Attention St. Michael! Catholic Question for you

Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Attention St. Michael! Catholic Question for you

St Michael (or anyone else who can authoritatively answer this question for me)

Am I correct in remembering that the Catholic church officially discarded limbo from it's dogma? When did that happen?

Also, where do dead babies go now?

Also, what is the church's position on when a person becomes self aware enough to be responsible for original sin?

Also, what is the church's position on severely mentally handicapped people who can't understand the concepts of religion?

Thanks

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
***Chirp,chirp,chirp***

***Chirp,chirp,chirp***


Onion
Theist
Posts: 17
Joined: 2007-01-04
User is offlineOffline
MattShizzle

MattShizzle wrote:
***Chirp,chirp,chirp***

Just because someone hasn't bothered to answer the question, doesn't mean that there isn't one. You might actually get more people to respond and have decent dialogue if you didn't spend so much time being rude.

Hambydammit wrote:
Am I correct in remembering that the Catholic church officially discarded limbo from it's dogma? When did that happen?

I cannot answer definitively for the Catholic Church, as I am not catholic, but I believe limbo was officially nixed by Vatican II.

I can, however, give an Orthodox Christian perspective on the rest of your questions. 

Hambydammit wrote:
Also, where do dead babies go now?

Orthodoxy does not accept St. Augustine's interpretation of original sin. We are born into a condition of original sin. We are not sinful by default. Christ says about children "of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 19:14). Thus, babies, while being born into the condition of sin, are innocent of the kinds of things we adults choose to do and are near and dear to God (again, see Matthew 19). Though no one is in the position to judge, I firmly expect to see all of your dead babies in the kingdom.

Hambydammit wrote:
Also, what is the church's position on when a person becomes self aware enough to be responsible for original sin?

Orthodoxy has no "age of reason." What is now confirmation in the Catholic Church used to happen at the same time as baptism. Orthodoxy maintains this connection. Thus, a baby baptized is confirmed at the same time and is therefore a full member of the Church. As stated before, we are not responsible for original sin, we live in the condition of original sin. We live with the consequences. Sin, from an Orthodox perspective, is falling short of the mark. Jesus Christ is the the yard stick by which all things are measured. Thus, I have sinned today because I could have done better. Tomorrow I will try to do exactly that. Confession is a tool given to us to help us understand how it is that we have fallen short and how, next time, we can do better. Thus, life is a journey towards Christ and his example.

Hambydammit wrote:
Also, what is the church's position on severely mentally handicapped people who can't understand the concepts of religion?

In Orthodoxy, understanding has three aspects to it. In the writings of the Fathers you can find any number of titles for these concepts. For the purpose of this post I will use action, reason, and communion. Action is just that, doing. In Orthodoxy there is a lot of doing — kissing icons, crossing oneself, prostrations, processions, etc. This is the most basic form of understanding, to do. Reason allows us to understand why we do what we do. Then there is communion, which is the superrational experience of God, his love, and the unity of all of humanity and creation in God.

Severely handicapped persons are perfectly capable of doing. They can use reason, even if it is severely limited. They are also perfectly capable of communion, and maybe moreso than you or I. Thus, like all humans, the severely handicapped can, should and are full members of the church. In fact, they have a very special role within the church. In encountering and accepting their extreme brokenness, we can come face to face not only with our own brokenness but the very presence of Christ within them. It has been my own experience that severely handicapped people are some of the most complete human beings on the planet.


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Thanks for your reply, but

Thanks for your reply, but I'm only interested in knowing what the official catholic position is, and getting a citation that I can quote.  You may be correct, but the reason I asked for St. Michael is that I want a Catholic to answer for Catholics in an official capacity.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


zarathustra
atheist
zarathustra's picture
Posts: 1218
Joined: 2006-11-16
User is offlineOffline
Sam Harris mentions in

Sam Harris mentions in Letter to a Christian Nation that the Vatican is convening 30 expert theologians to address limbo. 

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††


Rigor_OMortis
Rigor_OMortis's picture
Posts: 557
Joined: 2006-06-18
User is offlineOffline
Onion wrote: MattShizzle

Onion wrote:

MattShizzle wrote:
***Chirp,chirp,chirp***

Just because someone hasn't bothered to answer the question, doesn't mean that there isn't one. You might actually get more people to respond and have decent dialogue if you didn't spend so much time being rude.

Hambydammit wrote:
Am I correct in remembering that the Catholic church officially discarded limbo from it's dogma? When did that happen?

I cannot answer definitively for the Catholic Church, as I am not catholic, but I believe limbo was officially nixed by Vatican II.

I can, however, give an Orthodox Christian perspective on the rest of your questions. 

Hambydammit wrote:
Also, where do dead babies go now?

