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Blessed Be God in the Highest

Limbo to be Cast into the Outer Darkness?

by John Vennari

On November 30 the world’s press announced that the Vatican seems poised to abolish Limbo.1 A thirty-member theological Commission, under the auspices of Archbishop William Levada, newly-appointed Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is now studying the matter.

Word in knowledgeable circles holds that the ancient Catholic doctrine of Limbo will be substantially altered or abandoned altogether. At least that is what will be attempted, since no one, not even the highest Church authority, has the power to change or discard objective religious truth.


In his papal constitution Auctorum fidei, Pope Pius VI condemned the rejection of Limbo as “false, rash, scandalous to Catholic Schools”.

The reports from both the secular and religious press have been permeated with falsehoods, half-truths and omissions regarding the Catholic belief of Limbo, as well as with pathetic statements from progressivists. Yet the event itself is about more than Limbo. It is another indication of the triumph of liberal Catholicism in the highest echelons of today’s Church, a liberal Catholicism that every concerned Catholic must resist.

“More Than Just a Theory”

The traditional Catholic doctrine of Limbo is in a higher category than that of a dismissible theological hypothesis. It is part of Catholic teaching since ancient times and is enshrined in magisterial pronouncements.

Pope Pius VI’s famous Apostolic Constitution Auctorem fidei, which condemned the Errors of the Synod of Pistoia, denounced the rejection of Limbo as “false, rash, slanderous to Catholic schools.”2

The theologian Father Joseph Le Blanc, in his 1947 article “Children’s Limbo, Theory or Doctrine?”, summarized two central points taught in this Papal constitution:

“(1) There exists a Children’s Limbo, where the souls of children dying with original sin are detained; (2) the doctrine of Limbo as commonly accepted by the faithful, and taught by the schoolmen, is not a Pelagian fable, but an orthodox teaching.”3

It is de fide — an unchangeable article of Faith — that souls who depart this life in the state of original sin are excluded from the Beatific vision.4 The Second Council of Lyons (1274) and the Council of Florence (1438-45) taught infallibly:

“The souls of those who die in original sin as well as those who die in actual mortal sin go immediately into hell, but their punishment is very different.”5

The teaching of Limbo flows logically from this infallible truth. Unbaptized babies, as cute as they are, possess souls stained by original sin, the sin inherited from Adam. Since “nothing defiled can enter Heaven” (Apoc. 21:27), these innocent souls who die before baptism, deprived of sanctifying grace, cannot gain Paradise. Now the good God, being just, will only punish a soul for sins he has personally committed. Since the unbaptized baby is guilty of no personal sin, he will not suffer pain of punishment. Rather, his soul will go to Limbo (which theologians hold is the outer circle of hell6), an eternal place of natural happiness in which he is deprived of the Beatific Vision.

The Church taught this simple truth throughout the ages. A 1588 Constitution on abortion, for example, signed personally by Pope Sixtus V, declares that the victims of abortion, being deprived of baptism, are “excluded from the Beatific Vision”. This is one of the reasons Pope Sixtus V denounced abortion as a heinous crime.7

The 1960 theology text, Christ and His Sacraments, speaks of Limbo as follows:

“Under the name of ‘Abraham’s bosom’ (Luke 16:24), mention is made of a dwelling place of the just who died before the coming of Christ. But the only scriptural justification for a limbo of unbaptized infants and others must be sought in the general teaching of God’s eternal justice. On the other hand, the traditions of the Church, expressed in the writings of the Fathers, pontiffs and great theologians, asserts that there is a place in the next world for the unbaptized wherein they neither see God nor suffer any pain.

