Exposing Souls to a Fate Far Worse Than Limbo
Thomas A. Droleskey
Many fine commentaries, written by individuals across the "traditional divide," have been written in recent days to discuss what had appeared to be a pending endorsement of Benedict XVI's publicly expressed views concerning the fate of unbaptized infants. The former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger had this to say on the subject to Italian journalist Vittori Messori when the latter interviewed him for what became the basis of The Ratzinger Report (1985):
"Limbo was never a defined truth of faith. Personally - and here I am speaking more as a theologian and not as Prefect of the Congregation - I would abandon it since it was only a theological hypothesis. It formed part of a secondary thesis in support of a truth which is absolutely of first significance for faith, namely, the importance of baptism. To put it in the words of Jesus to Nicodemus: 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God' (John 3:5). One should not hesitate to give up the idea of limbo, if need be (and it is worth noting that the very theologians who proposed 'limbo' also said that parents could spare the child limbo by desiring its baptism and through prayer); but the concern behind it must not be surrendered. Baptism has never been a side issue for faith; it is not now, nor will it ever be."
Once again, you see, the paradoxical mind of Joseph Ratzinger, which accepts contradiction as part of truth, does not see that an abandonment of the traditional teaching of Limbo will indeed make Baptism a "side issue for the faith." Just as Martin Luther could not see where his errant ideas would lead, sooner rather than later, it should be pointed out, Benedict XVI cannot see--or admit--that his theological ruminations that are contrary to the traditional teaching and praxis of the Catholic Faith will lead to devastating consequences for souls. As there was no urgent need to discuss this matter when he succeeded John Paul II on April 19, 2005, why did he choose to charge a theological commission, headed by his own successor as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, William Cardinal Levada, to examine it? It is as though Benedict cannot see that the mere opening up of the issue would lead to raised expectations and false hopes, much in the same manner as the "birth control commission" that was at work during the conciliar pontificate of Paul VI raised the hopes that it was possible for the Catholic Church to find some way to endorse the use of the birth control pill in "extraordinary circumstances" if it could be proved that "the pill" was "scientifically acceptable" from a moral standpoint.
Additionally, Bishop Donald Sanborn noted in an article last year that Pope Pius XII said that parents cannot supply a "desire" for baptism of their children (see:
Damning Limbo to Hell):
Pope Pius XII clearly stated this in his address to the Congress of the Italian Catholic Association of Midwives (Oct. 29, 1951) : "If what We have said up to now deals with the protection and the care of natural life, it should hold all the more in regard to the supernatural life which the newly born infant receives with Baptism. In the present economy there is no other way of communicating this life to the child who has not yet the use of reason. But, nevertheless, the state of grace at the moment of death is absolutely necessary for salvation. Without it, it is not possible to attain supernatural happiness, the beatific vision of God. An act of love can suffice for an adult to obtain sanctifying grace and supply for the absence of Baptism; for the unborn child or for the newly born, this way is not open..."
Saint Augustine said: "If you wish to be a Catholic, do not believe, nor say, nor teach, that infants who die before baptism can obtain the remission of original sin." (III de Anima). He also said in a letter to St. Jerome (no. 27): "Whoever says that even infants are vivified in Christ when they depart this life without the participation of His Sacrament [Baptism], both opposes the Apostolic preaching and condemns the whole Church which hastens to baptize infants, because it unhesitatingly believes that otherwise they cannot possibly be vivified in Christ."
Heretics Denied the Necessity of Infant Baptism
The necessity of Baptism was denied by the fourteenth-century heretic Wycliff, as well as by the Protestant reformers Bucer and Zwingli. Calvin said that infants of believing parents are sanctified in the womb, and are therefore released from original sin without baptism.
Some Catholic theologians in the past, notably Cajetan, said something similar, namely that the unbaptized infant in the womb can be saved by an act of desire by the parents. This theory, however, was ordered to be expunged from Cajetan's commentary on St. Thomas by none other than Saint Pius V.
The theological commission that was assigned to examine the fate of unbaptized infants has as of yet, despite many press reports indicating that a conclusion had been reached on the matter, to make its findings public, the fact that this was one of the first things that Benedict desired theologians to examine at the outset of his putative pontificate speaks volumes about his own commitment to the false theology of "universal salvation" that he learned so very well from his late mentor, Father Hans Urs von Balthasar. As I have stated repeatedly on this site, Benedict, a longtime champion of the false ecumenism that is at the heart of conciliarism, does not believe that there is an urgent necessity to seek the conversion of all people outside of the Catholic Church to her maternal bosom, contradicting his belief, stated to Vittori Messori over two decades ago now, that baptism is not a "side issue for the faith." He believes, as should be obvious, that it is reasonable to hold out "good hope" that those in false religions, whether Protestant or non-Christian, are saved absent a formal conversion to the Catholic Church before they die. Remember, he expressed publicly last year this his friend, the Protestant syncretist named "Brother" Roger Schutz, had attained "eternal joy" following his murder by one of his devoted followers. All of this contradiction and paradox exposes souls to a far worse fate than Limbo (which most theologians contend is on the edge of Hell and involves only the loss of the Beatific Vision for all eternity), namely, the very depths of Hell, where souls suffer eternal hellfire.