Orthodoxy does not accept St. Augustine's interpretation of original sin. We are born into a condition of original sin. We are not sinful by default. Christ says about children "of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 19:14). Thus, babies, while being born into the condition of sin, are innocent of the kinds of things we adults choose to do and are near and dear to God (again, see Matthew 19). Though no one is in the position to judge, I firmly expect to see all of your dead babies in the kingdom.

Hambydammit wrote:
Also, what is the church's position on when a person becomes self aware enough to be responsible for original sin?

Orthodoxy has no "age of reason." What is now confirmation in the Catholic Church used to happen at the same time as baptism. Orthodoxy maintains this connection. Thus, a baby baptized is confirmed at the same time and is therefore a full member of the Church. As stated before, we are not responsible for original sin, we live in the condition of original sin. We live with the consequences. Sin, from an Orthodox perspective, is falling short of the mark. Jesus Christ is the the yard stick by which all things are measured. Thus, I have sinned today because I could have done better. Tomorrow I will try to do exactly that. Confession is a tool given to us to help us understand how it is that we have fallen short and how, next time, we can do better. Thus, life is a journey towards Christ and his example.

Hambydammit wrote:
Also, what is the church's position on severely mentally handicapped people who can't understand the concepts of religion?

In Orthodoxy, understanding has three aspects to it. In the writings of the Fathers you can find any number of titles for these concepts. For the purpose of this post I will use action, reason, and communion. Action is just that, doing. In Orthodoxy there is a lot of doing — kissing icons, crossing oneself, prostrations, processions, etc. This is the most basic form of understanding, to do. Reason allows us to understand why we do what we do. Then there is communion, which is the superrational experience of God, his love, and the unity of all of humanity and creation in God.

Severely handicapped persons are perfectly capable of doing. They can use reason, even if it is severely limited. They are also perfectly capable of communion, and maybe moreso than you or I. Thus, like all humans, the severely handicapped can, should and are full members of the church. In fact, they have a very special role within the church. In encountering and accepting their extreme brokenness, we can come face to face not only with our own brokenness but the very presence of Christ within them. It has been my own experience that severely handicapped people are some of the most complete human beings on the planet.

 

Onion, you seem to ignore your very dogma.

First of all, aren't people supposed to NOT be punished for the sins of their ancestors, and vice-versa? If that is the case, I am living in a consequence of Adam and Eve's sin, therefore, what I stated above doesn't apply, therefore the principle is false.

Second of all, I frankly doubt that a child that doesn't even have awareness of what his own body functions are will be able to comprehend a concept so complex as religion. Therefore, considering children as "fully aware" right after baptism is pure bullshit. I live in an orthodox area too, and I know that, by custom, you are baptized a few weeks/months after birth. The baby isn't even asked his/her option (for very obvious reasons), thus making him a member of the church disregarding his will.

Now in connection to your last two paragraphs. As much as I'd like to verbally smite you for icons and crosses, which, by the way, proves that you are a complete hypocrite about the ten commandmdents (particularly one of them), I will not do that. Not now.

You seem, however, convinced that EVERY person has or is capable of the three elements you've mentioned: action, reason, and communion. Any intelligent, educated person will tell you that this is far from reality. A completely polyomelythic person is capable of reason and communion, but he/she is not capable of action, since he/she cannot move. A person with a memory disfunction is capable of action and of communion, but he is incapable of much reason, since he cannot remember the hypothesis upon trying to reach the conclusion. A person with Merck syndrome (hope I've got the name right, please correct me if I didn't, I'm using my recollections here) is capable of action and reason, but he is incapable of communion, since he is unable to recognize anyone different from himself, and therefore has no understanding of ANY being, be it supernatural or not.

As for the handicapped being the most complete humans alive, I believe that is hardly a topic you should discuss here. Hambydammit was referring to a SPECIFIC strain of handicapped people, those unable to understand religion or unable to act on it (just like the examples I've given you above). And as we all know, "Who is not with me is against me", Christ said. Since these people have no understanding of him, they cannot be with him. Therefore, they are against him, and they will burn in hell just because they are uncapable of understanding something.

Awaiting comments.

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
http://rigoromortis.blogspot.com/


Onion
Theist
Posts: 17
Joined: 2007-01-04
User is offlineOffline
Rigor_Omortis

Rigor_Omortis wrote:
Onion, you seem to ignore your very dogma.

First of all, aren't people supposed to NOT be punished for the sins of their ancestors, and vice-versa? If that is the case, I am living in a consequence of Adam and Eve's sin, therefore, what I stated above doesn't apply, therefore the principle is false.

I do not ignore dogma. Creation fell. Humanity lives within the condition of that fall. Therefore, we are prone to sin ourselves. That does not mean we have to. We will not be judged for the actions of our ancestors. We will be judged by our own actions. Life is full of givens. My givens are radically different from those of someone born in Indonesia. My being American does not determine my salvation. What I do with what I am given determines my salvation.

  

Rigor_Omortis wrote:
Second of all, I frankly doubt that a child that doesn't even have awareness of what his own body functions are will be able to comprehend a concept so complex as religion. Therefore, considering children as "fully aware" right after baptism is pure bullshit. I live in an orthodox area too, and I know that, by custom, you are baptized a few weeks/months after birth. The baby isn't even asked his/her option (for very obvious reasons), thus making him a member of the church disregarding his will.

When it comes to baptism, human will isn't the issue. Christ chooses us. Baptism is an acknowledgment of that choice. Therefore, a child can be brought into the church as a full member out of love of not only the family, but the community and Christ himself. From an Orthodox viewpoint, communion is our greatest calling. To deny a child communion because we deem them not "fully aware" is to deny their person and their humanity.

  

Rigor_Omortis wrote:
Now in connection to your last two paragraphs. As much as I'd like to verbally smite you for icons and crosses, which, by the way, proves that you are a complete hypocrite about the ten commandmdents (particularly one of them), I will not do that. Not now.

I suggest you read the history surrounding the iconoclastic struggles of the Christian East that culminated in the Seventh Ecumenical Council. The iconoclasts got rid of icons for the very reason you are implying. Thus, the church had to answer that accusation. That answer can be found in the Seventh Ecumenical Council. They are very clear: kissing an icon is not idol worship. It is an acknowledgment of the personal presence of the person depicted. Thus, when I kiss an icon of a saint, I am kissing that person who has been perfected in Christ. I am not worshipping either the saint or the wood and paint. 

 

Rigor_Omortis wrote:
You seem, however, convinced that EVERY person has or is capable of the three elements you've mentioned: action, reason, and communion.

Absolutely, in their own unique, and unrepeatable way. They may be broken, but they are still human and still created in the image and likeness of God. 

 

Rigor_Omortis wrote:
As for the handicapped being the most complete humans alive, I believe that is hardly a topic you should discuss here.
Why? You seem to want to deny their humanity and their completeness as proof that they are incapable of belonging to the Church in order to prove how bad religion is. I am trying to point out that human completeness can be achieved despite these kinds of handicaps.

Rigor_Omortis wrote:
Hambydammit was referring to a SPECIFIC strain of handicapped people, those unable to understand religion or unable to act on it (just like the examples I've given you above). And as we all know, "Who is not with me is against me", Christ said. Since these people have no understanding of him, they cannot be with him. Therefore, they are against him, and they will burn in hell just because they are uncapable of understanding something.

Christ also said "nothing is impossible with God." Who are you to say that these people have no understanding of Him? Can they be baptized? Yes. Can they take communion? Yes. Can they be loved? Yes. Can they do Christ's work? Absolutely. I have seen it myself.

 

Your post has spoken to the dangers of atheism when it comes to such things as equality and human rights. I, as a Christian, insist that all of these people are equal in God and are capability of being members of the kingdom. You, as an atheist, seem to want to deny their very humanity. In a world without God, what happens to these people? If they aren't human, it becomes very easy to justify getting rid of them, doesn't it? 


weirdochris
weirdochris's picture
Posts: 25
Joined: 2007-01-04
User is offlineOffline
If nothing is impossible

If nothing is impossible with God, is it possible for me to get into heaven without believing in Jesus??  Or would that be impossible?


Onion
Theist
Posts: 17
Joined: 2007-01-04
User is offlineOffline
weirdochris wrote: If

weirdochris wrote:
If nothing is impossible with God, is it possible for me to get into heaven without believing in Jesus??  Or would that be impossible?
According to Christianity, there will be a general resurrection. In other words, EVERYONE will be resurrected. Heaven and hell are not places, but conditions. At the resurrection, everyone will be subject to the fullness of God's love. That love will be experienced according to the individual's attitude toward God. So, for one who rejects God and his love, this experience will most probably be a miserable one. 


QuadrivialMind (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Onion wrote: Heaven and

Onion wrote:
Heaven and hell are not places, but conditions. 

 

Oh right, when Jesus said "everlasting fire", "lake of fire", and "eternally consuming flames", he was just referring metaphorically to this so-called conditions? Let me guess. No. If Hell was a state of the soul, then how did Jesus descend into Hell? I think that though they might or might not be physical, they can be considered as places. And the same works for "The Kingdom of God".

