Limbo in Limbo

Published Date: 
May 25, 2006

On January 13, 2006, the Wall Street Journal had an article about the Roman Catholic Church being ready to abandon the idea of limbo as the place of rest for good people who were not believers (like Plato and Virgil) and for unbaptized children. The doctrine, though widely believed, had never been official church doctrine. Pope Benedict XVI had said long before he was pope that the church should "let [limbo] drop, since it has always been only a theological hypothesis." Other religions, like Hinduism and Buddhism, have limbo-like doctrines. The Mormons "believe that there are three kingdoms or 'degrees of glory' in the afterlife. Like limbo, the 'terrestrial' kingdom is the lesser abode of those who led honorable lives on earth but refused baptism into the Church of Latter-day Saints." In Catholicism, limbo was developed to solve the problem caused by the teaching that the baptism of babies was necessary for the removal of original sin. However, the emphasis has changed. The "Catechism of the Catholic Church" (1994) say of these unbaptized children that "the church can only entrust them to the mercy of God." No real answer and no real hope. Or as others have said, everything changes and everything stays the same.

David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 22:8

He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.