Kudos to the Catholic Church

by DaniGirl on November 30, 2005 · 12 comments

in Uncategorized

Who ever thought I’d write a title like that? Credit where credit is due, though. I read this morning that the Pope is set to abolish the concept of “Limbo”, the neither heaven-nor-hell place where Catholic doctrine dictates the souls of unbaptized babies will stay in perpetuity.

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been bothered by the concept of Limbo. How could God, who is benevolent and compassionate, not welcome the souls of innocent babies into heaven? Looking back, this was probably marked the first of many doubts I would have about Catholic doctrine.

And yet, I have to admit that one of my lingering concerns about not having the boys baptized was the tiny voice in my head that said, “What if you’re wrong?”

The cynic in me wants to mock this about-face by the Church. Faith is supposed to be based on the word of God, and yet it was men who created the concept of Limbo, and men who have decided the concept is no longer congruent to our world view. (Men, I note specifically. Not women.) So because men pronounced it so, millions of souls of babies will be saved? Hardly.

Even more troublesome is this paragraph from the Ottawa Citizen’s version of the story today. (I’d link to them, but they didn’t bother to put the story in their online edition.)

Pope John Paul II pointed to the mistake of thinking of [Heaven, Hell, Purgatory and Limbo] as places, rather than states of being, said [theology professor] Mr Coyle, who doubts whether the [Vatican] committee would make a statement on how to “reroute” the souls in question.

To me, this is a huge reminder of the vast number of people who still take so much of the Church’s teachings as completely literal. I can’t help but laugh at the image of millions of unbaptized souls being herded from some cosmic waiting room into the garden of eternal salvation upon the signing of some Vatican writ. While I am happy to see the Church taking such public and important steps toward moderation, it’s clear they still have a long way to go.

If we could just get some movement on the concepts of birth control, women in the clergy, assisted reproductive technologies and gay marriage, I could get the boys baptized with a relatively clear conscience.

I’m not holding my breath…

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 SilverCreek Mom November 30, 2005 at 2:22 pm

Hold it for a long time Dani….Things don’t change fast in any religion which is a thing I struggle with too. It’s hard to listen to men when they are talking about GOD. Heaven only knows what is right..Praying to God I get to find out one day and not end up in purgatory. šŸ˜‰

2 Bren November 30, 2005 at 2:57 pm

Hey Dani–apparently Barbara Walters is going to explain what heaven is in a two-hour special on Dec 20 or 21st. Maybe this will clear some things up for everybody šŸ˜‰

3 Sugarmama November 30, 2005 at 3:21 pm

So does this mean that Limbo–whether it’s a place or not–existed before but not after this particular Pope says so? This is why organized religion is so unappealing to me…

4 Batman November 30, 2005 at 4:36 pm

It occurs to me that many facets of catholism (and perhaps other religions as well) are at the whim of the pope-of-the-day. Is it just me or does it seem strange that humans can change the basic structure of a religion based on their own interpretations or the social climate du jour. I would have thought that a religion should be fairly static and well defined. Apparently not. This latest decision of “the church” diminishes my remaining beliefs. For me, I think it’s more important to lead a good life and be socially reponsible than it is to go to church and all that goes with it. I’ll probably burn in heck for it, I’m sure. At least I won’t have to wait in line now.

5 Nancy November 30, 2005 at 5:18 pm

Hmm, I am wondering how the Pope will do this. A memo entitled “No More Limbo?” (Then Catholics everywhere will forbid the activity where you bend backwards under a stick from their celebrations!)

6 Danigirl November 30, 2005 at 7:21 pm

I think I’m the only blogger in the blogosphere who can post about religion and not get flamed. How lucky am I?
You guys make me laugh… I’ll put in a good word for y’all on judgement day.
xo Dani, All-Powerful Queen of the Universe

7 Danigirl November 30, 2005 at 7:23 pm

P.S. Bren – lucky Babs to have the inside scoop that 2000 years of zealots, saints and philosophers couldn’t get.

8 SilverCreek Mom November 30, 2005 at 8:27 pm

Only Babs!
Belly Laugh here

9 Running2Ks December 1, 2005 at 3:50 am

Send your wish list on. Maybe they’ll get your to-do’s on the calendar šŸ˜‰
Hey, they gave an inch, you can take a mile, right?

10 nancy December 1, 2005 at 3:58 am

Dear All-Powerful Queen of the Universe,
I won’t be holding my breath anytime soon either Dani. We belong to the United church where (drumroll please) anything goes!! How easy and accepting is that?? Even DH who grew up Catholic prefers to play in the United park.
And as for Baba Wawa…maybe she should be the pope. As if…

11 Danigirl December 1, 2005 at 2:58 pm

So it turns out I did get someone a little peeved at me after all. My first flame, although a rather polite one.
A gentleman from Texas who is a Knight of Columbus and who teaches Catholic doctrine to high school students took exception to my post and sent me an e-mail to ask what right I had to demand a place for women in the clergy when I was so “obviously not Catholic.” I sent him what I thought was a very polite e-mail in return explaining just how Catholic I am (used to be?) and my rationalizations. I haven’t heard back yet.
It’s not so much that he took exception to what I said that’s ruffling my fur, but the fact that he took me so out of context.
Ah Internet, you vex me so…

12 Ogilvie Hall December 5, 2005 at 6:11 pm

Everything you seem to want–women clergy, birth control, gay marriage–all these are available in other churches, so why do you want your children to be baptized Catholics? I look forward to you telling us what ou still like about the Church that makes you desire Catholic baptism for your children.

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