“While there has never been an authoritative declaration positively teaching the existence of limbo, the denial of its existence has been censured, and its existence is held as theologically certain.”8

The Necessity of Baptism

In this entire discussion, we must remember that God is not bound to give His Beatific Vision to anyone. No man in his natural state can declare he has a right to Heaven, so there is no injustice on God’s part. And in the economy of salvation established by God and wrought by Christ’s Passion and Death on the Cross, no one can enter Heaven without sanctifying grace, which is a created participation of the Divine Nature which makes the just man an adopted child of God, an heir to Heaven, and a Temple of the Holy Ghost.

Our Lord died on the Cross to make this grace available to us, which comes to us through His Seven Sacraments and through prayer. The one and only way Our Divine Lord established to cleanse original sin from our souls and to initially give sanctifying grace is Baptism.9 Mortal sin, which destroys grace in the soul, may be recovered by a worthy confession. The other sacraments, particularly the Holy Eucharist, are established to preserve and increase grace in our souls.

Every human person who ever lived, with the exception of Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother, was conceived and born with original sin.10 Thus baptism is necessary for everyone who wishes to attain Heaven. This is the simple reason why the solemn magisterium of the Church taught the sad truth that the souls of unbaptized babies — that is, those who die in original sin — cannot see the Beatific Vision. It is also the reason why pre-Vatican II texts on Moral Theology are unanimous that babies must be baptized as soon as possible, for if they die before baptism, they will not attain Heaven.

Father Dominic Prümmer’s superb Handbook of Moral Theology teaches:

“Children of Catholic parents should be baptized at the earliest possible moment. Leo XIII fiercely condemned the custom of postponing the baptism of children — Theologians are not agreed what length of delay constitutes matter for grave sin but nothing can be said for certain. In some districts salutary precepts have been promulgated on this subject.”11

Father Thomas Slater’s Manual of Moral Theology instructs:

“Catholic parents are bound to see that their children are baptized, and that as soon as can conveniently be done. According to approved theologians, it would be a serious sin if the Baptism of a child were put off for a month without good reason.”12

Jone-Adelman’s Moral Theology likewise warns:

“Children of Catholic parents should be baptized as soon as possible (C770). Postponing Baptism without a reason is sinful. Many authors hold that the delay of one month without any reason or more than two months with a reason, is mortally sinful.”13

“False, Rash, Slanderous to Catholic Schools”

Yet none of this seems to matter to the agents of aggiornamento now controlling the Vatican. These men, most of whom swore to God a solemn Oath Against Modernism to hold fast to the “doctrine of faith handed down to us from the Apostles through the orthodox Fathers, with the same meaning and the same explanation,” have continually — in the objective order — broken that Oath by interpreting Catholic doctrine in a manner “different from that which the Church first held”.14 The “new theology” that underpins modern ecumenism is a prime example.15

These men who now preside over a Church in ruins — ruins for which their disastrous Vatican II reforms are responsible — further undermine Catholic Faith and destabilize Catholic faithful, all the while claiming to be more compassionate and enlightened than the 2000 years of holy popes, saints and theologians who preceded them. It is easy to see why Pope Saint Pius X identified pride as the primary cause of Modernism. “Thank God I am not like the rest of men who came before me,” boasts the progressivist.

One such progressivist is a theologian who, in a 2002 interview, gave a perfect definition of the reason for Catholic belief in Limbo, but said he rejects it. Speaking of Catholics of an earlier age [that is, from ancient times until 1962] the theologian said:

“They said that baptism endows us, by means of sanctifying grace, with the capacity to gaze upon God. Now, certainly, the state of original sin, from which we are freed by baptism, consists in a lack of sanctifying grace. Children who die in this way are indeed without any personal sin, so they cannot be sent to hell, but, on the other hand, they lack sanctifying grace and thus the potential for beholding God that this bestows. They will simply enjoy a state of natural blessedness, in which they will be happy. This state people called limbo.”

Nonetheless, the theologian spurns this teaching, saying it “seems to me to be rather unenlightened.” The man who made this disparaging remark was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.16

Eighteen years previous, Cardinal Ratzinger, in a 1984 published interview with Vittorio Messori, claimed that Limbo had “never been a definitive truth of the faith”.

