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In Limbo

9 October, 2006

So, the Pope is apparently going to ditch the Catholic doctrine of Limbo – the place where the souls of unbaptised children were said to go instead of Heaven or Hell.

The doctrine was invented in the 13th Century because it did not seem fair that new born babies who died would go to Hell, just because their original sin had not been wiped away by baptism.  So a place called Limbo was invented – neither Heaven nor Hell.

It’s a fine example of the knots we humans can get into by trying to codify our faiths: one man-made doctrine (Limbo) having to be invented to get around the illogicalities created by another man-mad doctrine (Original sin).

It is said that one of the reasons for ditching the concept is that it is difficult to reconcile it with a Loving God …. 

… so maybe this means that the Catholic Church could soon be revising other articles of its faith that are also incompatible with a Loving God – like its stance on homosexuality, for example, or birth control.

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