Limbo is now in limbo
Back to blogger business, now, though!
"Limbo lower now," ran some of the lyrics of an old Sixties song, "The Limbo Rock."
Limbo is lower now, says Cardinal William Levada's International Theological Commission in a new (today, April 20) document, "The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptised." (Sorry, I do not have a link yet.)
We should all tell everybody: The document is NOT infallible, and it does NOT say anything definitively. What it does say is this:
"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." [emphasis added]
The Catholic News Service story (sorry, I don't have a link) about the new document points out that the commission says people should not use the new theological approach to "negate the necessity of baptism, nor to delay the conferral of the sacrament."
Significantly, the commission admits that its "hopefulness" about unbaptized babies is not the same as "certainty" about them: "It must be clearly acknowledged that the church does NOT have sure knowledge about the salvation of unbaptized infants who die." [emphasis added]
In the following essay from late 2005, a priest points out that the then-forthcoming document could not be infallible and could lead people to put off or omit Baptism altogether for their babies: http://www.seattlecatholic.com/m051203.html