Turning again to Bishop Sanborn's analysis of the the proposed "elimination" of Limbo:
The Two Punishments of Hell
Hell consists of two things: the deprivation of the beatific vision, which is the punishment for original sin, and the pain of sense, the fire, which is the punishment for actual sin. If after death, therefore, one is deprived of the beatific vision, then he is in hell — in the broad sense. I say "broad sense," since the common understanding of hell is the hell of the damned, the hell of hellfire and agony. This is hell in the strict sense of the term.
Since unbaptized babies have only original sin, theologians commonly concluded that there was a place in hell — in the broad sense — where they would be deprived of the vision of God, but would not be subjected to the pain of sense, since they committed no actual sin. This conclusion or theory, which is taught by nearly every theologian in the past eight hundred years, is in accordance with a pronouncement of Pope Innocent III (III Decr. 42:3): "The punishment of original sin is the deprivation of the vision of God; of actual sin, the eternal pains of hell."
"Limbo" is from a Latin word which means "edge," and so the theologians were calling the place of the unbaptized babies the edge or outer limits of hell. It is a very reasonable conclusion.
Ratzinger's Upcoming New Heresy
But Ratzinger knows better than St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventure, and practically every other theologian ever since. He is smarter than they. He says that Limbo is something which is incompatible with modern man.
So then we come to the fork in the road. According to Catholic doctrine, if one eliminates Limbo, the little babies are condemned to the hell of the damned, together with murderers, thieves, adulterers, perverts, heretics, and so forth. Will Ratzinger go that route?
No, he will no doubt take the other fork, which is to say that the little babies go to heaven. How happy this will make the mothers. But to follow this fork implicitly involves heresy, which is that babies dying without baptism can attain eternal salvation. We have already pointed out how this is contrary to Faith.
So one more heresy is being prepared by the arch-Modernist Ratzinger. But he will promulgate this one through the back door, as they usually do. He will appear to the world to be the nice old man — like an ecclesiastical Santa Claus — who gives away heaven to little babies. But underneath lies a pernicious heresy.
The Vatican II apologists, therefore, will have some more holes to plug in the dike. The pressure mounts on the conservative Novus Ordites to call Catholic what is plainly non-Catholic. They will have to stretch and bend like they have never done before to stave off the accusations of heresy. It is getting harder and harder for the defenders of the naked emperor to convince everyone that Ratzinger is wearing the clothing of orthodoxy.
Pope Saint Pius X held to the view, expressed by various popes before him (see Do NOT Go Forth and Baptize), that unbaptized children go to Limbo:
Children who die without being baptized go to limbo, where they don't enjoy God, but don't suffer either because whilst carrying the original sin...they don't deserve paradise but neither do they deserve hell or purgatory.
As we know, the teaching of Pope Saint Pius X, to say nothing of almost every other preconciliar pope or council, is not held in very high esteem by most conciliarists, who will probably fall over themselves next year, the one hundredth anniversary of the issuance of Pascendi Dominici Gregis, to explain that the canonized pontiff's encyclical letter on Modernism was rooted in a hasty and superficial analysis of ideas that the "church" has come to recognize were not entirely erroneous and with which "she" has had to made a reconciliation through the documents of the Second Vatican Council. It cannot possibly be that the son of the postman from Riese, Italy, had analyzed--both correctly and prophetically--the very errors of conciliarism that most ordinary Catholics believe, mistakenly, bind their consciences under pain of Mortal Sin. Many, although certainly not all, of the conciliarists hold, to the contrary of the the traditional teaching concerning the existence of Limbo on the edge of Hell, that the souls of unbaptized children go to Heaven because of some "mysterious plan" said to be at work in God's "universal salvific will."
The belief in the error of "universal salvation" is toxic, especially when coupled to the "new ecclesiology" proclaimed by the Second Vatican Council and championed for years by Joseph Ratzinger before his rise to become Benedict XVI. (See: Bishop Donald Sanborn's The New Ecclesiology: An Overview), and the conciliarist notion of ecumenism, in that many fallen away Catholics and non-Catholics alike have become convinced that there is no necessity for them to be reconciled or converted to the Catholic Church before they die. "A 'loving" God would never send anyone to Hell," "modern man" has convinced himself, in no small measure, it should be added, because of the words and actions of the conciliar popes and bishops. We will only know at the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead on the Last Day how many souls were lost because of the indifference to their salvation exhibited by the words and actions of conciliar popes, bishops and priests.
