Evacuation of Limbo

Pope Benedict XVI (wikipedia.org)Pope Benedict XVI (wikipedia.org)

Pope Benedict XVI recently declared his plans to scrap Limbo, claiming that it has "always been only a theological hypothesis". Limbo, for the Catholics, is the realm somewhere between Hell and Heaven and many believers imagine its inhabitants somehow "hanging in the air". The term is derived from Latin "limbus", which means "edge" or "boundary".

Before the 13th century it was believed that all unbaptized people, children or adults, go after their death directly to Hell, because they were not cleaned by holy water of the so-called "original sin" of Adam and Eve. Limbo was invented as a solution for children that were either still-born or died so soon that they did not really have any time to commit sin, and also for all those unlucky ones that were born before the arrival of Jesus and could not be saved.

As it appears, though, the Holy Father has thus angered his own superiors. Well-informed sources from Limbo, which wished to remain anonymous, informed us about "deep disenchantment" that has overwhelmed their institution after the papal speech. According to so far unverified reports the Almighty himself indignantly stated that his "adjutant" appears to "become rampant", and that He does not rule out "abolishing the post of Pope" which, in the end, has also "always been only a theological hypothesis".

An intriguing speculation has appeared in the UK's Times newspaper, claiming that the Pope is acutely conscious of the fact that dead newborns of Muslims travel directly to Paradise, which makes it attractive for parents to convert to Islamic faith especially in developing countries with high infant mortality. According to the authors it is likely that with this move the Pope opens a competition for souls by improving the membership conditions in his, Roman Catholic branch of Christianity.

However, as commented on by the theologian father Brian Harrison, a deeper problem roots in the fact that the "doctrine of the Catholic Church for two millennia has been that wherever the souls of such infants do go, they definitely don't go to Heaven". So their situation won't be improved even by such drastic act as abolishing of Limbo, because in such case all the unfortunate little souls would have to be evacuated (back) to Hell.

The complex situation is further complicated by the fact that according to the Catholic Church the Pope is infallible.

Tomáš Fülöpp
Colombo, Sri Lanka
December 28, 2007, September 11, 2008, September 17, 2008, September 28, 2012
Tomáš Fülöpp (2012)

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LanguageENGLISH  SLOVAKInternal link Content typeARTICLELast updateOCTOBER 20, 2018 AT 01:46:40 UTC