No more Limbo??
#41
(07-29-2018, 08:16 PM)gisterMusicae Wrote: A full reply the preceding would take more time than I have right now, but in order to address the original question, the following may be of value.

In the 1958 edition of the American Ecclesiastical Review, Fr George J. Dyer wrote a theological study entitled Limbo : A Theological Evaluation.

Some pertinent points are quoted here (my emphasis in bold text only):

Quote:The problem we have set ourselves is only a fraction of Gregory's [of Nyssa] much larger difficulty. Ours is a question of evaluation: where does the limbus puerorum stand on the scale of theological values? Is it merely an opinion of theologians or is it something more? In recent years we have seen a denial of limbo used as a springboard for speculation about the possible salvation of children.* On the other hand, limbo has been declared a "Catholic doctrine which cannot be denied without temerity."** Which of these views is the more accurate appraisal of the limbus puerorum? A preliminary remark or two may help to illuminate both the question and a possible approach to it.

As the Scholastics envision it, limbo embraces two ideas: the exclusion of infants from heaven and their exemption from the pains of hell. Both of these elements are essential to the notion of limbo; of the two, however, the second is more important to limbo as such, the first being common both to infants and to those who die in a state of personal sin. It would seem, then, that any theological evaluation of limbo must be keyed to the second of the elements, exemption from the pain of sense. This at once suggests a solution and presents a problem. A survey of the past fifty years indicates that only one theologian in eight has gone as far as "common and certain" in evaluating the immunity of infants from the pain of sense. Kerygmatically the picture is much the same; only one catechetical writing in six has used the word "limbo." Two-thirds of them are completely silent on the question of the pain of sense for infants. A glance at the preceding century shows an even greater hesitation before the problem. This somewhat anomalous situation seems to find its explanation in aii earlier age, centuries during which a denial of limbo was protected by decrees of the Holy See. In this article we will try to trace the question of the pain of sense through the past four centuries. The information we gather may help towards a more accurate evaluation of limbo.

* G. Fangauer, "Fate of Unbaptized Infants," Homiletic and Pastoral Review 47 (1946) 11; E. Boudes, "Reflexion sur la solidarity des hommes avec le Christ," Nouvelle revue Mologique 71 (1949) 589.

** Cf. W. A. Van Roo, "Infants Dying without Baptism," Gregorianum 35 (1954) 408.

The author then notes that this seems to suggest a shift toward St Augustine's view that infants who die do still suffer pains, so that while their pains are "the lightest", they are still punished with actual sense pains in hell. The Scholastic view is one where such infants are exempted from these pains, which are due to actual sin only.

The author notes that while some in his days are starting to argue for the salvation of unbaptized infants, this is still an outlier. He also notes that his survey of the various authors on the subject seems to show a shift toward the Scholastic view point around the early middle ages, then the beginning of a shift back towards Augustine in the 16th century, blaming this shift on the Jansenist and Protestant interest in St Augustine.

He then surveys the history of the Synod of Pistoria (which Pius VI condemned as regards its view on Limbo), and suggests that the reason that Pistoria took such a view on Limbo was because it thought it was a Molinist and Pelagian admixture :

Quote:To protect their system of grace, the Molinists had eviscerated the doctrine of original sin, reducing it to a mere privation of grace. It was now possible, said Tamburini [the main theologian behind the Synod of Pistoria], to see the fatal logic of their views on the consequences of original sin. Having denied, in effect, that original sin was truly and properly a sin, the Molinists also denied that there was any punishment for it. Consequently, said Tamburini, they placed infants in a sort of middle place where there was neither suffering nor glory.

Tamburini found the limbo question useful in his apologia for Jansenism. Innovators, he said, considered the doctrine of the majority to be the truth. Tamburini sought the tessera of truth in antiquity, holding that the oldest doctrine was the truest one. The true doctrine could be traced back to the apostles, he said. If the link were broken, if at some time some doctrine had not been taught or the contrary had been taught, then it was clear that this doctrine was not an apostolic one. A good example of this, said Tamburini, was the limbo "fable." Limbo was some five or six centuries old, but in apostolic times the contrary had been taught. The age of the limbo "fable" and the conspiracy of the Schools in defending it served only to show, he said, that a revealed doctrine could exist in the Church in almost complete oblivion.

