Thursday, October 05, 2006

Limbo not in limbo anymore

The Pope just abolished Limbo. Not the “How-low-can-you-go,” back-snapping dance popular in the sixties. This is Limbo, the after-death destination for good persons who died before the resurrection of Jesus and unbaptized infants.

Damn it.

Limbo was my loophole. My Plan B. Okay, I’m not Catholic. I’m not even Christian, but I am half Italian, which means my Catholic creds go back generations. And if you haven’t been baptized, you can’t be a Catholic, but you can get into Limbo. Come my personal judgment day, I was going to ride that train to the station.

“Hell? Uh, uh. I’ve got a ticket to Limbo.”

I have no idea what I’d do there or how long my stay would be. To me, Limbo sounded like a layover in Des Moines. Not a lot to do, quiet, lousy weather, but not the worst place you could be by far. Everyone would be issued a big calendar and diary.

“Day 4,264. No resurrection. Made brownies and watched final episode of ‘The Bachelor’.”

One can certainly imagine the conversation centuries ago that got the Limbo ball rolling.

“Holy Father, I am here on behalf of my King, who seeks the Pontiff’s support in his upcoming battle with the eastern hordes, and who will send a sizable fortune to guarantee such a commitment. However, the King has one question he would like answered before this deal is consummated. Is there no recourse for a good and honest unbaptized man after death other than Heaven or Hell? Something in between, perhaps?

“How sizable a fortune are we talking about?”

So Limbo is history and a person’s options after dying are…limited. But wait, Catholic doctrine has more loopholes in it than a Congressional tax bill. Limbo may gone, but there’s still purgatory. More Salina, Kansas than Des Moines, but I’ll take it.

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