Friday, May 4, 2007

no more limbo

Big news out of the Vatican... babies can go to heaven! The Pope released a 41-page report last month saying that unbaptized babies no longer have to go to limbo--a place somewhere between heaven and hell. Now they can go straight to heaven. It's only taken the Roman Catholic church 800 years to figure out that excluding innocent babies from heaven doesn’t seem to “reflect Christ’s special love for the little ones.”

This really is big news for a former Catholic school girl (I went to a Catholic school but have never been Catholic). Theologically, this is a HUGE change. It seems to call into the question the idea of Original Sin--the reason for infant baptism and limbo. Limbo being a step up from going straight to hell, as Catholics believed until the Middle Ages. I doubt it will have any practical implications. Catholics will still baptize their babies out of tradition. After all, we all need baptized, so might as well do it then, right? The Mormon notion of accountability at age eight is not in their radar.

As a Mormon, I do find it so interesting that the Catholic theology can be changed by a committee and then sanctioned by the pope. I mean, they can't believe that before this babies went to limbo and now they don't, right? So what do they believe is reality? It's not likely that this report will change any actions taken by Catholics. It is just changing the Church's official belief on the nature of God and Heaven. As Mormons, we believe in revelation that can change Church policy and practice, but not this total reversal of theology as seen here by the Catholics. Thoughts, anyone?


  1. I love your reflection on the relationship between voting, perception, and reality. :-)

  2. Well, i agree this is an interesting change for the Catholic Church, but not one that couldn't be foreseen.
    The voting vs. revelation is also an interesting process, considering man's imperfections. A committee of the smartest most intellectual men/women would still have their humaness interfering with their decisions, there are so many times when we fear man more than God, and our actions/voting can be weined away from God. Which depending on your view of the next question determines where your concerns lie. What is the meaning/purpose of Religion today? Is it for the feel good, warm and fuzziness, is it to create meaning of life, give the need structure to our lives or to actually have a relationship with God?...Thoughts

  3. Wow, I'm glad you posted this, because I hadn't seen the news article elsewhere, nor had Neil, so we had a nice little discussion about it!

  4. I'm glad I could inspire some thought and conversation with this post. I found this news so interesting and thought provoking.