The theory of limbo is not ruled out, says a member of the International Theological Commission, commenting on a study from the panel. Sister Sara Butler, a Missionary Servant of the Most Blessed Trinity, has served on the commission since 2004. The commission is an advisory body comprised of 30 theologians chosen by the Pope. Its documents are not considered official expressions of the magisterium, but the commission does help the Holy See to examine important doctrinal issues.
Thinking about baptism and salvation, a question occurred to me. Why does the Church teach the doctrine of original sin? Where did it come from? I’ve always thought the following bit of Scripture, written long before Christ’s salvific work, directly contradicted this doctrine.
“The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” – Ezekiel 18:20
Are we not all sons of Adam (whether it be literally or figuratively), who committed the first – the original – sin? Why are we held accountable for his sin?
My impression is that the Eastern Orthodox don’t hold the same beliefs as Catholics regarding the Fall and original sin. What are their beliefs? How do they differ? Why do they differ? Would these doctrines interfere with future reunification?
OK, those questions are more than enough for now. Discuss. 🙂
In a long-awaited document published on Friday, the Vatican says that the traditional view of limbo as the destiny of those who die unbaptised is based on an “unduly restrictive view of salvation” and that God “wants all human beings to be saved”. The result is that, with the approval of Pope Benedict, the Vatican’s International Theological Commission has effectively buried the concept of limbo, the International Herald Tribune reports. The thumbs-down verdict on limbo had been expected for years and the document, called “The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptised,” was seen as most likely to be final since limbo was never formally part of Church doctrine.
When the text of the report is available, I’ll link to it.
In the past half-century, relations between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church have been growing ever closer and oriented ever more toward possible reunion. Perhaps the greatest hope of the late Holy Father John Paul II, of happy memory, was the reunion of these two oldest Churches of Christendom. In his many efforts to bridge the doctrinal and cultural divides which separate the Churches, he was successful in fostering much greater mutual respect, if not any actual reunification. Understandably, the steps taken by the Holy Father’s predecessor have excited much hope for reunion. However, it is my belief that the steps taken, on each side, toward the noble goal of rebuilding the single pre-schism Church, truly amount to little more than window-dressing, with no substantial gains made.
Not to be a party-pooper, but there is a huge list of very important things that need to be cleared up before reunion can be effected.
In compiling this list, I have provided a brief summary of each point. In order to shorten this article to a readable length, I have eliminated source citations. If you would like a citation on a particular point, please let me know in the comments section or via e-mail.