Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Limbo

A few days ago, I read that the Pope is currently considering a proposal to abolish the state of “limbus infantium”. His conclusion is due to be published on Friday. A quick poll of my friends (including one who is an RE teacher) elicited nothing more than blank looks, so I was pleased to find discussion of the issue in the blogosphere, although it is not as widespread as I thought it might have been. Perhaps it has been overshadowed by events in North Korea and other religious discussions concerning veils. Or perhaps the concept is not one which people spend time worrying about.

3 comments:

Sarah said...

I was raised a Catholic, so maybe it's more widely known in these circles. Pope Benedict has been arguing this point since the 80's. It's a good thing that this has now been ratified and makes sense when you think about it from a theological point of view.

Rachel said...

It's also been in the news, on and off, since Autumn 2005 I discovered when trying to research the concept further.

Having been raised in a Church of England church, Limbo is not a concept I am terribly familiar with. I certainly came across the ideals of catholicism during GCSE RE but that was 8 years ago and I am a little rusty about these matters.

I think that I agree with you that it makes sense from a theological point of view (especially as Jesus said that all the little children would be safe in heaven with him, or words to that effect) but I'm not entirely sure what you mean...

Sarah said...

Oh I think I'm basically agreeing with you. As you know there is the belief that we are all born with original sin and baptism is supposed to 'wipe the slate clean' as it were. However if you died before you had a chance to get bapitised this caused a problem so the Church decided you went to Limbo. Basically Limbo is a theoretical place of happiness, but without being in God's presence and it was a way of trying to balance the mercy of God with the belief in the necessity of Baptism. But Limbo is a hypothetical place-there's no mention of it in Scripture. Furthermore, an increasing number of babies aren't being baptised; babies don't have the right to exercise their own free will and there's the eternal question of what happens to babies that die in the womb- so limbo was considered 'unfair'. Now the Holy See have decided that they die in the 'hope of eternal salvation' backed up by the belief that God wants to save everyone in His image and likeness so they should go to Heaven. Hope that makes sense. (This is a terribly high-brow conversation, isn't it?!)