 


Rigor_OMortis
Rigor_OMortis's picture
Posts: 557
Joined: 2006-06-18
User is offlineOffline
I am very disappointed with

I am very disappointed with your answer, Onion, for it dodges every argument that I did use, and it blasts on every argument I DIDN'T use.

 

You must be utterly blind (or extremely wishfully thinking) to not notice the contradiction in the first paragraph. Let me state it for you:

- Adam and Eve sinned (to us it doesn't matter that they actually sinned without knowing that is a bad thing)

- Adam and Eve were punished with (apart from others) mortality

- God stated that the child will not bear the punishment of the father

- I am mortal, therefore I bear (at least partly) the punishment of Adam

Would you care to explain how this goes? Because to any intelligent, educated human being it is a flagrant contradiction.

And "We will not be judged for the actions of our ancestors. We will be judged by our own actions." - I never even entered the discussion about afterlife and judgement. I am talking ONLY about present condition. Please refrain yourself from preaching, we're not interested. Most of us here have heard more preaching that you could ever do in your entire life.

 

Next: You say "Christ chooses us"... I don't want to choose Christ, and I don't want him to choose me. Let's say that I'm a masochist, and I like burning in Hell. What is the right of Jesus Christ to choose me? Does my option not count at all? If we admit that God is so all-loving, how can this be? If he loves me, he will understand that I wish Him not, and he will understand my reasons, and he will allow me to do that, because He loves me. Frankly, that's what I'd do. What God seems to do (since I anticipate your answer, if any, to this issue, will be "No, your opinion doesn't matter&quotEye-wink just what a jealous boyfriend does: stalking the girlfriend even after they split and not letting her get on with her life the way she wants to.

And to deny the new-born's communion is NOT to deny his humanity, but to deny his power of judgement (which, by all biological and normal terms, is perfectly deniable at that age).

 

Paragraph 3: I said I'm not going to enter a debate about icons. WHICH PART DIDN'T YOU UNDERSTAND??? We had a thread for that only. And, if I'm here, I'd like to tell you I was not referring to worshipping one, but to the simple idea of actually making/having one, which still contradicts one of the ten commandments.

Besides, having humans enter and "interpret" the Bible to do their own bidding would look suspicious to anyone. Doesn't it to you?

 

Paragraph 4: Now here you prove that you're beyond much hope. I have just proven to you three simple conditions in which a human DOESN'T have all the three states of mind. I have backed my claim with three examples that are verifiable, that are known medical cases. You just stated that it's false. Would you care to back up your claim with arguments?

 

Paragraph 5: I did not deny anything to the handicapped. And all I did state was that you (like seems to be your habit) are bouncing off to subjects whach either HAVE NOT BEEN DISCUSSED, or HAVE SAID THEY WILL NOT BE DISCUSSED in this thread.

 

Paragraph 6: Well, if nothing is impossible with God, I'd like to see myself going to heaven, just as a proof. Furthermore, you AGAIN dodge the argument by lining up a series of qualities a mentally uncapable person can do, in your opinion. In a more medical opinion, let me restate them: Can they be baptized? Yes. Can they take communion? NO. Can they be loved? Yes. Can they do Christ's work? Absolutely NOT. I have seen it myself too.

 

Paragraph 7: My post speaks no such thing. This is your own way to twist things. Furthermore, you have insulted everyone here by stating that even if, presumably, my post would have menat what you said (which it doesn't), all atheists feel and think that way. I would suggest that you stop making these accusations and generalizations, as I do not think I have insulted you in my previous posts with anything.

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
http://rigoromortis.blogspot.com/


Susan
Susan's picture
Posts: 3561
Joined: 2006-02-12
User is offlineOffline
Onion wrote: weirdochris

Onion wrote:
weirdochris wrote:
If nothing is impossible with God, is it possible for me to get into heaven without believing in Jesus?? Or would that be impossible?
According to Christianity, there will be a general resurrection. In other words, EVERYONE will be resurrected. Heaven and hell are not places, but conditions. At the resurrection, everyone will be subject to the fullness of God's love. That love will be experienced according to the individual's attitude toward God. So, for one who rejects God and his love, this experience will most probably be a miserable one.

So it's like a concert. Those that get those most religious points (or is it just xian points?) get the good seats up front and can just feel the love. The rest of the folks get general admission, which is the crummy seats that make your back hurt and bad acoustics.

Yup, gonna resurrect the non-believers (and those who believe incorrectly) just to make them miserable. If any of that were true, why not just leave them alone?

[tongue firmly in cheek] Yup. Your god isn't vengeful and mean. Your god is definitely good, loving and forgiving.

Onion wrote:
Your post has spoken to the dangers of atheism when it comes to such things as equality and human rights.

What was said was "I believe that is hardly a topic you should discuss here."

