It’s a bit late getting to my attention, but I was made aware recently of the Pope’s exoneration of pagan babies in limbo. The documentation on this subject is actually quite lengthy; I had to follow a couple of citations to other fascinating topics regarding in vitro fertilization and other immoral acts of life indignities, but I digress.
Every sperm is sacred,
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate
— The Meaning of Life, Monty Python
It was an Alaskan cousin that first introduced me to this newsworthy little tidbit while vacationing on the sandy, white beaches of Pensacola Beach, Florida. The topic piqued my interests, so I went right to the source on the communiqué. What the Vatican had to say about it was spread over many a scrollbar’s length upon my millions of light-emitting liquid crystals.
For the past couple of decades or so, the Vatican has been mulling over the question of unbaptized babies’ fates. Back in the day, and I mean waay back in the day, Augustine conveyed in a not-so vague way that unbaptized infants go to Hell.
We do not pray for those who are damned.
However, in the 12th century the Pope accepted limbo as being a good place to put unbaptized babies. There, they would be without pain.
They did not deserve Paradise therefore they did not have happiness either
As recently as 1992, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is referenced as a position for the possibility of hope for the world’s pagan babies.
with regard to children who die without having received Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God
Additional references from the Bible show further suspicions of an omnipotence that supersedes our own pettiness.
Let the children come to me, do not hinder them [Mk 10:14]
With historical debates waging almost two millennium, it was high time that this tirade come to an end.
Our conclusion is that the many factors that we have considered above give serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptised infants who die will be saved and enjoy the Beatific Vision. We emphasise that these are reasons for prayerful hope, rather than grounds for sure knowledge.
Okay…so it’s not exactly as clearcut as my fantastic vision of a golden school bus loaded with gilded car seats and babies all headed to the Pearly Gates. They must have installed a massive day care facility. It may very well be a particular kind of Hell for some. But it stands to reason that even more important than the meager position of hope for babies is the Catholic Church’s updates to the Catechism for the times. A natural, albeit doubtful prospect for the future evolution of this doctrine is the inclusion of other modern day paradoxes to Catholicism such as gay marriage and heathen salvation. Stranger things have certainly happened, but is this the latest sign that the Catholic Church is changing to a newer, hipper reflection of itself?