Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Help me please! First, does this not strike you as a little weird - that limbo can be in place since it was invented in the Middle Ages and might not be there now? Either the souls in limbo get a free pass into paradise or they never stopped there to start with - am I wrong?
Help me again please! Is it strange to anyone else that millions of people believe that a man was born of a virgin, died and came to life again, wants you to believe that if you don't follow the Pope's rules, you will roast in hell (or relax in limbo or do time in purgatory).. oh yeah, and this man is going to 'come back' someday and straighten us all out. If it was only me that believed all of the above...if I was unwise enough to repeatedly tell people about it, I would undoubtedly end up with serious medical attention. If millions believe it, well it's just dandy (and gee, is there limbo or not?)
I do certainly believe in each person's right to believe what they want to (as long as it doesn't do harm to others). I have encountered good religious people (and thinkers) too. But do we need this kind of fantasy land to be good people? I suspect not.
If you're offended by this rant - apologies. Happy to hear your views.
UPDATE: Check out what the pope himself has to say (here).
I don’t think the idea that Jesus was born virgin is particularly important to me. I think if we were to find her was not born a virgin, which seems likely, that would enhance my faith, since it raises the status of our life and gives reverence to our life by birth through women.
The invention of a virgin birth or the creation of that concept I think may even detract from the wonder of new life, and the fact it happens at all, is sufficiently a miracle for me. I think it only a “fundamentalist” type belief that puts so much heavy emphasis on a virgin birth.
I don’t think any Catholics anywhere think you need to follow their faith like a rule Book and no one at all in general believes if you don’t follow the Popes ruling you won’t go to heaven.
The “Catholic Church” officially abandoned such ideas under Vatican 2, and now officially recognise all religions and the validity of the secular world as it expresses its good works, as salvation and eternal life are as a consequence of grace, available to all and are not based upon ones beliefs. That’s not to say some Bishops (particularly in Africa) feeling their religion should be a tad stronger in the face of fundamentalism “invent” new rules, and adapt to suit.
Most Priests don’t agree with everything but under the last Pope it was hard to become a Bishop if you didn’t follow the Curio’s pronouncements carefully, but I think that’s likely7 to change soon. Most Catholics and Bishops are critical of the Curio and our previous Pope, who, whilst a great ambassador did not pay attention to the views of the laity and Bishops. That’s universally accepted.
Of no less significance is the journey of those to new “enlightenment” through post modernism, to embrace “atheism” as the only true path to autonomy, eagerly embracing the “rationalism” of the human mind as the only true way forward for humanity.
But the philosophical basis for this new found enlightenment is surprisingly shallow and anaemic. Given that something exits and is agreed is possible, it’s illogical to say nothing exists and nothing is possible as in any in depth philosophical analysis it becomes self contradictory.
I think by implication, as matter of personal integrity, a respect of a moral law, or by way of religious conviction, of secular association that seeks to do good, of metaphysical argument, are an expression of our humanity that by moral necessity is our reality of the existence of god.
Our distinctively rational existence is beloved and made possible by our god or by a god of our religious experience and it’s a love of god of sorts, that’s our authentic realisation of our ultimate reality.
I think we are witnessing the rise and fall of atheism, replaced by a form of loose spirituality, that’s not keen on traditional Christianity. The challenge of theology is to indicate its relevance, but what most don’t realise is it’s mostly mysticism already.
my views. well, i'm not of the persuasion and i must try to respect others with different beliefs. i only wish we would start listening to ourselves & each other as much as we listen to priests & gods. i do think the truth is within us, as a common thinking race, and not somewhere up there...
(and i'm not talking x-files here, though it might come across as that). :o)
Actually, I've pretty much given up on what the official church thinks, and it seems that most of the rest of the world has too. Their authority in most, if not all spheres, is shot. I worry alot more about the right-wing evangelicals in the States, because they have some actually power, and how they use it is a little frightening.
Well, make that a lot frightening. I'm glad Canada doesn't identify so strongly with religion in politics.
So.... what's the next post about? Hindus? Moslems? (Grin.)
too many unanswerable questions...
Hmmmm, makes me sound like a flake! Actually, I have strong faith in the wisdom inherent in each of us and I have deep experience of transcendent or mystical moments - just not willing anymore to tie them to a person (living or dead) or a book.
I do know that religious history and the beliefs stamped into each of us are cultural, mythical, artistic , scientific etc... I can't fully disengage from all that any easier than a citizen of Japan can from the line of Emperors in their blood. But I can think!
It's the fundamentalists that cause so much trouble. The first holy Hebrew writings were translated with an agressive and personal touch to my opinion.
I personally don't think there will be Limbo. I believe there will be something we are not capable of of grasping anyway.
Not me, not yet
Warm Amsterdam regards,
PS. here's another example of - to my opinion - polarized religion:
http://1sdg.blogspot.com/ see antichrist part 2
I think the limbo revision is an example of the church trying to make itself relevant in the modern world, where many peops no longer feel bound by superstition (and believing your baby will be placed in limbo if not baptized is a form of superstition). So, again, a LITTLE weird?
As I recently said to a Christian friend, "No, I actually don't have to respect your beliefs ... or you mine. What I do respect is your right to have them."
From THE SIMPSONS
God : Thou hast forsaken My Church!
Homer : Uh, kind-of ... b-but ...
God : But what
Homer : I'm not a bad guy! I work hard, and I love my kids. So why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I'm going to Hell?
God : [pause] Hmm ... You've got a point there.
It's amazing it wasn't removed from Catholic theology sooner. Very scary, actually.
Have you seen the Ask the Pope's Blogspot on this? Limbo for Dummies!
I'm a recovering Catholic...some days I'm in Limbo, some days in Hell, but most days in Purgatory....But I'll probably be in Paradise tonight while tipping the Merlot...
I have never believe in the theory of limbo. God is just and compassionate.
If God exists and is just and compassionate, I can't believe she even cares about men in tall pointy hats talking on her behalf.
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