Sunday, January 15, 2006

Limbo in Limbo

A panel of leading Catholic theologians has recommended to the Vatican that limbo be dropped from the list of eternal realms. Never an official doctrine of the Catholic Church, limbo was invented by St. Thomas Aquinas 800 years ago as a sort of "eternal waiting room" were the spirits of unbaptized babies and righteous Jews and pagans would go after death. As the Catholic Church has taken steps in recent years toward the entertaining of broader concepts of who is and isn't saved, it is felt that the elimination of limbo would get rid of an unnecessarily harsh idea of what happens to the righteous unbaptized. However by deleting limbo as a possibility from Catholic doctrine and stating that God would not subject unbaptized infants to an eternal in-between state, the risk is run of undervalueing the Catholic baptism and making that practice seem far less urgent. For now however it seems that the eternal neutral realm is stuck in an awkward in-between place.


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