Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Limbo Babies

Last Tuesday night a programme called Limbo Babies was aired on BBC2. It focussed mainly around the Catholic church of olds view and opinion on the souls of babies born sleeping. The entire programme had me furious. So angry for the poor parents and families, angry at the Catholic churches stance, angry at yet another example of how stillborn babies were marginalised and unacknowledged as a real person, unacknowledged as a real death.

I feel so sorry for the parents who were left believing that their precious baby was in ‘limbo’ – neither in heaven or hell, but floating around somewhere with no place to go for all eternity, left believing that they would never be reunited with their child. The Catholic church that taught that because these children were unbaptised they could not enter heaven; because they were unbaptised they could not be buried in the consecrated ground of the cemetery. Because they were unbaptised their souls had not been cleansed of their sin.

The Catholic church is supposed to teach of God’s love and compassion, only as far as I can see, taught through their actions that what matters to them is pomp and ceremony. The soul of these babies all hanging on the occasion of being baptised.  They would not baptise a dead baby. And so these families and babies were denied a funeral, denied a proper burial, denied access to heaven as they saw fit.   They basically said through their actions that these babies didn’t matter.

Because of this many babies were buried in wasteland along the outside of a cemetery wall, taken to a remote beautiful place and buried there. No funeral, unmarked graves, mass graves, not acknowledged at all by the world. Many parents not even knowing where their child’s final resting place was.

I cannot imagine how you would even begin to live with this as a Catholic parent of a stillborn child. Instead of your faith holding you strong, it rejects you. You are taught that (the falsity) God rejected your child. Where else is there to turn if your church cannot support you and offer comfort?

I don’t know where the Catholic church got its teaching from, but as far as I’m concerned it is not scriptural. It infuriates me because the Jesus I know would not turn these babies away, he did not turn these babies away. Jesus always welcomed little children with open arms. “Let the little children come unto me, for as such is the Kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19 v 14) The kingdom of heaven belongs to little children.

I understand that in more recent years the Catholic church has relaxed its attitudes around stillborn babies and the idea of limbo.

Jon once asked me how Anabelle could be in heaven if she had been born into sin.  Yes Anabelle was born into a world of sin, but she herself had never sinned. She was yet too young to understand sin or to learn about Jesus. The Jesus I know would not banish anyone too young or without the capacity to understand to damnation.

Anabelle had nothing to atone for, nothing. Anabelle was pure. Anabelle is in heaven and I truly believe one day we will be reunited. Anabelle, as all angel babies do not need to be christened to obtain a place in Jesus arms. There are no such conditions or requirements. There is no such thing as limbo babies.


Anonymous said...

I didn't watch this program as I just didn't need any more upset. I would like to offer you something as a contrast. A lady in Barnsley in South Yorkshire had a daughter called Michelle in 1971 who was born sleeping, it was 10 years before she found where her daughter was buried and when she found her she also found hundreds of other babies where buried together in unmarked graves. In the last 2 years this lady, who is in her late 60's, has raised £11,000 to create a memorial for over 400 babies buried in Barnsley cemetary, she has also been responsible for helping many mums find where their babies are. A round of applause for Mrs Carole Taylor. Wouldn't it be nice to have a lot more of this than of stupid people with no life experience denying our children? jmc

Caz said...

Wow, she sounds like a strong amazing woman! What an inspiration!!

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