“Personally, I would let it drop,” said Ratzinger, “since it has always been only a theological hypothesis.”17

In healthier days of the Church, Cardinal Ratzinger’s statement would have been denounced as at least a “rash or temerarious position”.18 As demonstrated already, the Catholic doctrine of Limbo is more than a mere hypothesis. Not only has Limbo been “handed down to us by the Fathers,” but “the denial of its existence has been censured, and its existence is held as theologically certain.” It may not be a defined article of faith, but certainly has been taught always, everywhere and by everyone. The doctrine of Limbo should be seen as an authentic Catholic teaching of the magisterium.


As early as the Fourth Century, Saint Gregory
Nanzianzus, Father and Doctor of the Church,
taught the basic concept of Limbo.


Medieval Invention?

Various news agencies have suggested that Limbo is an invention of Medieval scholars, but this is not accurate.19 The concept of Limbo was taught by the 4th Century Father and Doctor of the Church, Saint Gregory Nanzianzus:

“It will happen, I believe … that those last mentioned [infants dying without baptism] will neither be admitted by the just judge to the glory of Heaven nor condemned to suffer punishment, since, though unsealed [by baptism], they are not wicked. … For from the fact that one does not merit punishment it does not follow that one is worthy of being honored, any more than it follows that one who is not worthy of a certain honor deserves on that account to be punished.” [Orat., xl, 23]20

Saint Augustine taught the concept of Limbo, but with a harder edge. He held that unbaptized infants suffer some pain of sense. The Augustinian view held sway for centuries, but was eventually overcome by Saint Thomas Aquinas, who argued along the lines of Saint Gregory Nanzianzus, that “the souls in Limbo do not suffer pain, and have, in fact, full natural happiness,”21 but without the Beatific Vision.

St. Thomas’ reasonable teaching was prevalent to the present day. The option of unbaptized babies going straight to Heaven was never taken seriously by the Fathers, Saints or Doctors of the Church. In fact, as Father Brian Harrison points out, the controversy has never been whether unbaptized babies go either to Limbo or Heaven, but whether or not they suffer any pain of sense in Limbo.

Yet controversies like the present one bring out the worst in our beleaguered post-Conciliar Church which has little wisdom to boast of anyway. A classic piece of folly was quoted by The Scotsman from a consulter to the Vatican Pontifical Council for Culture, no less. John Haldane, professor of philosophy at St. Andrew’s University, said that Limbo was “something of a medieval curiosity.” Let us marvel at the profundity of this Vatican advisor:

“The idea of Limbo conjures up the image of God as some kind of government bureaucrat who says to people, not just babies, ‘Sorry, you don’t have your passport stamped with baptism, you’ll have to wait over here’.”22

Whether the man is intentionally blasphemous or simply vapid is anyone’s guess. Professor Haldane goes on to suggest that God will “overcome the issue of original sin” in some way due to “extraordinary circumstances”. This, however, is a sentimental approach that does violence to defined Church doctrine regarding the fate of the unbaptized.

Yet this maudlin supposition is not new.23 Dr. Haldane’s words have the ring of the “Illumination Theory” that surfaced in the 1940s from progressivist authors. This unsubstantiated hypothesis held that God will give unbaptized babies a special illumination to somehow bring them into grace. Father Le Blanc, who countered this novel speculation, basing himself on the consistent teaching of the Church, noted, “The Illumination Theory certainly eliminates a number of serious difficulties attendant on the doctrine of Limbo, but unfortunately it creates still more serious difficulties by eliminating a great deal of theology.”24