Here is a case-in-point:
An elderly married couple had been away from the practice of the Catholic Faith for all their married lives. The husband had been away for the better part of seven decades, the wife for over five decades. Prompted by the nagging of two of their children who had converted to the Catholic Faith despite their vehement protestations against their decision to do so, the elderly couple went to a Catholic priest in a diocesan parish, apparently ready to go to Confession, especially since they were in failing health. The priest did not say that they had to go to Confession, simply administering what is called the Sacrament of the "Anointing of the Sick" in the "new dispensation" of things, sending them on their way quite merrily. Leaving aside the matter of validity of the conciliar sacraments, the priest in question here did not believe that he had the obligation to get this elderly couple reconciled to the Catholic Church. While this is not true, to be sure, of all priests in the conciliar structures, it is far, far too true in many instances, which is just another proof of the harm of the conciliarist ethos and why we must have nothing at all to do with it under any conditions whatsoever, especially one when comes to recognize that the conciliar religion, while retaining trappings of authentic Catholicism, is counterfeit and is designed to produce confusion and disarray in the lives of ordinary Catholics and to keep non-Catholics from even considering converting to the Catholic Faith.
How many of you have relatives who have fallen away from the Catholic Faith? How many of you have non-Catholic friends and coworkers and neighbors and acquaintances? Those of you who have the sensus Catholicus know that it is important to win these souls back (or into) the Church before they die. Your efforts to do so, however, are made far more difficult when the words and actions of the conciliar popes and bishops, to say nothing of many priests in the conciliar structures, contradict your desire to effect their conversion to the Church. Believe me, I have heard many a person say to me, "I don't need to come back. I don't need to convert. The pope says all people are saved just where they are." Indeed, who do you think that Benedict XVI, who specifically rejects what "the theology of the return," would himself reaffirm: you or your fallen away relatives and friends?
Before the defenders of all things conciliar contend that no conciliar pope has ever been so blunt as to put things this way, it should be pointed out that this is what the average person, who does not pay attention to details, is "hearing" the conciliar popes say. It is what is being taught in institutions of "Catholic" "education." It is what is being preached from many a conciliar pulpit without anyone in chancery offices offering a word of correction. It is the de facto teaching of conciliarism over and above being the logical result of an false ecclesiology that admits that "unity" is lacking in Christ's Church and that there are "elements of truth" that can "save" people in false religions. I mean, what other conclusions can the average person draw when they see the putative Vicar of Christ administering "blessings" with Protestant "clergymen," who do not have Holy Orders and do not share in the Priesthood of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Those who deny this are not looking at the situation we face honestly. They do not meet the many lost souls we encounter all across this country who are incapable of handling the sufferings they encounter in this mortal vale of tears because they do not see the world clearly through the eyes of the true Faith do not have belief in, access to or cooperation with Sanctifying Grace.
Moreover, I would like to ask all Catholics of good will who truly love God and who really do seek the good of souls, no matter their views concerning the stateof the Church at present, to consider the fact that it would have unthinkable sixty or seventy years ago for any Catholic priest to have passed up an opportunity to save a soul who had fallen away from the practice of the Catholic Faith or who was in need of converting to the Faith. Every Catholic priest, perhaps with a few exceptions born of sloth rather than theological malpractice, would have moved mountains to seek out the lost sheep. Every Catholic priest of yore, again, with a few exceptions here and there, would have recognized in the situation of the elderly couple cited above an opportunity sent to him from God Himself to use his Holy Priesthood to save souls from the possibility of eternal damnation. Such priests were charitable but nevertheless direct in their earnest efforts to lead souls back into the confessional so as to prepare them for the worthy reception of Our Lord in Holy Communion and, for those facing death, for a happy, holy, sacramentally-provided-for death.
Thus, even the discussion of the "elimination" of Limbo feeds the religious indifferentism that has been the actual fruit of the new ecclesiology and ecumenism, despite the protestations of conciliarists, including Benedict XVI, that they do not mean to give rise to the appearance of religious indifferentism (more paradox and contradiction in the clouded minds of Hegelians). The average person, both Catholic and non-Catholic alike, just reads the headlines, content to reaffirm themselves in what the devil himself desires them to believe: that no one needs to be a practicing Catholic in a state of Sanctifying Grace to get to Heaven, that one is absolutely assured of his salvation no matter what he believes, if anything, and no matter what "religion," if any, he may happen to follow. The average person will go back to his "bread and circuses" after reading a few snippets. And most of the Catholics who have been catechized in the ethos of conciliarism will view the headlines as affirmation of all that they had been taught and have come to believe--even if an "official" declaration by the "theological commission" on the subject of Limbo is never forthcoming.
