The Catholic church is conflicted over what happens to infants who die unbaptized. There is a contradiction between two of their beliefs that has lately disturbed the Catholic hierarchy. The problem: do we say that the infant, before baptism, is in a state of (original) sin and therefore will go to Hell when it dies? Or do we say that God is merciful and certainly would not do that to innocent babies?

Traditionally, Catholics have been taught that these babies don’t go to Hell. They go to a place of “natural” happiness (meaning: no direct experience of God) called Limbo. But this has been a subject of contention, with some arguing that the unbaptized baby is not innocent; he is in a sinful state because of Adam’s fall.

Some spokesmen say that Limbo has never been a Church teaching (I was certainly taught it in parochial school) and is not a matter of obligatory faith. So, the church has referred the matter to a committee. Surely the best way to resolve any contradiction?

Of course, when the contradiction involves whether an imaginary God might consign an unbaptized baby to an imaginary Hell, nothing but a committee could reach a conclusion. Surely a thinking individual would file the question in the same folder as the number of angels dancing on a pinhead.


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