The Components of Liberal Catholicism

Yet eliminating a great deal of theology is what the Conciliar reforms are all about. The New Mass, as Cardinal Ottaviani warned, “represents a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent.” The new ecumenism runs contrary to the defined Catholic doctrine, “outside the Church there is no salvation”. Cardinal Suenens jubilated that Vatican II marked the end of the Tridentine epoch and the era of Vatican I.25 And Cardinal Ratzinger rejoiced that parts of Vatican II are a “counter-syllabus”, that is, a rejection of many of the points of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s magnificent Syllabus of Errors.26

All of this demonstrates Vatican II as the triumph of Liberal Catholicism.27 The eminent theologian Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton wrote an important 1958 article on this subject called “The Components of Liberal Catholicism”, explaining that Liberal Catholicism is contrary to Catholic truth. He lists as three of the main components of Liberal Catholicism: religious indifferentism, minimism, and the belief that at least some portion of the Church’s dogmatic message can change over time (in other words, Modernism).

Vatican II’s program and reforms display Liberal Catholicism’s basic components.

That religious indifferentism is at the root of today’s pan-religious ecumenism is apparent to anyone not willfully blind. Likewise with the concept of a change in the Church’s dogmatic message, since if we take away the aspect of “change” from Vatican II, there is practically nothing left of it but a weak and ambiguous expression of Church doctrine. In fact, immediately after the Council in the late 1960s, there was a saying that in the Church in Holland, everything is changing except the bread and wine.

The concept of minimism, however, requires a little more explanation. It is the spurious belief that Catholics are only bound to accept those points of doctrine that have been solemnly and explicitly decreed by the Oecumenical Councils or the Holy See. Anything that has not been solemnly defined does not demand the religious assent of the faithful. This falsehood was strongly denounced by Msgr. Fenton.

Father Joseph Le Blanc likewise countered this minimalist approach, pointing out that there is the ordinary magisterium “by which revelation is kept free from error and transmitted integrally to the faithful”. He explains, “although there is no ‘dogmatic definition’ on a given subject, it may actually be an article of faith, and that, therefore, one has not full liberty to discuss it.”28

We see the element of minimism at work in the attempt to reject Limbo. Since it is not a defined dogma, the impression is created that we are free to “drop it”, and let a theological commission, comprised of men with heads brimming with Liberal Catholicism, to construct a “more enlightened” teaching on the fate of the unbaptized.


In 1958, the eminent theologian Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton
explained that three of the main components of Liberal Catholicism
are religious indifferentism, minimism, and the belief that at
least some portion of the Church’s dogmatic message can change
over time (in other words, Modernism). Vatican II’s program
and reforms display Liberal Catholicism’s basic components.


“Dare We Hope that All Unbaptized Be Saved”

Perhaps the real reason why Limbo is being restudied is due to today’s ecumenical climate. Since the Council, our progressivist hierarchy no longer attempts to convert Jews, Muslims or pagans — none of whom are baptized. Limbo is the only Catholic tenet remaining that directly decides the fate of souls based on baptism. This does not square with the new ecumenical theology that considers baptism as the most useful option for salvation, but not the only option. Thus, Limbo has to go.

And if we are allowed to “hope” that all men are saved, as that popular modernist Hans Urs von Balthasar claims, then we should certainly be allowed to “hope” that all unbaptized babies will gain Heaven and the Beatific Vision.

As for the hope that all men are saved, von Balthasar argues this point as a minimalist. Since the Church has never defined specifically that any soul actually goes to hell, claims von Balthasar, then the Catholic is free to “hope” that all men will attain salvation.

