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An abortion is the removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus from the uterus, resulting in or caused by its death. This can occur spontaneously as a miscarriage, or be artificially induced by chemical, surgical or other means.
 
Pope Paul Vl  to Pope John Paul ll in his (their) encyclical ("The Gospel of Life") have maintained that the Bible forbids abortion. The Roman Catholic Church has always considered abortion a grave offense.

The Roman Catholic Church today firmly holds that "the first right of the human person is his life" and that life is assumed to begin at fertilization. The equality of all human life is fundamental and complete, any discrimination is evil. Therefore, even when a woman's life appears jeopardized, choosing her life over her child's is no less discrimination between two lives - and therefore morally unacceptable.

However, the Roman Catholic Church does make a clear distinction between direct abortion and indirect abortion. Direct abortion as a means or an end is always viewed as a moral evil. 
 
Indirect abortion occurs when treatment used to save the life of the mother has the secondary side effect of killing the unborn child. An example of indirect abortion is seen in cases of ectopic pregnancy where the fallopian tubewould be removed with the unborn intact, saving the life of the woman, but resulting in the indirect death of the unborn. The Roman Catholic Church only recognizes very rare cases where indirect abortion is permissible and views the vast majority abortive procedures to be the result of procuring a direct abortion.

What happens to the aborted ( Even Miscarriage) unborn ? 

Does he go to heaven or Limbo?

What is Limbo? 

          Limbo is not quite hell and not quite heaven. The term limbo comes from the Latin word limbus, which means “border” or “edge.” In Roman Catholic doctrine, limbo is the immediate destination of those souls who, through no personal fault, are not admitted to heaven. Because this fate is not due to their own moral failings, they are also not damned to hell. The name limbo comes from the fact that it is traditionally believed to be located on the edge of Hell.

The Limbo of Infants refers to a hypothetical permanent status of the unbaptized  who die in infancy, too young to have committed personal sins, but not having been freed from original sin.
 
While the Roman Catholic Church has a defined doctrine on original sin, it has none on the eternal fate of unbaptized infants, leaving theologians free to propose different theories, which Catholics are free to accept or reject.

 
Does the Catholic Church still believe in limbo, a place for unbaptized babies to go if they die without baptism?

        The Catholic Church never "believed" in limbo. The existence of limbo for unbaptized infants is not part of divine revelation, but rather was and is an educated theological "guess." The term was coined by St. Augustine and literally means "fringe."
                  St. Augustine, Doctor of Grace
 This came about because God has not chosen to reveal what happens to deceased unbaptized infants. We know that baptism is absolutely necessary for salvation (John 3:5) because God revealed this. We also know that something called "baptism of desire" is possible.
 
Since unbaptized infants seem incapable of any "desire" or act of their will, theologians have speculated throughout the ages about their destiny in this context St. Augustine thought that it would be an offense against God's justice to suppose He would allow such creatures to suffer any pain, but that rather God places such infants in a state of "natural," but not supernatural happiness for eternity.
 
This he called "limbo." Other theologians say that God's "universal salvific will" (1 Timothy 2:4) includes unbaptized people who do not have the use of reason when they die and that they enjoy supernatural happiness by some means we do not now know.
 
Catholics are free to believe or disbelieve in limbo. What happens to unbaptized people who do not have the use of reason and who die in that state is an open question.                                       
        
                                                               
( This was Reprinted on September 17, 1999 )
 

 

Now as per 23rd April 2007 ..... read on....
  
What Is Limbo And Does It Exist?
       What happens to a baby that dies before it's been baptized? Christianity has wrestled with for centuries. Some denominations say they go to heaven.

For about 800 years, the Catholic Church has said these infants head to a place called Limbo, which is neither heaven nor hell. However, this April 2007, the Pope announced that the Church no longer believes that.

"So, what is the Church doing?" asks Father Peter Laird, who teaches at the St. Paul Seminary. He says Limbo developed as a way for the Church to protect two important beliefs.

"The church very much wants to encourage baptism," he said. "It is the standard way in which salvation would be offered to men and women."

However, Catholics also believe in original sin.

"Adam and Eve made a choice not to live in union with the will of God," said Fr. Laird.

Catholics say we are all born sinners and saved only by baptism and belief.

"And so the challenge was what do you do with babies? What do you do with children who hadn't been baptized?," said Fr. Laird.

"I would think they go to heaven," said one woman in St. Paul.

If they died before being baptized, the Catholic Church said those babies head to Limbo.

"It's really a place on the edge but not yet enjoying the delights of heaven," said Fr. Laird.

"That's wack," said one man in St. Paul.

That's not exactly the words Pope Benedict used, but he did call on the church to re-think the idea of the Limbo.

In it's report released this April 2007, the Vatican Theological Commission calls Limbo an "Unduly restrictive view of salvation." They say the idea of Limbo is difficult to reconcile with the idea of a loving and merciful God.

"I don't think it's the babies' fault they didn't get baptized," said another woman in St. Paul.

The Pope agreed and sealed limbo's fate for good.

 Pope Benedict XVI has reversed centuries of traditional Roman Catholic teaching on limbo, approving a Vatican report released that says there were "serious" grounds to hope that children who die without being baptized can go to heaven.

Theologians said the move was highly significant - both for what it says about Benedict's willingness to buck a long-standing tenet of Catholic belief and for what it means theologically about the Church's views on heaven, hell and original sin - the sin that the faithful believe all children are born with.

Although Catholics have long believed that children who die without being baptized are with original sin and thus excluded from heaven, the Church has no formal doctrine on the matter. Theologians, however, have long taught that such children enjoy an eternal state of perfect natural happiness, a state commonly called limbo, but without being in communion with God.  

"Because God desires all men and women to be saved," said Fr. Laird. "God is merciful and those little babies who never had the opportunity to commit a sin, a personal sin, would know the fullness of God's mercy."

While many Catholic welcome the change, some wonder if it invites criticism of other church teachings that lack scriptural origin.

"It's a great question," said Fr. Laird. "The church of course can't change it's position on certain areas of faith and morals but there are other questions where faith needs reason to grapple and come to a clearer understanding."

The concept of Limbo was never considered official church dogma so it was fairly easy to change. In fact, limbo was merely considered a "theological opinion" despite lasting for centuries

“A courageous life”
Lyrics:-
 
There comes a time
When the world needs a sign
To see the ways of the heavens
And the truth from above
Waking the earth
With a call from above
Rose a voice from a nation
Tossed and turned by the storm
 
A courageous life
In a time of strife
A message that rang loud and clear
To defend all life
In a culture of death
That Christ may be lifted up high
 
A witness to hope
In a time of despair
He did tirelessly travel
To the ends of the earth
 
Nations took heed
When he spoke with God’s fire
Yet he walked among children
And he drew near the poor
 
A courageous life
In a time of strife
A message that rang loud and clear
To defend all life
In a culture of death
That Christ may be lifted up high
 
A prophet of God
A shepherd of love
The conscience that woke up the world to life
With a heart full of joy
And grace from above
In him the presence of Jesus
Came alive…
 
A courageous life
In a time of strife
A message that rang loud and clear
To defend all life
In a culture of death
That Christ may be lifted up high.

                              



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