Vatican commission done studying, says limbo represents “unduly restrictive view of salvation.”
The church continues to teach that, because of original sin, baptism is the ordinary way of salvation for all people and urges parents to baptize infants, the document said.
But there is greater theological awareness today that God is merciful and “wants all human beings to be saved,” it said. Grace has priority over sin, and the exclusion of innocent babies from heaven does not seem to reflect Christ’s special love for “the little ones,” it said.
“Our conclusion is that the many factors that we have considered … give serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptized infants who die will be saved and enjoy the beatific vision,” the document said.
“We emphasize that these are reasons for prayerful hope, rather than grounds for sure knowledge,” it added.
There are some unhappy campers, though, including the folks at The Remnant, according to the LA Times.
Removing the concept from church teaching would lessen the importance of baptism and discourage parents from christening their infants, said Kenneth J. Wolfe, a Washington-based columnist for the traditionalist Catholic newspaper The Remnant.
“It makes baptism a formality, a party, instead of a necessity,” Wolfe said. “There would be no reason for infant baptisms. It would put the Catholic Church on par with the Protestants.” It would also deprive Catholic leaders of a tool in their fight against abortion, Wolfe said. Priests have long told women that their aborted fetuses cannot go to heaven, which in theory was another argument against ending pregnancy. Without limbo, those fetuses would presumably no longer be denied communion with God.
One might suppose the SSPX will also be unhappy with this.
But the document is not on the Vatican webpage or that of the USCCB–at the present, you can only see it if you are a subscriber to Origins. And it’s puzzling why they chose to go that route.