In order to break the cycle of poverty, we must first start with the heart. Catholic Online School is something very special, providing FREE Catholic Education to anyone, anywhere. Learn more about the Catholic Online School
Help us create new hope with your donation. This year, please consider making a donation of $5, $20, $50 or whatever you can to support Catholic Online School. Support Catholic Online School
Father Cantalamessa on Limbo and the Unbaptized
Offers a Follow-up to Commentary in Catholic Online
ROME, JAN. 24, 2006 (Zenit) - A commentary by Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, published Jan. 6th in Catholic Online, prompted questions about the status of unbaptized children who die.
The topic has been under the consideration by the International Theological Commission, at the urging of Pope John Paul II.
Father Cantalamessa, the preacher to the Pontifical Household, offered these further reflections on the topic.
* * *
Some readers have said that they are perplexed by my affirmation that unbaptized children will not go to limbo but to heaven, which I expressed in my recent commentary on the Gospel of the feast of Christ's Baptism, published by Catholic Online News. This gives me the opportunity to clarify the reasons for my affirmation.
Jesus instituted the sacraments as ordinary means to salvation. They are ordinarily necessary and people who can receive them and refuse are accountable before God. But God didn't bind himself to these means. Also of the Eucharist Jesus says: "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man you shall not have life" (John 6:53), but this doesn't mean that anyone who has never received the Eucharist is not saved.
Baptism of desire and the feast of the Holy Innocents are confirmations of this. Some may counter that Jesus is involved in the death of Innocents who died because of him, which is not always the case of unbaptized babies. True, but also of what is done to the least of his brothers Jesus says: "You have done it to me" (Matthew 25:40).
The doctrine of limbo has never been defined as dogma by the Church; it was a theological hypothesis mostly depending on St. Augustine's doctrine of original sin and was abandoned in practice long ago and theology too now dismisses it.
We should take seriously the truth of God's universal will for salvation ("God wants everybody to be saved," 1 Timothy 2:4), and also the truth that "Jesus died for all." The following text of the Catechism of the Catholic Church seems to hold exactly the same position:
"As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: 'Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,' allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism" (CCC, 1261).
I don't think that to affirm that unbaptized babies are saved will encourage abortion. People who neglect Church doctrine on abortion are scarcely concerned about other doctrines of the same Church. Even if there were grounds for such a fear, the abuse of a doctrine should never prevent us from holding it.
I must confess that the mere idea of a God eternally depriving an innocent creature of his vision simply because another person has sinned, or because of an accidental miscarriage, makes me shudder ... and I am sure would make any unbeliever happy to stay away from the Christian faith. If hell consists essentially in the deprivation of God, limbo is hell!
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Cantalamessa, Limbo, Baptize,
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, December 13, 2017
- Is Facebook ripping apart human civilization? HD Video
- St. Lucy: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, December 13, 2017
- How does the Vatican fight money laundering?
- Daily Reading for Thursday, December 14th, 2017 HD Video
- Here's when you'll see the first self-driving trucks on the road
- Pope Francis wants to change the Lord's Prayer, but what do the new ...
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 HD
- Attempted terror attack fails in Manhattan as pipe bomb explodes early HD
- Here's how Pope Francis wants to change the Lords Prayer HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, December 12th, 2017 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way