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Friday, December 02, 2005 

Running Out of Options!

I'm really running out of options here. If the Romans take away limbo can purgatory be far behind?
Pope Benedict XVI (aka Joseph Ratzinger) is shaking things up over in Vatican City. After a brief honeymoon of settling into his new digs, the new pope has started to flex some papal muscle, putting the kabash on homosexual priests and putting Limbo in limbo. The old 13th century teaching that tidies up the unhappy question "What happens to unbaptized babies who die?" seems to have fallen by the theological wayside if not into the ditch of obscurity. "Limbo has never been a defined truth of faith," then Cardinal Ratzinger said back in 1984 when John Paul II asked him about it. "Personally, speaking as a theologian and not as head of the Congregation, I would drop something that has always been only a theological hypothesis." Apparantly, the pope's considering dumping the old teaching that unbaptized babies join the patriarchs and prophets of OT Israel in "limbo" where "they do not enjoy God, but they do not suffer either, because having original sin, and only that, they do not deserve paradise, but neither hell or purgatory." (Now is that good news or bad news, and why can't I seem to tell the difference?)This seems to be Rome's way of reformation. Let's pretend we never said it. Now if they could get around to doing that with the Council of Trent, they might be on to something. Remember Martin Luther at Worms in 1521: "I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other—my conscience is captive to the Word of God."Now let's see.... If the Roman Church has been wrong about Limbo for seven or so centuries, do you suppose it might have been wrong about some other stuff too? Like justification?

Didn't you and I have this conversation a few weeks ago?

MG

Is God so unforgiving that babies can't go straight to heaven? There is nothing magical about baptism; it's not like the child has any say in the matter and willfully refused the rite. This doctrine is offensive - and entirely man-made.

Laura, if the Pope really had compassion on the poor souls in limbo or purgatory, and if he really had the power to release said souls to heaven, then shouldn't he open the gates of heaven itself and allow everyone in? It's almost as if he is dening them their eternal reward. Or maybe all the indulgenses still being sold really are just cash to line pockets of those whose bellies are already filled on the backs of the poor.

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