Of particular interest for those who would claim that the magisterium is settled on the infallible doctrine of Limbo is a dispute refereed by Paul III, described by Dyer :

Quote:Augustine Mainardi of Asti in Italy had been accused to Clement VII of preaching and defending ideas that were erroneous and not Catholic. Clement, on the complaint of the Bishop of Asti, told him to correct Mainardi or to silence him. Mainardi appealed his case to Rome, submitting ten propositions for examination. If the propositions were indeed Catholic and not erroneous, the Augustinian asked that the sentence passed upon him be revoked. The eighth proposition read as follows: "Pueri decedentes cum solo originali peccato damnantur ad aeternos cruciatus ignis inferni." ["Children who die only with Original sin are punished to the torture of eternal fire in Hell"] Paul III submitted the propositions to Thomas Badia, the Master of the Sacred Palace. Badia replied that the propositions were, as Mainardi claimed, "Catholic and not erroneous." The Pope thereupon forbade the Bishop of Asti or any other of Mainardi's superiors to molest him because of his ten propositions. Referring to the eighth proposition on the fate of infants, Paul declared that it, was Saint Augustine's and could be found in many of his writings.

This same Pope gave a nearly identical decision in the case of Musaeus Tarvisinus, another Augustinian. Here again the Pope imposed silence on the accusers and freed the accused of whatever strictures had been imposed upon him.

So whatever documents we can cite, or arguments we can make to try to suggest that the magisterium demands that Catholic accept Limbo, we see at least two cases where a Pope himself in fairly recent history (at least after the condemnation of Pistora by Pius VI) that the harsher view of St. Augustine as and acceptable Catholic theological opinion, and not in any way to be censured.

Norris, another theologian was also accused to the Inquisition of promoting a Jansenist proposition with his strict view on the fate of the unbaptized, and in 1693, Pope Innocent also declared his work Catholic. When later the Spanish put the book on their local index, Benedict XIV order it removed and permitted, writing that : "Nothing bad or opposed to sound doctrine ... nothing worthy of condemnation or any other censure was found in his works."

Dyer then surveys various theological manuals from the 19th and 20th century to get a sense of the "mind of the Church": 

Quote:During the nineteenth century the limbo question retreated to the comparative obscurity of a theological scholion. For all practical purposes the controversy was dead; nevertheless, it seems to have left its mark on theological thought. In an attempt to appraise the "mind of the Church" as we find it in that century, the present author conducted a survey of the literature of the period. It is by no means exhaustive, yet it did produce some interesting results.

Of forty-two theological manuals: two teach the pain of sense (denial of limbo); forty teach no pain of sense (limbo). Thus the nineteenth-century theologians favor limbo overwhelmingly; yet they fail to display any unanimity at all when they come to evaluate their position. Of those who hold no pain of sense, we find the following qualifications: eleven consider it communis [the common opinion]; for six, controvertitur [disputed]; five give no theological qualification at all; four qualify it as communissima [most common]; four, probabilior [more likely]; two, communis et certa [common and certain]; two say that it is not dangerous to the faith; two, that it is not of faith; two, that it may be held; for one, ecclesia favet [the church favors it]; for another, nobis verior [more true for us].

We might ask how deeply the notion of limbo had taken root in the minds of the faithful during this same century. An apodictic answer is impossible, of course; but perhaps the catechetical writings of the period may give us some hint. Of forty-one catechetical writings, seven have nothing to say about the fate of infants. Of the thirty-four who deny them the beatific vision, thirteen add nothing else; of these, ten remain silent, three are unwilling to comment further. The remaining twenty-one further clarify the fate of these infants: two teach limbo by name; six say that the punishment is not like that of mortal sin; eleven, that there is no pain of sense; two, that they are not in hell. Somewhat surprisingly we find that only half of the catechists present the limbo of children to the faithful and only two of these mention it by name.

Limbo, as we find it in the nineteenth century, seems to have been theological opinion, although one held almost unanimously by the writers that we surveyed. The hesitation these men manifest in placing a stronger theological note on limbo may reflect the controversy of the previous centuries. If the catechetical writings we have observed are any indication of the mind of the faithful, we cannot conclude that limbo was very deeply rooted in their thinking. What theological value can we assign to limbo at the close of the nineteenth century? Sententia communis seems to be the fairest estimate.

