After centuries of teaching Catholics like this blogger that unbaptized babies who die go directly to limbo (and do not pass "Go" and do not collect $200), the Vatican has just announced that Baptism is no longer a prerequisite for admittance into the pearly gates.
If memory serves from my Baltimore Catechism days, we’re all born with ‘Original Sin’ which, in turn, was caused by Adam and Eve’s transgressions in the Garden of Eden. And, unless we were baptized as babies and had said sin cleaned from our immortal souls, we were doomed to an eternity in Limbo (‘being in an eternal state of happiness, but having no direct access to God.’ Which, by the way, doesn’t sound all that bad in retrospect).
Now, thanks to a ruling by Pope Benedict XVI, upbaptized infants are good to go re: Heaven.
What does this 180 degree change in core teachings say about the Church? Is it finally catching up with the times, especially in light of abortions? Does it run the risk of further eroding its credibility and alienating true believers with the sudden about-face? Or, is this instead a diversion? A relatively mundane matter in light of some of the seismic global issues that Pope Benedict & Co should be weighing in on?
In my mind, the Church itself is in a metaphorical sort of limbo: the more they pontificate (pun intended) on arcane matters of doctrine and distance themselves from the mega issues threatening to tear our world apart, the more they remain in a state of ‘perfect natural happiness’ (while the rest of us edge closer to the abyss).