that the International Theological
Commission's report on Limbo has been released.CNS has very good coverage
After several years of study, the Vatican's International Theological Commission said there are good reasons to hope that babies who die without being baptized go to heaven.
In a document published April 20, the commission said the traditional concept of limbo -- as a place where unbaptized infants spend eternity but without communion with God -- seemed to reflect an "unduly restrictive view of salvation."
The church continues to teach that, because of original sin, baptism is the ordinary way of salvation for all people and urges parents to baptize infants, the document said.
But there is greater theological awareness today that God is merciful and "wants all human beings to be saved," it said. Grace has priority over sin, and the exclusion of innocent babies from heaven does not seem to reflect Christ's special love for "the little ones," it said.
"Our conclusion is that the many factors that we have considered ... give serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptized infants who die will be saved and enjoy the beatific vision," the document said."We emphasize that these are reasons for prayerful hope, rather than grounds for sure knowledge," it added. [More...]
The entire article is well worth the read for those who are interested.Zadok
(who I can't believe fell off my blogroll
for awhile - he's back now) has this to say:
"We cannot expect intelligent reporting of this in the secular press. Expect headlines to speak of the 'Pope' or 'the Vatican' 'abolishing Limbo'.What we actually seem to have is a rather measured document which does not declare the automatic salvation of the unbaptized and does not totally dismiss limbo as being an unsupportable theological position. The report suggests that it does not obscure the genuine difficulty of the question and insists on the necessity and obligation of baptism."
To be fair, the Reuters treatment
isn't so bad at all. In fact, the article quotes CNS's
coverage twice. It seems that Philip Pullella
, the author of the Reuters coverage, stuck very close to what CNS said on the topic. What somewhat puzzles me is why Pullella
decided to throw in a reference to Dante at the end of his piece. Now, don't get me wrong, I dearly love Dante and his Divine Comedy
, but Dante wasn't a priest, and the Divine Comedy has practically nothing to do with this new ITC
document. Maybe Pullella
thought the article needed some spice?
The Associated Press coverage
is a bit closer to what Zadok
predicted, but still very decent. Again, I think this is so because it references the CNS coverage and clearly stays close to what it says. The only line that irks me in the AP coverage is this one, the opening line: "Pope Benedict XVI has revised traditional Roman Catholic teaching
on so-called "limbo," approving a church report released Friday that said there was reason to hope that babies who die without baptism can go to heaven." (underlining added.) I guess if you have a little dig to make, it *has* to go in the first line, because that's the one that most people will read.
Well, I have yet to see what the New York Times and the UK tabloids do to this news. Nonetheless, I can't really fault the AP or Reuters on their take. If I have anything to tell the MSM writers, it's this: keep reading CNS
! Your coverage will benefit and your reputation among knowledgeable Catholic readers might improve.
Labels: Catholic documents, catholic media bias, catholic news highlights