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Vatican Denies Limbo?

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Ancilla_Indigna:

--- Quote from: loggats ---
--- Quote from: Ancilla_Indigna ---
--- Quote from: loggats ---
--- Quote from: Charlemagne ---mere separation from God.
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....some of the things that get said here make the mind boggle.

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Ok Ok... I get what he means anyway.  "Mere separation" excluding the fires of hell --- quite a big difference there, wouldn't you agree?

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There's nothing 'mere' about it. I'm not really interested in contesting the point though.
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Yes, very much agreed from the start, but I figure he was being ironic.

Charlemagne:

--- Quote from: Charlemagne ---This is another topic already covered elsewhere on this forum, in the Apologetics section, Limbo is a de fide dogma of the Roman Catholic Church, as infallibly DEFINED by the Council of Florence:


--- Quote ---Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Letentur coeli,” Sess. 6, July 6, 1439: “We define... also that… the souls of those who depart this life... in original sin alone, go straightaway to hell, but to undergo punishments of different kinds.”
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What is so hard to understand about that, those in original sin go to Hell, but suffer different ailments, in this case the mere separation from God.
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What is meant by this underlined text is that those infants suffer merely separation from God, and not the fires of Hell, in other words that is their only known ailment, so it is merely one ailment, and not the torments of the damned who suffer the fires of Hell, not that separation from God is something that is "mere", it is a big matter, for this is the chief punishment of the damned, but that the separation from God is all that we know that they do suffer, according to the teaching of the Fathers and the Councils, as seen above, those in Hell suffer different punishments, it is thus of faith that they suffer this separation alone, and no other torment, just as the Just of the OT suffered not Hell, per se, in their limbo, known as the Limbo of the Just, where it was a natural paradise and they suffer no torment, save the separation from God for Christ had not yet come. Christ said that this Limbo was a sort of Paradise from the cross, it could not have been heaven because we know of the faith that no one went into heaven, generally speaking, until Christ's ascension, and is why we say that when He died He went down into Hell, but He had called it paradise, it was this Limbo, Hell because of being without God, but still a natural paradise, where the good thief went when he died. This is something proximate to what we believe about the Limbo of the infants.


--- Quote from: Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Session 11, Feb. 4, 1442 --- “Regarding children... no help can be brought to them by another remedy than through the sacrament of baptism, through which they are snatched from the domination of the Devil and adopted among the sons of God…”
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--- Quote ---Again found in Tradition is the opinion of St. Augustine, which is fine with you guys as an authority in another matter, which seems to mean nothing on this topic, also provides for this doctrine:

Augustine, On Forgiveness of sin and baptism, 43:27 (A.D. 412). "But the sacrament of baptism is undoubtedly the sacrament of regeneration... Born again, however, a man must be, after he has been born; because, 'Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God' Even an infant, therefore, must be imbued with the sacrament of regeneration, lest without it his would be an unhappy exit out of this life; and this baptism is not administered except for the remission of sins. And so much does Christ show us in this very passage; for when asked, How could such things be? He reminded His questioner of what Moses did when he lifted up the serpent. Inasmuch, then, as infants are by the sacrament of baptism conformed to the death of Christ, it must be admitted that they are also freed from the serpent's poisonous bite, unless we wilfully wander from the rule of the Christian faith. This bite, however, they did not receive in their own actual life, but in him on whom the wound was primarily inflicted."

Augustine, Epistle 167,7,21 [Letter to Jerome] (A.D. 415) "Likewise, whosoever says that those children who depart out of this life without partaking of that sacrament shall be made alive in Christ, certainly contradicts the apostolic declaration, and condemns the universal Church, in which it is the practice to lose no time and run in haste to administer baptism to infant children, because it is believed, as an indubitable truth, that otherwise they cannot be made alive in Christ."
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--- Quote from: Charlemagne ---Obviously it's more than a mere speculation or theory if two councils of the Church define that those in original sin go to Hell, and considering Augustine's view, they go to a Limbo, like the Limbo of the Fathers, a paradise, but not heaven, not a middle place, but rather, a kind of Hell in view of the definition in scripture of separation from God, because only in the sacraments is one made alive in Christ as St. Augustine points out.
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StrictCatholicGirl:
Limbo was addressed by various popes, Church Fathers and theologians who were not in total agreement. While the Church has a defined doctrine on original sin, it has none on the eternal fate of unbaptized infants, leaving theologians free to propose various theories which Catholics are free to accept or reject. Pope Benedict's document on Limbo is also not official Church teaching. The media reports that "The Pope Closed Limbo" are simply untrue. Paragraph 41 repeats that the theory of Limbo "remains a possible theological opinion." In short, the Pope left Limbo "in limbo." A wise move on his part.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:"Regarding children who have died without baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them." There is no reference to Limbo. The believer can regard Limbo as an act of God's mercy, or Heaven as an act of God's mercy. At any rate, in answer to the original poster, it would seem that Fr. Bob Levis' remark: "Rome stepped in and denied its existence" IS OFF the mark. - Lisa

