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A good exegesis on Limbo of the Infants December 3, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, catachesis, contraception, episcopate, error, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Grace, Holy suffering, sadness, sickness, Society, Tradition, Virtue.

Presented below is a sermon from an FSSP priest on the subject of the Limbo of the infants.  I did a post on this subject a couple of months ago that was taken exception to by one fellow blogger, who made some statements that led to a falling out between us, at least on a blogging level.  I don’t cotton to calling good priests heretics because you don’t like their presentation of a belief that has been widely accepted throughout the history of the Church, if it is not a formal doctrine.  So, this post may be controversial.

In the previous post, I took a less strong view than does the priest in the sermon below.  He argues quite forcefully for the existence of Limbo, and claims that is where unbaptized babies (and aborted babies) go.  This is a serious issue and has constant real-world implications.  I have personally found, as have others, that many women intending to abort their women have convinced themselves that the abortion is a “good thing,” because they have been told, or come to believe, that their baby will immediately fly to Heaven and not have to experience the travails of this life. Even if true – which, the vast preponderance of belief from the Tradition weighs against this belief – this “abortion as salvific act” would do nothing to assuage the mother’s guilt for involvement in the murder of her own child, a sin that certainly cries out to Heaven.

This is a most pernicious idea. It is very difficult to convince women otherwise, when they have been led to believe that their abortion is actually a good and holy thing.  Unfortunately, in our current day and in the Church we presently have, there is a very widespread belief that aborted babies DO go to Heaven. Even many priests and theologians share this view. To say such a view greatly undermines pro-life efforts would be a tremendous understatement.

But aside from the practical aspects of what I consider to be the almost certain error of abortion as Sacrament, there is the matter of Truth, and the preponderance of theological/Magisterial opinion.  Without question, the understanding that unbaptized but otherwise sinless infants and children go to Limbo, not Heaven, has been the dominant belief of Saints and theologians going back to the earliest Church.  Limbo is not a medieval concept. It was posited in the early Church by great Church Fathers.

The sermon.  There are some powerful quotes from early Church Fathers and Church Councils.  It is critical to note that the recent opinions given casting doubt on Limbo have no authority.  I also found the distinction between the hope we can have for infants who die from natural causes, to faithful Catholic parents, prior to baptism, and those who die in abortion very important.  There is much greater reason to have hope for the former, than the latter:

One more small addendum.  To claim that arguing strongly that unbaptized babies go to Limbo makes one a heretic is simply untenable.  The great St. Augustine, one of the two or three most influential theologians in the history of the Church, posited an even “stronger,” if you will, belief – he claimed it was certain Doctrine that unbaptized babies, and all unbaptized souls, go to hell. If strongly supporting Limbo makes one a material heretic, I guess the Church is really screwed up, because one of her greatest and most influential lights was even more in “error.”

But in reality, one can believe very strongly for Limbo (or even hell) in this matter and remain a faithful Catholic, because the Church has no authoritative Dogma on the matter.  However, the conservative position, if you will, is that unbaptized but sinless children most likely go to Limbo.  Thus, the traditional Catholic practice of quickly baptizing newborn infants has a strong theological basis, and is not just a superstitious act as some modern theologians try to claim.


1. H. Reed Armstrong - December 3, 2013

Perhaps one could use the analogy that the baptized are the adopted brothers and sisters of Christ and as such are invited to live in heavenly palace itself (the Beatific Vision) with Our Father God, Our brother Jesus and the Blessed Mother, our queen. “Limbo,” from the Latin – edge or fringe -could be where those who, through no fault of their own, live outside the place grounds, but somehow, within the kingdom of God’s mercy. Just a thought

2. becca - December 4, 2013

It is absolutely ridiculous for someone to call anyone a heretic for believing in Limbo. I have been called that too for saying I believe in it. It is not a heresy.

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