Vatican abolishes Limbo

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Friday, April 20, 2007

"Jesus in Limbo" by Domenico Beccafumi.

The Vatican has abolished limbo, which, according to the Roman Catholic belief, is a permanent status of the unbaptized who die in infancy, without having committed any personal sins, but without having been freed from original sin, or in some cases abortion.

Pope Benedict XVI, a theologian, showed doubt about the concept of limbo. He cited his concerns about it when he was a cardinal.

"The conclusion of this study is that there are theological and liturgical reasons to hope that infants who die without baptism may be saved and brought into eternal happiness even if there is not an explicit teaching on this question found in revelation," the 41-page document said. "There are reasons to hope that God will save these infants precisely because it was not possible (to baptise them)."

Baptism, in the Catholic Church, is a religious act of purification by water. Baptism removes original sin.

"People find it increasingly difficult to accept that God is just and merciful if he excludes infants, who have no personal sins, from eternal happiness, whether they are Christian or non-Christian."

The Church has never made limbo an official doctrine but most Catholics believe in it. The Church also concludes that baptism will stay and further states that it has nothing to do with the abolition of limbo.

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