News of the Day: Catholic and Limbo and Unbaptized Infants

Read an interesting article in the Catholic Newspaper this week.

The Catholic Church has finally reversed its thinking regarding limbo for unbaptized infants.

“In a document published April 20, the commission said the traditional concept of limbo -- as a place where unbaptized infants spend eternity but without communion with God -- seemed to reflect an "unduly restrictive view of salvation."The church continues to teach that, because of original sin, baptism is the ordinary way of salvation for all people and urges parents to baptize infants, the document said.But there is greater theological awareness today that God is merciful and "wants all human beings to be saved," it said. Grace has priority over sin, and the exclusion of innocent babies from heaven does not seem to reflect Christ's special love for "the little ones," it said."Our conclusion is that the many factors that we have considered ... give serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptized infants who die will be saved and enjoy the beatific vision," the document said."We emphasize that these are reasons for prayerful hope, rather than grounds for sure knowledge," it added.The 41-page document, titled "The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized," was published in Origins, the documentary service of Catholic News Service. Pope Benedict XVI authorized its publication earlier this year."

I personally never believed that when a baby dies in infancy before he or she was baptized, that the baby would go into a state of limbo and be denied heaven.

When I was 16 and attending Montgomery Catholic High School in Alabama, I took a world religions course which was taught by a priest. My classmates and I got into a rather heated debate with a Catholic Priest about the subject of limbo. The priest more or less stuck to teaching what the church said and refused to give his personal opinion.

I was being rather argumentative and he cut the argument short when he looked at me and asked “Are you military or real?” (my father was in the Air Force and attending the Air War College) Speechless, I looked at him, trying to figure out what he was getting at. Finally, I said “both, of course”. And his response was “No, you are either military or real and if you were real, you would know the answer.” Up until that point, I had always held the utmost respect for priests, but he lost my respect. I couldn’t take him seriously after that.

Anyway, I am happy to see that the Catholic church agrees with me.

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