This is the basic thesis of his infamous book, Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved? But as is obvious from his method of argumentation, von Balthasar shows himself to be a Liberal Catholic. He displays the characteristics of a minimalist, playing intellectual games with what the Church has or has not solemnly defined. He also implicitly promotes religious indifferentism. If all men will be saved, then it does not matter to what religion a man adheres. Finally, von Balthasar’s theories end up in the category of the third aspect of Liberal Catholicism: the belief that at least some portion of the Church’s dogmatic message can change over time. Von Balthasar’s musings undermine the clear but terrifying words of Our Lord: “Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I say to you, shall seek to enter, and shall not be able.” (Luke 13:24)

Agents of Aggiornamento

It is no surprise that Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger, both ardent fans of von Balthasar,29 have called for the Catholic concept of Limbo to be rethought. As the November 30 Globe and Mail reported, “Last October, seven months before he died, Pope John Paul asked the (thirty-member) commission to come up with ‘a more coherent and enlightened way’ of describing the fate of such innocent babes. It was then headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who was elected Pope in April. It is now headed by his successor at the Vatican’s doctrinal department, Archbishop William Levada, an American from San Francisco.”30

Archbishop Levada, as documented in Catholic Family News, was one of the most ecumenical prelates in the United States. He was the first American Bishop to visit a synagogue, and continued to visit synagogues afterwards. Thoroughly a man of Vatican II, he organized and took part in numerous “Spirit of Assisi” interreligious gatherings while in Oregon and San Francisco (including those hosted in his own cathedral), with Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Native Americans, Protestants, the schismatic Orthodox, and Hindus.31 Dare we hope that Limbo be saved under Archbishop Levada? Not a chance.

Much more can be said of this sad episode concerning Limbo, but perhaps it should wait for release of the final Instruction.32 It seems fair, however, to expect an apparent “change” in the doctrine of Limbo, since all reports indicate Pope Ratzinger appears eager to bend this teaching into a new modern shape.

No matter what the outcome, faithful Catholics will keep the truth regarding Limbo as it has always been taught, and not take part in any activity that is “false, rash, slanderous to Catholic schools”. We will follow no lead that takes us down the ruinous path of Liberal Catholicism. Rather, on the reality of Limbo and the fate of unbaptized souls, we will heed the practical advice of Saint Robert Bellarmine:

“Our pity regarding their eternal state does nothing for them; but on the other hand, the strength of our determination to convert and baptize them profits them im-measurably. Moreover, we ourselves lose much if, because of a fruitless sentimentality towards either adults or children, we defend obstinately anything contrary to the Scriptures or the Church. In this matter [of Limbo and its inhabitants] we should not be carried away by any human consideration, by which so many are wont to be swayed; rather should we consult the teaching of the Church Councils, the Scriptures and the Fathers, and then follow it.”33

Notes:

1. “Pope to Demolish Limbo, halfway house between Heaven and Hell”, London Times; “Vatican Puts Limbo in State of, er, Limbo”, Globe and Mail; “Heaven’s Above: Church to Cast Limbo into Oblivion”, Financial Times; “Pull Plug on Limbo? Pontiff Will Decide”, Seattle Times; “Babies to be Freed from Limbo”, London Guardian. All dated November 30, 2005.

2. Under the heading: “The Punishment of Those Who Die with Original Sin Only”, Pius VI’s Auctorem fidei reads: “The doctrine which rejects (explodit) as a Pelagian fable, that place of hell (locum illum inferorum) — usually called by the faithful ‘Children’s Limbo’ — in which the soul of those dying with only original sin are punished by the pain of loss without any pain of fire; and this taken to mean that by denying the pain of fire one can thereby necessarily postulate a middle state or place involving neither guilt nor penalty between the Kingdom of God and eternal damnation, such as Pelagians have invented (fabulabantur): — false, rash, slanderous to Catholic schools.” Auctorem fidei, August 28, 1794, The Condemned Errors of the Synod of Pistoia, Denzinger, #1526. [emphasis added]. Translation of text taken from “Children’s Limbo, Theory or Doctrine?”, Father Joseph Le Blanc, C.J.M., American Ecclesiastical Review, September 1947, p. 167.

3. “Children’s Limbo, Theory or Doctrine?”, Father Joseph Le Blanc, C.J.M., American Ecclesiastical Review, September 1947, p. 167.

4. Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Ludwig Ott [St. Louis: Herder, 1954], p. 114.