The over-all picture of limbo in the twentieth century does not differ markedly from that of the preceding period. A survey of forty-six twentieth-century theological manuals shows unanimity on the fact that there is no pain of sense; there is wide divergence, however, on the qualification involved. For eighteen it is communis; six give no theological qualification; six have it communis et certa; three, communissima; two, probabilior; for two the pain of sense is not of faith; for two, ecclesia favet; for one, controvertitur; for one, probabilis; one says that it may be held; another, that it must be held; one affirms that it is almost certain; one, that it should be defended; one, that the pain of sense should not be admitted.

To some extent the catechetical writings mirror the uneven picture which we find among the theologians. Of sixty-six catechetical writings, nineteen have nothing to say about the fate of infants. The remaining forty-seven deny them the beatific vision; of these twenty-three add nothing else, twenty-four further specify. The specifications are: ten mention limbo; for seven there is no pain of sense; for four, they are not in hell; two say that the punishment is not like that for mortal sin; one, that they are in a place of rest. Limbo is presented in substance by about one-third of the catechetical writings; fewer than one in six mention it by name.

There is a clear tendency among twentieth-century theologians to give greater theological weight to the limbo of children. Six of them declare it to be communis et certa, and three others seem inclined to agree. The over-all picture, however, favors a more conservative view, with the simple sententia communis being most in evidence. The catechetical writings of the period once again fail to evince a common persuasion among the faithful.

After all of the Fr Dyer concludes :

Quote:The common acceptance of an idea among theologians would seem to create a presumption in its favor. May we conclude from this that limbo is a sententia certa? In view of the tortured history of the question—the decisions of the magisterium, the varied opinions of theologians, the lack of a clear persuasion among the faithful—sententia certa appears to be too strong a qualification. It seems that we would reflect its theological position more accurately if we said that limbo was a safe and commonly accepted explanation of a difficult question.

I think that presents more or less the case I was trying to make here, and in doing so, I think shows the flaws with taking isolated quotations and assuming that these show dogmatic teaching which must be held.

The conclusion and reminder I would make is that it is clear that no one before modern times ever gave any kind of founded hope that unbaptized infants are saved. This is a novel concept which must be rejected (at least as theological-founded). There is absolutely no Catholic theological foundation for such wishful thinking, and certainly, if God did desire to send unbaptized children to heaven He would not reveal this to us, lest we fail to take seriously the necessity of Baptism. 

The only question is whether they are damned to the fires of hell or excluded from heaven without pain of sense. That is a matter of differing opinions, which the most recently traditional theology considers as the more common or possibly the likely Truth.
 
MM,

Thanks for posting that information - very interesting! That certainly helps clear up a lot regarding the subject of Limbo. It seems the general consensus at least agrees that there is a place that exists called Limbo (which is why the magisterial quotes in the OP exist), but the controversy regarding Limbo over the centuries has mainly been regarding what pain or punishment exists there, if any. So it would appear the existence of Limbo is de fide, but whether there is pain/punishment there, is not de fide.

Now that I think about it, this is sort of similar to the example I gave earlier where belief in Purgatory is de fide, however whether the souls there can pray for us has not been determined with certainty and is therefore not de fide.

As you concluded, I agree that there is certainly no teaching from the Church that those who go to Limbo can possibly obtain Heaven. This is where Benedict XVI makes a grave error; by approving of the publishing of a report that says children in Limbo can possibly obtain Heaven. This is certainly a new doctrine not found anywhere in the history of the Church.
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#42
Pabbie,

I've reordered for clarity and brevity's sake.

(07-30-2018, 11:28 PM)pabbie Wrote: Now that I think about it, this is sort of similar to the example I gave earlier where belief in Purgatory is de fide, however whether the souls there can pray for us has not been determined with certainty and is therefore not de fide.

Purgatory is de fide. It has been clearly defined as such.

You are right to say that the idea that such souls in that state can pray for us is unknown and highly disputed, thus open for discussion.

But the problem is that your comparison fails, because Limbo's existence (the limbus infantium) is not de fide.

(07-30-2018, 11:28 PM)pabbie Wrote: It seems the general consensus at least agrees that there is a place that exists called Limbo (which is why the magisterial quotes in the OP exist), but the controversy regarding Limbo over the centuries has mainly been regarding what pain or punishment exists there, if any. So it would appear the existence of Limbo is de fide, but whether there is pain/punishment there, is not de fide.

Either there is a limbus puerorum, which is a place not in heaven where souls have no sense pains or there is not and such souls have both the loss of heaven and sense pains. The question is not whether limbo has pains or not, but rather whether there is a limbo of children. Limbo, by definition, is a place without pain.

The general consensus at present tends towards the existence of a limbus puerorum : that the unbaptized who have never used their reason when they die cannot enter heaven, but are not punished with the sense pains of Hell.

It is not universal, nor magisterial. The article extensively quotes above should demonstrate this. Not a single source suggested it was de fide.

I think you are confusing the two Limbo (of the Father and of children). They are different concepts. The Limbo of the Fathers is at least proxima fidei if not de fide. The limbo of children is much less.

What is open for discussion is whether limbo exists (the Scholastic opinion), and thus unbaptized children go to a place without suffering, or whether it does not (the Augustinian opinion) and unbaptized children suffer in Hell, but only the most minimal of pains.

(07-30-2018, 11:28 PM)pabbie Wrote: As you concluded, I agree that there is certainly no teaching from the Church that those who go to Limbo can possibly obtain Heaven. This is where Benedict XVI makes a grave error; by approving of the publishing of a report that says children in Limbo can possibly obtain Heaven. This is certainly a new doctrine not found anywhere in the history of the Church.

It is a grave error in prudence, certainly, because it gives credence to this, and suggests that there is some possible theological foundation for it.

The view itself is not a condemned opinion, as I said, but neither can it be founded on anything but an emotional hope. To take that and give it seeming validation by theological language is the real problem here.
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#43
I find it helpful to look at this issue in two parts, which unfortunately are often conflated. 

The first issue is what happens to those who die in original sin, but without any actual sins.  It is a revealed truth that those who die in original sin do not experience beatitude--they do not go to heaven.  This state is permanent.  It is also of faith that the pains of those who desend into Hell from dying in original sin only are "unequal" to the pains of those dying in mortal sin. The more grave or more numerous one's actual sins, the more torment one experiences. "Limbo" is posited therefore not as a third state, but as a state of damnation with only the pain of loss and no actual torments (pain of sense).  The degree of the suffering of those who die in original sin only is what is disputed. So, to sum up, if an infant dies in original sin, the soul descends to Hell, suffering less than a soul dying in mortal sin.  There can be no dissent from this.

The second issue is whether an infant can be cleansed of original sin apart from the actual sacrament of baptism.  If such an infant were saved, it would not be saved while dying in original sin, but by dying in sanctifying grace.  While there is nothing directly in revelation saying such grace is granted them--and therefore most theologians over time have been content with that--there are more logical reasons than simply emotion for other opinions. The main issue that needs to be overcome is the lack of will on the part of the child (acts of faith and charity, which may suffice for an adult, are not possible for an infant to make on his own).

Most of these opinions are founded on the desire of God for all men to be saved (and the logical extension that he therefore offers all the means of salvation) or on the idea that the redemption and salvation of Christ are more powerful than the sin of Adam, and therefore must be able to reach all those that Adam's sin reaches.    

For example, some theologians have argued that the vicarious faith of the parents or even the Church can suffice just as they do in actual baptism.  Therefore, just as these dispositions suffice for an adult without baptism, and they vicariously apply to a child in baptism, so could they vicariously apply to a child without baptism--St. Bernard is a famous proponent of this idea, as was Cardinal Cajetan.  Some simply argue that God grant the grace as a purely gratuitous privilege--St. Thomas puts this forth in the Summa as a means for children in the womb to be saved and others have extended this rationale to those prevented from baptism outside it as well--this is what seems most popular nowadays.  Other more "out there" explanations have included God offering a moment of rational lucidity to the soul just before death to make a choice.  None of these are condemned by the Church.

To sum up, it is de fide that one dying in original cannot be saved.  But whether any particular infant definitively dies in original sin only--ie whether they are cleansed of original sin in an extraordinary way--has not been (and likely cannot be) definitively judged.
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#44
Quote:The conclusion and reminder I would make is that it is clear that no one before modern times ever gave any kind of founded hope that unbaptized infants are saved. This is a novel concept which must be rejected (at least as theological-founded). There is absolutely no Catholic theological foundation for such wishful thinking, and certainly, if God did desire to send unbaptized children to heaven He would not reveal this to us, lest we fail to take seriously the necessity of Baptism. 

