More specifically, the commission said the theological tradition of the past, specifically the Augustinian tradition, seems to have a "restricted conception of the universality of God's saving will."
That's an extremely sensitive issue today, one that goes beyond the fate of unbaptized babies and has implications for the church's relations with non-Christian religions.
The new document repeats traditional Catholic teaching that all salvation is through Christ and has a relationship with the church. But it emphasizes more than once that God's saving ways are ultimately mysterious and that the holiness that resides in the church can reach people outside "the visible bounds of the church."
I remember a few months ago one of the Catholic commenters here said on another blog that he would try to pray me into heaven. The implication was that I wouldn’t get there on my own non-Catholic faith, but somehow his own prayers might do the trick.
I found that whole notion very odd coming from people who say that the only way to heaven is through Christ. The quote above (and other things I have read) are putting things in perspective for me.
Apparently the “holiness” of the Catholic Church can save those without direct faith in Christ. It is an indirect salvation through Christ it seems. I am still trying to find that idea in my Bible.
This quote from the same article is also quite interesting:
To support its conclusions on limbo, the theological commission's document also cited the need for the church to read the "signs of the times" in order to better understand the Gospel.
In unusual detail, it listed several such signs that support the idea of hope for the salvation of unbaptized infants: the warfare and turmoil of the international scene and the church's awareness of its mission as a bearer of hope; greater emphasis on God's love and mercy in a world of suffering people; renewed concern for the welfare of infants in societies that are scandalized by the suffering of children; and increased dialogue with people of other faiths, which encourages the church to have greater appreciation for the "manifold and mysterious ways of God."
I wonder what "people of other faiths" have to offer? Another way to heaven? In light of the RCC's stance on salvation of Muslims, I think that is exactly what is implied.
And using the "signs of the times" to interpret biblical truths??!!I believe that the truth of God’s Word is the only compass we have in this fallen world and we need to proclaim that one and only truth to the world. Finding truth in the fallen world to apply to the Gospel is a scary, scary thought.