More on Limbo

Tom Droleskey provides a Traditionalist look at recent discussions on Limbo. Regardless of what one thinks about some of the sources he cites (e.g., Donald Sanborn), I think he makes a strong case that Catholic teaching on Limbo was more than a mere “theological hypothesis,” but was logically and inseparably interconnected with teachings about baptism, original sin, and damnation. He thinks Richard McBrien is right on this.

The notorious dissenter from the Catholic Faith, Father Richard McBrien, a priest (ordained well before the changes in the Rites of Episcopal Consecration and Priestly Ordination) in completely good standing in the Archdiocese of Hartford who has been teaching at the University of Notre Dame since 1979, saw quite clearly the only logical conclusion that can be drawn from the International Theological Commission’s report on Limbo:

“If there’s no limbo and we’re not going to revert to St. Augustine’s teaching that unbaptized infants go to hell, we’re left with only one option, namely, that everyone is born in the state of grace,” said the Rev. Richard McBrien, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame.

“Baptism does not exist to wipe away the “stain” of original sin, but to initiate one into the Church,” he said in an e-mailed response.
Even a broken clock is right twice a day. McBrien, who is an enemy of the Catholic Faith, giving aid and comfort to fully pro-abortion Catholics such as Mario Matthew Cuomo and Geraldine Ferraro in public office, saw quite clearly that the belief that unbaptized infants go to Heaven means that Baptism does not “exist to wash way the ‘stain’ of original sin, but to initiate one into the Church.”

3 thoughts on “More on Limbo

  1. Hey Bill,

    Sorry I haven’t written about your departure from Young Adult Ministry…. it has been a little hectic around the family household… but I wanted to say that you will be truely missed…

    but I do have a question on the subject of limbo…. If baptism is necessary for salvation, what about the limbo of the fathers (would that be considered baptism of desire?)?

    and (I know this might sound far fetch) could somehow Christ baptize in the womb?

    I read from Jimmy Akin’s blog that Benedict XVI said…”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…” so that is interesting on the theologians thinking there was way out of limbo… what do you think about that?

  2. Although I agree that limbo was more than a mere theological hypothesis, I do not believe that the ITC document in any way endorses the notion that “everyone is born in the state of grace.” McBrien’s ideas are wistful thinking. I dealt with this very point in a recent post on the SDA2RC blog:

    The citations you provide of the ITC document in question (which claim that “limbo” is still a feasible theological opinion) further excludes the idea that the Church is calling the fallen state of unbaptized infants into question. The document only asks, “is there any hope of salvation for unbaptized infants?”, thereby assuming that a spiritual obstacle must be overcome for them to experience the beatific vision. That spiritual obstacle is, according to Catholic dogma, the fallen state in which they are conceived.

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