Originally Posted by Ms.QsMama
Huh. So when exactly are people responsible for original sin? I though the whole concept of original sin was that our very essence was stained by Adam and Eve, therefore separating us from God. Is that incorrect? I guess now I'm wondering, when exactly do the effects of original sin grab hold of us?
Also, I thought one of the main reasons Catholics baptized infants was to cleanse them from original sin (and it's effects) until they were at an age of reason. Am I off base?
Now I'm totally lost.
Lisalou told you incorrectly.
The Catholic Church has always taught the existence of Limbo as being the place where the souls of the unbaptized innocent go, where they deserve no punishment and yet also merit no reward. The Church has always described Limbo as a place of perfect natural happiness where the souls there experience no pain of sense, however, they are deprived of the Beatific Vision (seeing the face of God) that a soul experiences in Heaven. The "punishment" (as it were) of Limbo is due strictly to the stain of Original Sin passed down to us all from Adam. Baptism is what removes the punishment due to Original Sin, which is why Catholics baptize their infants, so that if they should die, they may be permitted to enter Heaven.
Everything I have stated above is the official Church position, and NOT my personal opinion. I believe in what the Church teaches, and has always taught.
That being said, there are more liberal-minded Catholics who mistakenly believe that Pope Benedict's recent April 20, 2007 statement "did away" with Limbo. Again, that is not at all true.
The Pope's statement merely said we can "hope" that perhaps God has provided for some way we are unaware of for those unbaptized innocent to get into Heaven, but it's just that - hope
Here is the link to the official statement from the Vatican on the topic which caused all the confusion and started people thinking Limbo had been "dismissed."http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/itclimbo.HTM
|Our conclusion is that the many factors that we have considered above give serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptized infants who die will be saved and enjoy the beatific vision. We emphasize that these are reasons for prayerful hope, rather than grounds for sure knowledge. There is much that simply has not been revealed to us (cf. Jn 16:12). We live by faith and hope in the God of mercy and love who has been revealed to us in Christ, and the Spirit moves us to pray in constant thankfulness and joy (cf. 1 Thes 5:18).
103. What has been revealed to us is that the ordinary way of salvation is by the sacrament of baptism. None of the above considerations should be taken as qualifying the necessity of baptism or justifying delay in administering the sacrament.135 Rather, as we want to reaffirm in conclusion, they provide strong grounds for hope that God will save infants when we have not been able to do for them what we would have wished to do, namely, to baptize them into the faith and life of the church.
The lovely thing about the Vatican's official statement is that it has a loooong extensive list at the bottom of all the referenced Doctors of the Church's writings on the topic of Limbo, as well as Councils, etc. so you can read what the Church has always taught.
One must consider the larger theological implications of "doing away" with Limbo. While it is a nice sentiment to hope that God has a way to get the unbaptized innocent into Heaven, if the Church were to officially deny the existence of Limbo and therefore, deny the punishment due to Original Sin, this would also "do away" with the Sacrament of Baptism. It then follows that if there is no Original Sin, and therefore no need of Baptism, then we would not be a fallen race, and there would be no need of a Redeemer. If there is no need of a Redeemer, then that would make Jesus just a man and not the Divine Second Person of the Holy Trinity, and therefore all of Christianity would fall apart and be pointless.