fact it was taught for better of 1,000 years, endorsed by Popes, Papal Bulls, and endorsed in multiple councils, I don’t see how limbo was never a doctrine.

I actually asked for help because I ran into this on another site, and I have found nothing to convince limbo wasn’t a doctrine, but plenty to convince me it was. The only apologetics I’ve found on it were “limbo was never a doctrine”, they don’t bring up the Council of Lyons and argue against it, they don’t address any of the meat. And that’s all I hear Catholics repeat “oh limbo was never a doctrine”. My mother is in her 60’s she laughed hysterically when I told her that. I feel like the Mormons who say oh Adam/God theory was never a doctrine, God is a man was never taught. I feel like I would lying to myself, limbo was most definitely a doctrine.


I’ve been Catholic since 1956 taught in Catholic schools since 1st grade, and never once did anyone say Limbo was an article of faith. Whether folks hundreds of years ago believe it was is immaterial. It is not a requirement of belief as the divinity of Christ or the Immaculate Conception or the real presence in the Eucharist or a lot of other REQUIRED teachings.

There are certainly a lot more controversial beliefs than Limbo. You may want to make a big deal out of it, but us PRACTICING CATHOLICS think nothing of it, Some believe it, some don’t, but I think most of us don’t give a rat’s a** about it one why or another.


I think the point is it goes way beyond belief in limbo, I never believed it, it’s an absurd idea, it begs the question “did Catholics change doctrine”? If Catholics did change doctrine then what of the claims that it can’t err in teaching of faith and morals? What of the Council of Lyons? What of the Papal Bull “Lætentur Caeli” where Limbo appears to be endorsed? How does a Catholic reconcile the abolishment of limbo when it appears it was a doctrine that will be changed?


Doctrine is an article of faith. Like the resurrection. One must believe in Chirst’s resurrection or one is not Catholic. Because it is an article of faith that must be professed to under pain of sin. Limbo is not now nor has it ever been an article of faith. It is like apparitions- one may or may not believe in it. If it is not an article of faith and you cannot believe it, then don’t. What is the big deal here? People having a problem with the Pope’s reconsideration of limbo are merely displaying their ignorance as to what they are required to profess to believe under pain of sin. As far as your grandmother goes or whoever- my mother in her eighties told me Limbo was something like apparitions- we are free to believe it or not. She was right on. But then we all have to remember- he who laughs last laughs longest.:smiley: The filioque is an article of faith. Our Lady of Knock is not an article of faith. We do not have to profess faith in Our Lady of Knock under pain of sin. We do not have to profess faith in Limbo under pain of sin. Your mother should return to catechism for a refresher course.


What of the papal bulls? What of the teaching of Popes? What of the councils of Lyons and Carthage? This means nothing? What of the thousands of years of Apostolic Tradition teaching limbo or something similar? Limbo was nothing like the apparitions, this is revisionist history to the extreme. NO APPARATIONS have been endorsed by the Pope in the form of a council and Papal Bulls.

Limbo really isn’t the problem here, it’s a bad idea and should be abolished, what’s at stake here is the claim that the Catholic Church doesn’t change doctrine. I have hear no good arguments against limbo as a doctrine of the Church.


I repeat: Limbo is not now nor has it ever been an article of faith. You really need to study what is required to believe and that which is not. Purgatory is required. Communion of Saints is required. Real Presence is required. Limbo is not now and never has been an article of faith. No matter what Papal bull said what and no matter what encyclical said what, limbo is not an article of faith. The only teachings in the Catholic Church that cannot be changed ever at any time are those that are articles of faith. Everything else: potentially negotiable.

And agian you are incorrect this time about apparitions: The Immaculate Conception is an article of faith and cannot be changed. Papal Bulls and encyclicals and much more.

But to repeat for the obviously confused or obstinate- Limbo is not an article of faith. It can be changed at anytime.


The infallibility doctrine says that belief is required IF it is proclaimed “ex Cathedra” . The doctrine has to be formally proclaimed as true and a doctrine of faith. Limbo was NEVER declared in such a manner, even though it may appear in some documents or in some “BULLS” or in some churhc councils. It was never proclaimed as an infalliable dogma.

IF it had been, it would have to believed. It was NOT, so anyone can believe what they want about it. You may argue all you want, but the fact of the matter is that it was NEVER declared an offical dogma requried to be believed by all.


Well that’s all I’ve ever gotten, “it’s not a doctrine and never was a doctrine”, I’ve never actually seen anyone refute the councils, and papal bulls, or the fact it was taught as apostolic tradition for nearly two millenia, and now is going kaput.

Forget it, I give up, I’ll never get a good answer and it is time to simple accept that. The only answer EVER given is “you need to study more (ad hominem to avoid the actual data provided), limbo is not and has never been a doctrine of the Church”…:rolleyes:

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