Theology: On the Hem of Hell

A child is born, takes a few agonized breaths, dies unbaptized. What then happens to its soul, uncleansed of original sin? Modern Protestant theologians generally find no basis in Scripture for an opinion, but Roman Catholic catechisms give a quite specific answer. Unbaptized innocents go to limbo (from the Latin word for "hem" or "border"), a fringe of hell where they spend eternity in a state of natural happiness. Published this week is a lively survey of the still unfinished debate over this theological issue, called Limbo: Unsettled Question (Sheed & Ward;...

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