5. Denzinger 464, 693.

6. “Theologically speaking, infants who die without baptism are in inferno. It might sound harsh to place them there; nevertheless that is where they are, and there is no reason why we should refrain from using the term when the Councils use it. It should be remembered, however, that inferno is a general term which signifies the state and place of those who will never see the face of God, no matter what be their condition.” “Children’s Limbo, Theory or Doctrine?”, p. 170.

7. See Father Brian Harrison’s article: “Could Limbo Be Abolished?”, http://www.seattlecatholic.com/a051207.html

8. Christ and His Sacraments, Donlan, O.P., Cunningham, O.P., Rock, O.P. (Dubuque: Priory Press, 1960), p. 601. As for the denial of Limbo being censured, and the existence of Limbo being held as theologically certain, the text footnotes “The Letter of Innocent III to the Archbishop of Arles”, 1201 (Denz. 410); the constitution Auctorem Fidei of Pius VI, condemning the false teaching of the Jansenists that Limbo was a “Pelagian fable,” 1794 (Den. 1526); Appendix I to Supplement, qq. 1, 2.

9. “Baptism, the gateway and foundation of the Sacraments, actually or at least in desire is necessary for all for salvation. …” Code of Canon Law (1917), Canon 737 § 1. See also the Decrees from the Council of Trent on Justification and on Baptism.

10. It is commonly held that Saint John the Baptist was conceived with original sin, but sanctified in his mother’s womb (Luke 1: 39-45). Many authors hold that Saint Joseph was conceived with original sin, but sanctified in the womb and thus born without original sin.

11. Handbook of Moral Theology, Dominic Prümmer, O.P., [Cork: Mercier Press, 1955], p. 257.

12. A Manual of Moral Theology, Vol. II, Thomas Slater, S.J. [New York: Benzinger, 1908], p. 63.

13. Moral Theology, Jone-Adelman, [Westminster: Newman Press, 1956], p. 328.

14. “I sincerely receive the doctrine of faith handed down to us from the Apostles through the orthodox Fathers, with the same meaning and the same explanation. (eodem sensu eodem que sentia) And consequently I reject the heretical fiction of an evolution of dogmas, changing from one meaning to another, different from that which the Church first held.” The Oath Against Modernism, Pope Saint Pius X, 1910.

15. In his 1967 book The Ecumenical Revolution, Robert McAffee Brown, the Protestant Observer from Vatican II, celebrates the Council’s Decree on Ecumenism: “The document makes clear how new is the attitude that has emerged. No more is there talk of ‘schismatics and heretics’ but rather of ‘separated brethren’. No more is there an imperial demand that the dissident return in penitence to the Church who has no need of penitence; instead there is recognition that both sides are guilty of the sins of division and must reach out penitently toward one another. No more are Protestants dismissed merely as ‘sects’ or psychological entities alone; instead it is acknowledged that there is a measure of ‘ecclesial reality’ to be found within their corporate life.” The Ecumenical Revolution, Robert McAfee Brown (New York: Doubleday, 1969], pp. 67-8. Likewise, Cardinal Kasper, Pope John Paul II’s (and Pope Benedict XVI’s) Prefect of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said in February, 2001: “… today we no longer understand ecumenism in the sense of a return, by which the others would ‘be converted’ and ‘return to being Catholics’. This was expressly abandoned at Vatican II.” — Adisti, Feb. 26, 2001. English translation quoted from “Where Have They Hidden the Body?”, C. Ferrara, The Remnant, June 30, 2001.

16. God and the World, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, [San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2002], p. 401.

17. Quoted from “Pope to Demolish Limbo, Halfway House Between Heaven and Hell”, Richard Owen, London Times, Nov. 30, 2005.

18. “Children’s Limbo: Theory or Doctrine?”, p. 163.