It is your post that brought up humanity.

I would suggest that you become a bit more familiar with Atheism and Atheists before you assert such things.

Onion wrote:
I, as a Christian, insist that all of these people are equal in God and are capability of being members of the kingdom. You, as an atheist, seem to want to deny their very humanity. In a world without God, what happens to these people? If they aren't human, it becomes very easy to justify getting rid of them, doesn't it?

This is so far off base.

I, as an Atheist, insist that all people are equal. Period.

 

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.


Ophios
Ophios's picture
Posts: 909
Joined: 2006-09-19
User is offlineOffline
It's official, the onion is

It's official, the onion is a projecting troll.

 

 He seems to forget that.

Fred Phelps, as a xian thinks gay are scum

Osama bin laden, as a muslim, think all non believers should be destroyed.

Most american xians, as xians, are allowing their children to be illeducated thus setting them up in a life where the chance of employment is little to none, becuase they rather run around and put gays, atheists into little prison camps like the jews via pre-WW germany. They rather just listen to the nearest preist and take his words as fact. Maybe next the'll round up non-xian, lefties, and blacks, and you'll probably say theise folks are non-humanist.

You (Onion)Probably also think that, Benjamin Franklin, Carl Sagan, and a whole lot of Buddhist monks are/were non-humanist too. Don't you?

You probably praise Hitler as one of he greatest humanists of all time. (Yes, he believed in a god)

You probably thought the crusades was a very humanist thing too.

 You Probably loath the evil William Shatner, Ernest Hemingway, Voltiare, Friedrich Nietzsche, Gene Roddenberry (Who was not only an atheist but was also *Gasp a Humanist!), Mark Twain, Vincent Van Gogh, Woody Allen, Douglas Adams, and the super satan also known as John Lennon.

 And please, I dare you to go to Helen Keller's grave a piss all over it, since you think she was so vile!

 

AImboden wrote:
I'm not going to PM my agreement just because one tucan has pms.


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Damn.  I just want to know

Damn.  I just want to know what the church's position is.  I wonder if I pissed St. Michael off.

Seems like it wouldn't be so hard to get a ruling on this sort of thing.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


StMichael
Theist
StMichael's picture
Posts: 609
Joined: 2006-12-20
User is offlineOffline
Sorry I was slow in

Sorry I was slow in answering. I don't check the forums themselves often, but only the most recent posts. If anybody really has a question or something they would like to call to my attention, please privately message me in the future so that I can do something in a timely manner.

 

Quote:

Am I correct in remembering that the Catholic church officially discarded limbo from it's dogma? When did that happen?

Nope. But you have to understand a specific distinction. There is something called the limbo of the fathers (where dead people of virtue went before Christ) and the limbo of the infants (where unbaptized babies go). The first does not exist now and the Church never negated the first; it is and always has been Catholic dogma ("the harrowing of hell&quotEye-wink. On the other hand, the second, the limbo of infants, is something of a special question. It is not a dogma of the Catholic Church, nor has it officially been declared as such. It is currently a debated issue, and has long existed in theology as a construct necessary to account for virtuous pagans and the unbaptized infants. Technically, it is not really a specific place othen than the 2 final places that will exist, Paradise and Hell, but united in substance to Paradise. After the Resurrection, unbaptized infants would be, according to the theory, rewarded with purely natural happiness in Paradise, but not with supernatural beatitude as would the saints. I tend to agree with this position and think it very correct and supported both by Scripture and Tradition(with a capital "T&quotEye-wink in the Church. But this issue is not determined either way by the Church right now, so there is room for theological debate.

Quote:
 

Also, where do dead babies go now?

Where they would naturally go. If baptized, straight to heaven. If unbaptized, we can only commend them to God's mercy (as the Church prays in its funeral rite for the unbaptized infants).

 

Quote:

Also, what is the church's position on when a person becomes self aware enough to be responsible for original sin?

Nobody needs self-aware enough to be "responsible" for original sin itself. You are confusing personal sin with original sin. Original sin  is not a sin in the same sense we mean when we speak of sin colloquially. It refers to the original sin of Adam and Eve. What we have now is properly just the effects of original sin, we do not really inherit the sin itself. The effects being a loss of what was proper to our nature before the Fall. Original sin is inherited through our common human nature, which it affects.

Quote:
 

Also, what is the church's position on severely mentally handicapped people who can't understand the concepts of religion?

They are like children before the use of reason. They may be baptized and gain salvific grace through the sacrament, their own faith being supplied by the faith of their parents/guardians; as with any infant baptism.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Thanks, Michael, and no

Thanks, Michael, and no worries on the delay.

A couple of clarifications would help me. There are some things I still don't understand.

I think I get what you're saying about original sin and personal sin, but just let me tell it back to you to see if I've got it.

If a baby is born, but doesn't live long enough to commit a personal sin, he is not guilty of anything personally, so goes to some intermediate place to wait for final judgement, when he will be awarded eternal natural happiness. Is that correct?

So, basically, as soon as you're old enough to know that some things are right and some are wrong, and do something wrong, you're risking hell if you haven't been baptized. Is that correct?

Presumably, this is the "curse of original sin:" that our first sin condemns us to hell unless we are baptized, or saved... I'm not sure which... I was raised protestant, so baptism was more symbolic than anything.

Also, would you mind giving me the scriptural basis for the belief in limbo of the fathers?

Thanks again!

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
StMichael wrote: Nope. But

StMichael wrote:

Nope. But you have to understand a specific distinction. There is something called the limbo of the fathers (where dead people of virtue went before Christ) and the limbo of the infants (where unbaptized babies go). The first does not exist now and the Church never negated the first; it is and always has been Catholic dogma ("the harrowing of hell&quotEye-wink. On the other hand, the second, the limbo of infants, is something of a special question. It is not a dogma of the Catholic Church, nor has it officially been declared as such. It is currently a debated issue, and has long existed in theology as a construct necessary to account for virtuous pagans and the unbaptized infants. 

i.e., it's ad hoc.

 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
ROFL Geez, guys... give the

ROFL

Geez, guys... give the man a chance to tell me if I've got the Catholic position straight before you get him all sidetracked!

I genuinely want to know this stuff, since I'm not well versed in Catholicism.

Why do I feel like I'm taking a pit bull for a walk through a cat show?

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


StMichael
Theist
StMichael's picture
Posts: 609
Joined: 2006-12-20
User is offlineOffline
Quote: If a baby is born,

Quote:
If a baby is born, but doesn't live long enough to commit a personal sin, he is not guilty of anything personally, so goes to some intermediate place to wait for final judgement, when he will be awarded eternal natural happiness. Is that correct?

This is not definite Catholic doctrine, but it is my opinion and I think it supported by theological argument, and by prominent figures in it like Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Robert Cardinal Bellarmine. 

Quote:
So, basically, as soon as you're old enough to know that some things are right and some are wrong, and do something wrong, you're risking hell if you haven't been baptized. Is that correct?

I suppose. It depends on what is done that is wrong. There are, of course, levels of wrongness. There is the actual moral depravity of a particular act. Then there is the intention with which the act was performed. Then there is the knowledge of the person doing the moral act. Then there is the full or lack of full consent given by the person to the act itself. All of which determine the moral gravity of a particular act. However, there are two types of sin: mortal and venial. Mortal being a sin that encompasses the four categories completely (I know what I did was wrong, I did it willingly, I did it out of an evil will, and my act was gravely wrong in its object). Venial sin is some sin that is wrong, but lacks fullness in any one of these categories. Mortal sins alone bring one to hell (mortal = kills the soul), whereas venial damages the life of grace in a person and his relationship with God.

Quote:
 

Presumably, this is the "curse of original sin:" that our first sin condemns us to hell unless we are baptized, or saved... I'm not sure which... I was raised protestant, so baptism was more symbolic than anything.

Well, properly speaking, original sin does not condemn us to hell. The effects of original sin make it virtually impossible to attain heaven.  

Just to clarify the exact position of the Catholic Church, I quote the Catechism itself:

How to read the account of the fall

390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man.264 Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.265

II. THE FALL OF THE ANGELS

391 Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy.266 Scripture and the Church's Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called "Satan" or the "devil".267 The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: "The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing."268

392 Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels.269 This "fall" consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter's words to our first parents: "You will be like God."270 The devil "has sinned from the beginning"; he is "a liar and the father of lies".271

...

 

III. ORIGINAL SIN

Freedom put to the test

396 God created man in his image and established him in his friendship. A spiritual creature, man can live this friendship only in free submission to God. The prohibition against eating "of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" spells this out: "for in the day that you eat of it, you shall die."276 The "tree of the knowledge of good and evil"277 symbolically evokes the insurmountable limits that man, being a creature, must freely recognize and respect with trust. Man is dependent on his Creator, and subject to the laws of creation and to the moral norms that govern the use of freedom.

Man's first sin

397 Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God's command. This is what man's first sin consisted of.278 All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.

398 In that sin man preferred himself to God and by that very act scorned him. He chose himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status and therefore against his own good. Constituted in a state of holiness, man was destined to be fully "divinized" by God in glory. Seduced by the devil, he wanted to "be like God", but "without God, before God, and not in accordance with God".279

399 Scripture portrays the tragic consequences of this first disobedience. Adam and Eve immediately lose the grace of original holiness.280 They become afraid of the God of whom they have conceived a distorted image - that of a God jealous of his prerogatives.281

400 The harmony in which they had found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed: the control of the soul's spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination.282 Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man.283 Because of man, creation is now subject "to its bondage to decay".284 Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true: man will "return to the ground",285 for out of it he was taken. Death makes its entrance into human history.286

401 After that first sin, the world is virtually inundated by sin There is Cain's murder of his brother Abel and the universal corruption which follows in the wake of sin. Likewise, sin frequently manifests itself in the history of Israel, especially as infidelity to the God of the Covenant and as transgression of the Law of Moses. And even after Christ's atonement, sin raises its head in countless ways among Christians.287 Scripture and the Church's Tradition continually recall the presence and universality of sin in man's history:

What Revelation makes known to us is confirmed by our own experience. For when man looks into his own heart he finds that he is drawn towards what is wrong and sunk in many evils which cannot come from his good creator. Often refusing to acknowledge God as his source, man has also upset the relationship which should link him to his last end, and at the same time he has broken the right order that should reign within himself as well as between himself and other men and all creatures.288

The consequences of Adam's sin for humanity

402 All men are implicated in Adam's sin, as St. Paul affirms: "By one man's disobedience many (that is, all men) were made sinners": "sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned."289 The Apostle contrasts the universality of sin and death with the universality of salvation in Christ. "Then as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men."290

403 Following St. Paul, the Church has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam's sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the "death of the soul".291 Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin.292

404 How did the sin of Adam become the sin of all his descendants? The whole human race is in Adam "as one body of one man".293 By this "unity of the human race" all men are implicated in Adam's sin, as all are implicated in Christ's justice. Still, the transmission of original sin is a mystery that we cannot fully understand. But we do know by Revelation that Adam had received original holiness and justice not for himself alone, but for all human nature. By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state.294 It is a sin which will be transmitted by propagation to all mankind, that is, by the transmission of a human nature deprived of original holiness and justice. And that is why original sin is called "sin" only in an analogical sense: it is a sin "contracted" and not "committed" - a state and not an act.

405 Although it is proper to each individual,295 original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin - an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence". Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ's grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle.

406 The Church's teaching on the transmission of original sin was articulated more precisely in the fifth century, especially under the impulse of St. Augustine's reflections against Pelagianism, and in the sixteenth century, in opposition to the Protestant Reformation. Pelagius held that man could, by the natural power of free will and without the necessary help of God's grace, lead a morally good life; he thus reduced the influence of Adam's fault to bad example. The first Protestant reformers, on the contrary, taught that original sin has radically perverted man and destroyed his freedom; they identified the sin inherited by each man with the tendency to evil (concupiscentia), which would be insurmountable. The Church pronounced on the meaning of the data of Revelation on original sin especially at the second Council of Orange (529)296 and at the Council of Trent (1546).297

A hard battle. . .

407  The doctrine of original sin, closely connected with that of redemption by Christ, provides lucid discernment of man's situation and activity in the world. By our first parents' sin, the devil has acquired a certain domination over man, even though man remains free. Original sin entails "captivity under the power of him who thenceforth had the power of death, that is, the devil".298 Ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action299 and morals.

408 The consequences of original sin and of all men's personal sins put the world as a whole in the sinful condition aptly described in St. John's expression, "the sin of the world".300 This expression can also refer to the negative influence exerted on people by communal situations and social structures that are the fruit of men's sins.301

409 This dramatic situation of "the whole world [which] is in the power of the evil one"302 makes man's life a battle:

The whole of man's history has been the story of dour combat with the powers of evil, stretching, so our Lord tells us, from the very dawn of history until the last day. Finding himself in the midst of the battlefield man has to struggle to do what is right, and it is at great cost to himself, and aided by God's grace, that he succeeds in achieving his own inner integrity.303

IV. "YOU DID NOT ABANDON HIM TO THE POWER OF DEATH"

410 After his fall, man was not abandoned by God. On the contrary, God calls him and in a mysterious way heralds the coming victory over evil and his restoration from his fall.304 This passage in Genesis is called the Protoevangelium ("first gospel&quotEye-wink: the first announcement of the Messiah and Redeemer, of a battle between the serpent and the Woman, and of the final victory of a descendant of hers.

411 The Christian tradition sees in this passage an announcement of the "New Adam" who, because he "became obedient unto death, even death on a cross", makes amends superabundantly for the disobedience, of Adam.305 Furthermore many Fathers and Doctors of the Church have seen the woman announced in the Protoevangelium as Mary, the mother of Christ, the "new Eve". Mary benefited first of all and uniquely from Christ's victory over sin: she was preserved from all stain of original sin and by a special grace of God committed no sin of any kind during her whole earthly life.306

412 But why did God not prevent the first man from sinning? St. Leo the Great responds, "Christ's inexpressible grace gave us blessings better than those the demon's envy had taken away."307 And St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, "There is nothing to prevent human nature's being raised up to something greater, even after sin; God permits evil in order to draw forth some greater good. Thus St. Paul says, 'Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more'; and the Exsultet sings, 'O happy fault,. . . which gained for us so great a Redeemer!'"308

IN BRIEF

413 "God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. . . It was through the devil's envy that death entered the world" (Wis 1:13; 2:24).

414 Satan or the devil and the other demons are fallen angels who have freely refused to serve God and his plan. Their choice against God is definitive. They try to associate man in their revolt against God.

415 "Although set by God in a state of rectitude man, enticed by the evil one, abused his freedom at the very start of history. He lifted himself up against God, and sought to attain his goal apart from him" (GS 13 § 1).

416 By his sin Adam, as the first man, lost the original holiness and justice he had received from God, not only for himself but for all human beings.

417 Adam and Eve transmitted to their descendants human nature wounded by their own first sin and hence deprived of original holiness and justice; this deprivation is called "original sin".

418 As a result of original sin, human nature is weakened in its powers, subject to ignorance, suffering and the domination of death, and inclined to sin (this inclination is called "concupiscence&quotEye-wink.

419 "We therefore hold, with the Council of Trent, that original sin is transmitted with human nature, "by propagation, not by imitation" and that it is. . . 'proper to each'" (Paul VI, CPG § 16).

420 The victory that Christ won over sin has given us greater blessings than those which sin had taken from us: "where sin increased, grace abounded all the more" (Rom 5:20).

421 Christians believe that "the world has been established and kept in being by the Creator's love; has fallen into slavery to sin but has been set free by Christ, crucified and risen to break the power of the evil one. . ." (GS 2 § 2).

 

 

Quote:

Also, would you mind giving me the scriptural basis for the belief in limbo of the fathers?

 I'll just again quote the Catechism, with references to Scripture. It explicates the doctrine by which we believe that Christ descended into hell:

 

"HE DESCENDED INTO HELL. ON THE THIRD DAY HE ROSE AGAIN"

631 Jesus "descended into the lower parts of the earth. He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens."475 The Apostles' Creed confesses in the same article Christ's descent into hell and his Resurrection from the dead on the third day, because in his Passover it was precisely out of the depths of death that he made life spring forth:

 

Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead, and shed his peaceful light on all mankind, your Son who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.476

Paragraph 1. Christ Descended into Hell

632 The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was "raised from the dead" presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection.477 This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ's descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.478

633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, "hell" - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God.479 Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into "Abraham's bosom":480 "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham's bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell."481 Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.482

634 "The gospel was preached even to the dead."483 The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfilment. This is the last phase of Jesus' messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ's redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption.

635 Christ went down into the depths of death so that "the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live."484 Jesus, "the Author of life", by dying destroyed "him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage."485 Henceforth the risen Christ holds "the keys of Death and Hades", so that "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth."486

 

Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . . He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him - He who is both their God and the son of Eve. . . "I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. . . I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead."487

IN BRIEF

636 By the expression "He descended into hell", the Apostles' Creed confesses that Jesus did really die and through his death for us conquered death and the devil "who has the power of death" (Heb 2:14).

637 In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened heaven's gates for the just who had gone before him.

 


475 Eph 4:9-10.
476 Roman Missal, Easter Vigil 18, Exsultet.
477 Acts 3:15; Rom 8:11; I Cor 15:20; cf. Heb 13:20.
478 Cf. I Pt 3:18-19.
479 Cf. Phil 2:10; Acts 2:24; Rev 1:18; Eph 4:9; Pss 6:6; 88:11-13.
480 Cf. Ps 89:49; I Sam 28:19; Ezek 32:17-32; Lk 16:22-26.
481 Roman Catechism 1, 6, 3.
482 Cf. Council of Rome (745): DS 587; Benedict XII, Cum dudum (1341): DS 1011; Clement VI, Super quibusdam (1351): DS 1077; Council of Toledo IV (625): DS 485; Mt 27:52-53.
483 I Pt 4:6.
484 Jn 5:25; cf. Mt 12:40; Rom 10:7; Eph 4:9.
485 Heb 2:14-15; cf. Acts 3:15.
486 Rev 1:18; Phil 2:10.
487 Ancient Homily for Holy Saturday: PG 43, 440A, 452C; LH, Holy Saturday, OR.

 

 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Thanks, Michael.  That's

Thanks, Michael.  That's just what I was looking for.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism