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Pope revises 'limbo' for babies

StrawberryQueen

Well-Known Member
What are your thoughts on this?
By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 10 minutes ago


VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI has revised traditional Roman Catholic teaching on so-called "limbo," approving a church report released Friday that said there was reason to hope that babies who die without baptism can go to heaven.

Benedict approved the findings of the International Theological Commission, which issued its long-awaited document on limbo on Origins, the documentary service of Catholic News Service, the news agency of the American Bishop's Conference.

"We can say we have many reasons to hope that there is salvation for these babies," the Rev. Luis Ladaria, a Jesuit who is the commission's secretary-general, told The Associated Press.

Although Catholics have long believed that children who die without being baptized are with original sin and thus excluded from heaven, the church has no formal doctrine on the matter. Theologians have long taught, however, that such children enjoy an eternal state of perfect natural happiness, a state commonly called limbo, but without being in communion with God.

Pope John Paul II and Benedict had urged further study on limbo, in part because of "the pressing pastoral needs" sparked by the increase in abortion and the growing number of children who die without being baptized, the report said.

In the document, the commission said there were "serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptized infants who die will be saved and brought into eternal happiness."

It stressed, however, that "these are reasons for prayerful hope, rather than grounds for sure knowledge."

Ladaria said no one could know for certain what becomes of unbaptized babies since Scripture is largely silent on the matter.

Catholic parents should still baptize their children, as that sacrament is the way salvation is revealed, the document said.

The International Theological Commission is a body of Vatican-appointed theologians who advise the pope and the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Benedict headed the Congregation for two decades before becoming pope in 2005.
 

alexstin

Well-Known Member
My question is, why wouldn't a baby go to heaven? Baptism doesn't make you right with God so I've never really understand the whole notion of baptising "just because".
 

StrawberryQueen

Well-Known Member
alexstin said:
My question is, why wouldn't a baby go to heaven? Baptism doesn't make you right with God so I've never really understand the whole notion of baptising "just because".
I feel the same. But I don't want to start drama, so I waitied for someone else to say it.

I was hoping some Catholic folks would come in and add their piece.

I don't understand that concept of limbo, nor the concept of Purgatory.
 

MeccaMedinah

Active Member
alexstin said:
My question is, why wouldn't a baby go to heaven? Baptism doesn't make you right with God so I've never really understand the whole notion of baptising "just because".


StrawberryQueen said:
I feel the same. But I don't want to start drama, so I waitied for someone else to say it.

I was hoping some Catholic folks would come in and add their piece.

I don't understand that concept of limbo, nor the concept of Purgatory.
Exactly ladies. I had never heard of the limbo thing; it sounds like another made up concept of theirs.
 

baby42

New Member
StrawberryQueen said:
I feel the same. But I don't want to start drama, so I waitied for someone else to say it.

I was hoping some Catholic folks would come in and add their piece.

I don't understand that concept of limbo, nor the concept of Purgatory.
i was a catholic but when i was a kid and younnger i left because i couldnt get with a lot of thing that are said and this is one :confused: and that puratory that they tell you i could not find it in the holy bible and the nuns didnt say much to help me it just didnt sit well with me i didnt like the teaching on that and some other things my grandmother got up set but i think she understood me in the end but to each its own:) because there is only one god so i guess any way you get to him is great
 
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klassykutie

New Member
I am Catholic by birth and there are several of doctorines that are in place that do not make sense to me, including this one.

Alot of things are just old and change with different leadership of the Church.

No baptisms outside of the Catholic Church are valid in the eyes of the Church either.
 

Enchantmt

Progress...not perfection
This has always been a topic of discussion, what happens if you die as a child before you receive the knowledge of Christ. Personally, I think they will be saved. There is supposed to be 1000 years of peace after the second coming and then Satan is released again to tempt folx. I'm assuming that is to weed out folx. Just my opinion tho.
 

znapps

New Member
klassykutie said:
No baptisms outside of the Catholic Church are valid in the eyes of the Church either.


I actually used to teach RCIA classes (classes for ppl who want to convert to Catholicism), and the Catholic Church DOES recognize ALL Christian baptisms as long as the person was fully immersed and was baptised in the name of the "father, son, holy ghost" or "jesus" (b/c he is the all three). As a matter of doctrine, the Church will not baptize anyone who has already been baptized. Period. No matter how much they beg, plead and ask.

Also, regarding limbo/pergatory (same concept different names), this is a concept that originated long ago as people tried to cope with concepts of His love/forgiveness and His jealousy/wrath/etc. If you read through the Old and New Testaments you will recognize that the concept of God has become "kinder & gentler". In the OT the focus was more on wrath, jealousy and punishment, but with the NT & the new covenant w/man in the NT, the focus is His love for us and how we should love and care for each other. In the early Church, people where torn, because the Bible does not say straight out what happens to those who die "in sin" when they are too young to realize they are "in sin", people did not want to believe that babies & young children would be punished for sin when at such a young age their only sin was the original sin we are all born with.
 

znapps

New Member
From the 2nd edition of the Catechism (a big book that explains the Roman Catholic Faith in a Nutshell):

Article 12, sections 1030-1032:

"The Final Purification, or Purgatory"

1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of thier eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned (1 Corinthians 2:9). The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire (1 Corinthians 3:15; 1 Peter 1:7):

As for certain lesser faults, we believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.

1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from thier sin" (2 Maccabees 12:46). From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:
Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them."

END

I hope that helps anyone who truly seeks to understand.
 

Xavier

Well-Known Member
I am a Christian, but not Catholic therefore I have never understood nor believe in limbo/pergatory(sp).
My faith teaches me that babies and the mentally handicapped who are not aware nor can not grasp the concept of salvation or baptism are protected by God's grace. Therefore when they die they automatically are going to heaven.

I personally would ask what about aborted babies. Are they going to heaven since they have not actually been born INTO this sinful world yet?

Also a person who is mentally handicapped and can not understand the concept of salvation and baptism at the age of 30(far from childhood), what happens to them?

I personally am not seeking a real answer for these questions since I already know what I believe but would be curious as to now the Catholic faith handles answering them?
 

znapps

New Member
Xavier said:
My faith teaches me that babies and the mentally handicapped who are not aware nor can not grasp the concept of salvation or baptism are protected by God's grace. Therefore when they die they automatically are going to heaven.

I personally would ask what about aborted babies. Are they going to heaven since they have not actually been born INTO this sinful world yet?

Also a person who is mentally handicapped and can not understand the concept of salvation and baptism at the age of 30(far from childhood), what happens to them?

I personally am not seeking a real answer for these questions since I already know what I believe but would be curious as to now the Catholic faith handles answering them?

No problem. I am not trying to convert anyone, just answer true questions about the faith.

As far as aborted babies, the mentally handicapped, etc. what happens to them is a MYSTERY because the scriptures are SILENT on the topic. We can try to interpret scripture (which is what I posted above from the Catechism; what Catholic priests/scholars who spend their days in prayer and interpretation have written), but we will never KNOW until we get to heaven and get to ask Him face to face. This is where FAITH comes in. Catholic teachings are hopeful that aborted babies, those too young to repent and the mentally impaired are allowed to join with Him in everlasting life, but we won't KNOW in this age.

Like most denominations, the Catholic Church tries to interpret scripture and apply it to the present situation, but the Church will not declare an answer where the Bible does not give one and where the application of scripture would be a stretch.

Short answer - We hope they get to heaven, the Word at 1 Corithians 3:15 & 1 Peter 1:7 gives us that hope, and all we can do here on earth is pray that it is so.

Be Blessed
 

Xavier

Well-Known Member
znapps said:
but we will never KNOW until we get to heaven and get to ask Him face to face.

Thanks for responsing...I absolutely agree.
I am one who believes that no one religion nor person has all of the answers. We can only do are best when what God gives us.
 

znapps

New Member
Xavier said:
Thanks for responsing...I absolutely agree.
I am one who believes that no one religion nor person has all of the answers. We can only do are best when what God gives us.


No problem at all. Thanks for asking with an open heart. :)
 
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