I have been accused, both directly and indirectly, of expressing myself "bitterly" about the theology of Benedict XVI. Although the intentions of all hearts are revealed only on the Last Day, there is not an ounce of bitterness in my heart. I pray for Benedict every day. I pray for as many of the conciliar cardinal bishops that I can remember by name every day. It is nevertheless important to use strong, blunt language to characterize the abandonment of the mission Our Lord gave to the Church to seek with urgency the conversion of souls. Those who do not do so are the enemy of souls, whether or not they realize it, whether or not they have convinced themselves that they are the "true apostles" of a "love" without realizing that they are actually the apostles of a sentimentality that originates from the devil and is designed to lead souls into Hell for all eternity. No one can reject the "theology of the return," no less state that Jews have their own "special" relationship with God and are saved because of their "expectant waiting for the Messiah," is a friend of the eternal salvation of souls. This is a simple truth, perhaps hard for some people to accept, but true nevertheless.
Yes, each of us is an enemy of souls, starting with our own, because of our sins. We will never know until eternity how many souls our sins and bad example have kept from returning or converting to the Faith. We must recognize this fact. We must do penance for our sins and to pray as the consecrated slaves of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart to suffer in order to do penance for our sins and to help to save our fellow sinners, including those to whom we have given bad example. Indeed, Saint Therese of Child Jesus, whose feast day was five days ago, wrote in The Story of a Soul of how her saintly father, Louis Martin, prayed for sufferings in order to convert and thus save sinners. Imagine if we had this kind of horror for our our sins and such love for God and for the souls He redeemed by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross! Alas, this is what we called to do if we are serious about proving ourselves friends of souls by means of offering ourselves up to God through His Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart so that we can know an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Heaven with all of those from whom we have been estranged in this mortal vale of tears, with all of those who have been scandalized or offended by our words and actions.
It is, however, an entirely different thing to recognize that we our sins have offended God, causing Him to suffer during His Passion and Death and wounding the souls of others in the process, and to convince ourselves that there is no urgent need to live penitentially and/or to seek the conversion of everyone God puts in our path to the Catholic Faith. There are, as I have noted many times on this site in recent months, a variety of ways to do this, starting with carrying--and distributing--blessed Miraculous Medals and Green Scapulars to those we meet, perhaps even fleetingly. Each encounter requires a different approach, which is why we must pray to God the Holy Ghost to help us to see Christ in all others and to be Christ for all others, praying also that we will be given the words to use in our one-on-one encounters that will help to plant a few seeds that will be watered in time by the graces won for us by Our Lord on Calvary and that flow to us through the loving hands of Our Lady, th Mediatrix of All Graces. Even though the conciliarists, with a few exceptions here and there, no longer believe in the necessity of converting souls, we must strive to do so, if only by the prayers we offer before Our Lord's Real Presence and in the total oblation of self that we make to Him through the Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother.
Over and above the specific issues raised by conciliarists at any given moment, including the whole "discussion" of the "elimination" of Limbo, it the entire ethos of conciliarism that exposes souls to a fate far, far worse than Limbo. Countless numbers of human beings are being permitted to drift along in life aimlessly because the counterfeit religion that most people, including myself for far too long, mistake for Catholicism seeks not to speak with the voice of the Good Shepherd, who desires the lost sheep to be found, but with the voice of those who tickle the itching ears, as Saint Paul himself prophesied to Saint Timothy:
I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom: Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober. (2 Tim. 4: 1-5)
May we use this month of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary to pray at least fifteen decades every day in reparation for our sins and those of the whole world, attempting to plant some spiritual seeds that will help, please God and by His ineffable graces, usher in the Reign of Mary Immaculate, a time when the errors of the present day will be forgotten and Tradition will reign gloriously in the Church and Christendom in the world. Never lose heart. Never grow discouraged. Always keep vigil before Our Lord's Real Presence and offer oneself to Him through Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Our Lord will indeed have her victory, and it will be glorious beyond all telling.
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Placidus and Companions, pray for us
Saint Benedict, pray for us.
Saint Scholastica, pray for us.
Saint Bruno, pray for us.
Saint Jerome, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Agnes, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Blessed Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered
ye hostile powers.
Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
Response: As we have hoped in Thee.
Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.
Response: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Verse: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls.