suffering for the fiction

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Feb 02, 2006

Lefty Catholics have been strangely gleeful over the kybosh given the theory of limbo -- strangely, that is, given their embrace of Karl Rahner's notion of the Anonymous Christian, which serves as a kind of bedtime stuffed animal for thumb-sucking theologians. In recent decades, of course, academic sentimentalisms have migrated from unbaptised babies to uncircumcised Amazonian tribesmen, whence Rahner is more fashionable than Peter Lombard. In his essay "Saying Goodbye to Limbo" (subscriber content), the NCR's Tim Unsworth gloats that, as a youth, he "was condemned to memorize some catechism answers that are about to be officially voided." Bring out the rack!

Benedict XVI has given his theologians about a year to announce some new wordings that will get the church out of the corner it has painted itself into. Maybe the Vatican will limit limbo's enrollment simply to the just who lived in pre-Ascension times.

I dunno. But after over 65 years, my knuckles are still hurting from Sr. Magella's blows with her clicker because I couldn't remember that limbo was a place of rest and natural happiness.

I confess I'm skeptical about the extent of knuckle-abuse visited by pre-Conciliar nuns upon invariably innocent schoolchildren. The stereotyped punishment always accompanies the same story of self-pity and indignation that has the same bogus ring to it. Still, it's best that a non-existent catholicism be discredited by non-existent beatings, even if they remain unhealed six decades after the fiction.

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