Does This Put Limbo in Limbo?

This is probably only amusing to us Catholic who remember the Baltimore Catechism but the Vatican has updated its teaching on limbo. The Church used to teach that a person had to be baptized to go to Heaven. This led to the obvious question of what happens to babies who die before they are baptized; clearly they did nothing wrong and nobody wanted to think they spent the rest of eternity in Hell alongside people who missed mass or used birth control. Out of this concern came the belief among some (though never an official teaching of the Church) that these babies went to a place called limbo. It wasn’t Heaven (and in Dante’s Inferno it was the outermost circle of Hell) but it was a place of contentment.

This was never much consolation to new parents, who didn’t have enough to worry about already, and many rushed to the church to baptize their children. Now the Vatican has caught up to many of us in believing that God isn’t interested in most of our rules and that these babies were created by the same all loving God as the rest of us. On April 20th the International Theological Commission found that “there are good reasons to hope that babies who die without being baptized go to heaven.” About time.

If you want a good laugh check out the blog of Sr. Martha Mary.

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