April 21, 2007


Vatican panel condemns limbo to eternal dustbin: An advisory study, approved by the pope, concludes that unbaptized babies may go to heaven after all (Tracy Wilkinson and Louis Sahagun, April 21, 2007, LA Times)

The Vatican's International Theological Commission issued its findings — with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI — in a document published by the Catholic News Service, the news agency of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The commission is advisory, but the pope's endorsement of the document appears to indicate his acceptance of its findings.

Limbo, the commission said, "reflects an unduly restrictive view of salvation."

"Our conclusion," the panel said in its 41-page report, is that there are "serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptized infants who die will be saved and brought into eternal happiness." The committee added that although this is not "sure knowledge," it comes in the context of a loving and just God who "wants all human beings to be saved."

A church decision to abolish limbo has long been expected. Benedict and his predecessor, the late Pope John Paul II, expressed misgivings about the concept. Benedict, when he was still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and the church's top enforcer of dogma, said he viewed limbo as a mere "theological hypothesis." Never part of formal doctrine because it does not appear in Scripture, limbo was removed from the Catholic catechism 15 years ago.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 21, 2007 7:49 AM

It used to be, you had to earn your way into Heaven. Now, getting into Heaven is the default. You have to earn your way out.

It's dumbing eternal salvation down.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at April 21, 2007 8:43 AM

"One reformed, always to be reformed!" Thank you Luther, Calvin, et.al

Posted by: Dave W at April 21, 2007 9:35 AM

"Once reformed, always to be reformed"

Posted by: Dave W at April 21, 2007 9:38 AM

Lower the pole - and nobody does the Limbo no more, Mahn.

Posted by: obc at April 21, 2007 12:08 PM