From The Guardian via The Wildhunt Blog.
John Hooper in Rome
Wednesday November 30, 2005
It is an odd place. The inhabitants include Plato, Moses, Abraham and lots of babies. Now after more than 700 years of shadowy existence, limbo faces closure. The world’s 30 leading Roman Catholic theologians were meeting behind closed doors in the Vatican yesterday to discuss a document which would sweep the concept out of the church’s teaching.
Limbo was concocted in the 13th century as a solution to the theological conundrum of what happened to babies who died before they were christened.
According to doctrine, they could not go to heaven because their original sin had not been expunged by baptism. Yet they had done nothing to harm anyone so they scarcely deserved purgatory, let alone hell. Limbo also proved a useful solution to other problems such as where to put holy people who lived before Christ and who also had no chance of baptism. Dante added the classical sages.
John Paul II was deeply troubled by limbo and had it dropped from the church’s 1992 catechism, a summary of its beliefs. He also asked the International Theological Commission, which advises the Vatican, to take up the issue. When he was still a cardinal, the present pope, Benedict, said he was in favour of dropping the concept so it is unlikely that the theologians will decide otherwise. The issue of where that leaves Plato is, as they say, in limbo.
That is insane! Are they actually admitting that they made up the concept of limbo so they can now get rid of it if they want to? I thought that the church was supposed to have a direct line to God and knew what was going on? Are they going to admit now that they made up anything else?
The only other option is that this committee is so powerful that God has to follow whatever they decide. In that case they would be more powerful than God and God by definition would not be God then.
And they say pagans are all wrong because we don’t have scriptures and set rules. At least we’re honest when we make stuff up.