Rorate Caeli

Limbo of the Children
New expiration date: 2008

At the eve of the closing Mass of this year's meeting of the International Theological Commission, when so much of the world media was reporting that "the Pope will abolish Limbo" (that is, the Limbus Infantium, or Limbo of the Children), including journalists we admire, such as Andrea Tornielli of Il Giornale, we decided not to publish an "opinion", but extremely important excerpts of Papal and Conciliar definitions on the matter.

Even though the Holy Father could not have been sterner in his homily yesterday (he did not "abolish" anything, but actually condemned those theologians who follow their huge egos), yet usually respectable sources (such as Korazym) still insist on stating, using some words of Archbishop Bruno Forte, an ITC member, that Limbo "never existed", it was "always a theological hypothesis"... After a week of idle speculation on the matter, the Italian media now states that the abolition of the Limbus Infantium will surely come in 2008...

This tiny example of news distortion serves as a reminder of what happened continously during the Second Vatican Council and its aftermath: it did not matter what a specific document said, or its actual magisterial relevance -- what mattered was what was expected as certain by "influential news organizations", what was "hyped" and, as such, immediately reported by the press, in a spiral of misinformation and distortion which could never be reversed in the mind of the people.

The Magisterial definitions, which no Pope may ever alter, and which the merely consultative ITC can never even touch, will remain unaltered, in 2006 as in 2008, in 2008 as in 1794...

Greatly recommended article: Could Limbo Be 'Abolished'?, by Father Brian Harrison.