Thursday, December 14, 2006

Papists Against Limbo (PAL)

The word in the title is a joke. I guess I wasn't the only one who thought Limbo was uncatholic. Here's the relevant quotation from The Ratzinger Report:
Limbo was never a defined truth of faith. Personally -- and here I am speaking more as a theologian and not as prefect of the congregation -- I would abandon it, since it was only a theological hypothesis. It formed part of a secondary thesis in support of a truth which is absolutely of first significance for faith, namely, the importance of baptism. It formed part of a secondary thesis in support of a truth which is absolutely of first significance for faith, namely, the importance of baptism. To put it in the words of Jesus to Nicodemus: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God” (Jn 3:5). One should not hesitate to give up the idea of “limbo” if need be (and it is worth noting that the very theologians who proposed “limbo” also said that parents could spare the child limbo by desiring its baptism and through prayer); but the concern behind it must not be surrendered. Baptism has never been a side issue for faith; it is not now, nor will it ever be. (The Ratzinger Report, pp. 147-148.)
Comments: Some have written that giving up the idea of Limbo will encourage people not to have their children baptized. Christian parents should naturally have their children baptized as soon as possible, and perhaps the idea of a vengeful God denying their children Heaven would speed the process along. However, using the threat of "Limbo" to frighten parents into compliance is like a mother telling her child if he doesn't take his afternoon nap and stop interrupting mommy's soap opera, his father will shoot him. It may succeed in producing the desired behavior at the expense of propounding a threat that is in equal parts false, cruel, and inhumanly terrifying while instilling a distorted picture of the father (or the Father). Perfect love casteth out fear. As St. Antony said, "I no longer fear God; I love Him." Let parents love Him and love their children in Him by clothing their children in the God Who is love and philanthropia.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home