Friday, April 20, 2007

to the end of limbo...and beyond

Pope Benedict XVI and the entirety of the Roman church took a giant step forward today. In renunciation of limbo for unbaptized infants who die the church progressed significantly in their theological development.

(They of course, did not renounce use of the party game "limbo" or the official party music pictured at right. Nor did they renounce use of the "Chicken Limbo" game which the department of Consumer Affairs removed from department store shelves last year.)

Of course, the renunciation of limbo is just a recognition of an understanding long-held by many Catholic theologians. It's also one step closer to reaching common theological grounds with many protestants in the world. Although they're still a very long way from changing their understanding of original sin and the need for baptism of infants (the changed perspective did not negate the need for baptism, but left open God's option for the blameless who have not had opportunity to be baptized) and although the protestants are a very long way from changing their perspective on believer's baptism (of those who are old enough to understand what they're doing) the barriers between the protestants and the Roman church are becoming significantly smaller.

It is important to note, although this decision was a long time in coming, as have been many doctrinal changes in the Roman faith, it does point to something good: namely, a willingness to think critically and study and then make changes based on those reflections. Perhaps if all Christians across the spectrum were able to make such a critical jump, our divisions would be less significant and fewer in number.

No comments: