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Reply to "Life After Limbo"

But isn't this last response a contradiction to the original posting?

You wrote:
It is evolutions like this one, which while supremely positive, give pause as to the "Godliness" of church doctrine...If not, then how is the church justified in amending God's word in this way - however popular or logical?

Which assumes that everything that the Catholic Church says it says as if coming from God. But that is not the case. There are teachings that it has that it never says are from God. They are thoughts based on theology, conclusions on subjects held a bit loosely, but not so crucial that you cannot be a Catholic if you do not agree with them. Here is an excerpt from the conclusion of the Catholic Encyclopedia entry on the subject:

"We must not confound St. Augustine's private authority with the infallible authority of the Catholic Church; and...Finally, in regard to the teaching of the Council of Florence, it is incredible that the Fathers there assembled had any intention of defining a question so remote from the issue on which reunion with the Greeks depended, and one which was recognized at the time as being open to free discussion and continued to be so regarded by theologians for several centuries afterwards. What the council evidently intended to deny in the passage alleged was the postponement of final awards until the day of judgement. Those dying in original sin are said to descend into Hell, but this does not necessarily mean anything more than that they are excluded eternally from the vision of God. In this sense they are damned; they have failed to reach their supernatural destiny, and this viewed objectively is a true penalty. Thus the Council of Florence, however literally interpreted, does not deny the possibility of perfect subjective happiness for those dying in original sin, and this is all that is needed from the dogmatic viewpoint to justify the prevailing Catholic notion of the children's limbo, while from the standpoint of reason, as St. Gregory of Nazianzus pointed out long ago, no harsher view can be reconciled with a worthy concept of God's justice and other attributes."

The Catholic Church, then, has never seen the subject of Limbo as the Word of God or as God's words (which was kresge's point in his question), and thus makes the original question irrelevant, based as it was on a mistaken assumption. If you accept, as you did in your reply, that the subject of Limbo is not God's words, your whole objection has no point, since the Catholic Church agrees with you. Limbo always has been a thought, a concept, a conclusion, an extension of a line of theological thinking, but it has never been on a level with, say, the Bible.

Therefore, if the Catholic Church wishes to change its mind about Limbo, it is certainly entitled to do so, with no harm done to its teaching or standing as a part of the Church of Jesus Christ.