Why do you point the finger at me when you could as well point the finger at Obi?
He would say that he is better qualified to understanding the magisterium than are you (a fact I'd be inclined to agree with), and the Pope better than both of you. With that said, all you are doing is proving my general point. But I'll expand on that below.
Now, to answer your question, to say that we Catholic have a single unified mind with no difference whatsoever is incorrect. In fact Obi likes to make this point all the time.
The fact that we have councils where opposing views are discussed and settled are a testament of that. There's also the contradictory systems of grace (Thomist, Molinist, Congruist, Agustinian etc) which are still allowed by the Church.
Now, what makes us different than Protestantism is that we have the magisterium with the authority to settle disputes. Especially when a dispute threatened the live of the Church (meaning, a simple dispute like what you see here is hardly the stuff that would make the Pope summon a council).
Except the fact that both of you are disagreeing on what your magisterium teaches. That is, you are interpreting the magisterium differently. Protestants can say that they have a magisterium: the words of the 66 books we accept as Scripture. Those are our canons, creeds, councils, etc. Yes, we interpret them differently, but here you and Obi are interpreting your own magisterium differently.
As I've said before, the problem with the Catholic claim for the need of the magisterium is that, on either count, it is the individual who must interpret what he is being told, and that to the best of his ability
. In your case, you claim to be under the authority of, say, the Pope. Except when he disagrees with you. Then you just claim that he isn't speaking for the magisterium. And then you interpret the actual words of the magisterium differently than, say, the Pope (or Obi, etc.).
Now, let's get back to the limbo:
1. What Benedict XVI said is not even authentic magisterium. In fact he called the theological commission to work on the issue of salvation of infant which that he also sought answers to which he's not certain.
2. Knowing the original intention of BXVI of setting the commission (ie. answering where unbaptized babies would go when they die), the work of the commission is somewhat a failure. It doesn't provide the answer it was asked to provide.
3. In point 5 of the Theological Commission report
, they argued against Limbo by referencing the Holy Innocents. It is curious why they did not point out that the Holy Innocents were saints of the Old Testament before the institution of baptism.
4. As chronologically outline in the commission report itself one sees a chain of tradition from the fathers until even Vatican II of the teaching of Limbo. Teaching from Popes and theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas (have I mentioned him?).
5. On the other hand there's no magisterial teachings whatsoever (traditional or not) attesting that unbaptized babies goes to heaven. The best the Theological Commission could say that we HOPE that they go to heaven AFTER receiving baptismal grace in a mysterious way. It follows that if so happen that an unbaptized babies DOES NOT receive baptismal grace in a mysterious way (and grace is a free gift), they can't go to heaven. And there's only two final destinations for souls, heaven or hell.
6. The existence of a place in hell where there's only natural happiness and no punishment is certain. The saints of the Old Testaments were there before Christ opened heaven's door for them. And since the gift of immortality to Adam was beyond his nature, it follows that in the state of pure nature human would die while the soul, which is immortal, would go to hell to experience natural happiness (since in the state of pure nature they don't have sanctifying grace needed to enters heaven).
7. We, I, hope that all infants could go to heaven. But in that hope we must also hope that they receive baptismal grace, for if we said that they could go to heaven without baptismal grace, we become a heretic. And if they do depart in this life without baptismal grace, it is de fide
(yes it is) that they'll be going to hell.So, the dispute should not be about whether infants who died without baptismal grace would go to hell or heaven (because it's de fide that ANY person departing this world without baptismal grace is going to hell). The dispute should be whether infant who died without water baptism could receive baptism of desire or baptism of blood so they could enter heaven.
Frankly, I couldn't care less about limbo, since I don't believe any of it. I just think it's interesting that you think you know Catholicism better than professional theologians, popes, etc. And it seems to me that you clearly over-interpreted the previous citations you provided me.
In any case, all I'll say more about this is this: it seems to me (an uneducated non-Catholic)
that your final analysis is what the debate ought to be about (namely, how infants can receive baptismal grace). However, it also seems to me that you are binding God by the sacraments, when I am under the (possibly mistaken) impression that the sacraments are means by which God administers that grace
. In that case, He isn't bound to them. They may be the normal way He administers grace. In refusing them, you may cut yourself off from His grace. But to say that they are the only
instruments God can use to administer His grace seems to me just absurd. In any case, though, while I agree this should be the debate (how infants can receive grace), that's not your original claim. You originally said that Catholicism teaches that unbaptized babies go to Hell, and later added that when they do they suffer by fire. So at a minimum it appears that you have changed your argument.
To receive baptism of desire one needs to have reason. Since infant doesn't have reason God needs to supply them with it if they were going to be baptized by desire. To receive baptism of blood the infants must die a martyr death, that is dying in testament of faith.
See my comments above on your restricting God.
Anyway, you can have any last word you like on limbo. You provided documentation, and I see where you got your ideas. I see professional theologians, popes, and people on this board disagreeing with you and telling you that your interpretation is wrong. The fact that you are so certain you are right when the Pope himself is so uncertain that he felt the need to call a commission tells me something important about your view of yourself and your understanding of your own faith (maybe the Pope should have just called beng for the answer! You could have set him straight!) .Frankly, I couldn't care less what your interpretation of Catholicism is. I started this thread to get some answers on official Catholic doctrine, not beng's understanding of official Catholic doctrine. And while, yes, Obi's interpretation is just an interpretation, I'm far more likely to accept his views than yours (and BXVI's than Obi's, etc.).