Limbo consigned to history books

Apparently Limbo was only a THEORY -- like gravity!
The Pope is set to abolish the concept of Limbo, overturning a belief held by Roman Catholics since the Middle Ages. He is on record as saying that Limbo has no place in modern Catholicism. In 1984, he told Vittorio Messori, the Catholic author, that Limbo had "never been a definitive truth of the faith". He said: "Personally, I would let it drop, since it has always been only a theological hypothesis."

29 Responses:

  1. korgmeister says:

    Catholicism gets weirder every day.

  2. Alright! Can I get an Amen?


    How about a Hell Yeah?

  3. styroteqe says:

    a theological hypothesis... much like... catholicism as a whole?

    and what business does a godfearing pope have using the word hypothesis? how scientific of him

  4. cocoajava says:

    Dammit! And here I was bending over BACKWARDS to convince people that Limbo exists!!

    (Trust me, you'll laugh tomorrow.)

  5. spudtater says:

    So we have to do "hope of eternal salvation" dances at parties now?

  6. defenestr8r says:

    and just yesterday i was thinking that Old Eggs Benny had been awfully quiet. i should have known he was up to something bigger than showing off his Prada footwear (no joke).

  7. gutbloom says:

    OK, fine, there's no Limbo. Now where are all the unbaptised babies born since the Middle Ages supposed to go? Huh. Bet he didn't think of that before he got rid of Limbo. Discarding absurd theories is all well and good in theory... but when THOUSANDS if not MILLIONS of souls end up homeless on the park benches of heaven... well, that's when the rubber meets the road, isn't it?

    P.S. Do I get all the prayers back that I offered up for the babies in Limbo? I should have a big ole prayer credit headed my way (well, not that big to be honest, but I should get something).

    • cacepi says:

      P.S. Do I get all the prayers back that I offered up for the babies in Limbo?

      No, but you get to keep the guilt you'll build up in the next few years from knowing those prayers didn't help.

      The Catholic Church: an Equal Opportunity Employer.

    • hcr3 says:

      Forget about the babies that were actually born. I believe that aborted fetuses should also have been assigned to Limbo, as well. There's a pleasant thought for you. Cute infants on park benches in one thing, but aborted fetuses is altogether different.

  8. prog says:

    Wait, I thought the Catholic name for that place was Purgatory, and Limbo was the name of the Marvel Universe version. Also where you went if you died in the old Scott Adams Spider-Man text adventure game.

    SPIDER-MAN, I want you to: go down

    • king_mob says:

      Nope, Purgatory is for those sinners whose sins don't earn them eternal damnation, but prevent them entering Heaven. Purgatory is a celestial holding area.

    • belgand says:

      According to Dante Limbo was on the outskirts of Hell, just past the river Styx. Basically the people contained here were the virtuous pagans: people born before the birth of Jesus who couldn't technically be saved because they were unlucky enough to be born too early, but who didn't deserve to be in Hell.

      From the sounds of things it was basically a big cocktail party of the greatest minds of the classical era. The main downside being that they're kinda, sorta in Hell and that they will never be able to know the true love of god.

      Purgatory was a step up from Hell and was, indeed, basically a celestial waiting room where those who had sinned a bit went to work off their sin and eventually be allowed into heaven.

      • hcr3 says:

        gutbloom alludes to this fact in his comment, but arguably the best known purpose for Limbo was as a place for the souls of unbaptized children. They couldn't go to Heaven since they still had Original Sin on their souls, and they arguably shouldn't go to Hell since they hadn't actually committed any sins.

        • luserspaz says:

          It is (was) the celestial nursery. Man, fuck going there, unless babies don't cry in the afterlife.

          ( Previously )

        • belgand says:

          True, but one sounds like getting to spend eternity talking to some of the most interesting people of their time. The other sounds like pure, nightmarish Hell. Then again I detest babies.

          Taking into account the baptismal nature of Limbo though it makes plenty of sense to get rid of it. It's merely a tool to convince people to baptize their children or they'll never be able to go to Heaven. On the other hand they couldn't theologically justify the kids going to Hell. Since it was an invention of theology, rather than an accepted part of biblical interpretation Limbo can pretty easily be excised.

          I'm just curious where all the unbaptized babies are supposed to be going now?

  9. diemoniker says:

    ...what with people buying things for the church and doing good works to work their way to the front of the line.

    Limbo was just lying around like a bunch of surplus nuns, adding drag to the sleek rocketship that is modern Catholicism.

    Of course, St. Christopher was declared imaginary awhile ago, and that hasn't kept him off anyone's dashboard.

    • jkonrath says:

      Limbo was also a Catholic moneymaker. Before then, people were usually baptized when they were teens or adults. But when parents suddenly were presented with the problem that their little baby might not go to the same place as them if they died at a young age (which like half of kids did back then, when leeching was cutting-edge medical technology), the concept of newborn baptism became a standard in the church. And this is a moneymaker because it costs money to get baptized. It also guarantees growth of the church's membership, and likewise their coffers.

      The Catholic church also ran a propaganda campaign that the evil Satanists and Pagans were kidnapping unbaptized babies for their rituals, which made people rush to get their kids baptized right after they popped out.

    • sleepsheep says:

      So St Christopher can't do the Limbo any more?
      We don't get French benifits?

  10. Ha, I thought you were talking about the dance until I scrolled.

  11. decibel45 says:

    Limbo? I've yet to see any pope who was young enough to stand a chance at making it under the bar...

    If they're talking about the place where you're not in heaven and you're not in hell; I've always heard that referred to as 'purgatory'.