Catholic Church Abolishes Concept Of Limbo
Wow. So catholic church doctrine is NOT set in stone. Pay close attention all ye absolutists, who are quick to defend the Church's stance on the all-male clergy, homosexuality, and abortion:
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Roman Catholic Church has effectively buried the concept of limbo, the place where centuries of tradition and teaching held that babies who die without baptism went.
In a long-awaited document, the Church's International Theological Commission said limbo reflected an "unduly restrictive view of salvation," according to the U.S.-based Catholic News Service, which obtained a copy on Friday.
The thumbs-down verdict on limbo had been expected for years and the document, called "The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptised," was seen as most likely to be final since limbo was never formally part of Church doctrine.
Pope Benedict authorized the publication of the document.
According to the CNS report, the 41-page document says the theologians advising the Pope concluded that since God is merciful he "wants all human beings to be saved."
It says grace has priority over sin, and the exclusion of innocent babies from heaven does not seem to reflect Christ's special love for children, CNS, which is owned by the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference, quoted the document as saying.
Limbo, which comes from the Latin word meaning "border" or "edge," was considered by medieval theologians to be a state or place reserved for the unbaptised dead, including good people who lived before the coming of Christ.
"Our conclusion is that the many factors that we have considered ... give serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptised infants who die will be saved and enjoy the beatific vision (of God)," the document said, according to CNS which is part of the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference.