Monday, October 09, 2006

How Low Can You Go? The Pope Knows!

I wasn't really intending on writing another post on a heavy item. That's usually not what I'm about here. But you have to go with what strikes your mood, I guess.

What happens when you die? That's one of the heaviest questions of all. Some would have you believe you simply cease to be. Some believe that the good guys go up and the bad guys go down.

Viewing that as too simplistic, and trying to justify the existence of their bureaucracy, the Vatican like any good corporation sought to break it down even further. They added Purgatory and Limbo.

Purgatory was named in 1254. It's the place where you go if you weren't that bad, and you weren't that good. It's a halfway house and a waiting room. It's where you go to take care of the bad things you did and finish up the paperwork. If you subscribe to this view, it's where most of us will end up for a while.

Limbo is an odder place. Limbo is essentially a place where good people went who didn't get into Heaven. The reasons why they end up there are multiple, but mainly limbo is a place for babies who died without being baptized, and those who lived and died before Jesus came to wash away sin. Babies and caveman, swirling through space. It's not a bad place, they say, although I can't imagine a space predominantly filled with infants and cavemen is all that organized, either.

The new Pope is discussing abolishing Limbo. That would be nice, then the babies and cavemen can go to Heaven.

It would be nice to have the power to simply make a place like that go away. It makes me wonder what other powers he has. Could he abolish Hell, then? Should he? And what about Ohio?

Maybe I'll see if I can ask him when I'm in Rome next month.


stray_thoughts said...

And all this time I thought Purgatory and Limbo were the same place...

Of course the Pope can abolish Limbo! Some Pope made it up...some other Pope can poop all over the idea! Unless the first Pope said, "No Tagbacks!"

The official explanation will be that God was just keeping the babies and cavemen there until the equivilent of Heaven's housing projects could be completed. Apparently the babies and cavemen will be a lower class in heaven...not really full citizens... kind of like immigrants.

What if the denizens of Limbo like being in Limbo? I mean nobody Limbos when their having a bad's a stupid thing to have to be out of your mind drunk to enjoy that?!

Jennifer said...

Hey! Maybe we could send all of the living bad guys to Ohio, and then we could appoint Dr Phil Pope (aka Dictator) of Ohio, and he could make all of the bad guys excited about their lives!

That way, we could take care of both purgatory and hell pre-mortem, thus eliminating what's sure to be a hellish post-mortem bureaucracy for those of us who have failed to be good.

Why would I assume that hellish bureaucracy is involved in the decision of where souls go after death? Mostly because the annulment my ex husband filed for three years ago STILL hasn't been decided, and I'm just dying to see how that turns out.

I'm in favor of eliminating both purgatory and limbo. Having not been baptized until age 22, I got pretty good at limbo during high school and college. But the things I did to get in the mood for limbo could probably land me in purgatory, and going to purgatory isn't cool -- halfway houses aren't known for having well-stocked wine cellars.

How low can you go?

Jonathan said...

I'm still trying to calculate my chances of heaven vs. limbo or purgatory based on Father Guido Sarducci's monetary guidelines....good deeds get you a postive credit, bad deeds get you a deduction. something like murder is -100 bucks. Helping a little old lady cross the street earns you a quarter. Masturbation is minus a dime but you gotta watch's the little things that add up.

Angeline Rose Larimer said...

I think there's a Dante circle where they stick all the Buckeyes and Wolverines to duke out their differences.

(Can't compete with you witty people at 2 am.)