Ancilla_Indigna:

--- Quote from: StrictCatholicGirl ---Limbo was addressed by various popes, Church Fathers and theologians who were not in total agreement. While the Church has a defined doctrine on original sin, it has none on the eternal fate of unbaptized infants, leaving theologians free to propose various theories which Catholics are free to accept or reject. Pope Benedict's document on Limbo is also not official Church teaching. The media reports that "The Pope Closed Limbo" are simply untrue. Paragraph 41 repeats that the theory of Limbo "remains a possible theological opinion." In short, the Pope left Limbo "in limbo." A wise move on his part.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:"Regarding children who have died without baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them." There is no reference to Limbo. The believer can regard Limbo as an act of God's mercy, or Heaven as an act of God's mercy. At any rate, in answer to the original poster, it would seem that Fr. Bob Levis' remark: "Rome stepped in and denied its existence" IS OFF the mark. - Lisa
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What, specifically, were the various popes, Church Fathers not in "total agreement" on regarding limbo?  (Let's agree to exclude 'theologians', since those who were cited in the report were people like Fr. Karl Rahner.)   It is not true to suggest that limbo, itself was in question, as this was never the case among the Fathers and Doctors and Popes that became saints.  The only issue in question was whether or not infants without Baptism suffer in Limbo, NOT whether or not Limbo exists.

The teaching that unbaptised babies go straight to Heaven was actually denounced by the Church Fathers, Doctors and many, many popes:  Pope Pius XII, Pope Pius XI, Pope Benedict XV, Pope St. Pius X, Pope Leo XIII, Pope Pius IX, and all previous Popes.

A Pope does not have the authority to change doctrine.  We as Catholics have an obligation to ascribe to unwritten, traditional teachings of the Church.  The 2nd Council of Nicea said that those who did not were to be considered as anathema.




StrictCatholicGirl:

--- Quote from: Ancilla_Indigna --- What, specifically, were the various popes, Church Fathers not in "total agreement" on regarding limbo? (Let's agree to exclude 'theologians', since those who were cited in the report were people like Fr. Karl Rahner.) It is not true to suggest that limbo, itself was in question, as this was never the case among the Fathers and Doctors and Popes that became saints. The only issue in question was whether or not infants without Baptism suffer in Limbo, NOT whether or not Limbo exists.

The teaching that unbaptised babies go straight to Heaven was actually denounced by the Church Fathers, Doctors and many, many popes: Pope Pius XII, Pope Pius XI, Pope Benedict XV, Pope St. Pius X, Pope Leo XIII, Pope Pius IX, and all previous Popes.

A Pope does not have the authority to change doctrine. We as Catholics have an obligation to ascribe to unwritten, traditional teachings of the Church. The 2nd Council of Nicea said that those who did not were to be considered as anathema.
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You are correct, the teaching that unbaptized babies go straight to heaven was denounced. But the concept of "Limbo" that we know today was also denounced. First let's address the Church Fathers and Popes not in total agreement.
 
It was St. Gregory of Nazianzus who first proposed that unbaptized infants who died went to a place of "natural happiness" but could not merit the beatific vision. Tertullian, on the other hand, opposed infant baptism altogether because he said babies were innocent and could rightfully enter heaven. St. Ambrose was inclined to agree with St. Gregory, and said that condemnation to the hell of torment was incurred by personal sin, not Adam's. 
 Enter St.Augustine, who, by the time of the Council of Carthage, had abandoned his earlier lenient view and claimed that all unbaptized infants who died went to Hell (though he concedes their punishment was the mildest of all). He and the North African bishops at the Council of Carthage condemned Tertullian, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, and the teaching of Limbo. Clearly the Fathers have a little conflict here. Now let's look at the Popes: 1. Popes of the patristic era defended the doctrine of Augustine. Pope Gregory the Great, Pope Zosimus and Pope Innocent I among others.

2. Pope Innocent III adopted the position of Abelard in the twelfth century that unbaptized infants will suffer the pain of loss (the beatific vision) but not the pain of fire.

3. Pope Pius X was the first pope to teach that unbaptized infants have no sufferings in his 1905 Catechism.
 
4. Recent popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, have told us to hope in the mercy of God.
 You said not to bring up theologians, but I must, because it was St. Thomas Aquinas (a Doctor of the Church) who broke away with all Augustinian teaching and gave the Church the vision of the "Children's Limbo" we know today. But I must tell you, Aquinas and his view of Limbo was challenged by other saints, including St. Robert Bellarmine, who agreed with Augustine and felt Thomas was breaking with Church Tradition.  See the Catholic Encyclopedia for more information: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09256a.htm - Lisa

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