19. The terms that distinguish the Limbo of the Fathers (limbus patrum) and Limbo of Children (Limbus puerorum infantium) seem to stem from the Medieval period. But Father Le Blanc explains, “The fact that the expression ‘Children’s Limbo’ (Limbus puerorum) is of comparatively recent use in theology should create no serious difficulty or provide undue suspicion. New words and expression have been coined with the development of theology, but the doctrine they describe is as old as revelation itself.” - From “Children’s Limbo, Theory or Doctrine?”, p. 167.

20. Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 9 [New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910], p. 256.

21. Catholic Encyclopedia for Home and School, Volume 6, [New York: McGraw-Hill, 1965], p. 399.

22. “Pope to Abandon Idea of Unbaptized Babies Suspended Forever in Limbo”, The Scotsman, Nov. 30, 2005.

23. Contrast this with the heartbreaking but solid demonstration of the Catholic Faith footnoted by Father Le Blanc in 1947: “A mother whose child had unfortunately died before baptism could be assured by her parish priest that since the tragic omission was without any fault on her part, God would take care of the infant — he was in His hand and she need not worry. The mother, like Rachel, refused to be comforted and simply replied, ‘My child will never see God.’ What a wealth of true Catholic instinct and sound theology that short sentence reveals! God would indeed take care of her infant, but she knew instinctively that her infant would never see God.” “Children’s Limbo, Theory or Doctrine?”, p. 164.

24. “Children’s Limbo, Theory or Doctrine?”, p. 183. More specifically, the “Illumination Theory” of a certain Professor Heinrich Klee, held that unbaptized children “are given a sudden illumination at the moment of death which enables them to desire the baptism of water when it is impossible for them to receive it, and thus are saved.” (p. 170). To hold this opinion as a mere “possibility” may be one thing (p. 179), in the sense that it is not impossible for Our Lord to grant to an individual in rare cases some sort of extraordinary grace for salvation, about which we can no nothing. Nonetheless, Father Le Blanc insists, “the existence of Limbo — such as understood by the faithful and taught by the Schoolmen — cannot be blotted out from the teaching magisterium of the Church, and that therefore one has not full liberty to admit or reject the existence of Limbo.” (pp. 182-3.)

25. The Desire to Destroy, Part I, Atila Sinke Guimarães, [Los Angeles: Tradition in Action, 2000], p. 60.

26. Principles of Catholic Theology, Joseph Ratzinger [San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1987], pp. 381-382.

27. This triumph was also admitted by Marcel Prelot, a Senator of the Dobbs region of France: “We had struggled for a century and a half to bring our opinions to prevail within the Church and had not succeeded. Finally there came Vatican II and we triumphed. From then on the propositions and principles of Liberal Catholicism have been definitively and officially accepted by Holy Church.” Quoted from Open Letter to Confused Catholics, Marcel Lefebvre [Kansas City: Angelus Press, 1992], p. 100.

28. “Children’s Limbo: Theory or Doctrine?”, p.162.

29. See the Si Si No No series on the New Theology, “They Think They Have Won”, published in The Angelus, in 1994 into 1995. Consult also the audio lecture “Modernism Repackaged: The ‘New Theology’ of Vatican II”, J. Vennari. Catholic Family News 10th Annual Conference.

30. “Vatican Puts Limbo in State of, er, Limbo”, Globe and Mail, (Scripps Howard News Service), November 30, 2005.

31. For full documentation on Archbishop Levada’s many interreligious activities, see “Ecumenical Archbishop Levada to Head Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”, J. Vennari, Catholic Family News, June, 2005. [Reprint 2000 available from CFN for $2.00 postpaid]. Also on the web at: http://www.cfnews.org/LevadaCDF.htm

32. For example, it would be interesting to study this new approach to Limbo in light of Father Henri de Lubac’s confusion of nature and supernature.

33. The Sinful State, Chap. 2. Quoted from Christ and His Sacraments, p. 602.

Reprinted from the January 2006 edition of
Catholic Family News
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