Why do we have the feast of the Holy Innocents?  Are the Holy Innocents not saved?
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#45
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The Holy Innocents are saved and are with Christ in eternal glory.
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#46
(07-31-2018, 11:23 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: The first issue is what happens to those who die in original sin, but without any actual sins.  It is a revealed truth that those who die in original sin do not experience beatitude--they do not go to heaven.  This state is permanent.  

Revealed by whom?  God himself?  Or by medieval theologians who claimed to reveal it in God's authority?

Quote:To sum up, it is de fide that one dying in original cannot be saved.  But whether any particular infant definitively dies in original sin only--ie whether they are cleansed of original sin in an extraordinary way--has not been (and likely cannot be) definitively judged.

Just as it really isn't possible for a theologian, no matter how well-educated they may be, cannot define what takes place after death, they also can't really define what exactly happens to those who die in original sin, without direct revelation from God.
I have resigned myself to the reality that I shall have no peace or joy should I continue to exist for eternity.  The question of deism or Christianity no longer matters.  I hope that Christianity is a farce, and that when I die, my consciousness will cease to exist.  In the meantime, I ask the Theotokos to be at my side at my judgement and ask her to intercede to, as I beg, Christ to have mercy on me and to allow me to cease to exist when I die.
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#47
(07-31-2018, 12:01 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(07-31-2018, 11:23 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: The first issue is what happens to those who die in original sin, but without any actual sins.  It is a revealed truth that those who die in original sin do not experience beatitude--they do not go to heaven.  This state is permanent.  

Revealed by whom?  God himself?  Or by medieval theologians who claimed to reveal it in God's authority?

Quote:To sum up, it is de fide that one dying in original cannot be saved.  But whether any particular infant definitively dies in original sin only--ie whether they are cleansed of original sin in an extraordinary way--has not been (and likely cannot be) definitively judged.

Just as it really isn't possible for a theologian, no matter how well-educated they may be, cannot define what takes place after death, they also can't really define what exactly happens to those who die in original sin, without direct revelation from God.
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#48
(07-31-2018, 12:28 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: Pabbie,

I've reordered for clarity and brevity's sake.

(07-30-2018, 11:28 PM)pabbie Wrote: Now that I think about it, this is sort of similar to the example I gave earlier where belief in Purgatory is de fide, however whether the souls there can pray for us has not been determined with certainty and is therefore not de fide.

Purgatory is de fide. It has been clearly defined as such.

You are right to say that the idea that such souls in that state can pray for us is unknown and highly disputed, thus open for discussion.

But the problem is that your comparison fails, because Limbo's existence (the limbus infantium) is not de fide.

(07-30-2018, 11:28 PM)pabbie Wrote: It seems the general consensus at least agrees that there is a place that exists called Limbo (which is why the magisterial quotes in the OP exist), but the controversy regarding Limbo over the centuries has mainly been regarding what pain or punishment exists there, if any. So it would appear the existence of Limbo is de fide, but whether there is pain/punishment there, is not de fide.

Either there is a limbus puerorum, which is a place not in heaven where souls have no sense pains or there is not and such souls have both the loss of heaven and sense pains. The question is not whether limbo has pains or not, but rather whether there is a limbo of children. Limbo, by definition, is a place without pain.

The general consensus at present tends towards the existence of a limbus puerorum : that the unbaptized who have never used their reason when they die cannot enter heaven, but are not punished with the sense pains of Hell.

It is not universal, nor magisterial. The article extensively quotes above should demonstrate this. Not a single source suggested it was de fide.

I think you are confusing the two Limbo (of the Father and of children). They are different concepts. The Limbo of the Fathers is at least proxima fidei if not de fide. The limbo of children is much less.

What is open for discussion is whether limbo exists (the Scholastic opinion), and thus unbaptized children go to a place without suffering, or whether it does not (the Augustinian opinion) and unbaptized children suffer in Hell, but only the most minimal of pains.

(07-30-2018, 11:28 PM)pabbie Wrote: As you concluded, I agree that there is certainly no teaching from the Church that those who go to Limbo can possibly obtain Heaven. This is where Benedict XVI makes a grave error; by approving of the publishing of a report that says children in Limbo can possibly obtain Heaven. This is certainly a new doctrine not found anywhere in the history of the Church.

