April 21, 2007

Scientists Find Evidence Contradicting Existence of Catholic Limbo

Oops - that headline isn’t right. It was Pope Benedict XVI who approved a Vatican report reversing Catholic teachings the unbaptized children go to Limbo (a place of some sort of natural bliss, but apart from Heaven).

But rather than reverting to St. Augustine’s view that unbaptized children are damned to Hell, it looks like they might go to Heaven after all.

“If there’s no limbo and we’re not going to revert to St. Augustine’s teaching that unbaptized infants go to hell, we’re left with only one option, namely, that everyone is born in the state of grace,” said the Rev. Richard McBrien, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame.

Woot! Or something. So it turns out that baptism is not for removing the stain of original sin. Congratulations to all unbaptized babies!

My favorite quote from the article:

It stressed, however, that “these are reasons for prayerful hope, rather than grounds for sure knowledge.”

I feel a grant proposal coming on!

Posted by James at April 21, 2007 12:25 PM
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[i]

Every Limbo infant case
All around the Limbo space
Got a smily Limbo face
'Cause Pope Ben said they've got grace
Jack gets harp and Jack gets wings
Jack from out the hymnal sings
He flys all around Cloud Nine
Has he been there all the time?
[/i]

Posted by: mjfrombuffalo at April 21, 2007 6:28 PM

Did you make that up??

Posted by: julie at April 21, 2007 11:42 PM

I think she did.

Posted by: James at April 22, 2007 8:12 AM

I hate it when someone changes the rules half-way through a game of pretend.

Posted by: Maggie at April 22, 2007 4:56 PM

MJ, that is hilarious! I think I broke something.

Posted by: Cindy at April 22, 2007 11:40 PM

Yes, I made it up - glad you like it! (Cindy, was it your toe again? LOL)

Posted by: mjfrombuffalo at April 23, 2007 2:11 PM

I actually feel bad for the Church at times. They'll come under criticism for changing the rules, and also for not changing the rules.

But thems the breaks when you're a religion.

Posted by: James at April 23, 2007 2:27 PM

I heard on the radio this morning that the job with the highest rate of job satisfaction -- 80 something per cent -- is clergy.

I know that some clergy contribute to the community in valuable ways, through social programs and visiting the sick. (And if you're so inclined, it's nice to have money to help people. It's very satisfying to help people.) But my initial cynical reaction was, no shit, you get to tell people that god has forgiven them for whatever crap they've done, you tell them their dead loved ones are waiting for them in heaven, and you get to be all moralistic, and, dare I say it? preachy about whatever you're thinking at the moment (kind of like a blogger).

You've also got to do something pretty darn bad to get fired.

I have a religious friend who has gone to her priest for advice on family matters, and it truly bothers me that she's getting this advice, which is sometimes weird IMO, from a person who isn't a trained counselor or psychologist.

Posted by: Maggie at April 23, 2007 2:40 PM

With this issue settled, I hope the Church finally gets back to debating how many angels can stand on the head of a pin.

Posted by: pam at April 24, 2007 1:12 PM

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