The Pope may be about to abolish the notion of limbo, the halfway house between heaven and hell, inhabited by unbaptised infants. Is it really that simple?
Pope Benedict XVI’s anticipated pronouncement on limbo will have been informed by the International Theological Commission – a group of leading Roman Catholic theologians who have been meeting to consider the issue.
I’m currently reading Richard Dawkins’ book ‘The God Delusion’ and can imagine what he’d have to say about this ridiculous story. You have to wonder how anyone with a modicum of intelligence, Catholic or not, could take this sort of thing seriously. Abolishing limbo means scrapping a concept that’s about seven centuries out of date. Before the 13th century every unbaptised person, including infants, went straight to hell, the Catholics said. So why are they raising the subject now? To compete for converts in the developing world with the Muslims, who say that all dead babies go to heaven.
Illustration (c) M Nelson 2006