It is a grave error in prudence, certainly, because it gives credence to this, and suggests that there is some possible theological foundation for it.

The view itself is not a condemned opinion, as I said, but neither can it be founded on anything but an emotional hope. To take that and give it seeming validation by theological language is the real problem here.
 
I'm really surprised that you are hanging onto this belief that there could be any question as to whether the Limbo of children exists. All quotes collectively admit that unbaptized children cannot be in heaven nor in hell, but must be someplace else. Call that place what you want, but none of the quotes doubt that it exists.

A quote that I did not include in the OP:

A Catholic Dictionary (1930s-1950s), Limbo, II. The Limbo of Children: "It is of faith that all, children and adults, who leave this world without the Baptism of water, blood or desire (q.q.v.) and therefore in original sin are excluded from the vision of God in Heaven. The great majority of theologians teach that such children and unbaptized adults free from grievous actual sin enjoy eternally a state of perfect natural happiness knowing and loving God by the use of their natural powers. This place and state is commonly called Limbo."

Notice it states "it is of faith". This is a proven trustworthy resource and you have no grounds to discredit it. The fact remains that nowhere before Vatican II do we see a single person teach or even condone the thought that unbaptized infants can obtain heaven. Benedict XVI is the first one in 2000 years to openly condone it...
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#49
(07-31-2018, 12:01 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(07-31-2018, 11:23 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: The first issue is what happens to those who die in original sin, but without any actual sins.  It is a revealed truth that those who die in original sin do not experience beatitude--they do not go to heaven.  This state is permanent.  

Revealed by whom?  God himself?  Or by medieval theologians who claimed to reveal it in God's authority?

Quote:To sum up, it is de fide that one dying in original cannot be saved.  But whether any particular infant definitively dies in original sin only--ie whether they are cleansed of original sin in an extraordinary way--has not been (and likely cannot be) definitively judged.

Just as it really isn't possible for a theologian, no matter how well-educated they may be, cannot define what takes place after death, they also can't really define what exactly happens to those who die in original sin, without direct revelation from God.

It seems pretty clear to me in Scripture and Tradition that everyone needs grace to be saved--therefore, dying without grace (e.g. in original sin) means one is not saved.  The Pelagians denied this and were condemned by the Church well before the medieval period.  No one can be saved apart from grace.  This is a pretty foundational Christian dogma which I doubt you deny.

As for your second statement, the details of each state of the afterlife are of course very much speculative.  But again, we know grace is necessary for salvation and we know we are not born in the state of grace and we know we can lose it through sin.  These are handed down in Scripture and Tradition.
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#50
(07-31-2018, 12:28 PM)pabbie Wrote: A quote that I did not include in the OP:

A Catholic Dictionary (1930s-1950s), Limbo, II. The Limbo of Children: "It is of faith that all, children and adults, who leave this world without the Baptism of water, blood or desire (q.q.v.) and therefore in original sin are excluded from the vision of God in Heaven. The great majority of theologians teach that such children and unbaptized adults free from grievous actual sin enjoy eternally a state of perfect natural happiness knowing and loving God by the use of their natural powers. This place and state is commonly called Limbo."

Notice it states "it is of faith". This is a proven trustworthy resource and you have no grounds to discredit it. The fact remains that nowhere before Vatican II do we see a single person teach or even condone the thought that unbaptized infants can obtain heaven. Benedict XVI is the first one in 2000 years to openly condone it...

What is "of faith" is that "all, children and adults, who leave this world...in original sin are excluded from the vision of God in Heaven."  This author lists three ways original sin may be cleansed, but only baptism of water is universally held to be of faith as a means to do so.  There are other possible means too.  For example, St. Thomas Aquinas says the following in response to the objection that the sin of Adam is more powerful than the redemption of Christ, since it reaches into the womb where Baptism cannot:

St. Thomas:

Quote:Children while in the mother's womb have not yet come forth into the world to live among other men. Consequently they cannot be subject to the action of man, so as to receive the sacrament, at the hands of man, unto salvation. They can, however, be subject to the action of God, in Whose sight they live, so as, by a kind of privilege, to receive the grace of sanctification; as was the case with those who were sanctified in the womb.

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4068.htm#article11
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