Friday, April 20, 2007

How low can you go?

Catholic Church buries limbo after centuries.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Roman Catholic Church has effectively buried the concept of limbo, the place where centuries of tradition and teaching held that babies who die without baptism went.
In a long-awaited document, the Church's International Theological Commission said limbo reflected an "unduly restrictive view of salvation."

I love how, in the official press release from the Vatican, the Church is trying to pretend that the concept of limbo hasn't been taught for generations. Bullshit!! I learned about limbo! I was told that ALL unbaptized babies were going there and..."wasn't it so sad that their parents didn't care for those poor souls?" *gag* I listened to nuns and priests tell us how wonderful it was that our souls were safe from limbo...we might go to Hell, but we wouldn't end up in limbo. Limbo, at times, was made out to be a worse punishment than hell. You were denied the presence of any spirit, holy or otherwise. It was eternal absence.

As far as the "unduly restrictive view of salvation"... (don't read the following without parental permission---if you're a've been warned)...FUCKING DUH! The entire Catholic belief system is an unduly restrictive view of salvation. The only difference between limbo, and the other bullshit, is that limbo was being imposed on the warm, snuggly-wuggly embryos and feti that the pro-lifers were crusading to save. It was punitive!! The whole pro-life spiel fell flat when you realized that the pro-lifer was going to save the lives of all the children of the world, only to send 60% of them (the all-but-Catholics) to limbo.

You really have to read the whole article, linked above, to feel the vomit inducing repulsion that I'm experiencing. It's not that I'm angry that the Catholics have abolished the concept of's that they didn't go far enough and just abolish the whole bullshit system of salvation. Hypocrites.

No more limbo stick, huh?


Paul said...

The hypocrisy of the church just makes me sick. In one breath they can say something like, the Church's International Theological Commission said limbo reflected an "unduly restrictive view of salvation", and in the next they can deny it when we accuse them of creating their own view of what God is. I'm sorry, either it's one way or the other. But the church would strongly deny any claim that they have ever been "wrong" about anything.

Anonymous said...

No kidding, Paul.
I heard, on a daily basis, as a child, that not only was the Church never wrong, but that it was never to be questioned. The fact that there's a commission that's been sitting around OFFICIALLY questioning "Holy Mother Church" just cracks me up. Like, how did they decide who made THAT commission? And, why were they not struck down, immediately, for questioning?

I seriously see this as a means by which the Catholic Church hopes to mitigate the impact of protestant fundamentalism. The Church is, and has been, consistently losing membership... now, they won't have to baptize all the infants in a parish to count them in their roles (as they did previously). Now, they can count people who've falled away and not had P#4 baptized. DOH! Fuck-a-duck.

Natalie said...

Oh I love that. Admitting they were wrong about one thing, but totally denying even the possibility they were wrong about anything else.

Saurian200 said...


Just remember this next time someone tries to slam science by saying:

"But science is always changing. They could have completely different theories tomorrow. It's not reliable like religion. Religion NEVER changes so it must be right."

Of course, the next person to say that probably won't be Catholic and thus won't care.

Virginia aka Ginny said...

Pmomma your mind is sharp. I love the things you pick up on. It's always so cool to see what new atheists come up with.

I grew up in the Episcopal faith and we were taught about limbo too...although ours wasn't as bad as the Catholic Church's. I think ours was a place we weren't supposed to be aware of being suspended animation of least that's how I remember it being told.

Jeff R. said...

Ummm... did this change come about through a personal revelation... a burning bush spelling out letters in the air... a stone tablet carried down from on high... a mysterious inscription appearing in a granite wall...

Or did a bunch of old men just decide, of their own accord, what happens in the afterlife?

If they know so much, why aren't they rich?

...oh, wait...

nullifidian said...

It just goes to show that it's easier to reorganise a supernatural metaspace than to provide any evidence that it actually exists.

Wog the Bugger said...

Jeff R said it...

This is one of my primary problems with religion. THEY MAKE IT UP AS THEY GO ALONG!

It is fascinating that they "conducted a study". What exactly was the evidence that was used to conduct this study? How is it the study group reached their conclusion?

Did god speak to them? Maybe god changed its mind after 2,000 years.

And this is "truth"? Mm mmm.

Saurian200 said...


It is fascinating that they "conducted a study". What exactly was the evidence that was used to conduct this study? How is it the study group reached their conclusion?

It was totally scientific. They used the AWESOME power of god. (Black Magic) to raise a whole bunch of corpses from the dead and then polled them.

"So how big a sinner were you before you died?"

"Okay and where did you go after the whole, getting killed thing?"

"Yes sir. The results will be kept confidential."

"No sir, you may not eat my brains."

See, totally scientific.

Joe said...

Not to toot my own horn, but I rant about limbo here.

I just can't beleive how many people fall for this stuff.

Erp said...

Well perhaps they are annulling Limbo so that it never existed in their belief set. Sounds a bit like the attitude towards slavery. The online
Catholic Encyclopedia (publication date about 1910) has an entry on limbo which states it is not dogma but a prevailing belief (the other option seems to be that all the unbaptized are suffering the pains of hell) so it seems the Church left itself some wriggle room.

Sean the Blogonaut said...

Nothing unusual here - they voted for Jesus' divinity at the Council of Nicea in circa 300 AD. If I recall correctly. But then you don't here that in Religious reinforce...studies class.

Carlie said...

I just can't get over how people accept things like that. What explanation do the priests give? We were wrong before? God changed his mind? I mean, when you have the whole "God's always right and we're the worldly authority of God" thing going, changing like that really undercuts the whole point.
They've done this a few times before, right? Masses not in Latin, meat on Fridays, and so on. I just don't get it.

Anonomouse said...

This is one of my primary problems with religion. THEY MAKE IT UP AS THEY GO ALONG!

Warning: Science also, "Makes it up as they go along."

Then again Science also backs it up with Evidence and Testing.

alisonm said...

You want to see how wacked this whole thing is, try wading through the comments after D'Souza's commentary on this. It was absolutely nuts. Christian versus Christian, arguing about which imaginary place people go to after they die and why, depending on which version of the infallible book they're reading and what part of the infallible book, since the infallible books all say different things from each other and themselves. It sounded like a scifi or comics convention debate. Which Superman origin is real, and why? Who'd be more likely to outsmart alien X, Kirk or Picard? Can Spiderman shoot webs from his wrists, or is it inherent in the suit, or is it a mechanical device he invented that he wears on his wrist?

Vincent said...

You all grew up in some wacky form of Catholocism where the church was never wrong?
I was raised Catholic, and the idea was that revelation was a slow process, developing as people and society developed.
Right now I couldn't care less what the Catholic fantasy land is shaped like, but it makes an interesting point in the present world:
Infant Baptism.

The Catholics practice infant baptism precisely because the unbaptized are not supposed to go to heaven.
Well if they do, then why baptize infants?
This could revolutionize an aspect of church culture.